K2I – KEFALONIA to ITHACA swim crossing, 7-13 August 2021 – 1 week programme

Overview

Dates of trip

7-13 August


Getting to Ithaca 

Kefalonia is the nearest international airport to Ithaca. Easy Jet, Olympic Air, Air France, Alitalia, Air Berlin, Air Dolomiti, Aegean Airlines, Ryan Air, fly to Kefalonia from different European destinations. From Kefalonia it will be possible to reach Ithaca with local ferry Ionion Pelagos services within 30 minutes.


Accommodation

We stay 6 nights at Captain’s Apartments residence in Kioni, which is a nice and comfortable residence 2 minutes walking distance from the sea front of the town village of Kioni. There are 2 types of accommodation: apartments for 2-4 persons and studios for 2 persons, all with en-suite facilities.


Food

Breakfast will be served each morning at 8:00 at the local bar in Kioni port;
Lunches will be a selection of sandwiches, fruit and snacks;
Traditional Greek dinners will be served each evening at Mythos restaurant on the sea front of Kioni village.
We can cater for vegetarian and gluten free diets but please ensure you inform us of your dietary requirements on booking.


Equipment/Clothes

On top of your normal clothes you should bring with you: a waterproof jacket, warm sweatshirt, walking shoes/sandals, sun hat, and sun glasses.
There are cash points on the island in the town of Vathi and in the villages of Stavros and Kioni.


Average temperatures and conditions

August: air temperature 29°C; sea temperature 26°C.
Sea conditions will vary according to the weather and currents. This all adds to the experience of being in open water.


Fees

8 participants € 1635 + € 30 (club membership)
9 participants € 1555 + € 30 (club membership)
from 10 participants € 1485 + € 30 (club membership)


What’s included

6 nights full board accommodation (breakfast - packed lunch - dinner); accommodation in residence apartments in twin/double bedrooms; fully guided tour on the expedition; 2 full days of crossing swims, 3 full days of coastal swims, 1 half day of coaching session; Swimtrekking instructors and coaching for 5 full days and 1 half day (coaching session); 1 main boat for the 2 crossing days; 2 ribs for 5 days; permits and authorizations; Kefalonia island to Ithaca island crossing and Atokos island to Ithaca island crossing; Swimtrekking Club insurance; Swimtrekking T-shirt and swim hat; Swimtrekking crossing certificate.


What’s not included

Travel to and from Ithaca island; banks commissions; drinks at the restaurant; personal travel insurance; any other additional insurance; tips; other extra activities; anything else not shown on  what’s included.


 

 

K2I – KEFALONIA to ITHACA swim crossing, 7-13 August 2021 – 1 week programme

SWIM CHALLENGE OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Looking for an incredible Mediterranean Sea swim crossing challenge combined with an adventure holiday full of beautiful swims within one of Europe’s most fascinating islands? We have the answer, make your swim challenge goals a reality by crossing the Ionian islands from Kefalonia island to Ithaca island and from Atokos island to Ithaca island. Also experience the vast variety of the Ionian islands coastline with its stunningrock formations and postcard pebbles beaches.
Coastal swims will have a length of approximately 5 km per day. The swims will be in preparation of the main event of the expedition, the 2 crossings from Kefalonia island to Ithaca island (6 km) and from Atokos island to Ithaca island (10 km). Each day the Swimtrekking instructors will inform you of the daily itinerary and provide safety and support during the swims. Swimtrekking will provide you a total of 5 full days of swimming (2 crossings, 3 days of coastal swims) and 1 half day of coaching session of coastal swims.

Equipment

This is your swim challenge! What stands us alone from other crossing providers is that we aren’t rule specific in terms of swim equipment*. You are undertaking a non-competitive swim crossing; we just need to know what swim equipment you wish to use when you register. We appreciate everyone’s goals and how they wish to achieve them is different. We suggest each swimmer brings a swim costume and 2 goggles. You could also choose to bring wetsuit, fins, snorkel or any other kind of technical equipment. Swimtreeking will provide swimmers with a swim cap and t-shirt.

