My Culinary Itinerary Across Ionian Greece

My Culinary Itinerary Across Ionian Greece

Sailing through Greek treats with Greek host Niki Christidi

Cooking has turned into a passion only when I started working on boats. Basically I never really liked cooking offboard. Still today my boyfriend does most of the cooking at home. I guess it's just way more fun to cook for clients that are enthusiastic and excited to taste your local cuisine.

I learned all the basic Greek recipes from my mother and added some extra spices and personal flair, what I’d call the ‘Niki style’ to all of my culinary creations to shape a meal that can work onboard. What I love cooking the most is “Gemista”, stuffed vegetables. The taste is delicious and it is just so colorful. The lack of time, space and kitchen utensils means that I have to learn to be even more creative onboard. 

“I learned all the basic Greek recipes from my mother and added some extra spices and personal flair, what I’d call the ‘Niki style’, to all of my culinary creations to shape a meal that can work onboard.”

I’ll take you on one of my recent journeys across the Ionian Sea. This itinerary will see a crew of 7, a family from Switzerland of five, the skipper and myself. Our itinerary is mostly a combination of what our clients wish to see together with our recommendations and of course the weather forecast for the days ahead. Overall our sailing conditions predict a smooth, beautiful and sunny sail and fair wind ideal to sail in the early afternoons. 

Niki at Arkoudi Bay

Niki chilling at Arkoudi Bay

Our culinary Itinerary starts with...

Saturday. Route: Lefkas Marina, Vathy, Meganisi

After leaving Lefkas Marina, we set sail to explore the bays around beautiful Vathy. After a mid-afternoon break with local fresh season fruits, we treat ourselves with a stop at one of my favourite restaurants in Vathy Errikos,

Niki in action

Niki in action

Sunday. Route: Vathy, Meganisi, Frikes

Today we’re heading south to explore the bays of Meganisi and stop for a swim and lunch.  

What’s on the menu: 

Traditional Papoutsakia (what you’ll need: Fresh tomatoes, Onions, Garlic, Greek olive oil, Aubergines, Parsley, Feta Cheese, Spices) 

Where to find your ingredients? Here I recommend buying your vegetables from the local vegetable market in Vathy  It’s a very cute market, a “bakalis” as Greeks call it, only selling vegetables picked by local farmers. For the full recipe visit our recent post by Niki here

A simple filling Greek recipe for your hungry crew: Papoutsakia

A simple filling Greek recipe for your hungry crew: Papoutsakia

Monday. Route: Frikes to South Atokos 

From Frikes, we set sail to Atokos, a small island in the Ionian Sea off the coast of Acarnania, one of the most westerly and perhaps most remote of the Echinades Islands. In South Atokos it is just pure bliss to spend a night on bay. 

Atokos Bay

Atokos Bay


What’s on the menu: 

For our lunch, I prepare a light meal, made up of ham, fried Cypriotic halloumi, feta and manouri cheese, some toasted pita bread, a big greek salad and some fresh cold watermelon 

For dinner, I will prepare lavraki fish (seabass) together with a delicious beetroot salad. The ingredients for the salad: beetroot, carrot, parsley, dill, lemon, Greek olive oil, spices

Where to find your ingredients? If you are lucky a local fisherman will cross your path on a boat with his fresh catch of the day! Cannot get any more fresh than this. 

Greek-style Grilled fish

Greek-style Grilled fish 

Tuesday. Route: Atokos, Vathy, Ithaca.

Lunch stop on a beach called Gidaki

What’s on the menu: For lunch, we will make Giouvetsi. Where to find your ingredients? In Frikes there are no butcher shops, so I’d usually ask directly in the local restaurants if I can purchase the beef from them. 

Wednesday. Route: Vathy, Ithaca, Fiskardo.

From Vathy will have a stop for a well-deserved swim and dive to then lunch in Koutsoupia Beach in Kefalonia

What’s on the menu: 

In one of my sail stops, I always love to prepare some home-made Gyros pita. Here’s what you’ll need:  gyros meat (chicken or pork), fresh hot sexy pita bread, onions, tomatoes, homemade tzatziki - yogourt, garlic, dill, Cucumber, olive oil, vinegar, salt - fried potatoes, mustard and ketchup

Where to find your ingredients? Any local butcher will do. For the other ingredients, I’d look for one of the supermarkets in Vathy.

Sunset at Fiskardo

Sunset at Fiskardo

Thursday. Route: Fiskardo, Sivota, Swim stop and lunch in Arkoudi Island

What’s on the menu: 

For breakfast, I recommend a stop at the local pies and pastries shop Melina in Fiskardo 

For lunch, I will prepare another one of my absolute favourite Greek dishes: Gemista. What you’ll need is tomatoes, some colourful peppers, tomato paste, potatoes, zucchini, one carrot, mushrooms, black raisin, Carolina rice, pine nuts, parsley, feta cheese and Greek olive oil. You can find the full Gemista recipe here


Where to find your ingredients? In Fiskardo I always buy my ingredients at a friend’s local supermarket just between the alleys - walk on the main road next to the water, turn right just in front of “Le passage cafe” and there you are!!!

Friday. Route: Sivota, Lefkas

On my final day, I like to treat my crew with what I call the ‘Finale Salad’. This salad contains the most superb fresh ingredients on earth and will give my clients the energy for the final day of their amazing sailing week. 

Here’s what I have in my Finale salad: spinach leaves, nectarines, chia seeds, corn, fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh mint, pumpkin seeds, balsamic oil, olive oil, lemon, garlic powder, mushrooms, pomegranate, croutons.

Niki has been working as a freelance hostess for Istion Yachting and owns the sailing charter  John Enzzo Cruises based in Northern Greece and would love to show you around the Ionian Sea. Find out more about Niki on Instagram