Emerald isles in a sapphire sea
The sapphire waters of the Ionian Sea welcome you to paradise. Kefalonia, Corfu, Zante, Lefkada, Ithaca, and Paxi. All of these holiday destinations are wonderful. The major islands of the Ionian lived for centuries under Venetian rule and it shows in their castles and churches. Carpeted with olive trees, pines, and vineyards, they are fertile and green, a stunning setting for their award-winning white-sand beaches and peacock-blue waters. You’ll also find that the hospitable citizens have music in their souls.
On land, you’ll want to explore the monasteries and mountain villages and seek out waterfalls, hiking trails and scenic routes by car or motorbike. Nature lovers can retire to the wetlands for birdwatching or the marine parks for glimpses of elusive monk seals and Loggerhead turtles. As for sailing or cruising, there’s no better place than the Ionian, where the winds are favorable the anchorages safe. Kite and windsurfers already regard the Ionian as THE prime location for their sports.
Celebrated exotic beaches
Award winners, the stunning beaches of Lefkada – Engremni, Porto Katsiki, Kathisma – and the Shipwreck beach on Zante are famous the world over. Voutoumi and Vrika on Antipaxi are beloved by boat owners, while Schinos on Ithaca is where the elite meet. Myrtos, on Kefalonia, appears on many posters, its white crescent lapped by milky blue waters and framed by towering cliffs. Then there’s Kaladi on Kythera, and of course Corfu’s much-photographed Paleokastritsa. The Ionian islands have countless other large and small beaches, with a full range of facilities and watersports.
Lands of myths and colorful traditions
Medieval castles and monasteries, storied buildings and excellent museums – testaments to the rich culture and history of the Ionian islands. On Corfu, Homer’s kingdom of the Phaeacians, popular sights is the city’s Old and New Venetian Forts, the Achillion palace built by Sissy, empress of Austria, and Mon Repos. Outstanding museums include the Asian Art collection in the Palace of St Michael and St George, the Archaeology Museum, the Municipal Gallery and others. Also famous are the island’s marching bands in full regalia, their unusual Easter customs and the processions in honor of patron Saint Spyridon.
On Lefkada, you will find one of the most impressive medieval buildings in Greece and the island’s most significant attraction, the sturdy 14th-century castle of Santa Maura, which guards the entrance across the lagoon from the mainland. Throughout the main town, you’ll notice wonderful examples of 17th and 18th-century Ionian baroque churches. Kefalonia too has impressive attractions, such as Venetian fortresses, Mycenaean tombs, Roman mosaics, and baroque churches, while Argostoli’s Corgialenios Museum and Library are among the best in Greece. On Zante, the basilica and bell tower of Agios Dionysios remind one of Venice, and the monastery of Agios Georgios ton Gremnon above Shipwreck bay is beautifully preserved. Fans of Byzantine architecture will also want to venture to the Strofades islands, 37 nautical miles off Zante, to see the impressive 13th-century monastery fortress there.
7 days Ionian
DAY 01 ATHENS – TRIZONIA
DAY 02 TRIZONIA – ASTAKOS
DAY 03 ASTAKOS – LEFKADA
DAY 04 LEFKADA – PAXI
DAY 05 PAXI – CORFU
DAY 06 CORFU – PARGA
DAY 07 PARGA – LEFKADA (VASILIKI)
14 days Ionian
DAY 07 PARGA – LEFKADA (VASILIKI)
DAY 08 LEFKADA (VASILIKI) – ITHAKI
DAY 09 ITHAKI – KEFALONIA (POROS)
DAY 10 KEFALONIA (POROS) – ZAKYNTHOS
DAY 11 ZAKYNTHOS – NAFPAKTOS
DAY 12 NAFPAKTOS – GALAXIDI
DAY 13 GALAXIDI – KORFOS
DAY 14 KORFOS – ATHENS
Islands near Athens, with history, style, and distinguished visitors are ideal for a quick getaway all year round. Island-gems just a stone’s throw from Athens.
Amazing beaches, unique natural beauty and an abundance of entertainment options introduce you to the most exciting holiday of your life.
Endless beaches and unexplored islets, castles and ancient civilizations, cosmopolitan but at the same time unspoiled, these quintessentially Greek islands are above all charming and hospitable.
Cyclades: Dazzling white villages, golden beaches, and clear azure water are just the start of what these islands have to offer.