The popular Ionian Islands are the perfect holiday getaway and are extremely popular with tourists from around the world. They are the largest islands in the Ionian Sea and include the famous Eptanissa – seven islands, Zakynthos, Ithaca, Corfu, Kefallonia, Lefkada, Paxi, and Kythira. In Ioania, the climate is fantastic year round, the waters are calm and inviting, the mountains are lush and the history and culture is intriguing. Smaller islands include Antipaxi, Ereikoussa, Kalamos, Kastos, Mathraki, Meganissi, Othoni, Skorpios, Strofades.
Corfu is more westernised than some of the other islands in the region, due to the Venetian, French and British influences. It is filled with palaces, fortresses and public buildings of the Venetian rule, and it is well worth visiting the Old Town of Corfu, a UNESCO world heritage site, along with the 15th century Old Fortress. Explore the city and see the largest square in the Balkans, Spianáda, also home to Saint Michael and George Palace, visit the city’s trademark Listón and take time out in the niche suburbs of Mandoúki, Garitsa and Sarókos.
Zakynthos is home to an array of different beaches, from deep blue waters and sandy shores in secluded coves, to crystal waters perfect for snorkelling. The city of Zakynthos is the island’s port and capital and it is worth visiting Solomos Square and Aghios Markos square, dining at Strata Marina, and stopping by to explore the Venetian Castle on a hill overhanging the town. Head to the mountains for a trek, or if you love water sports, this is the ideal destination, offering swimming alongside sea turtles, snorkelling, scuba diving in underwater caves, sailing and surfing.
Ithaca is renowned worldwide for being the home of Odysseus and it is teaming with hiking and mountain bike trails, along with opportunities to scuba dive and sea kayak. While there you must visit the Cave of the Nymph where it is said Odysseus had hidden gifts he had brought along from the land of the Phaeacians. Explore the islands fantastic beaches, relax on a boat, learn how to fish with a local, dance the night away, feast on traditional Greek food or find a secluded beach where you can enjoy the peace and quiet in your own company.
Kefelonia, also known as Cephelonia, is the largest island in the Ionian Sea and is filled with enchanting caverns and private beach coves. Popular with families, it was home to Odysseus, the legendary king from Homer’s The Odyssey, and is a charming island with uncrowded exotic beaches, including Skala, Antisamos, Lourdas and Myrtos, medieval castles with intriguing histories and striking monasteries that will take your breath away. You also won’t want to miss the opportunity to explore the caverns of the Drogarati caves, or visit the villages of Fiscardo, Assos, Sami and Argostoli.