ionian islands

Discover the islands of the Ionian sea

Visitors will enjoy the Ionian islands, depending on the style of vacation they choose, either on the big islands with the manorial tradition, the abundant sightseeing, the cosmopolitan life and the luxury hotels or in the smaller and quieter ones, with a more nature-loving and sophisticated development profile, which has become fashionable in recent years.

Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Lefkada, with some of the most famous beaches in Greece, are offered for every type of vacation: relaxation and exploration, family and youth. Paxos and Ithaca, with a contrast of green-blue and beautiful villages, are constantly rising on the tourist map, while Kythira, although geographically far from the other islands, does not lag behind in local color, beaches and an interesting hinterland for motorists.

ionian-islandsThe Ionian Islands are the westernmost islands of Greece. They are characterized by a particularly mild climate throughout the year. They are among the sunniest of the Greek islands without being among the hottest. In winter it rains more than on the other islands. The result is an exceedingly dense vegetation found on all Ionian islands. They are among Greece’s greenest islands.

The turquoise waters are the first image that comes to mind when we think of the rich Ionian beaches. You will enjoy them, depending on the style of vacation you choose, either on the big islands like Corfu, Zante or Kefalonia, with the manorial tradition, the abundant sightseeing, the cosmopolitan life and the luxury hotels or in the smaller and quieter ones, with a more nature-loving and sophisticated development profile, the which has become fashionable in recent years.

If you choose one of the first, you will definitely need several days to turn it, while even in the smallest the car is necessary. Corfu is the island richest in images, with a wonderful Old Town, intense archaeological interest, dozens of villages to explore and, of course, very worthwhile suggestions for accommodation, taste and nightlife.

corfuZakynthos, Kefalonia and Lefkada, with some of the most “postcard” beaches in Greece, are offered for every type of vacation: relaxation and exploration, family and youth. Paxos and Ithaca, with a contrast of green-blue and beautiful villages, are constantly rising on the tourist map, while Kythira, although geographically far from the other islands, does not lag behind in local color, beaches and an interesting hinterland for motorists.

Finally, the Ionian Islands are a sailing paradise. If you are traveling by boat or vacationing in Corfu, steal a few days to visit the unknown to most Diapontian Islands (Othonoi, Ereikoussa, Mathraki), three small islands of the barren line just a few nautical miles northwest of Corfu, forgotten by the long deserted sandy beaches, ruins of Venetian castles, small acritic settlements and a sense of absolute peace.

Unlike the Cyclades, the nature here is superb. The blue of the sea contrasts with the white beaches surrounded by Mediterranean scrub, woods and olive groves. A marvel to be discovered absolutely. But that’s not all, taking a trip to discover the Ionian Islands you will fall in love with the beaches, archaeological remains and cliffs overlooking the sea.

shipwreck ionian islandsThe image that comes to mind when thinking about the Ionian Islands is the wonderful Beach of the Shipwreck on the island of Zakynthos, one of the most beautiful and photographed places in the world, as well as the spectacular green landscape of Corfu, dotted with olive groves and very close to Italy. . The islands of the archipelago are mostly mountainous and are characterized by a warm and humid climate and are characterized by towns and villages where life flows slowly and relaxed and by beaches protected by incredible gulfs.

But where are the Ionians located? The historic Ionian archipelago is located very close to the Italian coast, south of the Otranto channel. The islands can be reached in Italy by ferry, the only one to have an airport is Kefalonia.

The Ionian Islands are located in the Ionian Sea to the west of Greece. The best-known Ionian islands are the crescent-shaped Corfu, the northernmost Ionian island. The rather quiet, peaceful Lefkada, named after its white cliffs.

The largest of the Ionian Islands, the enchanting Kefalonia. Beautiful Zakynthos, or, as the Venetians called it, the flower of the Levanthe. Paxos, the island of olive trees and little Ithaca, home of Odysseus. The lesser-known islands of Skorpios, Meganisi, Kalamos and Kastos also belong to the Ionian Islands. But there are still numerous smaller unknown islands in the archipelago.

The resulting wild and romantic landscape with olive groves, dense forests and lush gardens are irresistible. On the coasts you will find beautiful sandy beaches with crystal clear water, limestone cliffs and numerous mysterious caves on the coasts make the Ionian Islands one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece

Sailing in the Ionian islands

Finally, the Ionian Islands are a sailing paradise. If you are traveling by boat or vacationing in Corfu, steal a few days to visit the unknown to most Diapontian Islands (Othonoi, Ereikoussa, Mathraki), three small islands of the barren line just a few nautical miles northwest of Corfu, forgotten by the long deserted sandy beaches, ruins of Venetian castles, small acritic settlements and a sense of absolute peace.

Getting there

Cheap charter flights from many north European destinations bring the holiday hordes directly into Corfu, Kefalonia and Zakynthos. Lefkada is connected to the Greek mainland by a drawbridge and is only a 30-minute bus ride away from Aktion airport near the mainland town of Preveza.

Ferries and hydrofoils serve the islands from various departure points on the mainland and from Corfu you can take an international ferry to Albania or Italy (the latter is a popular option for island-hopping backpackers who head for Venice or Brindisi).

Corfu

Corfucorfu is one of the most visited islands in Greece with an Italian flair, is the island richest in images, with a wonderful Old Town, intense archaeological interest, dozens of villages to explore and, of course, very worthwhile suggestions for accommodation, taste and nightlife.

