Price: from £1095pp
2021 dates: 19-25 June 2021
2022 DATES: 18-24 JUNE 2022
Designed for the more leisurely swimmer, these friendly, laid-back weeks are a blissful opportunity to combine sea swimming with time to rest, relax and rejuvinate.If you enjoy short and gentle swims (maybe 1-2km), or perhaps 30 minutes to an hour in the water, then this chilled, relaxing week on this tiny, quirky Greek island has your name on it. You can swim as little or as much as you like, with your swim guides planning your two escorted swims per day from a veritable collection of swims. If you have any questions or if you would like to chat to a member of SwimQuest staff about this short swims week, please contact the office.
ABOUT MATHRAKIA remote island to the west of Corfu, Mathraki has a population of just 50 inhabitants. It is one of the three sleepy Diapontia Islands, which have only been inhabited from the mid 19th Century due to piracy. With the pirates long gone, Mathraki provides a wonderful array of island hops, inter island swims and coastal exploration – 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!)
- A great variety of coastal, inter-island and exploration swims
- Wonderful Greek hospitality with delicious home cooked food
- Compulsory ‘bouts' of chill time
- Swim stroke advice from your swim guides
- A mid-week BBQ with the villagers
- Sea temperature: 18 – 22oC
- Daily swimming distance: 2-3km / day, broken down into two escorted swims per day (don’t worry about distances, we will look after you)
- Swimming ability: This week is tailored to more leisurely swimmers, speed doesn't matter.
Absolutely – 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
- 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
- Optional stroke technique advice and filming
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 £200,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 (£50pp 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.
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.
PARADISE BAY CIRCLE (800m)The hotel overlooks a wonderful sheltered bay. It is ideal for our acclimatisation swim, pre-breakfast dips, stroke technique or swimming around. The beach has a gradual gradient, sandy bottom, and the sea is crystal clear.
MATHRAKI HOTEL TO HARBOUR (1-1.5KM)Mathraki’s east coastline is a beautiful yellow-orange sandy beach, known for its turtle hatchlings. For this coastal swim you will set off from the hotel beach in the safety escort RIB towards the harbour and 1.5km along the coast you’ll jump off the side of the boat (or get in off the ladder) and swim parallel along the beach on a coastal swim back towards to hotel, in time for a well-deserved ice cream at the finish.
TRACHIA ISLAND TO KONTRAKAS HARBOUR (1.3KM)Trachia is a small rocky outcrop island off the North coast of Mathraki and it is a great inter-island swim. If we are lucky, we will have opportunity to complete this swim in pond-flat conditions, surrounding us in blue and more blue. A shallow crossing, you will see the bottom all the way across.
PLATEIA ISLAND TO MATHRAKI (1.7-2KM)Plateia is another flat outcrop island off the west coast of Mathraki Island. We swim directly to the southern coastline of Mathraki and once there we can extend the swim along the coast looking at the amazing undersea rocks along the way.
EXPLORING DIAKOPO & DIAPLO ISLANDS (2KM)Starting by Diakopo Island it is a gentle swim along the east coast before having a look at the caves. A short 200m swim across a small inlet to the west side of Diaplo and then we venture along the upper west side of the island.
KARAVI ISLAND TO ARILLIS (1.2 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 to add on a bit to the swim or make a swim crossing towards Arillis bay, where we usually stop for lunch on mainland Corfu (much to the amusement of Arillis’ holiday makers!)
ODYSSEUS ROCK TO OUTCROP (400M)From the hotel balconies, you can see a tooth shaped rock jutting out of the sea complete with arches and pebbled micro-beaches. From there about 200m to the right is a smaller outcrop island and great to swim to from Odysseus!
Porto Timoni Beach coastal swim, Corfu (1km)A lovely small bay that is ideal to swim in a clockwise direction taking in the rocks and sea life all in super clear water. The bay is quite shallow with some reefs which is always good to explore.
GETTING TO MATHRAKI ISLANDAlthough remote, we have chosen Mathraki as one of our locations because it is easily accessible. We appreciate that you want to spend less time travelling and more time swimming! The easiest method of travel is to fly into Corfu, get a taxi across to Agios Stefanos harbour (on the west side of Corfu - please note there are two Agios Stefanos on Corfu) and then get the Mathraki Sea Taxi to Mathraki Island. Boat transfer to Mathraki: Meet at Agios Stefanos harbour for a 4pm crossing on the Saturday 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).
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 €30pp 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 €100 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
- 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, Charlotte (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: Charlotte Benton | +44 7743 233803 | firstname.lastname@example.org Alice Todd | +44 7825 301443 | email@example.com