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TRIP OVERVIEW

7 days
Classic
4km/day
Moderate

Trip Dates

2024
26 May - 01 Jun
1 Space
02 Jun - 08 Jun
1 Space
09 Jun - 15 Jun
Full
16 Jun - 22 Jun
Full
15 Sep - 21 Sep
Full
22 Sep - 28 Sep
Full
29 Sep - 05 Oct
2 Spaces
06 Oct - 12 Oct
Full
2025

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Tour Highlights

  • Swim in the warm clarity of the Ionian Sea as you explore the stunning western coast of mainland Greece

  • Complete a series of exciting circumnavigations around the three islands which make up the Mavro Oros Archipelago

  • Explore the region's most memorable (and lesser-swum) spots with a variety of cave, tunnel and arch swimming

  • Kick back in the quiet hillside town of Sivota on the shores of the Ionian Sea - an ideal base for your local swim adventures

Based in the picturesque town of Sivota, this swimming holiday in Greece gives you the opportunity to explore the crystalline waters of the Ionian Sea. From spectacular caves and tunnels, to stunning underwater topography and marine life, there is always something to discover on this wonderful open water swimming adventure.

The quiet town of Sivota is situated on Greece’s western coast on the shores of the Ionian Sea. The hillside setting and surrounding landscape are an idyllic base for the week and offer us the chance to seek out the area’s coves, beaches, and islands. The islands of Mourtemeno, Agios Nikolaos and Mavro Oros all sit between the mainland and the nearby island of Corfu - their craggy coastlines make them ideal to swim alongside and explore.

The nature of this trip means that we actively seek out caves, tunnels, and swim-throughs over the course of the week, with our guides often jumping in the water with you to share in the experience.


Who is this trip for?

This trip is designed for swimmers who enjoy a combination of coastal swims, short crossings, and circumnavigations. With plenty of caves and tunnels to discover, it is a great option for the swimmer who likes to take the time to explore their surroundings as they swim. This trip is also well suited to non-swimming partners.

Swimmers should have a basic understanding of open water swimming and be capable of completing the average swim distance and average daily swim distance (over the course of two swims) prior to the start of the trip.

The average swim distance is 2km per swim. The average daily swim distance is around 4km.

We have given this trip a ‘Moderate’ grading. Most swimmers comfortable in the open water will be able to take part and enjoy one of these trips.


What's included?

  • Fully guided swimming holiday (swimmers only)
  • Professional swim guides and full safety escort on all swims (swimmers only)
  • Six nights' accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • All lunches (swimmers only)
  • Full ABTOT Financial Protection
  • Welcome Drinks (at hotel)

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the trip
  • Evening meals
  • Drinks and additional activities
  • Overnight Stay Tax (paid locally)


Sample Trip Itinerary

Please note that the below daily itineraries are an example of the swims that may take place during your trip, however, actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and swim conditions. Your SwimTrek guides and local boat pilots will determine the most suitable swim locations each day and will communicate the plan with all guests as soon as possible.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Hotel Filakas, Sivota

Start Time: 17:00 on Day 1

Finish Point: Hotel Filakas, Sivota

Finish Time: 11:00 on Day 7

Day 1

After some time to check into your room, we meet near the hotel reception for some welcome drinks and a safety briefing where you’ll have a chance to get to know your guides and fellow swimmers. We’ll also have a chance to chat about your week's swimming before heading down to the beach for our acclimatisation swim.

Day 2

We kick off the week with a circumnavigation around Mourtemeno, the archipelago’s smallest island. Here we’ll find arches and caves to explore, with the water shallow and clear enough to be able to see the seabed and the abundance of sea life that stretches around the cave. We return to the hotel for lunch.

In the afternoon, we swim from nearby the hotel and head towards the uninhabited island of Agios Nikolaos. Here we’ll see a scattering of pristine beaches when we follow the fringes of its heavily forested coastline. After our swim, we’ll emerge from the water and finish walking up onto a sand bar that gives a great view over the neighbouring island of Mavros Oros.

Day 3

Today, we head south and travel along the coastline until we arrive at Sofas Bay. From here, we journey along the rocky peninsula, passing islets on our way. The water here has a stunning deep blue hue, and you can see the interesting topography rising from the seabed. We close the morning at the small tranquil harbour of Arillas.