The island’s capital, Corfu Town, has numerous historic buildings. The Old Fortress is particularly impressive. But the Church of Saint Spyridon, built in 1589, is also worth a visit. From the outside, the bell tower of this church forms a romantic photo motif, while ancient icons can be seen inside the church.
Visitors to Corfu Town’s Byzantine Museum can delve into the long and rich history of the region. A must for visitors to Corfu Town is the Mouse Island. T

he mysterious little island off the coast of Corfu can be reached by boat. After so many cultural experiences, it would be time for a little beach life again! On Barbati, a pebbly beach between olive groves, water skiers and jet skiers and other water sports enthusiasts usually romp.
Romantic bays form the Sidari beach. Many Corfu tourists also like to come to the sandy beach Glyfada, where various beach bars and taverns are open to bathers until late in the evening.

Paxi

The Paxi archipelago consists of the inhabited islands of Paxos and Antipaxos and numerous other uninhabited islets and rocks. They are the least touristy islands in this area and are particularly popular with sailors and motor boaters

Lefkada

lefkadaOne of the most beautiful Ionian islands, connected to the mainland by a small bridge, it is easily accessible by car and offers one of the most beautiful natural landscapes and some of the most beautiful beaches in the Ionian Sea. Apart from the beaches, it is worth visiting with coastal villages like Nidri Lefkada and Agios Nikitas, natural beauties like Dimosari waterfalls, delicious food and a lot of exciting activities.

The preserved settlement of Agios Nikitas, an ideal base for routes in Western Lefkada, is a developing resort with crystal clear waters. The bay of Vasiliki is a must for those who love wind surfing and the profile of the area is youthful, with intense nightlife and a variety of options for accommodation and food. From here you can also reach by boat various beaches of Lefkada (Agiofylli, Porto Katsiki, Egremni) and the neighboring islands.

Nidri, a former fishing village, has become the most cosmopolitan part of the island. With modern tourist infrastructure, the visitor has many options for accommodation and food by the sea. Lefkada is a must for lovers of all kinds of sports, as it has ideal beaches for wind and kite surfing, places for paragliding and hiking in cool waterfalls.

A favorite destination of sailors, the wider area is ideal for “boating” explorations. The accommodation proposals are many and varied: from campsites, simple rentals and hotels to more atmospheric proposals, such as traditional stone houses in mountainous areas or where the waves break, but also luxury hotels.

Ithaca

ithakaIthaca is overshadowed in tourism by Kefalonia and has largely escaped the package tour companies, but it is still a popular destination for individual travellers, day-trippers and yachts.

The quiet island is small and almost divided in two by a narrow ridge.

The north has the better beaches and more interesting walking areas, while the south has the relatively busy capital port of Vathi and more important historical links with Homer.

The west coast of Ithaca is rugged and rugged with only a few decent beaches, while the east is characterized by rolling hills and farmland. Many houses on Ithaca were destroyed in the earthquake of 1953.

Kefalonia

kefaloniaKefalonia is the largest and one of the most beautiful islands of the Ionian group and is known for its picturesque beaches, dramatic landscapes, blue bays, charming villages, mysterious caves and a lively atmosphere and delicious food.

Kefalonia is a big island, it raises a summer safari for those who want to discover it, while it also offers options for thematic tourism: visits to wineries, hikes in the National Park of the fir-covered Ainos, canoe kayak excursions, etc. If you do not arrive by air, it is likely that you will reach it via Patras it reaches Sami or Kyllini Poros, but it also has a ferry connection with the neighboring islands with Ithaca via Sami and Fiskardo, with Zakynthos from Pessada and with Lefkada from Fiskardo.

Anyway, a walk in the capital of Argostoli is a must for Agios Spyridon, the house of Kosmetatos and, of course, the characteristic stone bridge of Drapanos or Devosetos. Classic excursions near Argostoli are those in the picturesque villages of Livathos, the Venetian castle of Agios Georgios and the monastery of the patron saint of the island of Agios Gerasimos, in the valley of Omalos, where the local variety of grapes Robola is cultivated.

Highlight the two caves of the island Melissani and Drogarati near Sami. The most sophisticated corners of Kefalonia, namely the picturesque port of Fiskardo and the imposing castle of Assos, as well as its most famous beach, Myrtos, are located in the north. On your routes, however, you must include the tourist south side whether you stay in one of the hotel complexes in the area or come for a swim on its sandy beaches and the Paliki peninsula for a tour with stops in Lixouri, Xi and Petanoi beaches and in the Monastery of Kipouraion, from where you will enjoy the unique pelagic sunset.

Zakynthos

zakynthosZakynthos is an island with steep cliffs, lush greenery and numerous beautiful bays with crystal-clear water, which is particularly popular with package tours. The best known is the smuggler’s bay, where a shipwreck lies, which is one of the most famous photo motifs in Greece.

Green, with countless beaches, a sea in electric blue, the sea turtle Caretta-Caretta as the protagonist, the Venetian nobility as the decor and the beach Navagio as a trademark, is an island with many facets. Apart from the tourist resorts, such as the bay of Laganas, which attracts, among others, foreign tourists looking for parties on the beach, it is worth discovering the other Zakynthos, the one that justifies its former characterization as the Flower of Levante.

Apart from the exotic beauty of rocky coves and sandy beaches, you will climb the Lighthouse of Keri and Ano Gerakari for panoramic views, you will discover mountain villages (Exo Chora, Orthonies and Volimes) lost in the pine forests. The hinterland, full of olive groves, vineyards and orchards, knows, in recent years, an unprecedented agro-tourism development: the new generation stone guesthouses and the facilities they offer will satisfy even the most demanding. In the city of Zakynthos, finally, you will wander to the castle of Bohali and to the green hill of Stranis and many other places.

Kythira

The island, spared from mass tourism, was one of the birthplaces of Aphrodite, once a Venetian fortress and later a pirate base. There are imposing castles, mysterious caves, picturesque bays, pretty villages and beaches for every taste. Kythira attracts Greek visitors rather than package holidaymakers and has an airport with regular domestic flights to and from Athens.