Review: Club Flotilla Vounaki
Specialist Holiday - Watersports
Sailing for all ages
27 people found this review helpful
21 years ago my husband and I learned to sail and enjoyed a villa flotilla holiday in the Ionian Sea. Our training was over 4 days at the end of which we were equipped to sail a 28 foot yacht with the back up that comes from a flotilla i.e. experienced staff to meet us each evening and guide us into harbour and to see us off each morning as well as being on hand by radio throughout the day. Last year my daughter and her husband said that they wanted to do the same but with us and their 3 daughters aged 7,10 & 11. They had no real sailing experience, and to say we were rusty is an understatement, but we all agreed it would be worth pursuing the idea for our 2013 summer holiday. Whilst we were all a little nervous brochures were eagerly acquired! Sunsail seemed to have the perfect package based at Vounaki as they had * a well equipped beach club with children's clubs involving lots of activities, many of them water based . *sailing courses leading to RYA qualifications available *a fleet of modern yachts including some suitable for 7 people *all based in a reliably calm area for beginners The major hurdle seemed to be getting information on what qualifications were needed to enable our party to sail the Ionian unaccompanied but as part of a flotilla and what, if any, previous sailing experience was required. After many phone calls and emails, conflicting messages & assurances my daughter was told that with no previous experience it would require at least 1 of the adults in our party to do the 5 day RYA skipper course for non-tidal waters and this could be completed at Vounaki during week 1 allowing that person to take charge of a 41 foot yacht on the flotilla for week 2. Based on this my daughter and her husband decided to opt for this and my husband and I booked a 3 day 'refresher' course' so that we could play our part as crew! Some time after this holiday was booked Sunsail contacted my daughter to say that it had come to light that an internet based theory course had to be completed and they said that they would pay the cost of this. This was done. On arrival at Vounaki we found the club hotel setting beautiful, the rooms good and the food and service excellent. We did find the location demanding as the club covers a steep hillside and we could not recommend it to anyone with fitness/mobility issues. Our granddaughters were welcomed into their clubs (each fell into a different group determined by age) and spent every day from 9.30 to 18.00 thoroughly enjoying all activities. We were able to watch some of this in the first 3 days and were impressed by the level of safety, equipment, skills and enthusiasm of the staff. The day skipper course was not a good experience for my daughter and husband which was mainly due to their trainer and this they have taken up with Sunsail. However at the end of it we had our skipper and were ready to set sail in our new home for the 2nd week. Our course was excellent and our trainer helped restore our confidence as 'competent crew'. The week on flotilla was amazing, the sailing area is stunning and each night was spent in idyllic harbours and bays. We did lack a little wind and had to rely on our engine more than we had hoped. The girls missed their activities but looked forward to each lunchtime when we would anchor in a bay or inlet and they would don flippers and snorkelling gear to swim around the boat or to shore. My husband and I were happy to find places had not changed a great deal in 21 years and it was wonderful to eat in the same tavernas with our expanded family 21 years on. The usual maxim that going back can be disappointing (and nostalgia isn't what it was!) was disproved when we found that our favourites when we were 42 and 51 were the same now we are 63 and 72!! This was an expensive holiday but from the active children's viewpoint it was fantastic, for reasonably able grandparents it was wonderful reliving memories and watching our family discover a whole range of new activities and hoping that they build on these as we failed to do over the last 2 decades!
27 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.