In the afternoon, we make a crossing to the rocky outcrop of an island affectionately named by the locals as ‘Alcatraz’ and the abundance of sea life has led to it becoming a popular dive site. Our swim continues by crossing to the mainland and following the shoreline back to Sivota.

Day 4

We travel by boat along the south-eastern coastline to Mega Ammos beach where the steep hillsides of the mainland will line the route of our morning swims. From here, the coastline is a mix of caves and tunnels which are excellent for exploring. We swim eastwards past Mikri Ammos, stopping for a drink and snack at Mega Ntrafi and then back to our hotel for a well-deserved lunch.

Our second dip of the day sees us swim through a magnificent rock arch as we proceed around the headland to finish at Agia Paraskevi.

Day 5

Today we head north towards Albania for one of our longest swims of the trip. We’ll enjoy more remote swimming as we come across isolated bays, remarkable rock formations and underwater vistas, forming a marvellous backdrop for the mornings swim. The seafloor is visible below you for the duration of this journey down the coastline. Depending on weather conditions, we’ll either continue swimming north or complete a crossing to the densely wooded and uninhabited island of Plataria.

Day 6

We have a fantastic swim ahead of us this morning as we make a full circumnavigation of the island of Mavro Oros, the largest island of the eponymous archipelago. We come across caves, tunnels, and sea arches as we make our way round the steep coastline which plunges sharply to the ocean floor. As you turn around its western cape, there are magnificent views of Corfu, which is just 8km away. The afternoon is then free for you to relax.

Day 7

We take our final swim of the trip on a nearby beach, which gives us a chance to say goodbye to each other and to the stunning Ionian Sea before the trip ends.

Accommodation

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Hotel Filakas

Our accommodation for the week is at the comfortable Hotel Filakas, which overlooks Sivota’s harbour and offers views of the Ionian Sea. Rooms sit between terraced gardens and are linked by a series of stone pathways and steps, which lead down to the waterfront below.

Location Summary

Sivota

An idyllic fishing village situated on the Ionian Sea, Sivota is the gateway to a lush mountainous ascent and is a fantastic location for walking or cycling. The rugged and isolated coastline is a wonderful location for swimming. The area is known as the ‘Caribbean of Greece’ due to the abundance of vegetation and fish which can been seen on the swims.

Mavro Oros Archipelago

A collection of three islands lying within an easy swim of Sivota, this small archipelago offers secluded beaches which interrupt the otherwise forested and rocky shoreline. None of the islands are inhabited which gives them a special charm and makes them a true highlight of our week in the water.

Trip Grading

We have given this trip a ‘Moderate’ grading. Most swimmers comfortable in the open water will be able to take part and enjoy one of these trips.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distances Swim Distances
Mourtemeno Circumnavigation 2km Agios Nikolaos 2½km
Sofas Bay - Arillas 3km Escape to ‘Alcatraz’ 1½km
Mega Amos-Mega Ntrafi 2km Mega Ntrafi - Agia Paraskevi 1½km
Northern Swim 2km Northern Swim Cont 1½km
Mavro Oros Circumnavigation 4½km

*Please note that these swims are an example of what may take place during your trip and should be used as a guide only. Actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and swim conditions.

Swimming Conditions

Swimming in the open water is a fantastic experience, however you should be aware that certain marine life such as jellyfish, plankton, sea lice, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims and may cause some discomfort. In all cases we will work on reducing your contact with these creatures and that any interactions are managed safely. If you suffer from anaphylaxis, please consult the office prior to booking.

Walking Conditions

Most walks take place on recognised paths and tracks, however there may be cases where we walk along trails or other unsealed surfaces and care should be taken in these areas.

Temperatures

Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
June 21-23°C / 70-73°F 18-26°C / 64-79°F
September 21-23°C / 70-73°F 24-26°C / 75-79°F
October 20-22°C / 68-72°F 22-24°C / 72-75°F

*Please note that these temperatures are indicative and should be used as a guide only.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, we rely on decent weather conditions when carrying out our swims. As a consequence, open water swimming holidays require a certain degree of on-trip flexibility which can result in changes to the planned itinerary. These changes often add a touch of uniqueness to your trip and will be communicated to you by your SwimTrek guides as quickly as possible.

