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“A perfect day on the Kefalonian coast”
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Excellent
7 reviews
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Overview
Yacht -
2 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom, Sleeps 6
Argostolion, Cephalonia, Ionian Islands

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 7 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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English first
Davidharr...
london
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A perfect day on the Kefalonian coast”
Reviewed September 9, 2017 for a stay in July 2017

The Golden Otter is a traditionally built mahogany planked yacht just over 30 ft long helmed by a fully qualified captain originally from the North of England. It's a beautiful boat with a feeling of solidity, unlike many modern fibre glass built models. Alan, the captain is a friendly, laid back guy and nothing was too much trouble for him.

We chose a beautiful day for our trip. Sadly there was insufficient wind to get the sails up, but just to watch the coastline unfold and gaze into the water was enough to captivate us until we saw a beach we liked and jumped into the sea to snorkel. At one point the depth reading said 30m and the sea was so clear you could see the rocks and fish on the sea bed in detail.

Some of the beaches we went to were difficult to access by land which meant often we were the only people on them. Our teenage children flopped at the front and played music. There was space for all four of us to sunbathe and if the sun got too strong, a comfortable cushioned area below deck. We actually felt really at home. Alan was great to chat to and a brilliant source of knowledge about the island. He was attentive and engaged with the children, but was happy just to let us be and enjoy our own space.

We had a sandwich lunch (with tomatoes from Alan's garden) with beers and lemonade - our dietary requirements/requests were checked in advance.

On the trip home, the sea got slightly rougher and we loved the spray coming over the bows. We never felt scared or unsafe, in fact unlike many of the other boat operators The Golden Otter is fully registered and insured and Alan is fully qualified and highly experienced. The safety spec and equipment on the boat is flawless.

We know another family with an 83 year old grandmother who went on the Golden Otter and other than a bit of trouble climbing back into the boat (Alan was on hand to help) came back exhilarated.

Seeing the Kefalonian coast from the sea is amazing. The coastline is a jumble of textures and colour. The sea and sky on the day we went were picture postcard blue, we saw brightly coloured fish and coral. It was as vivid as an Attenborough documentary.

It was, as my daughter put it, the most awesome day of our holiday.

Top Tip: remember that the sun bounces off the water so put lots of lotion on!

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luminousb...
Church Stretton, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Fab couple of days sailing”
Reviewed July 9, 2017 for a stay in June 2017

We booked two separate days sailing with Alan on the Golden Otter.

The first day had a gentle breeze, we went east and visited a couple of good swimming spots. a Greek lunch was provided. We had a fab time.

The second day was a bit more windy, The Otter came alive! We sailed west/north this time towards Argostoli. Alan's wife, Vasiliki, came with us this time, lunch included pies that were home cooked.

We will be booking the Otter agaib when we return to Kefalonia.

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Jul 10, 2017
Really appreciate this guys ! It was so good to meet you both and we both look forward to your next visit out here. Vassiliki promises more fresh pie ! Take care Alan and Vasiliki.
P.S Can,t guarantee such lively sailing but willmake an offering to Poseidon and perhaps he will oblige.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doug H
Bolton
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
“Fabulous Experience”
Reviewed October 9, 2016 for a stay in September 2016

Having holidayed with our friends in Cephalonia previously and seen the yachts coming and going from the harbours we decided we would like to give it a try. We wanted a yacht with character and the ability to chose our own itinerary avoiding the flotilla style arrangements of some other companies. The Golden Otter has character in spades. It is a 30 year old, hand-crafted vessel owned and skippered by Alan with his partner Vassiliki. The yacht is crafted in wood, the interior having some beautiful detailing. A small vessel at 34ft space is at a premium but the design makes the most of that space having far more storage than one would expect and a perfectly serviceable galley (kitchen) area. Sleeping and bathroom arrangements take some getting used to but once we had perfected entry and exit to and from the sleeping areas then getting a good nights' sleep wasn't a problem, particularly when anchored out in a bay and being rocked by the gentle swell of the sea. Enough of the living arrangements, what about the sailing experience? Well, I have to say from the moment Alan picked us up at the airport to dropping us off, this was one of the best holiday experiences we have had. Our friends (Cindy and Geoff) have visited Cephalonia many times and had an idea of an itinerary for our trip. Alan, the skipper, was happy to follow this as far as weather conditions would allow but also made suggested alternatives based upon his experiences of sailing around the island. We were blessed with incredible weather for the whole week which allowed for some quality "under sail" sailing. Our journey took us along the west coast of Cephalonia taking in Petani, Atheras and Assos before moving on to Ithaca, calling off at Frikes, Kioni and Vathi, before moving back to the east coast of Cephalonia and Agia Sofia, Agia Euphimia, Antisamos, Poros and Lefkas beach, finally returning to port at Ammes. Approaching these beautiful locations from the sea gave a totally different perspective and everywhere we moored lots of interest was shown in our fabulous yacht. Throughout our experience Alan and Vassiliki were excellent hosts and allowed us to take the tiller as well as showing us the ropes, literally; particularly when we were tacking in lively seas. Both are full of quirky character perfectly matched to the yacht and Alan's obvious seafaring skills meant that we always felt safe. In the main we chose to eat at local tavernas but Vassiliki made excellent lunches on the occasions we called at deserted beaches.
Tips to make the experience enjoyable: Pack lightly, you really only need swimwear and some casual gear for the evening stopovers; and go with the flow, you'll love it!

