7 Most Beautiful Ionian Islands

Martina Rosado
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Kythira

Kythira is an island in the southeastern part of Greece, belonging to the Locris Prefecture. It lies off the southern coast of the Peloponnese, southwest of Nerikos. The island’s area is 143 km, its population is approximately 18,000.

With considerable coastline and a remarkable variety of flora and fauna, Kythira comprises an administrative region and seven regional units. The main city and port, Lixouri, is the capital of the regional unit Kythira. The vast majority of the island’s inhabitants are farmers. The economy of the island has traditionally been based on agriculture, and the main crops are sugar beets, olives. Cattle are raised, and sheep are raised as well. Tourism is growing on the island, with numerous small bo

Tato’s or fishing villages located on the coast.

Kithira has a history that dates back at least to the 10th century BC.

Odysseus visited the island with his crew while traveling home from the Trojan War (Iliad).

A number of coenobitic (Hermits) caves in the area of Kalaureia remain from mediaeval times when the inhabitants withdrew from the coastal settlements for religious reasons. The caves also provided shelter for shepherds and their flocks during bad weather.

Paxi

Island, Greece.

Paxi is an island in Greece with a permanent population of 6.

Lefkada

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Lefkada is a Greek island located in the Ionian Sea. With a long history filled with conquests, it is the second largest of the islands in the Ionian Islands archipelago.

It has a small population of around 8,000 residents. The island is the most visited island in Greece, attracting around six million tourists per year, mainly from Greece, Germany, Italy, and the UK.

Due to its scenic beauty and architecture – as well as its fine cuisine – Lefkada has become a major tourist destination, becoming the most visited island in Greece.

Thankfully, Greek tourism is maintaining Lefkada's charm and beauty; plus, they have excellent knowledge and information of their destinations and sensitive to the environment.

Ithaki

Asomatos is one of the four main Ithaki villages located on the western side of Ithaki and the capital of the Municipality of Ithaki.

Its name comes from the Greek term “asomato”, which means “place of ending” and they believe it comes from the ending of the sea at the shores of Ithaki.

Asomatos is located at 1,465 meters over a rough, rocky landscape and has many small roads leading through the village.

There is the traditional windmills that used to supply most of the needs of the inhabitants of this village.

The population is primarily Evangelical Christian and it has a several churches, including churches of:

  • St. Nikolaos,
  • St. George and
  • St. Thyrsos.

In addition it has several convents and educational institutes, such as St. George Church of St. George, the Ithakian Church of the Ithakian Fathers, the Ithakian School.

For those who seek relaxation and adventure, it has several renowned beaches such as Selia, Porto Katsiki, Lefkaria, Athinios, Pembata, Katsiki & Emiratos Petres.

Kefalonia

While Kefalonia's beauty lies on its unspoiled beaches and small rocky shorelines, its towns and villages are a testament to its history. The noble town of Argostoli, for example, has been inhabited for over 2,000 years. Contrary to popular belief, the town's name is not tied to the legend of Jason and the Argonauts, but instead derives from the Greek for "new" due to the town's being founded by refugees from the ancient city of Andros.

A perfect destination for those who like a bit of urban sophistication with their island escape, the town is home to several upmarket eateries.

Another must-visit is Valmachi, a medieval town built on a hilltop overlooking a large bay. Here, you'll find the town's mosque, along with several restaurants and cafés. The views from the hilltop are taken to the next level when the annual Kefalonia Festival is in full swing, and there are concerts, shows and plenty of food to enjoy.

Over the past decade or so, Kefalonia's main town has seen a construction boom with new hotels and guest houses, bakeries and bistros emerging on both Asos and Ithaki islands. Many of these newer establishments are located in the city centre or in the historic Old Town of Argostoli.

Zakynthos

(Zante)

To the north, the mountainous island of Cephalonia has traditionally been the most sought-after Ionian island, with visitors from the UK and Greece travelling here for their holidays. Zakynthos (Zante) is the second most popular holiday destination, as it is more reasonably priced and more attractive to visitors than Cephalonia is.

Zakynthos Island is one of the largest of the Ionian Islands situated north of the island of Cephalonia. In fact, it is the second largest Ionian island after Corfu.

Zakynthos Island is around 22km long in the longest axis and some 9km wide in the widest. It is the largest, central and most populated island in the Ionian Islands, although the island itself is not the island of Zakynthos.

The main urban centre on the island is the small town of Zakynthos, which lies on the northeast coast.

Zakynthos (Zante) is a very attractive island with a great landscape of rolling hills, vineyards, pine covered mountains and beautiful beaches. The mild, dry climate and warm sea currents make it a good place to swim and enjoy the sunshine.

Corfu

Corfu is located in the map of the ″Ionian Isles,” which are a group of islands in the Ionian Sea. You can find the second biggest island in the group, Hydra, which is the destination of many cruise ships with so many of them criss-crossing the surface of the water.

Corfu is the largest of the islands and the capital of the island. It’s known for its many lovely white sand beaches.

In the center of the island, it’s quite green, as there are a lot of pine trees. Its countryside is dotted with charming little villages and much of the islands is intact from a natural standpoint.

Even though it has its own airport, the island is not connected to the mainland by regular train or bus lines. The main transportation hub is a ferry connecting the island to the mainland and a smaller one that runs between the capital and the youngest island of the Ionian group, Kerkira. Walking through the place, you’ll be filled with the smell of its cigarettes and its delicious cuisine.

The island is a short hop from many of the Greek islands. They can easily be visited during your stay. If you want to make the most of your time, you can count on being in a different place, since the summer is the high season, as the saying goes.