*The only exceptions are you must wear a swim cap provided by Swimtrekking and  waterproof MP3 players are prohibited. The use of front snorkels is permissible, but the use of these is to be discussed with the lead swim instructor  prior to your crossing purely for safety purposes.
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About Ithaca

Ithaca (popularly called Thiaki) is a rocky island separated from Kefalloniá by a channel 4 km/2.5 miles wide and almost cut in two by the long Gulf of Mólos on its east side; the isthmus joining the two halves, at Mt Aetós (380 m/1,247ft), is only 600m/660yd wide.
In the north of the island rises the Ani range of hills (Mt Neritos, 808 m/2,651ft), in the south Mt Stefani (671 m/2,202 ft). Much of the island has been marked by karstic action, but agriculture is possible in a few fertile valleys. This island belongs to the Ionian group of Islands and it has captured the imagination of the historians it is referred to as the homeland of Ulysses, the legendary hero of Homer. Ithaca island is small but beautiful, covered with lush green vegetation that extends up to its white pebbled pristine beaches. The place where Swimtrekking is settled in Ithaca is the residence “Captain’s Apartments” in the small village of Kioni. This is a very picturesque village that has remained unspoiled from major tourist development. The village has been characterised as a ‘traditional settlement’ and therefore very strict planning rules apply. Kioni Bay is a popular destination for sailing boats. Beaches on Ithaca island are small but they all have relaxing atmosphere. Surrounded by lush greenery and with crystal blue water, the good thing is that some of the beaches in Ithaca can be accessed on foot and almost all are in good distance one from the other. Frikes, Dexa and Agios Ioannis are among the most beautiful and popular beaches on Ithaca island, however, there are many other small and calm coves waiting to be discovered on this lovely island of the Ionian Sea.

Dates of trip

7-13 August
Please note: for group bookings Swimtrekking can tailor the trip to the groups specific needs/requirements/dates.

About the trip

Start point: Kioni, Ithaca, Captain’s Apartments
Start time: on the arrival day meet your Swimtrekking Instructors at the residence Captain’s Apartments at 2pm. Check in, briefing and first swim in the evening.
Finish point: Kioni, Ithaca, Captain’s Apartments
Finish time: on the departing day last breakfast @ 7.30am and transfer to Pisaeto for the first ferry to Kefalonia.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Typical day Swimtrekking

Breakfast and briefing. Pack up your essentials for the day before heading out for the morning swim. Walk to Kioni port near Captain’s Apartments. Meet your boat that will take you to the swim locations. We’ll stop off in a cove for lunch, after which you have time to spend exploring. Once lunch has settled and everyone is ready to cool off in the water again, we start our second swim in a different location. At the end of the second swim the boat will take us back to Kioni port.

The Crossing – General information

Location

Ionian islands

Distance

6 kilometers according to weather conditions from Kefalonia island to Ithaca island and 10 kilometers from Atokos island island to Ithaca island. Itinerary could also slightly change due to Greek coast guard decisions.

Swim Window Dates

We will have a swim crossing window of 5 days from 9 to 13 of August. In case of bad weather conditions, an alternative itinerary will be organized along the coastline.

The day of the crossing

Aim for a 7am start (this is subject to change at the discretion of the lead Swimtrekking instructor and boat captain). The crossing would only go ahead if the weather conditions are satisfactory and safe (neutral or favourable currents; maximum Beaufort scale (2) and only with the authorization of the Greek coast guard.

Groups

All swims are non competitive. Instructor(s) will create a maximum of 3 groups. Each group will be assigned 1 support boat. Each group will have different speeds and swimmers should always swim together and as a team (pod).

Swimmers

Should wear a swim cap for all swims. Each swim group will be assigned a colour. During the week Swimtrekking instructors will take care of swim drinks and feeds, approximately every 30 minutes. Swimmers are free to prepare their personalized drinks and feeds.

See Rules and Regulations below about K2I Swim 1 week programme. 

Rules and Regulations K2I Swim 1 week programme

A solid open water swimming and sea conditions knowledge base is preferential. This will help facilitate the success of crossings from Kefalonia to Ithaca and Atokos to Ithaca.

Swim window dates

We will have a swim crossing window of 5 days from 9 to 13 of August. In case of bad weather conditions, an alternative itinerary will be organized along the coastline.

