Reviewed June 28, 2012
Sunsail holidays aren't the cheapest but where else can you go and have great weather, a substantial choice of very substantial food, and spend all day choosing between all sorts of water craft from the most basic dinghies to high end racers, from paddleboards to kayaks, from windsurfers to day yachts.. all just there to pick up and put down at whim, ready to sail as you leap aboard and taken from you as you hit the shore on return (the day yachts take a bit more organising).
The staff are all wonderful, especially the beach team though to be fair many of the others were probably wonderful too but we didn't have time (or get bored enough) to try out other options. Safety emphasis feels just right.
The accommodation is adequate, spacious, and we had a glorious sea view. The resort is on a slope and I thought I would get better at the hills and steps after a week, but no, any increase in fitness was offset by the extra eating, sorry heating, as the weather got warmer and warmer.
The nearby village of Paleros is just along the sea front and has loads of eating options. One favourite seems to be the New Mill Inn (not on the sea front) but we also enjoyed Dionysus and the Yacht Club. Another favourite was the corner bar at the harbour which was always busy and particularly comfortable if you take a centre table beneath a ceiling fan. Yes it's that hot.
Following our week on the beach (as a family group of 4 staying in 3 separate rooms, no little kids) we took the flotilla option (as a family group of 3) and headed out onto the Ionian for a week. This combo is advertised as Club Flotilla. Despite rusty skills we had a great time but knowing that the lead boat is there with Charlie Skipper and George Engineer makes for a relaxing time (especially when mooring...it gets windy at night and there are bigger boats adrift in the harbour).
The wind comes and goes throughout the day (and sometimes night) and never seemed to follow its supposedly normal pattern, the only certainty was that if it was windy it would soon calm down, and if it was calm it might get windy. Calm was OK for us because we had taken a kayak and paddleboard (chargeable extras) but I wouldn't altogether recommend that because we didn't have so much opportunity to use them and it's a real pain getting them on and off the boat, and also you have to clamber around them when they clutter up deck space. We only had a baby boat (32i) so maybe it's better to take these toys if you have a much bigger boat and more people and lots of calm time. We enjoyed visiting all the islands and given a clean boat and clean clothes we would've done it all over again.
Sunsail holiday makers are keen beanies, often back after several sunsail holidays (this was our second) and are friendly and helpful. Experienced dinghy sailors often look out for crew and are willing to pass on tips, which is a great way of learning especially if there's something you haven't tried before like trapezing. Of course the sunsail staff can teach you but it's cheaper and perhaps more sociable to find a friend. It's all good humoured and relaxed and anyway the sunsail staff will always help with techy questions. Our son was forever thinking of scenarios to ask about and Paul on the beach was just brilliant at answering, whether on the beach or (more usually) during the evening socials. Tom also stood out as being extra helpful (hope your hair is growing) and Gordon too.
Sea, sun and boats - what's not to like.. except the lack of aircon in the departure lounge of the local airport, and the lack of personal space on the charter flight. And the pile of salty, gritty, some still wet washing that arrives home.
Grab yourself a discount and Go Vounaki!
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