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Home  /  Where to go  /  Destinations  /  Greek islands  /  Ionian islands

Ionian islands

The temperate climate; the deep and cool sea waters; the mountains; the lush vegetation; the cultural heritage; and the cheerfulness of the inhabitants, make the Ionian Islands the ideal place for a holiday as well as rest and relaxation. 

 What is more, the traits of the Ionian Islands are perfectly combined with a flawless tourism infrastructure, excellent hotel accommodations, restaurants, diving centers, sea sports, cultural events, and a multitude of sights, historic monuments and museums worth visiting. 

Scattered along the western coastline of Central Greece, the Ionian Islands as they are known, are an island cluster comprising twelve small and large islands whose total surface area comes to 2,200 square kilometers. Zakynthos, Ithaca, Corfu (Kerkyra), Kefalonia, Lefkada, and Paxi are the six, large Ionian Islands.  Antipaxi, Erikousa, Mathraki, Othoni, Meganisi and the deserted islets of Strofades south of Zakynthos are the smaller Ionian Islands.

Together with the island of Kythira and the neighboring Antikythira the islands form the island cluster of Eptanisa. Nevertheless it should be noted that Kythira and Antikythira are completely cut off from the rest of the Ionian islands situated as they are across southern Peloponnese and the coast of Laconia.  

Once, the Ionian Islands were part of Central Greece but were torn apart when the terrain sank due to the seismic activity along the great coastline fault of the Ionian Sea. This accounts not only for the ragged shores and hauntingly beautiful beaches but it also accounts for the islands’ tall mountains, once part of the Pindos mountain range which crosses Central Greece. It also accounts for the great depth of the waters in the area which, at 4,406 meters, is the greatest in the Mediterranean. 

The Ionian islands have a mild and temperate climate which makes them the ideal location for vacation or residence.  In winter, the mountains of Central Greece stop the cold northern winds from reaching the islands while, in summer, the heat is tempered by the meltemia, the soft, northwestern winds, and the sea breezes.  Due to the air currents prevalent on the Ionian islands, many of the island beaches have developed into internationally acclaimed windsurfing centers. 

MYRTOS BEACH KEFALONIA

The Ionian Islands have been inhabited since Paleolithic times, have been through many invasions, and have received the influence of a variety of cultures.

The Ionian Islands were part of the Byzantine Empire until1204 when the Franks took over Constantinople and the Ionian Islands were eventually ceded to the Venetians.  Under Venetian rule, the Ionian Islands formed their own local nobility whose register survived as late as the 19th century.  

From the time of Frankish rule until 1864 when they were joined with Greece, the Ionian Islands were also ruled by a number of foreign conquerors.  The presence of the Europeans on the Ionian Islands at a time when Greece was still under Ottoman rule gave rise to significant intellectual activity something that is still visible today both in the islands’ architectural tradition as well as their charming cultural traits.

Results
CORFU (KERKYRA)
Antipaxoi

Although a small island, it is endowed with outstanding beauty. The island of Antipaxoi (literally meaning “opposite Paxi”) lies at just 3 nautical miles from the port of Gaios. Antipaxoi is...
Corfu

The cosmopolitan island of Corfu is probably the most well known island of the Ionian...
Ereikoussa

Diapontia Islands An island complex of the Ionian Sea located at the northwestern end of Corfu and including Ereikoussa, Mathraki, Othonoi as well as some smaller uninhabited...
Mathraki

Diapontia Islands An island complex of the Ionian Sea located at the northwestern end of Corfu and including Ereikoussa, Mathraki, Othonoi as well as some smaller inhabited...
Othonoi

Diapontia Islands An island complex of the Ionian Sea located at the northwestern end of Corfu and including Ereikoussa, Mathraki, Othonoi as well as some smaller inhabited islets. Othonoi The...
Paxi

A sanctuary of love for gods Cultural village of Europe for the year 2004, Paxi (or Paxoi) is the ideal island for a peaceful holiday. Fjord-shaped beaches, underwater caves, small bays and green...

KEFALONIA
A personal itinerary to Ithaca

About the island of Odysseus The journey to Ithaca is an adventure. It is not as complicated as the journey of Odysseus or as difficult as the one of the ancient captains and sailors but it is...
Ithaca

When Odysseus set off for glorious days in Troy, his beloved wife, Penelope, was left alone to unwittingly excite the appetite of men for a gorgeous queen. Before long, the palace was brimful of...
Kefalonia

The magnificent sights, amazing beaches, rich cultural heritage, great monuments, mountains, castles, remote monasteries and cheerful, hospitable people are the treasures making Kefalonia one of the...

LEFKADA
A beauty in the Ionian Sea

Lefkada Lefkada is surrounded by a total of 24 islets - Aristotle Onassis’ Skorpios being one of them. It connects to the opposite coast of Central Greece via a floating swing bridge (length: 50...
Meganisi

A lush green island with three settlements (Spartochori, Vathi, Katomeri) and beautiful beaches located opposite Nydri. It is accessible by boat from Nydri. Meganisi is located 12 n.m. SE of the town...

ZAKYNTHOS
Strofades

Two small and isolated islands, known as Strofadia or Strofades, emerge from the waters of the Ionian Sea at 45 km SW of Zante and 78 km to the west of cape Katakolo of the Peloponnese. During the...
Zakynthos

Zante is the flower of the East. Zákynthos (Zante) is a verdant island endowed with fertile valleys and a temperate climate (area: 406 sq. km; coastline: 123 km). Its landscape diversity has...

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