Swim Equipment

This is your swim challenge! What stands us alone from other crossing providers is that we aren’t rule specific in terms of swim equipment*. You are undertaking a non-competitive swim crossing; we just need to know what swim equipment you wish to use when you register. We appreciate everyone’s goals and how they wish to achieve them is different.

*The only exceptions are you must wear a swim cap provided by Swimtrekking and waterproof MP3 players are prohibited. The use of front snorkels is permissible, but the use of these is to be discussed with the lead swim instructor prior to your crossing purely for safety purposes.

Medical Certificate

Provide a completed medical certificate from a doctor certifying that the swimmer has no medical reason which would preclude him/her from performing non-competitive swimming and is fit for the swim challenge.

Insurance (travel and life insurance)

Swimmers must have their own individual insurance which assures they are covered for any unforeseen event during their voyage. Any accident in relation to any support boats are covered by the insurance of the boat and Swimtrekking, apart from that Swimtrekking is not responsible for the consequences that arise as long as they are not within their responsibilities.

Communication and language

The swimmer, coach, mentor or support crew should be able to communicate in Italian or English.

Swimmer support crew

A maximum of one support crew is permissible for the crossing. Support crew will need to pay a discounted rate.

Aborting swim due to swimmers safety 

The skipper of the main support vessel, after consultation with the doctor and lead swim support instructor has the final decision with regards to swimmers safety and aborting a swim.

Group (Pod) swimming

Instructors will split all the swimmers into 3 speed groups. Therefore every group will have swimmers with a similar swimming ability and they shall not separate more than 3 metres throughout the entirety of the crossing. If swimmers exceed this distance, the faster swimmer(s) should slow down, wait or loop back. If one or more swimmers for any reason are delayed several times, the skipper of the main support vessel, doctor and lead swim support instructor after consultation with each other have the right to remove the swimmer(s) without question. This decision will be made in the interest of the swimmer(s) safety. Depending on the health of the swimmer(s) removed from the water the swim may need to be aborted.

Feeds/Nutrition during the crossing

All feeds/nutrition is the responsibility of each swimmer. It is recommended that substances to be ingested during the crossing have been tested during your training swims and are unlikely to cause any unwanted reaction during your swim crossing. Due to varying currents in Aeolian islands and to ensure the success of the crossing it is advised that feeds are limited to a maximum of 1 minute, this will provide enough time to ingest liquids and/or solids. Swimtrekking advises feeds occur no less than 30 minutes between each stop. 

Medication

All medications (non-narcotic and prescribed) that the swimmer must take during the crossing must be shown and validated by the doctor assigned by Swimtrekking prior to any boats leaving for the start of the swim.

Stimulants

The use of any performance enhancing stimulants is forbidden. This would result in your solo swim, group swim or relay not being recognised if there is evidence of such a breach.

Minimum age limit

Swimmers under 18 years of age before the year of the crossing date are not allowed.

Passports

Each swimmer and any accompanying personal must have their passport with them for the crossing day.

Start and finish of crossing

The crossing must begin after sunrise and must end before 5.30 pm. 

Adverse weather conditions and/or environmental factors

The weather and environment can be unpredictable. The skipper of the main support vessel, after consultation with the lead swim support instructor may cancel the crossing before or during the swim due to adverse weather conditions and/or adverse environmental factors.

Emergency evacuation 

You will hear one long blast on the whistle or fog horn. Although you may feel like you are in your natural element in the water this is not our home. If we need to remove you from the water “get out” straight away. We can discuss the reasons why we have removed you once you are on the safety of a boat. The skipper of the main support vessel or any swim support instructor all have equal final say on this.

Burocratic issues external to Swimtrekking

The swimmer understands that he/she is participating in a crossing that includes the jurisdiction of different countries. Every country has his own rules, therefore any order or mandate of the authorities of those countries may affect the crossing. 