Trip Information

Group Size

This trip has a maximum group size of 15. The group will be split into a maximum of three swim groups, based on speed, with each group being accompanied by their own safety vessel/escort. 

Boat Support

Boat support on this trip includes one main boat and two support boats to be piloted by your SwimTrek guides and a local boat pilot. Please note that this boat support is subject to change without notice and cannot be guaranteed.

Equipment Checklist

For your basic, essential packing list, please visit our Packing List page on the website. For additional, location specific items, please see the information below.

SwimTrek will provide water and electrolytes at every location and refill your bottles. For this location there are no additional, location specific items required.

Getting There

There are several ways to travel to Sivota, however, the most common route is to fly into Corfu Airport (CFU) and then catch a local ferry to Port Igoumenitsa. From here, the hotel is a 30-minute taxi ride.

It is also possible to fly into Preveza Airport (Aktion International Airport, PVK) and then catch a taxi from the airport to the hotel, however, please be aware that flight availability is very limited for this route.

As SwimTrekkers come from all over the world, and join our swimming holidays in numerous destinations, we don't currently offer flights as part of our SwimTrek packages. We do however want to do as much as we can to ensure that our guests get the best deals when travelling to one of our trips so check out SwimTrek's tips to help you get the best deals for your flights page on the website.

Option 1: Travel via Corfu

Taxi and Ferry from Corfu Airport to Port Igoumenitsa (Sivota)

From the airport, you will need to catch a local taxi from outside the arrivals area to Corfu Port (Kerkyra). The journey should take approx. 10 minutes and cost €15-€20, depending on the number of passengers.

From Corfu Port (Kerkyra), there are several ferries that run each day to Port Igoumenitsa and cost approximately €11 per person. Please note that timetables are subject to change without notice and passengers must be at the port half an hour prior to departure in order to purchase their tickets from the ticket desk which is located at the port entry.

Travel from Port Igoumenitsa to Hotel Filakas

Once you arrive in Igoumenitsa, the easiest way to get to Hotel Filakas is by taxi. This journey takes approximately 30 minutes and costs €30-€40. There are often taxis waiting at the port but to avoid possible delays at the port we suggest that you book your taxi in advance. A taxi can be booked through Vasso at Isabella Tours, our partner in Sivota, by emailing your arrival details to sivotatour@gmail.com.

It is also possible to travel from the port to the hotel via a local bus, however, please note that the service only runs from Monday to Friday. For information and timetables for this bus service, please visit www.ktel-thesprotias.gr/en/hgoumenitsa-syvota-perdika.

Option 2: Travel via Preveza

Travel from Preveza to Hotel Filakas

Once you arrive in Preveza, the easiest way to get to Hotel Filakas is by taxi. This journey takes approximately one hour and costs €100-€160, depending on the number of passengers. We advise that you book your taxi in advance in order to save time and money. A taxi can be booked through Vasso at Isabella Tours, our partner in Sivota, by emailing your arrival details to sivotatour@gmail.com or via www.prevezaairport.com.

Accommodation

Our accommodation for the week is at the comfortable Hotel Filakas. Rooms sit between terraced gardens and are linked by a series of stone pathways and steps which lead down to the waterfront below. Rooms are based on a twin-share and have en-suite bathroom facilities. There are a limited number of single supplement rooms which can be reserved during the booking process, subject to availability.

Pre/Post Trip Accommodation and Trip Extension Options

If you require additional nights’ accommodation before or after the SwimTrek tour, this can be arranged directly through our partner Isabella Tours via email at sivotatour@gmail.com.

Food and Drink

All breakfasts and lunches are included in your trip, and we will return to Sivota each day for lunch. This allows swimmers to meet up with their non-swimming partners, making this trip particularly well-suited to non swimmers.

Dinners are at your own expense; this gives you a fantastic opportunity to explore and experience the local cafes and restaurants of your choice over the course of your trip. The average cost of dinner in a local restaurant is €20-€25.

For more information, please visit our food and drink page on the website.

Travel Advice

For more information on any of the following sections please visit the Travel Advice page of our website.

Money, Extra Expenses and Tipping

You should bring extra money with you to cover items such as meals not already included in your package, drinks, entertainment, souvenirs, etc.

