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Get away: Barefoot in search of the Hellenic ideal

It wasn't exactly gold-plated. I was sailing past Skorpios, the Greek island owned by Aristotle Onassis. Still, it looked nice enough. Should we drop in for cocktails to see if the younger generation had changed Jackie O's decor? No, the wind was in the wrong direction and I was having far too much fun steering my own 51ft yacht, the Lou Cagnard, across the south Ionian Sea. Well, I say my yacht. it really belongs to Peter Cliff, an all-round adventure sportsman, and his wife, Gilli, a cordon bleu chef. I was just one of a group of five they were taking for a week's sailing around the Greek islands of Kefalonia, Ithaka, Lefkas and Meganisi.

The most sailing I had ever done was an afternoon in a dinghy. Forgotten were the pre-trip worries. Had I really spent the previous week wondering whether or not I needed deck shoes? Here's what you need on a sailing holiday: swimsuits, shorts, T-shirt, hat, sunglasses, suncream, towel, footwear for walking over pebbly beaches to collect wild herbs for dinner and maybe a couple of shreds of clothing so you don't frighten the natives when you go ashore to eat in a taverna of an evening. Here's what you don't need: deck shoes.

To read this story in full see Friday Magazine in this week's TES, where you can also find details of a 10 per cent discount offer on villa holidays in the Ionian islands this May for TES readers. nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;

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