Top Greek Destinations for a Holiday – Ionian Islands

Greece is a top tourist destination with thousands of islands and mainland resorts. Passionate travelers can find some of the best places to spend their vacation here. Greek resorts combine the charm of local traditions, Mediterranean cuisine and centuries-old history. Here is a review presenting the Ionian Islands. They are all located near the Greek west coastline. Some of them are close to Italy and Albania.

Paleokastritsa Corfu

Paleokastritsa Corfu. Photo by Riccardo T.

Ionian Archipelago consists of seven main islands – Cephalonia (Kefalonia), Corfu, Zakynthos, Lefkada, Ithaca, Paxos and the smallest Kythira. The largest ones have local airports, the others –  ferry ports. Lefkada is connected to the mainland through a floating bridge so it is accessible even by car.

Cephalonia (Kefalonia)

Myrtos Beach - Cephalonia (Kefalonia)

Myrtos Beach, Cephalonia (Kefalonia). Photo by voithite.

It is the largest but least crowded Ionian island. You can get there by plane of by ferry. There are many idyllic and exotic beaches, bays and sea caves that are worth visiting. The most popular locations are Myrtos, Lourdata (Lourdes) and Antisamos beach. One of the most picturesque villages on the island is Fiscardo. It is located at the northern part of the isle. You can visit it during a boat trip starting at Lefkada and cruising around 6 islands of the complex.

Harbour, Kefalonia

Harbour, Kefalonia. Photo by stewartmorris.

Lefkada

Lefkada is one of the unspoiled places suitable for a romantic vacation. There are villages like Nydri and Vassiliki that are suitable for water sports activities. Families with children will opt for quieter beaches of Micros Gialos, Kathisma and Agios Nikitis. Travelers that are attracted mostly by natural wonders and scenery usually visit Porto Katsiki and Egremni beach. These two are considered the most beautiful beaches not only in Greece but in Europe.

Porto Katsiki

Porto Katsiki. Photo by dorat2008

Corfu

Corfu is one of the most famous Ionian islands. Many Italians, and residents of Central Europe visit it. The top destination of the island is the area of Paleokastritsa. It combines breathtaking landscapes, historical and religious places.

Paleokastritsa Corfu

Paleokastritsa, Corfu. Photo by GoSouthEast.

The capital of the island – Kerkyra (Corfu town) is one of the most attractive places. It features unique architectural heritage with Italian, French, British and Greek influence. Best beaches in Corfu are: Paleokastrica, Glyfada, Agios Georgios and Liapades.

The best time to visit Corfu is September. The water is warm, the temperatures are moderate and the prices are lower than in the high season. Bear in mind that even in July the sea could be cold due to undercurrents typical for this place.

Paleokastritsa, Corfu, Greece

Paleokastritsa, Corfu. Photo by camera_shy_gal.

Ithaca

Ithaca island was firstly described in ancient Greek mythology. It is considered a land where Odysseus was born. The place is famous not only with its history but also with its sheltered bays and crystal clear turquoise waters suitable for snorkeling. This small Ionian Island is a choice for people who want to avoid crowds.

Ithaca

Ithaca Island. Photo by matt.hintsa.

The complex of Ionian Islands also includes several islets such as Meganissi, Skorpios Antipaxi, Ereikoussa, Othoni, Kalamos, Kastos, and Mathraki, Some of them are famous for their eccentric owners – Russian or Arab billionaire tycoons. For example the Scorpios isle hosts many glamorous parties. This place used to be possessed by legendary Onassis family.