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The whole experience
Liked least: The bathroom (but got used to it!)
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dreamsofs...
Harrogate, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Truly memorable experience”
Reviewed July 30, 2015 for a stay in July 2015

We chartered the Golden Otter, as a family for the day, during our holiday in Kefalonia. Our children are 10 and 7 and they had a fabulous time. Alan and Vassiliki were perfect hosts and very experienced sailors. They took us down the coast giving us local insight along the way. We moored in a quiet bay, jumped in the tender and went to a local taverna for a fabulous lunch and then meandered back to where we started
I couldn't think of a better way to spend a day in Kefalonia - highly recommended.

Traveling group: Young Children
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louise N
manchester
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Just Fabulous!”
Reviewed July 9, 2015 for a stay in July 2015
1
person found this review helpful

We booked this trip as a surprise for our 3 teenage (16 year old) boys. Having never really sailed before, it was to be an adventure for the boys and us (3) mums. Alan, our host, answered all of our questions by email beforehand and was super helpful.

We had two nights/3 days sailing with Alan aboard his super stylish wooden sailing yacht. He is a really relaxed host and good company. He was super relaxed with the boys, who were able to use the outboard dinghy at will.

I don't usually review, but I have to say we all had such a magical time. I would thoroughly recommend and would be happy to answer any queries privately should anyone be considering booking the Golden Otter.

Totally fab!

Traveling group: Teenagers
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheryl S
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
“An excellent addition to a holiday in Kefalonia”
Reviewed June 9, 2015 for a stay in June 2015

After a fantastic recommendation from friends we decided to book a day trip sailing on The Golden Otter whilst holidaying in Kefalonia. We were collected from our hotel which was close to where the boat is. Alan and Vassiliki made us very welcome and discussed where we would sail to for the day and whether to have lunch on the boat or to eat at a taverna. After a welcoming cup of tea we set sail for St Thomas's bay passing beautiful scenery on the way. Alan moored the boat at St Thomas's bay and we went in the dinghy to a delightful taverna and had ice cold beers and chips seasoned with herbs. It was a very peaceful setting with just a few people swimming in the aquamarine sea and a few on the sandy beach. Back on the boat Vassiliki made a Greek salad for lunch which we all enjoyed before relaxing to enjoy more sailing. We arrived back at the mooring after having a thoroughly enjoyable day trip. Having never sailed before and initially feeling nervous i would recommend this day trip on The Golden Otter to be a delightful addition to a wonderful holiday in the beautiful island of Kefalonia.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The magical experience of sailing on a wooden boat
Liked least: The day trip coming to an end
Traveling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
john H
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
“Fantastic Brilliant choose how you want to sail”
Reviewed June 8, 2015 for a stay in May 2015

Serious sailing on the Golden Otter ( a solid hand crafted , Van De Stadt ). I am aiming to complete my Yacht Master Cert and this was a great addition. A week in the Ionian Sea on the Golden Otter with Vassiliki and Alan.
Two friends and I booked with A & V ( surprising easy to do on the Internet and great to phone and speak directly to Alan for last minute questions). We agreed to sail from Kefalonia to Sicily for a week to build up our sea miles and sailing experience. We were recommended by a friend who sailed with them last year.
A & V met us at the airport and took us to the boat where we had a cup of tea, a tour of the boat and the safety information. The forecast was good so we cast off straight away even though the sun was beginning to set. We sailed through the night taking different shifts of four hour watches. It was fantastic, if you are into sailing this is a must for you, take a long trip! The over nights were amazing, the stars and the night sky in the Mediterranean are absolutely stunning and the sea has a strange luminous phosphor essence better than I have seen before. The daytime sea was sparkling and glittering as if the stars were in the sea and the night was warmer than summer in England. Night time sailing is one of the requirements for the yacht masters certificate. Alan was not over protective of his boat and we were in control of the vessel day and night but was always there vto help, answer question and to support us. Most of our sailing was with a steady 3 to 4 from the south. This experience has given me the confidence to do more ocean crossings. A & V searched all over for their perfect boat and found it in England, and sailed it back to Kefalonia. They have plenty of varied sailing experience. I am planning to come back to the Golden Otter in October for more serious sailing and perhaps find some more extreme conditions.

We were straight into sailing, hoisting sails, plotting the course, Captain insisted we plot the course without the aid of electronic gadgets (although the boat has every possible navigation aid,) we plotted the course to Sicily. The boat sailed like a dream averaging 6.3 knots with the wind slightly a baft the beam. We sighted land and were amazed that our calculation was close to what the GPS told us when we switched it on. Syracuse is the birth place of Archimedes. It was 235 nautical miles around 40 hours sailing, a significant contribution to our yacht masters cert. We spent a day of relaxation and exploration, there are some very nice bars. Then we hoisted sail and sailed back to Argostolie. The journey back was all you could want, Dolphins escorting us, fish appearing from nowhere, the occasional bird dropping in and I am sure there was a sea turtle. Keep your camara handy, wish I had taken more photos. When we reached Argostolie using our own calculations we headed straight to the bar for drinks and food. A fantastic adventure and a great insight into sailing.

I can't thank A & V enough, they provided us with the experience of a lifetime. Alan stood in the background giving us the opportunity to be in full control but always there to answer queries and keep a watchful eye. Ask him to tell you some of his sailing experiences. I spoke to Alan about returning to do some more serious sailing, to up my sea miles and Skippers hours on the boat. Possibly sailing to Crete, Turkey or maybe up to Egypt, we even discussed Tahiti!
So hopefully October will see me back on board.

Look at the website to get a flavour, listen to the music and the surprise at the end.
Can't remember the website but - sailing in Kefalonia with the Golden Otter- finds it for me.
>
Oh and before I forget thanks for the bottle you popped and the lift back to the airport, I must have been too overcome to remember to thank you properly.
>
Sailing in the spirit of Bernard Moitessier

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: best experiance ever, to many highlights
Liked least: I didnt spend more time with them and didnt take enough photos
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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