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An essential Travel guide to the Ionian Islands

Are you getting ready for a holiday in Greece?

On the mainland, there is enough to do. The Ionian Islands, off the western coast and south of the Peloponnese peninsula, are also worth visiting.      

Don’t know about Ionian Island?

Find out everything about your holidays in this essential travel guide for the Ionian Islands.

About the Ionian Islands:

The Ionian Islands are a historic group of Islands on the northwest coast of Greece in the western Ionian Sea. Heptanisa is their official name, which means “seven islands” in Greek. 

They are made up of the seven archipelagos: 

CORFU, LEFKADA, ITHAKI, KEFALONIA, PAXI, ZAKYNTHOS, AND KYTHIRA.

Multiple cultures have affected these islands throughout history. The Roman and Ottoman Empires, as well as Venetians, French, and British invaded and colonized them.

Each island has its unique blend of ancient ruins, mystic castles, thrill-seeking activities, and rare wildlife. Breathtaking views from soaring hills. They are famous for lush green nature and exotic beaches. 

For those who want to take a break from the water, there are walking and cycling trails through the mountainous and coastal areas. There are wonderful waterfalls to visit, and the wetlands are ideal for birdwatching if you love nature. You can see Loggerhead turtles and Monk seals in the Marine parks. 

On the Ionian Islands, seafood is a delicacy. Traditional dishes like Bianco (fish in a delicious white sauce) and Bouredeto (piquant fish stew) are made. 

CORFU

Corfu is one of the most beautiful and charming islands of the Ionian Islands.

This Island offers everything to suit any type of traveler from its ethnic cultures to charming old towns, beautiful green hills royal mansions, and lovely beaches to the narrow cobblestone. Corfu food town heavily influenced by the Venetians the French and the English is an excellent starting point to explore the island. 

The entire place simply has a vintage charm imposing palaces noble residences, beautiful museums, and picturesque squares all bear witness to Corfu’s great past. You will find lovely seaside villages.

At Ermones in Ropa Valley, on the island of Corfu, you will find one of Europe’s largest golf courses, a fun, and challenging course.  It was one of the first Greek Islands to establish Corfu holiday packages.

Corfu is accessible by plane and ferry. Ferries arrive often from the Greek ports of Igoumenitsa and Patra, as well as the Italian ports of Bari, Ancona, and Venice.

LEFKADA

Lefkada is known for its roughly two dozen picture-worthy beaches with white sands and azure seas. It has a gorgeous interior with sleeping villages, oak-dappled mountains, and ancient monasteries.

Porto Katski, Kathisma, and Egremni are the most photographed beaches on the island. These beaches are ideal for swimming, Sunbathing, and more adventurous sports such as windsurfing, mount-biking, hiking, and snorkeling. For kite-surfing, Vasiliki and Myli Beach on the Island are ideal with good winds.

Lefkada’s main town offers a leisurely vibe, with a big marina, a thriving café culture, fine Italianate architecture, and great birdwatching around the lagoon. 

The stunning white cliffs of Porto Katsiki and Egremni beaches will draw your attention. In the hilltop villages, you can see traditional clothes and fresh filo pies with goat’s cheese and herbs. The secret coves, hidden valleys, and wildflowers will awestruck you.

Lefkada is connected to mainland Greece by a bridge and is accessible by bus or car. Ferries from Ithaca and Kefalonia are also available, and the airport is also accessible.

ITHACA OR ITHAKI

The Greek Island of the Ithaca is a site where myth meets rugged beauty. It is famous as the mythical island of Odysseus.

Ithaca is an Ionian island, located on the west side of mainland Greece. Ithaca is a wonderful spot for relaxation. 

The best things to do in Ithaca are to relax, take it easy, and enjoy the moment. At the same time, the Island is well worth visiting. The surroundings around Ithaca are gorgeous, and the beaches are lovely. 

Ithaca is divided into two parts: the south and the north.

In the southern part, there is the main port of Pisaestos and a few beaches. In the northern part, you can find smaller villages, more beaches, and evidence that King Odysseus lived here over 3000 years ago.

 The lack of sand protects it from a tourist influx. The island is ideal for hiking to secret coves, with rocky cliffs to climb, and swimming at Filiatro Beach and Skinos Bay.

The Island of Ithaca is accessible by ferry, and boats arrive and depart often throughout the day. 

KEFALONIA

Kefalonia, Greece, has inspired visitors with its beauty and was the filming location for the famous film “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.”Kefalonia, the largest of the Ionian Islands, is home to a stunning landscape with exotic beaches, magical underground caves, and rich war history.

It is considered one of the most ideal places for families and couples.

Myrtos is the most photographed beach which has turquoise waters and plenty of lush greenery. It has the most picturesque villages. In Kefalonia, the villages of Assos and Fiskardo will satisfy your village needs. 

Beautiful colored homes and cobblestone streets scream Greek islands in these cities.

Indigo bays, white dazzling sand, the water cave of Melissani, delicious food, towering cliffs, and a lively atmosphere create an exotic holiday paradise.

It has an international airport and is also accessible by ferries from several locations like Patra, Zakynthos, Ithaca, and Paxi.

PAXOI OR PAXI

Paxi is a group of tiny islands situated to the south of Corfu.

It is famous for its lush, beautiful green landscapes, calm beaches, and clear emerald green waterways. It is ideal for hikers and those who enjoy spending time in nature.

You can also take a short ride to Antipaxi. It is famous for its Caribbean-like beaches.

You can take a boat to Antipaxi island from Gaios port in Paxi Greece.

You can visit three villages: Gaios, Lakka and Logos. Traditional houses, lovely beachside promenades, and colorful corners give these villages a magical feel.

It is accessible by ferry.

ZAKYNTHOS

Navagio Bay is one of the most popular tourist destinations features features a beautiful beach and a rustic shipwreck on its shore. It is glorified by innumerable Ionian Islands travel guides.

Zakynthos is popular for breathtaking landscapes, exotic beaches with turquoise waters, and crazy nightlife. The endangered Caretta-Caretta sea turtle is found on the beaches of Zakynthos. Nikolaos, Agios, and Navigio are popular beaches.

Some of the top places to visit in Zakynthos town are Saint Mark Square, Solomos Square, Venetian Castle, and the ZantePost-Byzantine Museum

It has an international airport, so tourists can fly there directly. You can also use a ferry from the mainland or another island.

KYTHIRA OR CYTHERA

Kythira is a small island off the coast of the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece.

Enjoy nature at Kaladi or Diakofti beaches.

Explore interesting things like Chora Castle and the seaside village of Avlemonas.

The island is home to a national airport.

You can also use ferries from Neapoli, Gythio, and Athens port.

Set out on a journey to discover a fascinating world where glamour meets simplicity.

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