Greece Travel Guide

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 Greek Island Guide

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Ionian Islands

Milos Beach, Lefkada

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 ferries from there. Many people fly, some direct from their home countries. There are however ferry connections from several ports in Western Greece. Click on these links below 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+

Corfu (Kerkyra)

Ithaki

Kefalonia

Kythera

Lefkada

Paxos

Zakynthos

Corfu (Kerkyra) Greece

Corfu: The British Greek Island

The island of Corfu in the northwestern corner of Greece is among the greenest and in the eyes of many, the most beautiful island in the country. With more rainfall than any other Greek island, there is a variety and abundance of plant life like few other places in Greece. Corfu lies only a few hours by ferry from Brindisi or Bari in Italy (rather longer from Ancona or Venice), and for many tourists it’s the first – or even only – part of Greece they see. Well, if you are only going to see one place in Greece, Corfu (also called Kérkyra) is not a bad choice. Some of the most amazing beaches in the Mediterranean are on Corfu, and while tourism has completely taken over most of the coastal areas, many inland villages are surprisingly unspoiled. On the eastern side of the island, facing Albania and Greek Epiros, the land slopes gently to the sea, though most coves and beaches are short and pebbly. But the western side is much steeper and more dramatic, with many coastal cliffs ending in secluded bays or more open, sandy stretches lapped (or not infrequently, lashed) by the Ionian Sea. Off the far northwest tip are three inhabited satellite islets, again with excellent sandy beaches.

See Matt Barrett's Guide to Corfu

For bookings and more information contact Kostas at Dolphin Hellas Travel
For hotel descriptions, bookings and rates visit Booking.com's Corfu Page
You can find ferry schedules and book tickets at www.ferryhopper.com

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Vathy, Ithaka, Greece

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. The island is small and quiet and June is really wonderful for  family vacations. Vathy, the capital of the island, 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.

Read Nick Edwards Ithaki Guide for more information
For Hotels on Ithaki see Booking.com's Ithaki Page
You can find ferry schedules and book tickets at www.ferryhopper.com

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Assos, Kefalonia

Kefalonia

Lots of Italians and British package tourists come to Kefalonia, along with lots of Greek-Americans since a large part of the population left the island after the major earthquake of 1953. Kefalonia is a large green island with caves and underground lakes and all sorts of interesting geology and some very nice beaches. Village of Fiscardo was one of the most beautiful in Greece, and a popular stop for sailboats and yachts. This is where the book Corelli's Mandolin takes place.

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 see Booking.com's Kefalonia Page
You can find ferry schedules and book tickets at www.ferryhopper.com

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Kythera, Greece

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 
Or find hotels on 
Booking.com's Kythira Page.
You can find ferry schedules and book tickets at www.ferryhopper.com

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Lefkada

Lefkada

An island you can drive to in the Ionian chain, it is actually connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus that was separated 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 Lefkada 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 being a center for Kayaking.

For more about Lefkada read Nick Edwards' Guide to Lefkada
You can find more hotels in Lefkada by using 
Booking.com's Lefkada Page.
You can find ferry schedules and book tickets at www.ferryhopper.com

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Paxos Greece

Paxos

The east coast of Paxos (or Paxi) has small pebble beaches while the west coast has dramatic cliffs and caves which can be reached only by boat. The island 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.

Read a Review of Paxos by local Elias Dendias
You can find hotels for Paxos on Booking.com's Paxos Page
You can also book holidays on Paxos through Aegean Thesaurus Travel
You can find ferry schedules and book tickets at www.ferryhopper.com

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Shipwreck Beach,  Zakynthos

Zakynthos (Zante)

Favorite 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. In fact the popularity of the island can be attributed to the fact that a small coastal freighter happened to run aground there. When it happened the islanders thought it was a catastrophe. Funny how things work out sometimes. 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 Caretta-Caretta sea-turtles who lay their eggs here. So is that a good enough reason to skip this island? Probably not. But if you do come try to donate to the various organizations that are protecting the Caretta-Caretta.

Read Nick Edwards Guide to Zakynthos 
You can find hotels in Zakynthos by using this link to
Booking.com's Zakynthos Page
You can find ferry schedules and book tickets at www.ferryhopper.com  

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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+

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