The Ionian Islands are a stunning group of islands located in the western part of Greece. They are famous for their pristine beaches, lush green landscapes, and splendid crystal-clear water bodies.
Getting to the Ionian Islands is pretty simple, given that they are accessible by both planes and ferries.
However, if you want to bask in the beauty of these individual islands, the ideal time is between May and September. Ensure that the weather is warm and sunny when booking your next Ionion Villa holidays.
This article will serve as a comprehensive travel guide to the Ionian Islands, giving you a rundown of everything you can do while you are exploring the islands.
What Comprises the Ionian Islands?
The Ionian Islands comprise six archipelagos – Corfu, Zakynthos, Paxi, Lefkada, Kefalonia, and Ithaki. There’s a seventh secluded island named Kýthira, which is accessible via the southern Peloponnese.
Let us get a glimpse into these individual islands and their highlights:
Known as Kerkyra in Greek, Corfu is one of the most underrated Ionian islands of the six. This is also the administrative capital of the Ionian Islands and is spread across a 236 sq.miles area.
Another quick fact about Corfu is that it’s the first Greek island that was built on the “package holiday circuit.”
While you are in Corfu, you have to explore the Old Town of Corfu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The place stands out with its stunning and eclectic collection of Venetian Castles and neoclassical houses.
Highlight: Known for its Venetian architecture, lush vegetation, and stunning beaches, Corfu is a popular destination for visitors from all over the world.
Although a hard name to pronounce, Zakynthos is alternatively known as Zante. Unlike Corfu, which is very less frequented in the present day, Zante is potentially the complete opposite.
It is the most famous Ionian Island of the six. Not only does the scenic beauty of this island catch people’s attention, but it is also the hip nightlife that’s attracting more tourists to the island.
One of the highlights of this place is its National Marine Park. This is where the infamous loggerhead sea turtles lay their eggs. Besides that, it is also home to the Monachus monachus seal.
The beauty of this island also extrapolates to its beaches, where you can also spot shipwrecks. Walking around the island will also familiarize you with its rich history.
Highlight: Famous for its shipwreck beach, the island has a relaxed vibe, ideal for those seeking a more laid-back holiday.
Alternatively known as Paxos or Paxoi, Paxi is the Ionian Island that’s located south of Corfu. If you are planning a trip to this island, ensure that you include Antipaxoi in the itinerary.
It is one of the smallest islands of the six but packs in a punch for the tourists to explore in real-time. More than the beaches, the lush vegetation of this place is what attracts people’s attention to the island.
From olive trees to spectacular vineyards, you get to witness it all. The sea color is unique on this island, and hence derives its name “the Greek Caribbean”.
Also, when planning your trip to Paxi, ensure that you include Lakka and Longos in your itinerary. These are two nearby villages that house some of the most enticing populations of locals.
Since the island is quite small compared to the other ones, we’d recommend that you avoid visiting during the summer. It is the peak season and will remain overcrowded.
Highlight: Consists of stunning blue-green waters, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.
The fourth-largest Ionian Island, Lefkada is another must-visit spot for your next vacation plans. If you are a beach body that’s planning a beach trip, this is it.
You will get to explore two of the most famous beaches, Egremni and Porto Katsiki. The place is also ideal for adventurists that want to explore activities like windsurfing and kite surfing.
Aside from the beaches, Lefkada is equally famous for its stunning and colorful houses. It makes a great spot for taking pictures, exploring the local areas, and shopping at the local shops and taverns.
If you have some extra time in hand, we’d recommend getting a rental car to explore the nearby mountain villages. The pleasant weather paired with the intricate architecture of the houses and localities will surely make your head turn.
The place is also home to a few museums, which you can explore. The best ones include the Folklore Museum and the Museum of Gramophones and Archaeological Museum and the Aggelos Sikelianos Museum.
Highlight: Lefkada is a great destination for windsurfing and kiteboarding enthusiasts, thanks to its windy beaches.
This is the largest island among all the six Ionian islands in Greece. Following the shattering earthquake that happened in 1953, most of the houses and buildings in the area have fallen to the ground.
However, the island still manages to hold and retain its authentic character. The combination of stunning beaches and sea caves makes this one of the leading vacation spots.
While you are planning your trip, ensure that Myrtos is at the top of the list. The beach is stunning and makes for breathtaking vacation shots. The combination of cliffs and dense forests in its vicinity adds to the beauty of this beach.
Other two places that deserve a special spot in the itinerary include Antisamos and Skala. Also, you can’t skip out on the island’s capital, Argostoli.
Highlight: Explore the rugged mountains, hidden coves, and picturesque villages. If possible, explore this island on foot instead of a vehicle.
More commonly known as Ithaca, legends believe it is the homeland of the mythical Odysseus. If you want to steer clear of the hustle of a fast-paced life, this island is perfect for your rejuvenation.
However, that doesn’t mean that Ithaki doesn’t offer something energetic and upbeat. The island’s capital, Vathy, is known for its booming nightlife. It is located in the southern part of the island.
The northern part is completely different. Adorned with beaches and smaller coastal villages, the northern part is a lot quieter and covered in thick vegetation. Besides the beaches, the Katharon Monastery is a must-visit while you are there.
Highlight: Perfect for a relaxed vacation with a side of adventure activities like cliff climbing, hiking, etc.
The Ionian Islands are a somewhat offbeat yet popular tourist destination that’s worth visiting once in your life. If you were inquisitive about the individual islands and wanted a glance through and detailed travel guide, we hope this post gives you all the insights to help you plan your Itinerary better.