2024 Dates: 20-26 July
Price: from £1,690pp
TECHNIQUE SESSIONS FROM OLYMPIC OPEN WATER MEDALLIST Cassie Patten, WITH A CHANCE TO PUT YOUR NEW SKILLS INTO PRACTICE IN THE AFTERNOONS WITH GLORIOUS INTER-ISLAND AND COASTAL SWIMS ...On this tour we are extremely excited to have guest coach Olympic medallist Cassie Patten joining us to help you with your swimming technique. As such, this tour will combine technique sessions in the bay with some longer bay, inter-island and coastal swims around this beautiful part of the Mediterranean. Cassie is very used to coaching swimmers of all abilities – and we have worked closely with Cassie to ensure the week will be suitable for everyone who can swim 400m. If you have not yet done so, please contact the office to speak to a member of SwimQuest staff about what you are hoping to get out of the week so that we can ensure the week is carefully structured to suit your needs.
about CASSIE PATTENCassie won bronze in the 10K open water race at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and she is also a double world silver medallist and cup winner and European Champion. She made history as the first swimmer in the world to both final in the pool and medal in the open water events at an Olympics. Cassie is also the Head Coach at Wavecrest Swimming, and we work closely with her to allow swimmers of every ability to improve their confidence, speed and efficiency in the pool and in open water.
ABOUT MATHRAKIMathraki lies just off the north-west coast of Corfu and is part of a small archipelago called the Diapontia Islands. These islands include Erikousa, Othoni and Mathraki. Mathraki is the smallest and southernmost. It is 3.1km in length and 6km from Agios Stefanos harbour on Corfu. With a population of approximately 50 people, expect a very quiet, tranquil location. It has crystal clear water, wonderful shallow beaches, marine caves, undersea rock formations and beautiful coastal swims. There are also some inter-island swims to the neighbouring uninhabited islands of Trachia, Platia and Diapolos. An ideal time for fantastic swims, wonderful Greek hospitality and plenty of relaxation.
- A remote Greek island with just one hotel (which we fill with lovely swimmers!)
- Technique coaching from Olympic, World ad European Medallist Cassie Patten
- A series of fascinating seminars
- A great variety of coastal, inter-island and exploration swims
- Wonderful Greek hospitality with delicious home cooked food
- Compulsory ‘bouts' of chill time
- A mid-week BBQ with the island villagers
- Sea temperature: 20-24oC
- Daily swimming distance: 1-3.5km / day, building up throughout the week (don’t worry about distances, we will look after you - swim as much or as little as you wish, it will be tailored to your needs)
- Swimming ability: all abilities welcome but you will need to be able to swim at least 400 m front crawl without stopping
- Non-swimmers: are welcome to join the tour and take advantage of peaceful Mathraki, or sit on the boat with us, although please note the island is small and remote – so bring a book or three!
- Accommodation in a beach-side hotel (click to visit hotel website)
- Swimming, assisted by safety boats where required and always escorted by swim guide/s
- Technique coaching, stroke filming
- Traditional home-cooked lunches (except lunch on one day when we will eat in Arillas, weather permitting)
- Safety boats
- Swim guides
- SwimQuest dry bag and swim cap
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
- Travel to and from Mathraki (guests are advised to fly into Corfu airport and meet at Agios Stefanos harbour (on the west coast) for a 4pm crossing to Mathraki on the arrival day - see getting there tab for further details)
- Wetsuits and fins (if required)
- Evening meals and one lunch (when we will take you to a taverna in Arillas)
- Alcohol (we run an honesty bar system)
- Single room supplement (see ACCOMMODATION tab for details)
WHERE DO WE STAY?In Mathraki we stay at the family run Hotel Paradise. As Hotel Paradise is the only hotel on the island, it’s not unusual for us to have the hotel (and the island!) to ourselves. Our local hosts Giorgos, Giannis and Nora provide fantastic home-cooked food and local knowledge, and look forward to welcoming you.
ROOM CHOICESThere are just seven rooms in the hotel. Unless you wish to opt for a single supplement at £270, rooms are allocated on a twin / double share basis. Please indicate your room choice on the booking form when booking. Rooms are subject to availability.
- Psilos is a basic but comfortable twin share on the first floor, with air conditioning, and a shared balcony. There is a sea view and this room looks out to the southern side of the hotel.
- Varkoysa is a basic but comfortable twin share on the first floor, with air conditioning, and a shared balcony. There is a sea view and this room looks out to the southern side of the hotel.
- Diapolos (£50pp supplement) is a larger, triple room on the second floor. It contains a double bed and a comfortably sized sofa bed. Diapolos has air conditioning and sole use of a balcony. It looks out to the east, over the Diapolos islands. A great room for a couple.
- Diakopos (£205pp supplement for sole use of either room, with shared bathroom) is a family apartment, with a twin share room and a double room, both separated by a corridor, but sharing a bathroom. Each room has air con and a door out onto a large front facing balcony. Ideal for a couple and two friends, or a family.
