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Ionian Islands

Corfu, Ionian islands, greece

Corfu, Ionian islands, greece

The Ionian islands of western Greece remind many people of Italy, particularly the island of Corfu. They receive more rain than the islands in the Aegean and so are greener. Known for their beautiful beaches, unique cuisine and package tourism they are not as easy to reach from Athens since there are no boats. Many people fly, some direct from their home countries. There are however ferry connections from several ports in Western Greece. Click on these links or scroll down. You can use the top button to return. When you finish you can use this link or the link at the bottom of the page to return to Greek Island Synopsis Main Menu or visit another island chain. If you want help with your Greek Island combination try my Create-an-Itinerary page. If you have any questions or can't decide what you want to do you can always e-mail me . If you find this page useful please share it with your friends on Facebook and Google+ by using the buttons at the bottom of the page.

Corfu (Kerkyra)

Ithaki

Kefalonia

Kythera

Lefkada

Paxos

Zakynthos

Corfu: The British Greek Island
Corfu, GreeceSomeone actually took me to task for this heading for Corfu, writing to me that the island is nothing like the UK and then going into detail about what they did not like about England.  They were really offended. I wrote them a long explanation and the e-mail was returned as undeliverable. But the reason I called Corfu the British Greek Island, besides the fact that at one time it was British and they still play cricket there is because Corfu is featured in the schedule of most European package holiday companies catering for the sort of holidaymaker who is looking for a "home away from home" with guaranteed sun, cheap booze and lots of nightlife thrown in for good measure. It has, therefore, managed to earn itself a reputation for being full of karaoke bars, lager louts and "restaurants" serving fish & chips and Sunday roast beef. However, as Greek islands go, Corfu is one of the bigger ones - 33 miles long and 15 miles across at the widest point - and provided you stay away from the tourist hotspots
 it's easy to find parts of the island which are virtually untouched by the tackier side of tourism.

There are many boats to and from Italy, Patras, Igoumounitsa and the other islands in the chain. There is also an international airport.

See my Guide to Corfu

For bookings and more information contact Kostas at Dolphin Hellas Travel
For hotel descriptions, bookings and rates visit: www.hotelsofgreece.com

You can find more hotels in Corfu by location, price, whether or not it has a swimming pool or is on the beach, and see photos, maps and customer reviews by using Booking.com's Corfu Page. Excellent prices and many hotels you can book and then cancel with no cancellation fee. For those who want to book without using a travel agency this is the best way to do it.

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Ithaki
One cannot list the Greek islands without mentioning the island of Odysseus if it is indeed the island Homer has written about. The island known as Ithaki is mountainous and rocky but has lots of trees and olive groves, as do the other Ionian islands. Several archeological sites which may or may not be associated with Homer's story along with some beautiful fishing villages and beaches make this an interesting island to visit either from Patras or Kefalonia. Ithaka is an ideal place for walking full of trails and views.Generally the island is small and quiet and June is really wonderful for  family vacations.
Vathy (the capital of the island and the place where Odyssey Apartments is located) brings together the northern part of the island which has the best hiking and the southern part has the best beaches (quiet isolated coves, or bigger beaches). The best way to explore the beaches is by boat of-course.
You can take your car and come to Ithaka through Patras, where there is a ferry daily. The boat departs from Patras at 12:30
For Hotels on Ithaki see Booking.com's Ithaki Page

Do you want to stay in an actual windmill on the island of Ithaki? Surrounded by greenery and offering panoramic views of the sea, Razos Windmill offers self-catering accommodation. It is situated in Kalavri, 200 metres away from Deksia Beach. Razos apartment is spacious and air conditioned. It includes a separate bedroom, a dining area and a living room with a TV. The fully equipped kitchen features a refrigerator, a coffee maker and an oven. The centre of Vathi is 1.5 km away from Razos Windmill, offering many cafes and traditional taverns. The beach of Agios Ioannis is 10 km away. Free parking is available on site. Click for more info and booking

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Kefalonia
Lots of Italians and British package tourists. Large green island with caves and underground lakes and all sorts of interesting geology. Locals known for being clever. Nice beaches. Village of Fiscardo was one of the most beautiful in Greece, but that was twenty years ago and has been taken over by tourists and sailboats. But in the off-season Kefalonia is well worth a visit. This is where the book Corelli's Mandolin takes place. Required reading. The movie is called Captain Corelli's Mandolin and has met with mixed reviews but if you see it you will probably want to come here. In fact I made a website for the island before I even visited it, sort of a tongue-in-cheek guide to cash in on the popularity of a movie that never quite became popular. See Matt's Original Guide to Kefalonia.

