Example Booking: 36,500 eXpectations Points, May 2018, Cabin sleeps 2
eXpectations Holidays members could have booked 7-nights, during 20th – 27th May 2018, in a one-bedroom cabin (sleeping 2 guests) at the Tradewinds Greece. This booking was available on RCI.com when we looked on 22/08/2017 for just 36,500 points as well as a mandatory all-inclusive package.
Set sail for an inspirational trip around the mythical Greek islands with Tradewinds Greece. Your adventures begin the moment you arrive at Preveza airport near the beautiful island of Lefkada, located off the west coast of mainland Greece. Take a short trip across the 50-metre drawbridge that connects the mainland to the island, driving approximately 40-miles along stunning coastlines and through olive groves to Sivota Bay. Board the luxury catamaran at 5.00pm to meet the captain and the crew will show you to your cabin.
Exploring the Greek islands in May is a wonderful time of year, with an array of colourful spring flowers blooming against brilliant blue skies and warm daytime temperatures average 25 degrees Celsius.
Begin your holidays by getting acquainted with the other guests over cocktails and light snacks before relaxing on the deck to admire the surrounding area of pine-tree laden hills merging with the turquoise Ionian Sea. The spacious double-bed cabin provides luxurious amenities and is the perfect place to relax after an exhilarating day at sea.
Day 1: Monday
Wake in the morning to the gentle sounds of the sea lapping against the catamaran and the golden colours in the sky as the sun rises beyond the horizon. Take an early swim in the sea before enjoying a healthy breakfast on the shaded stern.
On your first day, the captain will raise the sails to cruise across the sparkling Ionian Sea to Fiscardo on Cephalonia. The famous novel and movie “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”, starring Nicholas Cage was filmed on this magical island. The catamaran will be moored near the fascinating ruins of the Roman cemetery of Fiscardo, dating from 2nd century BC, but only discovered in 1993. Here you can explore the beautiful old fishing village of Fiscardo, stroll through the narrow stone-pathed streets or stop for a drink on the harbour front.
Take a pleasant walk from Fiscardo village to the 6th century Byzantine Basilica church and visit the impressive Venetian lighthouse. Return to your vessel to enjoy snorkelling in the clear water and discover further Roman ruins lying on the sea bed and an array of fish darting around the ancient stones. The day’s adventures guarantee to stimulate a good appetite so you will enjoy the mouth-watering dishes served on board and relax with a fine wine as the stars twinkle above.
Day 2: Tuesday
Discover natural caves by paddling a dinghy or kayak across sapphire-blue waters and step off onto the pebbles within the cave to admire the beauty of the stalactites and stalagmites.
Time to leave Cephalonia and sail northeast to the historical island of Ithaca, home of the legendary Odysseus, in Greek mythology. The captain will anchor in a secluded bay on the north-east coast of the island near the monastery of Agios Nikolaos. Spend time exploring the 37 square-mile island with stunning coastlines. Roam around white-washed villages, visit an olive tree claimed to be at least 1,500 years old and discover the 8th century BC palace believed to be of King Odysseus.
After a delightful lunch on board grab your towel and favourite book to sunbathe on deck. Freshen up by jumping from the catamaran into the warm, blue sea to swim and snorkel. At the end of the day, sit aboard to admire the changing colours of the sky as the sun sets and the stars shine brightly above.
Day 3: Wednesday
On your third day, the captain will take you to the south-east coast of Ithaca to the picturesque fishing village of Kioni. Traditional white houses capped with terracotta roofs are built amidst the pine trees on the slopes of the mountain, providing panoramic views across the charming port lined with cafes, restaurants and colourful fishing boats.
Browse around the quaint shops for a handmade souvenir and beautiful jewellery or take a walk up the hill to the church to take photos of the spectacular views. Alongside the harbour take the steps down onto the pebble stone beach to enjoy a dip in the water before returning to the catamaran.
Experience the wonders of both new and old Greece with an English guided tour with Sue and Dimos. The couple will assist you on a 3-hour taxi tour to the best historical sites around Ithaca, costing approximately 90 euros for the taxi.