- Karavi (£60pp supplement) is a triple room, with a separate double room and a sofa bed in a kitchenette. Great for a couple or a small family. Karavi has air conditioning in the double room only, and the double room has a door out onto the hotels large front-facing balcony.
- Plateia (£20pp supplement) is a basic but comfortable double room on the top floor of the hotel, with air conditioning and a shared square balcony, which has a sea view.
- Trachia is a basic but comfortable twin room on the top floor of the hotel, with air conditioning and a shared square balcony, which has a sea view.
itineraryPlease note that the below itinerary is a rough guide and will be governed by your needs, aims and ability in the water. This itinerary is adaptable and will change depending on the weather and your requirements.
Acclimatisation swim : 400-800 m.We will meet at the villa late afternoon for the mandatory safety briefing. Topics will include: swim preparation, swim routes, feeding, prevailing weather, and safety procedures prior to the acclimatisation swim. Once completed, we will swim in the shallow bay by the hotel. This allows Cassie and the guides to assess your stroke and if necessary, adapt your personal itinerary. Once completed, we will then relax and have dinner during which we will discuss the week ahead. If for any reason guests are unavoidably delayed, the briefing may be deferred to Sunday morning.
AM: ‘Getting your priorities straight’ An introduction to technique from Cassie Patten / PM: Coastal swi, Mathraki Island: (1.5km)The day is designed to be easy, allowing you to settle in after your journey. After breakfast we will begin our first technique session with Cassie, consisting of a land based talk followed by a sea technique session. Back at the hotel after lunch, prior to the second swim, we will film your stroke both above and below the water. We will then continue with another coastal swim. Later in the day the swim guides will play back the swim films, offering both advice and encouragement on your swim stroke. This will be a continuing theme throughout the week with regular filming to help you improve your stroke technique.
AM: ‘Blind swimming’ – technique with Cassie Swim / PM: Trachia to Mathraki: (2.5-3km)After breakfast, we will start another technique session with Cassie, with a focus on open water swimming specifically. Cassie shares her expert advice on how to approach swimming in rough water, how to sight, and getting to know your strengths in a sea swimming environment. After lunch we will board the boat and make our way to the island of Trachia where we will look to swim around the island, enjoying the beautiful warm sea, rock formations and sea life. We will then swim back to Mathraki Island, just slightly north of Nisos Mathrakion. It will be our first inter-island swim and a great way to finish the day. Once completed, we will make our way back to the hotel for some relaxation time prior to dinner at a local taverna.
AM: ‘In the pod’ with Cassie – advice for swimming in groups / PM: Southern coastline (2km)In the morning Cassie introduces us to pod swimming games – we look at ways to gain confidence, and potentially speed (at whatever ability level) when swimming next to other swimmers. In the afternoon we put this into practise when swimming along the south coast of Mathraki island, from the southern harbour back into the hotel.
AM: Arillis Bay – optional longer swim (up to 3.5km) / PM: Diapolos Island groupToday we will take the boat across to Corfu mainland, and swim along Kravia Island and into lunch in Arillis bay. Your SwimQuest guides and Cassie will be on hand to give you advice in the water and technique tips. In the afternoon we will look at stopping off at the Diapolos island for fish spotting and a relaxed afternoon swim before heading back to the hotel on Mathraki.
Swim AM: One-to-one coaching with Cassie Swim / PM: Platia Island to Mathraki (up to 3.5km)This morning provides each guest with a chance to make the most of Cassie’stechnique coaching with one-to-one sessions in the bay throughout the morning. In the afternoon, there will be an opportunity to complete anotherinter islan d swim, from Platia Island to Mathraki.
Swim AM: Short bay swim by the hotelAs this is the last day, there will be a short pre-breakfast bay swim by the hotel as you will need to pack and prepare for your ferry back to Agios Stefanos.
WHAT DO I PACK?
- At least 2 swimming costumes
- Wetsuit (optional) - our Partners at Zone3 offer a wide range of wetsuits, including the eco Yulex natural rubber range HERE and you get 20% OFF all full price Zone3 products with code : SWIMQUEST
- Swim fins (optional, although useful for additional speed and for technique drills if you have some)
- 2 pairs of swim goggles – one clear and one tinted
- Tow float (required) - if you haven’t got one yet, you can find a great range from Swim Secure HERE and receive 15% off with code: 15SwimQuest23
- Small daypack/rucksack to use for your personal equipment/clothing during the day (note you will receive a SwimQuest dry bag)
- Sandals/aqua shoes / flip flops – for getting wet
- Insect repellent
- Fleece or warm jumper
- Sun hat, sun cream and sunglasses
- A waterproof watch (optional)
- A memory stick should you wish to take your video analysis home with you immediately
- Travel insurance details
- Trainers / sports gear (optional - if you like to run, there is a lovely 8-10km hill loop around the island – non guided, at your own risk)
THE MAGUS JOHN FOWLESOn a remote Greek Island, Nicholas Urfe finds himself embroiled in the deceptions of a master trickster. As reality and illusion intertwine, Urfe is caught up in the darkest of psychological games. Fowles expertly unfolds a tale that is lush with over-powering imagery in a spellbinding exploration of human complexities. By turns disturbing, thrilling and seductive, The Magus, like Mathraki, is a feast for the mind and the senses.