Getting to Ithaca

Kefalonia is the nearest international airport to Ithaca. Easy Jet, Olympic Air, Air France, Alitalia, Air Berlin, Air Dolomiti, Aegean Airlines, Ryan Air, fly to Kefalonia from different European destinations. From Kefalonia it will be possible to reach Ithaca with local ferry Ionion Pelagos services within 30 minutes.P.Campanella & Itaca 029

Accommodation

We stay 6 nights at Captain’s Apartments residence in Kioni, which is a nice and comfortable residence 2 minutes walking distance from the sea front of the town village of Kioni. There are 2 types of accommodation: apartments for 2-4 persons and studios for 2 persons, all with en-suite facilities.

Food

Breakfast will be served each morning at 8:00 at the local bar in Kioni port;
Lunches will be a selection of sandwiches, fruit and snacks;
Traditional Greek dinners will be served each evening at Mythos restaurant on the sea front of Kioni village.
We can cater for vegetarian and gluten free diets but please ensure you inform us of your dietary requirements on booking.

Temperatures and conditions

August: air temperature 29°C; sea temperature 26°C.
Sea conditions will vary according to the weather and currents. This all adds to the experience of being in open water.

What to bring

On top of your normal clothes you should bring with you: a waterproof jacket, warm sweatshirt, walking shoes/sandals, sun hat, and sun glasses.
There are cash points on the island in the town of Vathi and in the villages of Stavros and Kioni.

Places of interest

Vathy

The chief place on the island of Ithaca is the sheltered port of Vathy or Itháki, probably founded by the Romans. It is charmingly situated in a bay – generally accepted as being the cove of Phorkys, in which the Phaeacians put the returning Odysseus ashore (“Odyssey”, 13, 96 ff.) – defended by two Venetian forts.

Itháki Archeological Museum

The Itháki Archeological Museum contains artifacts from the excavations at the Heraion sanctuary. The collection of small votive offerings is one of the richest in Greece. The largest free-standing sculpture to have survived from ancient Greece is the museum’s star exhibit.

Cave of the Nymphs

Two km/1.25mi west of Vathy, on the slopes of Mt Áyios Nikólaos, is the Mármaro Spília, a stalactitic cave and ancient cult site which is identified as the Cave of the Nymphs (“Odyssey”, 13, 107-108). Mt Aetós – Castle of Odysseus
Five km/3 mi west of Vathy, on Mt Aetós, is the acropolis of an ancient city (seventh century B.C.), perhaps Strabo’s Alalkomenai, which was excavated by Schliemann and is popularly known as the Castle of Odysseus.

Fountain of Arethusa

Six km/4mi south of Vathy on a difficult path is the Fountain of Arethusa, beneath the Ravens’ Crag (“Odyssey”, 13, 408-409). Farther south is the plateau of Marathiá, with extensive plantations of olive-trees, from which there are good views. Eumaios’s farmyard (“Odyssey”, 14, 6) is supposed to have been in this area.

Palaiokhóra

Three km/2mi south of Vathy is the site of Palaiokhorá, the capital of Ithaca until the 16th century. Stavros, Greece
The numerous ancient finds made in the vicinity of the village of Stavrós, in the northwest of the island of Ithaca, have suggested this as the most likely site for Odysseus’s town and palace.

Panayía Kathará Monastery & Museum

Six km/4mi south of Stavrós is the monastery of the Panayía Kathará, from which there is a magnificent view; festival celebrated annually on September eighth.
The monastery also houses a small museum.

Pelikata

Excavations at Pelikáta revealed signs of a Brzone age settelement. Pólis Bay
Below Stavrós, to the southwest, is the beautiful Pólis Bay, the only harbor of any size on the west coast of Ithaca. A cave on the west side of the bay was a shrine of Athena and Hera in Mycenaean times. Offshore, near the coast of Kefalloniá, lies the tiny islet of Daskalio, identified as the island of Asteris where the suitors planned to ambush Telemachos (“Odyssey”, 14, 6).
1km/.75mi north, on Mt Pelikata above Pólis Bay, are remains of a settlement dated between 2200 and 1500 B.C.
1km/.75mi farther north is the chapel of Áyios Athanásios. West of Stavrós are the picturesque inlets of Fríkes and Kióni. Átokos
Átokos, 10km/6mi northeast of Ithaca, is the rocky and uninhabited island of Átokos.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

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