A Greek swimming odyssey: in love with the waters of Lefkada

On a guided swimming holiday around the islands off western Greece, Joanna Lodewyke conquers her fear of open water while revelling in coastal beauty

I’m a keen swimmer, but have watched the rising popularity of wild swimming – in rivers, lakes and sea – with bemusement, mainly because to me, deep, cold water is plain scary. Then I came across The Big Blue, a holiday firm offering swim trips in Lefkada, Greece. Clear, warm blue seas held a different appeal altogether.

So I found myself travelling to the Ionian Sea to see whether I could be converted. My fellow 11 swimmers and I were based at Ilios Club Hotel & Villas in the fishing village of Yemi, and each day, after breakfast, we’d meet swim guide Mia on the nearby jetty and she would take us out in a rigid inflatable to The Big Blue’s boat, Mowgli, a 15-metre mahogany motor yacht.

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