MY FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS GERALD DURRELLIf you haven’t read this already, this is a perfect opportunity. Just before the Second World War the Durrell family decamped to the glorious, sun-soaked island of Corfu where the youngest of the four children, ten-year-old Gerald, discovered his passion for animals: toads and tortoises, bats and butterflies, scorpions and octopuses. Through glorious silver-green olive groves and across brilliant-white beaches Gerry pursued his obsession, causing hilarity and mayhem in his ever-tolerant family.
CALLING ALL ARTISTS!Bring your paints! There will be sufficient downtime to have a dabble, and we are working up a nice collection of Mathraki art now, the island seems to inspire people...
GETTING TO MATHRAKI ISLAND
TOUR START / FINISH TIMES
- We advise you land in Corfu around lunchtime on Saturday. We arrange a taxi to pick up the group at 2.15pm from Hotel Bretagne (a short 5 min walk up the road from the airport). You are welcome to opt into this group taxi which will take you all to Agios Stefanos harbour ready for your boat transfer to Mathraki at 4pm. If you would rather get to Agios Stefanos on your own, please meet us at Agios Stefanos harbour ON THE WEST SIDE OF Corfu for a 4pm crossing to Mathraki.
- Boat transfer from Mathraki: We will get you up early on Friday morning for an 8am crossing back to Corfu, so that you can catch at 11.20am flight should you wish (this tends to be the most popular flight our of Corfu on a Friday morning). Your swim guides can arrange a taxi to meet you at the harbour to take you back to the airport.
GETTING TO CORFU
Fly to CorfuFlying to Corfu is a three-hour flight from the UK. Airlines such as Easyjet and Ryanair provide regular flights from a variety of UK airports. Olympic Airlines provide flights from Greece to Corfu. For a variety of flight options we would recommend www.skyscanner.co.uk or www.kayak.co.uk.
Ferry to CorfuThere are many ferries to Corfu from Italy (Bari, Brintezi and Ancona) and from mainland Greece at Igoumenitsia and Patra. Most stop at Corfu along with more local ferry services so for more information please check with Direct Ferries on www.directferries.co.uk.
GETTING FROM CORFU TO MATHRAKI
Taxis from the airport to Agios StefanosWe would recommend booking your transfer through Corfu Holiday Taxis. Dimitris and his team will look after you and are familiar with SwimQuest and how to get to Agios Stefanos Harbour for your downward journey to Mathraki. Simply email email@example.com,
Buses from the airport to Agios StefanosThe local bus terminal is a short taxi ride from the airport where there is a regular green bus service that stops off at Agios Stefanos. The bus fare is approximately €4.00. Ensure the bus driver takes you all the way down to the little cafe by the harbour in Agios Stefanos.
Mathraki Sea Taxi (run by our hotel)To circumvent all local ferry times (which an be extremely unpredictable) our hoteliers on Mathraki Island offer a sea taxi service from Agios Stefanos harbour. This will run at 4pm on your arrival day, and 8am on the departure day, and costs €40pp for the return journey. Should you wish to get across to the island outside of these times, it is possible to book a private transfer for €120 each way.
READY TO BOOK?We’re excited about meeting you on tour. To book your swimming holiday, simply fill in the booking form below. Once you have submitted the form, Charlie (our bookings co-ordinator) will be in touch to request payment and to help you with any additional requirements.
In booking with us, you accept our terms and conditions, which can be found here. If at any point you have any questions, feel free to contact us: Charlie Beere | +44 7563 389238 | firstname.lastname@example.org Alice Todd | +44 7825 301443 | email@example.com
Travel InsuranceAs a SwimQuest guest, you are required to have in place travel insurance that covers you for all activities you will be taking part in during your trip. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fully covered for these activities.
Whatever travel policy you decide on, you will need to bring a copy of your current Certificate of Insurance to the safety briefing at the start of your SwimQuest holiday. Your swim Guides will need to take a note of your insurer, policy number and the number to call in case of an emergency claim.
Please note, if you are a UK resident and eligible for free health cover via the NHS, you do not need to take our a travel insurance policy for our UK based trips. You may still wish to take out insurance to cover you for events such as trip cancellation, luggage and personal liability.
World Nomads Travel InsuranceWorld Nomads travel insurance has been designed by travellers for travellers, with coverage for more than 150 activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more.
World Nomads do not offer cover over 65s, however if you are over 65 and looking for insurance, you may wish to browse some of the below price comparison sites. Please note - we are unable to advise on the suitability of any particular insurance policy.