Greek Islands & Ionian
Greece - Greek Islands & Itineraries
GI-1 Corfu - Corfu Ionian ( 1 week )
- Corfu - Paxoi - Ithaki - Kefalonia - Preveza - Parga - Corfu
GI-2 Corfu - Corfu Ionian ( 2 weeks )
- Corfu - Paxoi - Kefalonia - Zakinthos - Katakolo - Ithaki - Petalas - Kalamos - Lefkas - Preveza - Anti Paxos - Parga - Igoumenitsa - Corfu
PLACES TO SEE IN IONIAN ISLANDS
Corfu, the wooded isle of the Phaeacians, Odysseeus' last stop on his long journey home to Ithaca, is the best known of the lonian islands. It owes its sophistication and charm to the meshing of the different civilizations that have occupied the island and to the natural beauty with which it is so abundantly endowed. On this cosmopolitan island, you'll be able to combine relaxation with good times and a full nightlife, for Corfu is an international tourist centre which can satisfy the demands of the most difficult visitor.
The capital of the island is also called Corfu (Kerkira). It is built on a promontory that projects into the sea and is separated into a northern and a southern section. East of the northern part lies the Old Fortress, cut off from the town by a moat. For centuries all the popular of Corfu lived within this citadel, which was founded by the Byzantines but greatly expanded and strengthened by the Venetians. The town of Corfu is made up of completely dissimilar elements, left over from different civilizations. It presents an enchanting picture with its broad streets and spacious squares, the popular Spianada – the town "green" – contrasting with its narrow back alleys paved with blocks of stone (known as "Kantounia"), houses with a strong Italian influence, the famous Liston, a French arcade, traditional Georgian mansions, a Byzantine church, Venetian monuments, balconies with wrought-iron railings and window grilles.
Paxi is the smallest island of the Eptanisa. It is located in the south of Corfu and gifted with a landscape coloured with a variety of green and a sea full of blue shades.The hospitality of the locals, the fresh fish, the night life and the quiet, peaceful locations make this island the perfect resort for those who prefer a calm and restful vacation. On your visit to Paxi, you may run in to little chapels, windmills, old houses and places of incredible beauty.
Another advantage are the beautiful, safe ports in Paxi , where a great number of boats can be gathered at any one time.
Ithaka, an island situated in the Ionian Sea, is known to the world as the being Odysseys' homeland. It's enchanting coves turn it into a paradise on earth, despite its small size and mountainous nature.
The west side of the island is steep and bare in contrast withthe east which is verdant and slopes gently down to the sea. The visitor can go on excurtions to the intesely Ionian, traditional seaside villages, and visit the medieval monastery of Taxiarhon and the wonderful caves of the island that are just begging to be explored.
Ithaka is a very loved place, with scenic beaches, sleepy little villages and an ideal spot for an unforgettable vacation.
The largest island in the Ionian is Cephalonia. It is a rugged and mountainous island. In ancient time it was part of the kingdom of Odysseus and evidence at archaeological sites mentioned by Homer have been found. The ruins of most interest are those at Krani
Argostoli – Until 1953 Argostoli was ver much like Fiscardo, due to the earthquake the town was rebuilt. Some remains show what the capital was like. You can get water and fuel on the quay, provisions are in an abundance. You can tie on the quay but might opt for the cove on the east side near the entrance but this is recommended only in calm weather.
Lixouri – Across the gulf from Argostoli is Lixouri. The prevailing NW winds can make anchoring uncomfortable. Fuel and water can be obtained.
Fiscardo The north east village of the island and the only one that survived during the 1953 earthquakes. Fiskardo is considered as one of the most traditional villages in Europe due to its architecture and all the traditions that it carries. Cosmopolitan surroundings, luxurious shops, beautiful bars and food for all tastes and ages is what Fiskardo has to offer its visitors. The beachside restaurants, tavernas and bars which you will find situated side by side, are decorated with beautifully glowing lit candies which give you the colour of festivity at its best. Walk along the beautiful pathways of the village and witness the Ionian beauty at its best. Take a swim in the ever enchanting beaches of Emblisi, Foki and Andrea limani. Join the hustle and bustle of Fiscardo, a picturesque bay where you can find the best food in the famous "Captain's Bar" that serves the best food in the area.
