Remember the film “Captain Correlli’s Mandolin”? That movie was filmed right here in the Ionian Islands, at Kefalonia.Upon arrival, there’s a palpable and distinctly Italian influence that lives here with Corfu as the exception (due to its British protectorate background). These islands are located just off the western coast of Greece and are convenient for access to diversity.
It’s all right here, with Paxos and Antipaxos, Lefkada, Kefalonia, Ithaka and Zakynthos on-hand. It caters to those seeking just a bit of sun, sea and simplicity, and accommodates adventures with ease. The Ionian Island beaches are quite simply amazing, with many claiming the best are found at Lefkada and Ithaka has bare beauty for those special dates. Mountains are to be found all over the islands and feature interesting trails for hikers. To date, there are still coves to be found and ancient sites to be explored.
These lovely little kilometer squared Greek islands are just a few kilometers south of Paxos. They’re part of Paxi, Corfu in western Greece and are neighbours to Kerkyra Island. With both islands hosting astonishingly low population counts, these largely untouched islands present their lucky guests with picturesque views, family vineyards, beautiful peaceful beaches and romantic natural vistas.
For undisturbed peace and a sense that you’re the only one in the world, take a trip to Paxi and Antipaxi. You’ll no doubt be utterly taken with the beauty of these white-sandy beach destinations. The emerald waters of Paxi and Antipaxi are the stars of the Ionian Sea, and poetically placed amidst unending areas of ancient olive groves. For more adventurous travellers, don’t underestimate the power of these two remote islands! Enjoy rugged nature discoveries, cliff climbing, hiking and cave exploration.
Things To Do in Paxi-Antipaxi:
✓ Drink: the sweetest local wines paired with fresh local strawberries.
Ithaca, the ‘return to the haven’. Here it represent fulfillment, satisfaction and ultimately, discovery. Its conveniently close to Cephalonia (otherwise known as Kefalonia) – its more tame, rugged island cousin. Artists love this place, it’s the purest inspiration. Blue seas, olive groves, pine trees, oak trees and mountainous ranges. Sea kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling, sailing and swimming – all the best‘s’ words and lots of fun in the sun!
There’s a riveting cave to see, it’s the ‘Cave of the Nymph’, and Greek mythology tales will surely shape your experience. It has been said that here, Odysseus hid all of the presents that he’d obtained from the Phaeacians. And the beaches are as diverse as they are lovely, with pepply, sandy and rocky options too. Bring your swimmers and sandals to Sarakínniko, Dexá, Afáles and Kourvoólia.
Things To Do in Ithaca:
✓Celebrate: embrace the site of mythology, history and riveting rich sites!
Did you know that Corfu was refuge for shipwrecked Odysseus? Here, he was nurtured, before being directed to go back home.When the imagination takes hold, it’s easy to imagine his embrace of Corfu upon arrival, with its luscious natural beauty and postcard perfect beaches.
Corfu wasn’t always known as such, in fact in the 8th century BC, locals refer to it as Kerkyra – and still do to this day. It’s great position supported various ancient military pursuits as battles ensued for ownership. Earlier, this was a site of learned men, and Corfiots (the name for locals) still prize this intellectual heritage today. No doubt you’ll observe beautiful venetian architecture in Corfu Town and charming storefronts, cafes and simple shops. Peak seasons see visitors from all over the world, but locals remain unphased.
Things To Do In Corfu:
✓ Dance: to local music onshore or with a private performance onboard your yacht!
Lefkada is actually a peninsula and technically not a real island, thanks to a colony of Corinthians who carved out a canal in 8th century BC. Its town, aptly titled ‘Lefkada Town’ is endearing, charming. Despite the damage from earthquakes, Lefkada manages to hold its own. Tourism doesn’t seem to determine the course of growth in Lefkada, instead, by-and-large it remains laid-back and seemingly, unaffected.
If you’re seeking a type of village vibe, here’s the place to be. Regardless of which direction you turn, east, west, south or north, there’s something for everyone. Beautiful flora and fauna, rugged rocks and olive groves are simply amazing. Local bays and inlets allow for regularly windy days to allow prime conditions for kitesurfers and windsurfers. Global travellers come here to experience unassuming contexts that allow for light, easy living.
Things To Do in Lefkada:
✓ Pick Olives: get to a local grove and pick olives with friends to make your own organic olive oil.
Kefalonia Island is the lost paradise of “Captain Corelli”. It’s marked by sandy coves and dry rugged landscapes. Its capital, Argostoli, is built on a hillside overlooking a narrow harbor. Kefalonia’s indented coastline is made up of limestone cliffs, bays and short strips of white sand, like Myrtos Beach in the north. Many beaches are only accessible on foot or via narrow twisting roads.
Things To Do in Kefalonia :
✓ Visit: the Fiskardo, sailors’ haven
✓ Visit : the Argostoli, the fun-loving capital
✓ Climbing to : Enos the ‘Black Mountain’ The highest mountain in the Ionian.
Zakynthos was named “Fiore di Levante”, the flower of the East by the Venetians.
Zakynthos is popular for its crystal clear beaches and lively nightlife that attracts numerous visitors and celebrities every year.
One of the most popular beaches on the island is the Shipwreck where the turquoise waters, rocks and the white beach create a beautiful scenery.
Things to do in Zakynthos:
✓ See: The threatened sea turtles carettacaretta put their eggs in the white sand of the island.✓ Listen: The islanders are singing their cantata.✓ Visit: The National Marine Park: intended for sea turtles in the Ionian Sea.✓ Visit: The AgiosDionysios One of the Orthodox churches in the Ionian Sea