Ideal for those seeking rest and relaxation, the Ionian islands are the next group of islands to be featured in TNH’s Gateway to Greece.
Scattered off the western coastline of central Greece, the Ionians are a group composed of both large and small islands. Traditionally named the ‘Heptanese’ (‘Seven Islands’ – Kerkyra/Corfu, Paxi, Lefkada, Ithaki, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, and Kythira which is officially a part of the province of Attica), the group includes many smaller islands as well.
The Ionian islands are not what tourists and visitors might imagine when they think of the Greek isles. Instead of the arid landscapes salted with white stucco houses visitors will find lush green forests, rugged shorelines, and soaring mountains. The islands are also rich with history; they have endured many invasions and occupations – by the Romans, Ottomans, and Venetians, the French and the British – and thus their culture, architecture, and cuisine are unique compared to the rest of Greece.
Kerkyra/Corfu: The island where Odysseus stopped before returning to Ithaca, is famed for its cultural institutions and for its picturesque beaches and resorts. Its Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a maze of winding lanes, fine restaurants, and lively bars.
Paxi: Measuring just 13 km from end to end, Paxi is for those travelers looking for an exclusive vacation experience (the island is reachable only by boat).
Lefkada: Connected to mainland Greece by a bridge, the most accessible island of Greece (by car) is perfect for a long weekend for those looking for beaches, surfing, and paragliding.
Ithaki: The home of the Homer’s hero Odysseus, Ithaki is the destination for mythology buffs and those interested in hiking and mountain climbing.
Kefalonia: The most scenic of the Ionian islands, and the one with the most passionate Greeks, Kefalonia is a must-go-to destination.
Zakynthos: Known to the Venetians as the ‘Flower of the East,’ the lush island of the Ionian is as beautiful on land as it is under water – it is a wonderful destination for scuba divers and snorkelers.
We hope our Gateway inspires you to book your next Grecian adventure to one (or more!) of the many islands of the Ionian.
We’ll see you there!