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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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 Lesante Blu, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World - Adults Only
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...
 Marelen Hotel
Set in beautiful gardens with a lounge bar on-site, Marelen Hotel is located in Kalamaki. The property has a poolside bar, as well as a restaurant with rooftop terrace. more...
 Messonghi Beach Holiday Resort
Located right on the beach in Moraitika Village, Messonghi Beach Holiday Resort features an aqua park consisting of 3 swimming pools. Corfu Town and Corfu Airport are 14 mi away. more...
 Cavo Orient Beach Hotel & Suites
Boasting an outdoor pool and a sun terrace with unobstructed sea view, the beachfront Cavo Orient Beach Hotel & Suites is located in Tragaki. more...
 Alegria Villas Complex
Surrounded by pine and olive trees, a five-minute walk from St. Nicholas Beach, Alegria Villas Complex consists of self-catering houses overlooking the Ionian Sea. more...
 Potamaki Beach Hotel
Potamaki Beach Hotel enjoys a beachfront location in Benitses village, in Corfu. The hotel’s reception is available 24 hours a day. more...
 Melina Bay Boutique Hotel
Located under the castle of Kassiopi and just a 5-minute walk from the beach, Melina Bay features a restaurant serving Greek and Mediterranean dishes and a snack bar. more...
 Ikos Dassia
Featuring a 400-yard long beach in Dassia Bay, Ikos Dassia offers 7 swimming pools surrounded by landscaped gardens. more...
 Zante Atlantis Hotel
Offering an outdoor pool and a restaurant, Zante Atlantis Hotel offers self-catering accommodations. Free WiFi access is available in public areas. more...
 ALYKANAS VILLAGE RESORT
Set in Alikanas, 1 mi from Old Alikanas Beach, ALYKANAS VILLAGE RESORT offers accommodations with a restaurant, free private parking, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a bar. more...
 Contessina Suites & Spa - Adults Only
Set in Tsilivi, 0.7 mi from Gaidaros Beach, Contessina Suites & Spa - Adults Only offers accommodations with a restaurant, free private parking, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a bar. more...
 MarBella Corfu
Featuring an organized beach area in Agios Ioannis Peristeron, MarBella Corfu is a MarBella Collection Hotel and features 3 pools and a spa center. more...
 Pantheon Villas
Villas Pantheon offers self-contained villas and two-story apartments in Agios Nikitas, one mile from Kathisma Beach. It features 2 pools with sun-lounger terrace, and a sitting room with satellite more...
 Tzante Hotel Zakynthos, Adults Only
Centrally located in the lively Laganas Town, Tzante Hotel Zakynthos, Adults Only is 328 feet from a sandy beach. It features a pool bar and an outdoor free form pool. more...
 White Rocks Hotel Kefalonia
Set on a hilltop with panoramic views over the Ionian Sea, the seafront White Rocks Hotel Kefalonia features a private beach area, an outdoor pool with sun terrace and a beachfront bar. more...
 Lesante Classic, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts
The 5-star Lesante Luxury Hotel & Spa is just 262 feet from Tsilivi Beach and features 3 pools, 2 hot tubs and a children's pool. Rooms include a plasma TV and free WiFi. more...
 Agios Gordios Beach Resort
Set in Agios Gordios, 0.7 mi from Fieroulas Beach, Agios Gordios Beach Resort offers accommodations with a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a garden and a terrace. more...
 Cactus Hotel
This self-catering complex in Laganas features air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi and satellite/Pay TV. It has a large swimming pool with adjacent, free sun beds and umbrellas, and cocktail bar. more...
 Olea All Suite Hotel
Located within an 11-minute walk of Tsilivi Beach, Olea All Suite Hotel in Tsilivi has a number of amenities including an outdoor pool, a fitness center and a terrace. more...
 Rokamare
Located in Liapades, Rokamare offers accommodations with a patio or a balcony, free WiFi and flat-screen TV, as well as a restaurant and a garden. more...
 Kymata Bohemian Beach Resort
Kymata Bohemian Beach Resort in Lixouri offers uniquely decorated, beachfront villas with private pools and free WiFi access. 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...
 Domes of Corfu
Just 164 feet from Glyfada Beach, Domes of Corfu provides accommodations with a restaurant, free private parking, a fitness center and a bar. more...
 Mayor La Grotta Verde Grand Resort - Adults Only
This 5-star, adults-only hotel stands among pine tree forests, right on Agios Gordios Beach in Corfu. more...
 Mavra Studios
Set amid pine trees, Mavra Studios offers air-conditioned rooms with furnished balconies facing the sea. Featuring a breakfast lounge, the hotel also has a snack bar with view to Lygia beach. more...


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