ONEIDA

Itineraries & Destinations: Ionian Islands

Undoubtedly, Greece is one of the most popular destinations for summer holidays, particularly for those who want to spend their vacations on a sailing boat: hundreds of islands near to each other, a variety of winds, many not crowded and well-served ports…this place is a paradise on earth for sailing enthusiasts.

The Ionian Islands are the brightest green spots on the Greek color palette due to the temperate climate, the variety of olive groves and cypresses, and the mountains filled with trees. Each island has its own landscape and history and there is something for everyone: adventurers, gourmets, culture lovers, and sunbathers.

 

Corfù, Greece
 White sand bay in Corfù

Corfù (Kérkyra)

Often remembered as the idyllic island that welcomed Odysseus after the shipwreck, Corfù provides the same loving welcome by offering a vibrant landscape, fresh fruits and vegetables and breathtaking beaches. The name, which means ‘tops,’ comes from the fact that the city is situated between two hills on which two impressive fortresses were constructed to repel the ambushes of the Ottomans.

 

Reasons we love Corfù: The Old Town – Paleokastritsa – Sidari and the Canal D’amour – Diapondia Islands – Kerasia Beach – Agios Georgios Beach – Nissaki Beach.

 

Syvota

Syvota is considered one of the most exotic destinations within Greece: lacy coasts, luscious green islets, long sheltered beaches with crystal clear waters, and hidden bays, are just some of the features that nature has freely offered. It is the ideal stop for sailors of the Ionian archipelago and it is a must-see destination for all.

Reasons we love Syvota: Bella Vraka – Mega Ammos – Mikri Ammos – Pisina at Agios Nikolaos

 

Aerial view of Parga Town
 Aerial view of Parga Town

Parga

If there is a picture-perfect beach town in northern Greece, it is Parga: a village amphitheater, dominated by a Venetian castle, opening into a clear turquoise bay pierced with islets and surrounded by lush greenery. It is a pretty little town, a pearl of the Epiro area. According to mythology, this place was chosen by Aphrodite for her summer bathing.

Reasons we love Parga: Ruins – Lichnos bay – Caves of Aphrodite

 

Paxí (or Paxos or Paxoi)

A tiny island in a complex of Lilliputian islands covered with green forests and surrounded by turquoise waters. The crystalline sea resembles pure illuminations of the most beautiful colors of the world while thousands of olive trees reach the sea in the rustles of the windy wave. Paxì is more than a fairy tale! Besides, what else could be a place born when Poseidon struck his trident in Corfu to create an island to protect his beloved Amphitrite?

Reasons we love Paxos: Gaios, The Capital – Caves of Mongonissi – Isle of Agios Nikolaos – Kaki Lagada – Erimitis Beach – Hot Springs of Paxos

 

 Emerald Bay, Antipaxos

Antípaxi (or Antipaxos or Antipaxoi)

The island of Antipaxì is the smallest island of the Ionian Sea, located three nautical miles off the southern coast of Paxos. It is one of the mysterious gems of Greece distinguished for its exotic sceneries and its verdant vegetation.

 

Reasons we love Antipaxos: Voutoumi Beach – Vrika Beach – Ormos Bay – Emerald Bay

 

 Pefkoulia Beach, Lefkada

Lefkáda (or Lefkas or Leukas)

Lefkáda is made up of 24 islands spread within a small archipelago.  The landscape of Lefkada blends both idyllic and rough scenery, welcoming the tourist to roam the past of the Ionian Islands while rewarding every corner with the discovery of exciting secrets. This sea area is considered ideal for boat rides and sailing due to the safe navigation it provides and the great variety of sheltered moorings in picturesque bays, harbors and quiet beaches.

The inhabited islands are Meganissi, Kalamos and Kastos while Madouri, Skorpios, Atokos are privately owned. The rest of the islands are small and uninhabited. The coasts of this area are dotted with a great number of underwater and sea caves, which form an ideal habitat for seals.

Reasons we love Lefkada: Mikrós Gialós Beach – Milos Beach – Pefkoulia Beach – Kathsima Beach – Egremni Beach – Porto Katsiki – Lefkada Town.

 

Meganísi

Meganísi is a beautifully unspoiled island with a gentle, calming speed of life and very few visitors, only a quick trip from its larger sister, Lefkada. It is only 20 square kilometers long and is shaped like a flower, with a long stalk to the south and a clutch of petals to the north, creating countless bays and sandy beaches. The island has so much to offer with lots of pebbly beaches, white-washed villages such as Katomeri or Spartochori, and plenty of good walking trails in the center of the island.

Reasons we love Meganísi: Agios Ioannis Beach – Herniades Beach – Pasoumaki Beach – Barbarezou Beach

 

 The Cave Lake of Melissani, Kefalonia

Kefalonia

Though the largest of the Ionian Islands is Kefalonia, it is also the least trodden. This puzzle-piece-shaped island, once overlooked by Corfu and Zante, is stepping out of the shadows of its sisters. And it is not difficult to see why, with jewel-toned seas, desolate beaches, and pastel-painted villages… Yet, mass tourism remains delightfully undisturbed.

Kefalonia is a place where mountains plunge to meet the sea. You will be greeted with some of the greatest beaches in Greece if you are a sun-seeker. At the same time, hiking in the mountainous areas is one of the most exciting things to do in Kefalonia for those who cannot sit still for long.

Reasons we love Kefalonia: Argostoli (the biggest town and capital of the island) – The Cave Lake of Melissani – Myrtos bay – The village of Fiskardo – Antisamos beach – Drogarati cave – Mount Ainos

 

Ithaca (or Ithaki or Ithaka)

Ithaca, known worldwide as the birthplace of Odysseus, symbolizes the return and the discovery of the haven. Just next to Kefalonia, it is much more calm, quiet and unexplored, making it a perfect place for alternative activities and a vacation that meets the expectations of the most demanding of us.

Reasons we love Ithaca: Kioni village – Afales Beach – Gidaki beach – Platia Ammos Beach – The Cave Of The Nymphs – Sarakiniko Beach – Monastery Katharon – Pernarakia Peak

 

 The famous Navagio (Shipwreck) Beach, Zakynthos

Zakynthos 

Called “the Flower of the East” by the Venetians, Zakynthos is one of the most exotic Greek islands: it boasts wonderful natural scenery and stunning beaches in the heart of the enchanting Ionian Sea. Discover majestic mountainside villages, traditional monasteries, and lovely natural areas when exploring Zakynthos.

Reasons we love Zakynthos: Navagio (Shipwreck) Beach – Laganas Zante – Gerakas Beach – Vasilikos Beach – Spiantza Beach