Within the southern Ionians, Lefkada, Kefallonia and Ithaki are well connected by ferry, and there’s a twice-daily service between southern Kefallonia and northern Zakynthos (an alternative is to sail from Argostoli to Kyllini in the Peloponnese, and from there to Zakynthos Town).
Corfu has regular ferry connections with three ports in Italy (Brindisi, Bari and Venice), operated by a handful of ferry companies sailing between Italy and Igoumenitsa and/or Patra. Travellers can also sail between Ancona and Igoumenitsa, then transfer to a local ferry. Ferry crossings are most frequent in July and August, but there are year-round services at least weekly between Corfu and Brindisi, Bari and Venice. From Corfu it is also possible to cross to Albania, or to visit on a day trip.
Corfu is the second largest island in the group of Ionian Islands, after Kefalonia and was the first to open itself up to tourism with plenty to offer its visitors. It attracts visitor from all over the world and is one of those rare destinations that caters for all ages and tastes.
Corfu is known as Kerkyra in Greek and takes its name from a variation of the Nymph Korkira, daughter of the Greek river god Aesopos in mythology. Legend says that the god of sea, Poseidon fell in love with the Nymph Korkira, kidnapped her and then brought her to the Island, hence the name Kerkyra.
Corfu is full of variety from its traditional fishing villages to its large modern resorts, coupled with its amazing wildlife, over six hundred types of wild flowers and numerous exotic birds including pelicans, bee eaters, hoopoes and golden orioles; this island has something for everyone!
Zante is the most southerly of the Ionian Islands has a varied landscape, the west is characterised by striking mountain scenery and is largely uninhabited and the east is packed with fertile plains, picturesque bays and long sandy beaches.
Zante is a beautiful island, with many varieties of pretty colourful flowers that seem to blossom all year round. The famous poet Edgar Allen Poe, in 1837, wrote a poem entitled "Sonnet to Zante" the last line states "Isola d'ora! Fior di Levante!" which means "Island of Gold, Flower of the East".
Any visitor is sure to be enraptured by the islands charms and to agree with Poe that it is indeed an island of gold and certainly an ideal holiday destination. Zante has much to offer any visitor, from splendid sandy beaches, the unique chance to see endangered wildlife in the form of Caretta Caretta turtles and Monk seals, impressive monasteries and churches with fine frescos and icons, as well as the famous Blue Caves and the best known sight on Zante, Shipwreck beach that is one of the most photographed places in the world.
Ithaca is the second smallest of the inhabited Ionian Islands. It is 29 km in length and 6.5 km wide and has a coast line of 100 km. It consists of 2 peninsulas that are almost equal in size and they are joined by the isthmus of Aetos (or Eagle bay). The island is long and narrow and is almost divided in half by the sweeping bay of Molos.
Ithaca offers those who like walking some excellent walking opportunities, in the fabulous scenery. There are many types of wild flowers and wildlife to see. With picturesque towns such as Kioni and Friskes, Ithaca is a lovely little island to explore. Ithaca is an island unspoilt by tourism, it is calm and beautiful and perfect for a relaxing holiday. It has very clear waters so is excellent for snorkelling and there are many different kinds and colours of fish to see. The island is popular with celebrities and Charles, the Prince of Wales and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, spent part of their honeymoon here. After a visit here you will see why Odysseus spent 10 years struggling to get back home, to this wonderful island.
Kefalonia is the largest of the seven Ionian islands (700 sq km2 about). It's highest peak is Ancient Mount Aenos, 1628 m (5341feet) In Greece's west coast, Cephalonia has only 32,000 resident islanders. With Lefkas to the north and Zakynthos to the south the island is firmly on a tourist trail and grows each year as more accommodation becomes available and big tour operators move in. Despite the annual influx of visitors, mainly Italians, the island is so big it is still possible to get away to places where you are unlikely to meet a soul for days. Vast tracts of forest cloak the rugged limestone landscape, with ten peaks topping 5,000 feet.
Kefalonia is an island as attractive to walkers as it is to sunbathers. For the walker there are acres of inland forest covered mountains to explore. For sun bathers there are plenty on beaches (many of them among the most beautiful in the Mediterranean. Is one of Greece's best secrets and once voted 10th in a world scenic beauty league, thus it demands and deserves exploration.
Paxos is the smallest of the Ionian Islands, lying just 11 km from the southernmost tip of Corfu. Many visitors return year after year to Paxos to experience the intimacy of this peaceful haven, the genuine friendliness of the locals, and the captivating scenery.
Paxos is covered in many olive groves with ancient gnarled and twisted olive trees, some of them hundreds of years old, which shelter numerous species of wild flowers and small vineyards. This serene and unspoiled landscape is what makes a holiday to the island of Paxos truly memorable.
Lefcas, or Lefkada as the Greeks call it, is a very popular summer resort, where there is something for everyone. Young visitor’s party all night, windsurfers have some excellent spots, there are quiet places for those who just want to relax, and there is a lot to see.
The people on the island are known for their hospitality, and many of them manage to live off the tourism in the summer. Others are involved with farming, fishing and stockbreeding. The island's name means white, and refers to the white cliffs in the south part that are characteristic for Lefcas. It is a green, mountainous island, and it is connected to the mainland by a bridge.
Kythira or Tsirigo is the name of the island conquered by the Venetians and is one of the Ionian Islands, but due to its geographical position it officially belongs to Attica. Its location is between the Peloponnese and Crete, in Spartan bay.
Kythira is known as the island of Aphrodite, since according to the legend of Isiodos it was where the most beautiful goddess of Olympus was born.
The island has stunning landscapes of natural beauty, beaches, and different villages, each with unique beauty. The island’s ambience is that of romance, created from the traditional style of most buildings on the island, Byzantine churches and Venetian castle. Each summer several festivals are arranged with local products celebrating the history of the island, keeping the tradition alive.
Kythira, is a traditional island that does not have mass tourism or commercialisation and therefore remains natural and quiet. Nevertheless every year it attracts tourists who seek peaceful holidays and enjoy the island of Aphrodite. There are many options, discover the beautiful countryside, relax on the beach, taste the delicious cuisine or enjoy a cool cocktail at the beach bar.