In some countries, tipping (gratuities) is not part of the culture - in others it has become an expected norm. We believe that tipping is done entirely at your own discretion. If you have been provided with excellent service it may be something you wish to do. Your SwimTrek Guides can advise on local norms for service providers like boat crew, waiters or taxis. Nothing is expected for your SwimTrek Guides but many groups like to present something to the Guides at the end of the trip.

Please note, the Greek Ministry of Tourism has introduced an Overnight Stay Tax. This is payable upon arrival at the accommodation at a rate of €1.50 per room, per night. The local currency is the Euro (€).

Responsible Travel

SwimTrek is conscious of the importance of protecting the world’s natural wonders. We are acutely aware of our responsibility to not only take care of the natural environments which we are lucky enough to explore, but also to educate our guests about the importance of conservation efforts and responsible tourism. It’s for this reason that we have worked so closely with our partners to ensure that our trips are conducted in the most responsible and sustainable way possible, working tirelessly to minimise the impact of our presence on local marine life and the natural habitat.

For more information, please visit our Responsible Travel page on the website.

Passports and Visas

Greece is part of the European Union. Non-residents of Greece require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. Citizens of most countries, including all E.U. member states, U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand do not require a visa to enter Greece.

Please note that visa regulations are subject to change and it is important that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Travel Insurance

We consider comprehensive travel insurance to be essential, and we strongly recommend that you purchase insurance which includes, but is not limited to, cover for illness, accident, emergency repatriation, ambulance, air ambulance, helicopter rescue services, cancellation, lost luggage and delays. Your travel insurance should also cover you for open water swimming and any other activity listed in your trip itinerary (including races and competitions, where applicable). Please read your policy details carefully and remember to take them with you on your trip for your own reference.

For further information, please visit our Travel Insurance page on the website.

Here at SwimTrek, we pride ourselves on our focus on safety and the well-being of all our guests. As we operate in some beautiful and remote locations medical facilities are not always easily accessible. SwimTrek Guides, and many staff working for our local partners, are first aid trained. However, we ask that you read our Travel Health page to ensure that you are informed about general Travel and Swim Health precautions.

Travel Plugs & Electricity

There is complimentary Wi-Fi at the hotel and in the rooms. For a useful source of information on the different electrical outlets, electrical plugs, and electric sockets, please visit www.worldstandards.eu.


Related Trips

  • For my 50th Birthday in June I booked a private trip on Ionian Explorer. It was a fantastic holiday and one I'll always remember for the great location, brilliant guides, beautiful weather and water conditions just in the goldilocks zone (not too hot, not too cold), varied swims - island circumnavigation, coastal and a crossing and wonderful company made up of SwimTrek friends old and new. Thank you Ben for organising it and to all the SwimTrek team for delivering the best swimming holiday experience as usual!

    Sarah R, Finland - 2023
  • The Ionian Explorer lived up to my expectations! Beautiful, clear water with numerous caves and inlets to explore, fish and starfish and even a manta ray, and wonderful, experienced guides in John and Mike. Thanks SwimTrek! I’m already looking for where to explore next year.

    Karla M, USA - 2023
  • Fantastic trip. We had two brilliant guides, an amazing bunch of swimmers who gelled and socialised really well together and wonderful swims. We all had lots of fun together. Couldn’t fault it. I’d recommend this trip to anyone who is comfortable with the distances.

    Rachel C, UK - 2023
  • Beautiful location, great food and company and some stunning swims with plenty of things to see!

    Laura HS, UK - 2022
  • I keep returning to SwimTrek because of the well chosen locations, lovely guides and the well run organisation. I know what I get and I'm happy to have been with SwimTrek every time.

    Frederik VW, Germany - 2022
  • A fantastic selection of swims - coastal and crossings, with lots of marine life to see en route. Great base - nice accommodation and lots of restaurants and bars close at hand.

    Mark G, Ireland - UK - 2022
  • A SwimTrek trip combines the best part of a relaxing holiday in a beautiful location with plenty of exercise. I love the camaraderie and team spirit that comes from open water swimming together.

    Francisca Jonsson, 2021
  • Absolutely brilliant holiday. Wonderful group, excellent guides, comfortable, well-located hotel. I can't believe I swam 4k in one hit!

    Sarah Harris, 2021
  • A very fun time! Great to explore a new place with guides and awesome travel companions. This was my first swim trek and I plan to do another!

    Rebecca Gleason , 2021