Relax and Explore Weeks:
25-31 May | 1-7 June | 13-19 July | 31 August – 6 September | 7-13 September
2024 Prices: from £1,320pp
Please see booking form for individual trip prices
- SWIMS - RELAX & EXPLORE WEEKS
- GETTING THERE
- MATHRAKI VIDEOS
your swimming holiday in greeceMathraki is a remote island in Greece and an incredible location for a swimming holiday. The Diapontia Islands (off the north west coast of Corfu) provide a range of distances, from bay swims all the way up to a 6km swim. This tour is ideal for anyone looking to lose themselves in a more relaxed way of life for a week. Mathraki provides a fantastic base from which to explore the surrounding archipelago and the extraordinary Kravia rock formations. Expect basic but comfortable accommodation on this quirky island, fantastic swimming, delicious home cooked food, and unbeatable Greek hospitality from the Argyros family.
- Price: from £1,320pp (individual trip prices are shown on the 'Book' tab)
- Relaxing island-to-island and coastal swims
- Dates: May, June, July, September
- Minimum swimming requirement 1km
- Average daily swimming = 4km / day
- Maximum group size: 12
- Approx. sea temperature range: 20-23 ̊C
- Non-swimming partners welcome, although they should bring a book or three ... Mathraki is quiet! For any other questions, or if you would like to chat to a member of SwimQuest staff about this Greek trip, please contact Alice or Charlotte.
- Accommodation in The Hotel Paradise, the only hotel on Mathraki
- Swimming, assisted by safety boats where required and always escorted by swim guide/s
- Traditional home-cooked lunches (except for one day when we will eat lunch in Arillas on Corfu)
- Safety boats
- Swim guides
- SwimQuest dry bag and swim cap
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
- Travel to and from Mathraki Island (see ‘Getting there’ tab for more information)
- Wetsuits and fins (if required)
- Evening meals
- One lunch (weather pending, we will swim into Arillas on Corfu mid week for lunch at a taverna)
- Single room supplement (see accommodation tab for single supplements and room options)
MATHRAKI, A PLACE LIKE NO OTHER ...Few people leave Mathraki without falling for its quirky charm. If you’d like a taste of what the island is like, you may wish to read Alice’s Outdoor Swimmer article - A Day in the Life of a Swim Guide or Sam Mould’s piece of descriptive writing - capturing why it was Mathraki stole a bit of her heart last summer.
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 sole use room 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 (Room 4a) and a double room (Room 4b), 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.
swimming in mathrakiYour itinerary for the week is entirely based on the weather and your ability. On this page you will find some of the swims which you may complete during your week on the island. Most days involve a morning and an afternoon swim, returning to the hotel for a home-cooked lunch in between. If you are keen to participate in some but not all of a swim, that’s fine, let the guides know and you can hop back on the boat and just relax. We do not provide a day by day swim itinerary as the guides will structure the week carefully to ensure you get the very best swimming in the conditions you have each day.
Technique coachingTechnique coaching is an important part of the week and is provided by your swim guides on every trip. You will be filmed at the start of the week from below and above the water, and the guides will work with you to analyse your stroke so that they can help you to improve as the week progresses. You can of course take the footage home with you.
TRACHIA ISLAND TO KODRAGAS (2.5KM - 3.5KM)Trachia is a small island off the North coast of Mathraki. The locals say that many of the buildings on Mathraki island were made using stone from Trachia. A beautiful, otherworldly swim, especially when the sea is flat. Keep an eye out for Mathraki’s turtle as you near Kodragas harbour! This swim can be extended with a loop around Trachia, conditions allowing.
PLATEIA ISLAND TO MATHRAKI (2.5KM - 3.5KM)Another islet off the West coast of Mathraki Island, Plateia (meaning ‘table top’ in Greek) sits on the edge of a sea ledge, just before the sea floor shelves off into the deep starry blue. Swim from Plateia Island back towards Mathraki’s southern coast, enjoying watching the rocks rise and fall beneath you.
KARAVI ISLAND TO ARILLIS (3.5-4 KM)Karavi sits just off the coast of Corfu. On this swim, we boat over to Corfu’s coast, swim along the length of Karavi’s imposing cliffs, and then make a swim crossing towards Arillis bay, where we usually stop for lunch on Corfu mainland (much to the amusement of Arillas’ holiday makers!)
MATHRAKI TO KRAVIA ROCK (3KM)From the hotel balconies, you can see a tooth shaped rock jutting out of the sea. On a very still day, this crossing is spectacular ... fly along in the beautiful big blue and respect the ocean as you inch closer to the beautiful rock, before swimming in and around it’s arches and pebbles micro-beaches.
DIAPOLOS EXPLORE - 2KMThe Diapolos Islands are ripe for exploring. Spend 30 minutes with your hat and goggles watching the fish and bobbing along Diakopos’ north bay (keep a beady eye out for octopus here) and then make a short crossing to Diapolo and take a peek inside the caves.
MATHRAKI HOTEL TO HARBOUR - 2.5KMMathraki’s east coastline is a beautiful yellow-orange sand beach. Take your time to swim the 2.5km from Mathraki Harbour back along the coast towards to hotel, in time for a well deserved ice cream at the finish!
MATHRAKI WEST COAST 2KM - 5KMMathraki’s west coast is more dramatic than the east coast, with tiny pebble beaches and striking white rocks. If the wind is coming in from the east, this is an ideal swim to complete in the calmer waters. Time to stretch into that stroke and enjoy.
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.
Local ferriesThere are infrequent local ferries to Mathraki. Alexandros runs from Corfu Town and takes approximately 3-4 hours, and Pegasus runs from Agios Stefanos and takes 45 minutes. Timings vary from week to week. Please contact the office one week prior to your trip should you wish to take a local ferry, and we will check times with our local hosts.
What do I pack?
- At least 2 swimming costumes
- Wetsuit (optional)
- 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...
what is mathraki like?
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 389 238 | firstname.lastname@example.orgAlice Todd | +44 7825 301 443 | 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.