In the western side of Greece someone can find the Ionian Islands, an island chain consisted of 7 main islands and some smaller ones, which are famous for their greenery and of course crystal clear seas. The turquoise and emerald waters create dreamy beaches, some of which are among the most famous beaches in the world! History, ancient sites, traditional villages, friendly people, nightlife and of course local food invite you to know them better.
Ionian islands in Greece
The 7 main islands of the Ionian Sea are Corfu, Ithaca, Kefalonia, Kythira, Lefkada, Paxi and Zakynthos and in Greece they are all called Eptanisa (Seven Islands). Among these relatively big islands you can also find the some smaller ones, some of them inhabited, Antikythira, Antipaxi, Ereikousa, Mathraki, Othonoi, Meganisi and Strofades.
Even though this post is only a quick travel guide to the islands, we hope that we will inspire you to travel to Greece and visit many of them. Are you ready to have a look at all of these gems of the Ionian Sea?
Corfu is one of the most famous islands in Greece, known for its traditional Easter festivities, which attract tourists from all over the world. The Old City of Corfu is part of the UNESCO’s Heritage Sites list and it is so lively you forget the “old”. In Corfu you can also visit a lot of museums and sites, such as the Achilleion Palace, where Princess Sissy used to live while she was sick. Ereikousa, Mathraki and Othonoi, which are called Diapontia Islands are also very close to Corfu. You can visit by boat and offer a more secluded relaxation.
According to great poet Homer, Ithaca was the homeland of Odysseus. Ithaca is actually a “classy” island where you can find the coolness out of its calmness and familiarity that offers you. It’s like your grandma’s house! Vathy is the capital and the main port of the island and consists of quite a few neoclassical features and english architectural influence. Whoever visits it claims he found heaven on Earth!
Kefalonia was the star of the film “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”. Though,being the biggest island of the seven, offers so many thigs to see so you might need a car. Especially, the villages Fiskardo and Assos are the gems of the island. So don’t miss them! And don’t forget to visit Myrtos Beach early in the morning!
Book: Kefalonia Island Tour
Kythira are not actually located close to the other 6 islands but it is considered part of the Ionian Sea. The island is quite big so you might need to rent a car to see it all. And there are quite a few things to see as there are historical sites, the old Fortress (Venetianl Castle) and many monasteries and churches. Close to Kythira you can also visit an other island, Antikythira.
Lefkada is famous all around the world for the two magnificent beaches “Egremni” and “Porto Katsiki” which are enlisted in many top beaches list. The advantage is that you can visit the island by car as it is conneccted to land via a bridge. Meganisi is the biggest of the smallest islands in the Ionian Sea and it is ideal for a day trip from Lefkada as it is only 25 minues by boat.
Paxoi offer some of the greatest beaches in the world. The waters are so turquoise that they are out of this world. The best way to see and dive is by boat, of course. The island of Antipaxoi boasts to have the best waters.
Zakynthos or Zante is an island full of lively people. It is also famous for the protection of Karetta Karetta and other sea animals. Who doesn’t know Navagio Beach, where attracts people from all over the world. The waters though are quite cold so be prepared! If you are in the capital, then also visit the Church of Aghios Dionisios. The almost isolated island of Strofades is close to Zante.
Hope you liked our quick guide to the Ionian Islands. Have you visited any of them?