Day 4: Thursday
Fancy island hopping? Today, you will have the opportunity to visit two idyllic islands in one day! The first stop will be at the isolated island of Atokos, situated in the centre of the Ionian Sea, a popular resting point before sailing onto Kalamos. Atokos is an uninhabited island that can only be reached by private yacht and is perfect for snorkelling in the clear waters. Enjoy lunch with tranquil views of the deserted island’s green hills and dramatic white cliffs, the only building in sight is a single white chapel situated near One House Bay on the east coast.
Sit back and relax on the deck and enjoy the sensation of the catamaran gliding through the glistening waters, the sound of the wind catching the sails, and the warm sun caressing your skin as you head for Porto Leone on Kalamos island. Here the captain will drop the anchor until Saturday morning, providing plenty of time to explore this magical island. The diverse beauty of Kalamos offers mountainous landscapes covered in rich green pine trees, rocky cliffs plunging into the turquoise ocean, and traditional villages. Old fishermen sit fixing their nets and elderly women dressed in black gossip in the shade of an orange tree.
Day 5: Friday
Spend the morning relaxing in luxury aboard the catamaran or explore the coast line to admire the splendid scenery and find a secluded cove to sunbathe and swim. Soon after lunch set sail to Meganissi island and moor for the night in the calm waters of Elia beach.
Less than a mile from Elia beach take a pleasant walk to the traditional village of Katomeri with typical Greek stone-built cottages and courtyards boasting brightly coloured bougainvillaeas. Wander around the peaceful village with its slow pace of life, the friendly locals happily greet any visitors passing by and eagerly invite you to enjoy an ouzo or two in their local taverna.
Day 6: Saturday
Today you will start the return journey back to Sivota Bay, on the way sail around Skorpios, the island is bursting with incredible Greek history of the Onassis family. Skorpios was owned by the family of the shipping tycoon until recently the only surviving heir, Athina Onassis-Roussel, leased the land to a Russian billionaire for 100-years. Enjoy the marvellous views of the island over a tasty lunch and the crew will tell you the dramatic stories of the Onassis family.
Time to sail back to Sivota Bay, Lefkada, to enjoy your last evening chatting with the guests and crew in a seafood restaurant in the village harbour. Wander back to the boat for an evening drink and relax whilst gazing at the stars.
Day 7: Sunday
The final day of your adventures and time to check out of your cabin by 9.00am. Say your good-byes to your new-found friends and exchange contact numbers before heading off to the airport. Your experiences in Greece guarantee special moments that you will soon be booking your next holiday with eXpectations.
To highlight the great value of eXpectations Holidays we conducted a price comparison against an equivalent booking. 7-nights on Tradewinds Greece were available directly on the Tradewinds website during 20th – 27th May 2018 within a Standard Cabin (sleeping 2) for £5,390 all-inclusive (based on 2 people sharing when we looked on 22/8/2017).
In comparison, we found this 7-night booking on Tradewinds Greece during the same dates also within a Standard Cabin (sleeping 2) for 36,500 points on RCI.com (when we looked on: 22/8/2017).
For Full Members of eXpectations Holidays, the total price for this accommodation (excluding the initial purchase price of your membership / points) would come to £2,615 (at the time of writing: 31/8/2017). To calculate this we have included: the associated maintenance fees for 36,500 points, 1x annual membership, 1x online RCI exchange fee and £2,127 all-inclusive fees for two people.
So, by taking this eXpectations exchange holiday you could have made a potential saving of over £2,700, based on the comparison above.
|Associated maintenance fees for 36,500 points @ £5.75 per thousand||£210|
|1 x eXpectations Annual Membership||£162|
|1 x RCI online exchange Fee||£116|
|Mandatory miscellaneous fees (e.g. tourist tax)||£2,127|
See for yourself! Check out the costs of a Standard Cabin sleeping up to 2 people for 7 nights during May 2018 on Tradewinds Greece via their website.