However in 2014 I actually did go to Kefalonia and wrote about it and took some really great photos. So visit Matt's Guide to Kefalonia

I
t can be difficult to find a room here during the tourist season. You can try contacting Fantasy Travel and they can attempt to find a room or check www.hotelsofgreece.com/ionian .

You can find more hotels in Kefalonia by location, price, whether or not it has a swimming pool or is on the beach, and see photos, maps and customer reviews by using Booking.com's Kefalonia Page. Excellent prices and many hotels you can book and then cancel with no cancellation fee. For those who want to book without using a travel agency this is the best way to do it.

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Kythira
I bet you did not know Kythera was one of the Ionian Islands did you? A beautiful island popular with the wealthy Athenians. It is south of the Peloponessos and the ferry runs from Neapolis, Githion and Kasteli in Crete with a couple boats a week leaving from Pireaus. Nice beaches, beautiful towns. Accommodations are scarce so book before you go especially in August when returning Greek-Australians fill the island. if you are looking for a beautiful off the beaten path island this may be it. Most travel agents won't book this island so if you go you are probably on your own. If you get to Neapolis and the ferry is booked check out the island of Elefonisos. That's what I did.

You can book holidays on Kythira through Aegean Thesaurus Travel.

You can find more hotels in Kythira by location, price, whether or not it has a swimming pool or is on the beach, and see photos, maps and customer reviews by using  Booking.com's Kythira Page. Excellent prices and many hotels you can book and then cancel with no cancellation fee. For those who want to book without using a travel agency this is the best way to do it.

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Lefkada
Lefkada, GreeceAn island you can drive to in the Ionian chain, it is actually connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus that was seperated by a canal. It is surrounded by several smaller islands which can be visited, with beautiful pebble and sandy beaches, great restaurants and very friendly people who still dress in traditional attire. Nydri is Lefkadas primary tourist village but it has retained a certain charm. Anyway you have to go there to visit the smaller islands, one of which is the famous Skorpios of Aristotle Onassis and Jackie fame.

Buses to Lefkafa leave from Bus terminal A at 7, 13:00, 16:30 and 20:30 every day. The trip is 5 and a half hours and costs 30 euros. As far as I know you can't get tickets in advance. If you are a group for not much more you can get a nice Mercedes taxi and be picked up at the airport. See www.greecetravel.com/taxi and ask what George charges.

Lefkada is also known for a series of small islands between it and the mainland that are sheltered and excellent for Kayaking.

For more about Lefkada read Nick Edward's Guide to Lefkada

You can find more hotels in Lefkada by location, price, whether or not it has a swimming pool or is on the beach, and see photos, maps and customer reviews by using Booking.com's Lefkada Page. Excellent prices and many hotels you can book and then cancel with no cancellation fee. For those who want to book without using a travel agency this is the best way to do it.

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Paxos
Paxos, GreeceThe east coast has small pebble beaches while the west coast has dramatic cliffs and caves accessable only by boat. Has not been infected by mass tourism the way it's neighbor Corfu has, though there are day trips from the larger island.Not many places to stay so if you are coming high season book in advance. You can find hotels for Paxos at www.hotelsofgreece.com  or read a Review of Paxos by local Elias Dendias

You can book holidays on Paxos through Aegean Thesaurus Travel.

Amfitriti Hotel: Surrounded by lush greenery and only steps from Harami Beach, this family run hotel offers a small pool with pool-side bar and sunbathing terrace, and spacious rooms with private balcony. Each of the air-conditioned rooms of the hotel Amfitriti offers view of both mountain and sea. All of them have a kitchenette with refrigerator and a TV. Right in front of the hotel, guests will find the crystal clear waters of the Ionian Sea, which is equipped with sun beds. Lakka is just 150 metres away. For photos, reviews and booking information click here

You can find more hotels on Paxos by using Booking.com's Paxos Page

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Zakynthos (Zante)
Zakynthos townFavorite Ionian Island of many expatriates and philhellenes. Shipwreck beach is one of the most famous Greece tourist photos and one of the most amazing beaches. Just because it is the last island on the list does not mean it is the last place you would want to go, unless you believe in the conservation of endangered species. One down-side to the island is the beach development that is endangering the sea-turtles who lay their eggs here. So is that a good enough reason to skip this island? Probably not.  

Read Nick Edwards Guide to Zakynthos and decide for yourself.

You can find hotels in Zakynthos by location, price, whether or not it has a swimming pool or is on the beach, and see photos, maps and customer reviews by using this link to Booking.com's Zakynthos Page. Excellent prices and many hotels you can book and then cancel with no cancellation fee. For those who want to book without using a travel agency this is the best way to do it.

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