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TRIP OVERVIEW

7 days
SwimTrek Classic
4km/day
Moderate

Trip Dates

07 Jun - 13 Jun, 2020
Available
14 Jun - 20 Jun, 2020
Available
21 Jun - 27 Jun, 2020
Private
13 Sep - 19 Sep, 2020
Available
20 Sep - 26 Sep, 2020
Available
27 Sep - 03 Oct, 2020
Available
04 Oct - 10 Oct, 2020
Available

Download trip notes

Tour Highlights

  • Swim in the crystal clear waters of the Ionian Sea off the western coast of mainland Greece

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

  • Explore the region's most beautiful locations with a variety of cave, tunnel and arch swimming

Based in the picturesque town of Sivota, this swimming holiday in Greece gives you the opportunity to explore the crystal-clear 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 make for a beautiful base for the week and offer us the chance to explore 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 and with their craggy coastlines makes 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 daily swim distance of around 4km (split over a minimum of two swims) prior to the start of the trip.


What's included?

  • Fully guided swimming holiday in Sivota, Greece
  • Swim guides and full safety escort on all swims
  • Six nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • All lunches

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Evening meals
  • Overnight Stay Tax



Related Trips

Daily Itineraries

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

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.

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.

Our second dip of the day see 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 comes to an end.

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

Trip Information

Equipment Checklist

In addition to your daily non-swimming clothes, we also recommend that you bring the following items:

Item Item
Swimming Costume (x2) Small Daypack
Swimming Goggles (x2)* Waterproof Jacket
Sunhat and Sunglasses Sweater / Fleece
Waterproof Sun Cream Walking Shoes
Towel Aqua Shoes / Sandals

*Try to bring one clear lens and one tinted lens for different light conditions.

Please note that SwimTrek will supply swim hats and provide water and electrolyte drinks in shared water bottles on your safety boat. If you prefer to use your own drink bottle, please feel free to bring one along. If you would like to use a wetsuit, rash vest or fins during your swims, please ensure that you bring these with you.

Group Size and Boat Support

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

Swimming Distances

Swim Distances
Mourtemeno Circumnavigation 2km
Mega Amos-Mega Ntrafi 2km
Agios Nikolaos 2½km
Mega Ntrafi-Agia Paraskevi 1½km
Sofas Bay - Arillas 3km
Northern swim 3½km
Escape to 'Alcatraz' 1½km
Mavro Oros Circumnavigation 4½km

Swimming in the sea is a fantastic experience, however you should be aware that certain marine life such as sea lice, jellyfish, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims. In all cases we will work on reducing your contact with these creatures, however 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.

Getting There - General Information

There are several ways to travel to Sivota, however, the most common route is to fly into Corfu Airport 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 and then catch a taxi from the airport to the hotel, however, please be aware that flight availability is very limited for this route.

While we have outlined various travel options below, they are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. We suggest that you use Skyscanner to search for alternative flight options. Whichever route you choose to take, we recommend confirming your flights and other travel bookings as early as possible in order to avoid price rises and availability issues.

Please do also note that from April 7th 2019, the Hellenic Police will be implementing systematic passport control checks for all European citizens travelling to/from destinations outside the Schengen area (including the UK). Waiting times at passport control may be affected so please ensure you arrive to the airport in good time.

Travel via Corfu

Flights to Corfu

To search for available flights into Corfu Airport, we suggest that you use Skyscanner.

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

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

From Corfu Port (Kerkyra), there are several ferries that run each day to Port Igoumenitsa and cost approximately €11 per person and a timetable can be found at Ionian Lines. 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. We suggest that you book your taxi in advance in order to avoid delays at the port. A taxi can be booked through our partner in Greece, Vasso, 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 Ktel Thesprotias.

Travel via Preveza

Flights to Preveza

To search for available flights into Preveza Airport, we suggest that you use Skyscanner.

Please note that flights are very limited and often only include 1-2 departures per week to many destinations.

Please ensure that your flight arrives in time to reach the hotel in time for your welcome meeting on Day 1 of your trip. If you required extra nights’ accommodation at the start or end of your trip in order to coincide with available flights, please email Vasso at Isabella Tours at sivotatour@gmail.com.

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 €80-€160, depending on the number of passengers. We advise that you book your taxi in advance in order to save time and money. This journey can be booked via Preveza Airport Taxi Services.

Practical Information

Accommodation

Our accommodation for the week is at 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 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.

Money, Extra Expenses and Tipping

You should bring extra money with you to cover such items as transfers, entertainment, dinners, souvenirs, etc. The local currency is the Euro (€). 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.

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.

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 we advise 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 about travel insurance, please visit www.swimtrek.com/travel-insurance.

Health Information and Recommended Vaccinations

For comprehensive health information for people travelling to Greece, including all recommended and required vaccinations, please visit Travel Health Pro. Please note that this information is subject to change and you should re-check this site regularly prior to your trip.

Travel Plugs & Electricity

For a useful source of information on the different electrical outlets, electrical plugs, and electric sockets, please visit worldstandards.eu/.

  • A truly memorable experience in a special place with the most amazing guides and great group of swimmers.

    Harry I, Zimbabwe - 2019
  • It's been ages since I had such a really fun holiday. Perfect mix of physical activity, fun people, beautiful scenery and great food.

    Sheryl C, China - 2019
  • For my first SwimTrek the Ionian Explorer was a truly magical trip that exceeded all expectations - I now understand the SwimTrek addiction!

    Melissa K, Australia - 2019
  • It was beyond expectations.

    Stephan M, Netherlands - 2019
  • I have had an extremely good time on this trip. The Hotel was nice and very practically situated right by the sea with delicious Mediterranean food. The water quality was superb and the guides did their best to make everyone happy. There was so much sea-life to discover and even some corals could be seen in the water.

    Susanne, Germany - 2018
  • This was my first SwimTrek holiday and it was wonderful. Lovely clear water, lots of caves to explore, great guides and a fun group of people. I loved every minute of it.

    Judith, UK - 2018
  • SwimTrek created a good framework for people to come together from all walks of life and ages to have a great holiday experience.

    Adrian M, UK - 2018
  • This vacation was one of the best I have ever had: the sea, the company, the non-competitive atmosphere. It was just great. I am ready to embark on another one tomorrow.

    Michael, C. Israel- 2017
  • Stunning location, this trip completely surpassed my expectations.

    Nicola K. UK - 2017
  • Kudos to SwimTrek! The trip exceeded our expectations! We will be back.

    Mark S. US - 2017