Along with the Cyclades and Crete, the Ionian islands are the most famous Greek islands in Greece. All the Ionian islands are located on the western coast of the Greek mainland in the Ionian Sea, and they are loved by visitors for their spectacular beaches, tremendously bright blue seas, and the lush greenery.
The stunning landscapes, the multi-cultural heritage, the historic monuments, the crystal-clear sea and the warm, pleasant climate explain why Corfu is one of the most cosmopolitan Mediterranean travel destinations.
Zakynthos is famous for its Navagio (Shipwreck) beach and the rare Loggerhead sea turtle living in the waters around the island. You will totally love Zakynthos for its exotic beaches with powder white sand, crazy-blue waters and breath-taking landscapes.
If you love the sea, and love activities by the sea, in the sea and under the surface of the sea, you will totally love Lefkada! It is one of the most stunning Greek islands with superb beaches.
Meganisi is a stunning little island lying between Lefkada and the western coast of the Greek mainland. Untouched by mass tourism it is boasting an unspoiled beauty, perfect for relaxing in tranquillity.
Ithaca is famous worldwide for being the island of Odysseus – the mythical hero lost at sea for decades before he finally returns to his beautiful island. Seeing the island with your own eyes you start to understand the longing of Odysseus.
Paxi are two small Greek islands south of Corfu, rather unknown to international tourists, but much loved by Greeks for their discreet charm and stunning beauty.
Kefalonia is a gem in the Ionian Sea. Its breathtaking beaches and crystal-clear waters in shades of turquoise and blue is going to surprise you. It has a long and history and a rich cultural tradition.
Kythira is wild and beautiful. It lies rather far from the other Ionian islands at the southernmost side of Peloponnese. Due to its position, it is one of the most secluded Greek islands.
Antikythera or Anticythera (literally “opposite Kythera”) is a Greek island lying on the edge of the Aegean Sea, between Crete and Peloponnese. It is famous for its Antikythira Wreck.
Historic Corfu Town blessed with Venetian grace and elegance, stands halfway down the east coast of Corfu.
Facts about the Ionian Islands
Originally the island group was called Heptanese (meaning: seven islands) counting the seven biggest of them – Corfu, Zakynthos, Kefalonia, and Lefkada (the most popular) and Ithaca, Paxi and Kythira – more quiet but perfect for a calm and relaxing holiday. Along with the seven biggest you will find Meganisi and Antikythira extremely charming as well.
Sailing and windsurfing in the Ionian Sea
The Ionian islands are perfect for sailing and yachting with beautiful hidden coves and gorgeous beaches only to be reached from the sea. It is also among the Ionian islands you find the endangered sea turtles Loggerhead, where they lay their eggs on the sandy shores. On the island of Lefkada you will find great windsurfing and kitesurfing spots and paragliding clubs as well.
Venetian style and UNESCO sites
Located on the western side of Greece towards Italy, these islands are strongly connected to Italy, both historically and culturally. Therefore, you will find that the architecture of the capital towns bears a great resemblance to the Venetian style as the Ionian islands were occupied by the Venetians in the Medieval ages. This accounts for Corfu Town, Argostoli (on Kefalonia) and Zakynthos Town. Other common characteristics for all the Ionian islands are the beautiful beaches and the very green nature.
Shipwreck Beach on Zante
On Zakynthos you can visit the Shipwreck Beach and admire the blue colors of the sea from the cliffs above or go on a boat trip to experience the beauty of the bay on a closer range. On Corfu you should explore Corfu Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site and go on a daytrip to the nearby islands of Paxoi and Antipaxoi. On Kefalonia you can try a boat ride into Melissani Cave and discover the lake or have a refreshing drink at the stunning Myrtos Beach.
What traveller type are you?
The Ionian Islands have experiences for any traveler type, whether you are a nature lover, interested in history or enjoy extreme sports like kitesurfing or paragliding.
My posts here at GO GREECE YOUR WAY will give you all the necessary information to find YOUR best holidays ever in Greece!