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Ionian Islands

Just to the west of mainland Greece, the Ionian Islands have an air of the mysterious etched into their rugged mountains, patchwork farmland, shimmering olive groves, and pristine beaches, all surrounded by an endless expanse of green or blue sea. Covetous invaders have conquered and re-conquered these isles: Venetians, British, French, and Russians have all left cultural and architectural fingerprints behind. Today the islands are a favorite among Western Europeans and ferry-hopping backpackers heading to Italy. Multicultural for millennia, each of the Ionian Islands possesses a unique identity and singular beauty.

Homer first sang Corfu's praise, writing of its "honied fig," "unctuous olive: and "boisterous waves"; since then, Goethe, Wilde, the Durrell brothers, Sisley, and Lear have all thrown in their two cents about Corfu's perfection. Handed down from the Franks to the Venetians to the British to today's tourist hordes, Corfu (also called Kerkyra) has captivated them all. As in most of Greece's beautiful places, those who stray from the beaten path encounter unspoiled, uncrowded beaches. Try the less frenetic resorts at Pelekas, Kalami, or Agios Stefanos, or make Corfu Town your daytripping base. Even party-central Corfu holds hidden mountain villages and traditional coastal towns, where olive groves blanket the hills and you can hear the leaves rustle in the absence of rumbling tour buses.

Thucydides reports that Lefkada was part of the mainland until 427 BC, when the inhabitants dug a canal and made their home an island. A modern bridge now con¬nects Lefkada to the mainland, just 50m away; it only recently replaced an archaic chain-operated ferry built by Emperor Augustus. Modern Lefkadians are devoted to the business of tourism. Souvenir shops and overpriced restaurants abound, especially in Nidri, which is mostly composed of tourist traps and a profusion of liquor stores. Still, miles of white-sand beaches and astonishing natural beauty remain; with a little effort, you can skirt the patches of tacky tourism and find the island's unspoiled secrets.

The least touristed and perhaps the most beautiful of the Ionian Islands, Ithaka retains a close-knit feel and is happily Greek amid heavily-touristed neighbors. Those who discover Ithaka delight in the island's undeveloped pebbled beaches, rocky hillsides and terraced olive groves. Tiny villages packed with colorful homes surround the many natural harbors on the island, where the ambling pace of local life creates a much more relaxing and quiet atmosphere than that found on nearby Kephalonia or Lefkada. Ithaka was the kingdom that Odysseus left behind to fight in the Trojan War (and to wander ten years on his way home). His wife Penelope faithfully waited 20 years for his return here, while crowds of suitors pressed for her hand-and Odysseus's kingdom. A glimpse of one of the isle's sparkling azure bays from the winding mountain roads makes it clear what all the fuss was about.

Massive mountains, subterranean lakes and rivers, caves, dense forests, and more than 250km of sand-and-pebble coastline make Kephalonia a nature lover's paradise. Its beauty has been fought over by the Byzantine, Frankish, Ottoman, Venetian, Napoleonic, and British Empires. During World War II, after Italy had abandoned the Axis, 9000 Italian soldiers occupying the island fought their exallies for seven days, as Germans invaded and killed all but 33 Italians. In 1953, a disastrous earthquake forced the island to rebuild, leaving only relatively undamaged Fiskardo with the Ionian pastel neoclassical look. Today, Kephalonia's beauty draws a diverse crowd, from the upscale yachting set to budget-conscious backpackers. Inconvenient bus schedules and a number of attractions make Kephalonia perfect for a longer stay.

The varied landscapes and seascapes of Zakynthos (also known as Zante) comprise an exceptionally subtle palette of colors-white cliffs rise from turquoise water, sun-bleached wheat waves in the shadow of evergreens, and magenta flowers frame the twisting streets. Known as the greenest of the Ionian Islands, Zakynthos is home to thousands of flower and plant species, some of them unique to the island. The island is also the home of a large population of loggerhead turtles, a source of pride to the islanders. Still, in Zakynthos Town or its neighboring beaches, you'll see the sweaty backs of other tourists more than the beauty of nature. Set out for the countryside to appreciate Zakynthos's natural sights, like its famous blue caves in the north. Those who venture there will understand why the Venetians christened it Fior di Levante-the flower of the east.


 

Online Travel guide with the best accommodation in Ionian Islands. Find the cheapest hotels is Ionian Islands & get exclusive online deals. Great rooms at bargain prices. Book online now! Compare Hotel Prices and read Reviews from others.

Great Hotel rates and information See photos, reviews & what's nearby Ionian Islands . Detailed tourist and travel information about hotels of Ionian Islands providing also regional information.