Poros – A small harbor with winds from the north. Fuel and water can be obtained. If you are the adventurous type a walk to gorge is quite a spectacular site.
The precipitous cliff of Lefkada (The White Cape) juts dramatically into the sea, pointing towards distant Cephalonia. On the site of the lighthouse once stood a temple to Apollo. At which the notorious Lefkadian Leap - 236 feet straight down to the tumultuous sea below - proved the innocence of the survivor, or the guilt of less sturdy divers, The Leap also attracted its fair share of disconsolate lovers, The great lesbian poetess Sappho supposedly flung herself into the sea here in despair for her love for Pheion. The practical Romans perfected the leap by using wings to break the fall. The capital reflects the island's history, of Venetian influence in its dignified churches and houses. The 13th century fortress of Santa Maura tops sandy beaches where windmills and trees seem to rise straight from the open sea.
· Lefkas Town - The harbor offers good shelter as well as facilities. Care must be taken when entering and leaving the harbor not to cut across the corner of the canal east of the town when arriving or leaving from South. The depths are only ½ a meter.
· Nidri – It can get a bit crowed as it is a yacht charter center where several flotillas start from. It is a quaint town which offers good shelter. You can provision your yacht with fuel, water, food and any repairs. There are several tavernas to choose from.
· Tranquil Bay – This bay is located opposite of Nidri town, The bay provides good shelter and an impressive beauty with its olive and cypress trees surrounding the bay. It offer tranquility as name states.
· Ormos Vlikho – There is a small quay and the bay itself offers good shelter. The prevailing winds here are northerly . Some provisions are available in town and there are several tavernas.
Zakynthos, the southernmost of the lonian islands, owes its name to the son of Dardanos, the king of Troy, who according to myth built the first city here. It is also mentioned in "The Iliad". All who came to this island fell under its spell. The Venetians baptized it "the flower of the Orient" (Fior' di Levante). Others gave it just as evocative names like "earthly paradise", and "Perfumed Isle", while Dionysios Solomos, the father of modern Greek poetry and a native son, wrote "Zakinthos could make one forget the Elysian Fields".
No one who has been here can forget the emerald green of its sea, its pine-studded mountains, its musical people and their hospitality. The first thing to welcome you, as soon as you step off the ferryboat, is the town of Zakinthos. Though it lost all but three of its buildings in the earthquake of 1953, the town has been meticulously reconstructed and its former layout has been faithfully preserved. Zakinthos today has pleasantly arcaded wide streets, spacious squares imposing buildings and cheerful houses. The Museum of Post-Byzantine Art on Solomos Square contains treasures salvaged from the island's historic churches. On the waterfront, one should visit the churches of Agios Dionysios, the island's patron saint, with its tall campanile, and of Agios Nikolas tou Molou, a church out of the Italian Renaissance with, surprisingly, a 17th century Byzantine belfry.
Zakynthos is almost triangular in shape, with two green mountainous promontories extending into the sea to form the huge bay of Laganas. There are more pine-covered mountains and hills in the north, but the centre is gentle and lush, richly planted with currant vines, olive trees, almonds and seasonal vegetables. There are dozens of beaches to choose from, sandy and sheltered with invitingly sparkling water. Flowers of every kind till every available space, filling the air with the scent that so enraptured visitors of old.
With a sunny climate most of the year and good roads to facilitate exploring, Zakinthos lends itself to holiday making in spring and fall as well as summer. Some of the best known summer resorts are Argassi, Alikes, Planos, Tsilivi, Vassilikos, Gerakas and Porto Roma, while Laganas is the most famous of all. Its long beach and wide range of facilities attract thousands of tourists from May through September. At Laganas, Vassilikos and Gerakas, the endangered sea turtle "Caretta-Caretta" also comes to lay her eggs.