The Ionian Islands (Eptanissa), a dreamlike complex of seven lush, dazzling islands scattered all over the Ionian Sea; Corfu (Kerkyra or Corcyra), Kefalonia (Cephalonia), Lefkada (Leucada or Leucas), Zakynthos (Zacinthus, Zacynthus or Zante), Paxi (Paxos or Paxoi), Ithaki (Ithaca) and Kythira (Cythera). The Ionian are the second most popular of all the Greek Islands and attract thousands of visitors every year. Clothed in natural beauty, this island cluster is idyllic with its lush green landscapes, endless, golden-sand coasts and the crystal clear, blue waters that constantly caress the mysterious caves will undoubtedly seduce you.
It is the heavy rainfall that makes the Ionians among the greenest of Greek island chains. Apart from tourism, olive groves and vineyards still play a role in the economy. The tourist resorts are crowded throughout the high season, but the richly varied countryside and abundant beaches draw large numbers of travelers year round, with the spring being a particular favorite for the lush greenery and wildflowers. Besides being a popular holiday destination, they are also considered a sailing paradise.
Although different in some aspects from each other, all have several common characteristics. They are mountainous and fertile islands and offer some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece.
In traveling to each island, look for its distinguishing marks, such as the delightful looking red-roofed houses of Ithaki, the emerald waters of Corfu, the grapevine studded hills of Kefalonia
Kythira’s deserted beaches, the majestic vertical rocky cliffs of Lefkada, the sea turtles called Caretta from Zakynthos and the impressive white boulders of Paxi.
The people of the islands are quite busy as they produce timber, fruit, and flax and raise pigs, sheep, and goats. They export currants, wine, cotton, salt, olives, and fish. They are largely self-sufficient in grains and their industries include fishing, shipping, and tourism.
Some of the amazing sights you’ll see on these islands are Shipwreck Beach, the Archaeological Museum, and other museums and churches. As far as enjoying the natural sights, there exist one hundred year-old olive trees, wildflowers, almond and cypress trees, beautiful beaches and picturesque villages. While you’re taking advantage of the daylight hours and perfect climate, be sure to engage in such outdoor activities as horseback riding, yachting, swimming and walking.
The fun doesn’t end at dusk though. It is well known that Greece offers an active nightlife as well and the Ionian are supposed to have one of the liveliest of such. They propose a large choice of bars and nightclubs. Even some of the beach resorts attracts visitors for the same reason. Enjoy their unique literary and artistic culture, natural beauty, cosmopolitan lifestyle and warm hospitality as well.
The local cuisines are meat-based and the local wines have strong and sweet tastes. Of course, with direct access to fresh seafood, it is plentiful on the menus. There will be what seems to be an endless supply of locally grown wines for you to sample as well. Make sure to save room for all the mouth-watering sweets distinct to the area to end your satisfying meals pleasantly.
For lodging purposes, there are besides the resorts, villas, cottages, studios, hotels, rooms for rent, traditional houses and apartments to fit everyone’s budget, while still squeezing everything possible to make it your most memorable vacation of all time.