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 Bella Vista Apartments
Only 656 feet from Pelekas Beach, Bella Vista offers accomodation with views to the Ionian Sea from their private balcony or patio. The on-site restaurant serves home-cooked, Greek and local dishes. more...
 Theea Cottage
Located in the hilltop village of Chlomos, Theea Cottage is housed in a 200-year old house and offers views over the sea and the coast of Boukari. more...
 Suzanne's Apartment
Located in Glyfada, just a few steps from Glyfada Beach, Suzanne's Apartment has beachfront accommodations with a restaurant, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a bar and free WiFi. more...
 Villa Olivia
Located in Pentati, Villa Olivia features free WiFi, and guests can enjoy a garden and a terrace. Agios Gordios Beach lies within a 6-minute drive. more...
 N&L VILLAS
Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, N&L VILLAS is set in Corfu Town, 6.2 mi from Vido Island. Port of Corfu is 6.8 mi away. Free private parking is available on site. more...
 Archontiko Loukis
Surrounded by olive trees, near the village of Pentari, Archontiko Loukis offers a swimming pool with sun terrace and self-catering accommodations with a furnished balcony or patio. more...
 Villa Malama
Featuring a garden, Villa Malama is a detached villa located in Pyrgi. The property features views of the sea and is 7 miles from Corfu Town. The kitchen is equipped with a dishwasher. more...
 Lithies Boutique Hotel
Located in the area of Skinari, Lithies offers elegant self-catering rooms built within beautiful gardens. It features a swimming pool with panoramic sea views and provides free Wi-Fi access. more...
 Maniata Holiday Apartments
Maniata Holiday Apartments has garden views, free WiFi and free private parking, located in Andipáta Erísou, a 13-minute walk from Dafnoudi beach. more...
 Dionysos Apartments
Featuring an outdoor pool, Dionysos Apartments offers a garden and sun terrace. Located in Corfu, it features apartments with free WiFi and a balcony overlooking the sea. more...
 Sun 'n Chill
Located in Melíkia, Sun 'n Chill offers accommodations with free WiFi and flat-screen TV, as well as barbecue facilities and a garden. A shared outdoor pool is also available. more...
 Villa Petros
Set in a quiet location and surrounded by lush trees, Villa Petros offers spacious accommodations with views over the Ionian Sea. The sandy beach of Apraos is just 328 feet away. more...
 Lesante Blu - The Leading Hotels of the World
Located in Tragaki, 4.3 mi from Zakynthos Town, Lesante Blu Exclusive Beach resort features a private beach area, infinity pools and a spa center. more...
 Rokamare
Offering garden views, Rokamare in Liapades provides accommodations, a restaurant, a garden and a terrace. Both WiFi and private parking are available at the apartment free of charge. more...
 Aelia Villa
Featuring a swimming pool with sunbeds and a garden, this spacious and split-level villa is located 1.6 mi from Marantochori Village. Aktio Airport is 14 mi from Aelia Villa. more...
 Akron Luxury Suites
Boasting a seasonal outdoor pool and sea views, Akron Luxury Suites is located in Korithi of Zakynthos. Guests staying at this property have access to a fully equipped kitchen and a patio. more...
 Corfu Imperial, Grecotel Exclusive Resort
Standing on its private peninsula with unobstructed views of the Ionian Sea, Corfu Imperial, Grecotel Exclusive Resort features 4 private sandy beaches, a pebbly beach and a large outdoor pool. more...
 Olive Bay Hotel
Situated only 165 ft from the beach of Agia Efimia in Kefalonia, Olive Bay Hotel features air-conditioned studios with free Wi-Fi and views of the Ionian Sea. more...
 Kommeno Bella Vista
Set on an elevated position amid the lush Ionian countryside, Kommeno Bella Vista has a free-form swimming pool with panoramic sea views and a poolside bar. more...
 Minas Apartments
Set amid a well-tended garden with a playground and BBQ facilities, Minas offers self-catered accommodations with free Wi-Fi. Guests may start their day with breakfast served in the cafe. more...
 Lofos Soilis
Set amid lush olive groves, in the area of Tragaki, Lofos Soilis is a complex of self-catering units offering views over the Ionian Sea. more...
 Casa del Mar
Located in Mpoukaris in the Corfu region, with Steph Beach nearby, Casa del Mar has accommodations with free WiFi and free private parking. The apartment has a terrace. more...
 Anemones Villas
Anemones Villas are located in the traditional settlement of Spanochori, 3.7 mi from the town of Lefkada. more...
 Anassa's Residence
Anassa's Residence features sea views, free WiFi and free private parking, located in Zakynthos, an 11-minute walk from Dionisios Solomos Square. more...
 Vigla
Perched on a green hill overlooking the Ionian Sea, the family-run Vigla is located in Agios Nikolaos of Volimes, within 0.6 mi from the beach. more...


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