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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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 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...
 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...
 Villa Romano
Located in Ambelókipoi, 1.6 miles from Argassi Beach and 1.7 miles from Zante Town Beach, Villa Romano offers a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and air conditioning. more...
 Anemones Villas
Anemones Villas are located in the traditional settlement of Spanochori, 3.7 mi from the town of Lefkada. more...
 Corfu Sea View Rooms
Located in Achílleion, a 3-minute walk from Aeolos Beach and half a mile from Kaiser Bridge Beach, Corfu Sea View Rooms has accommodations with free WiFi, air conditioning, a garden and a terrace. 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...
 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...
 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...
 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...
 Natura Studios
Located only 1.6 mi away from the main town of Fiscardo, Natura Studios offers fully equipped accommodations with furnished balconies overlooking the scenic landscape of K efallonia. more...
 Koklas Studios
Within 328 feet from the beach of Agios Sostis, Koklas Studios is an Ionian-style complex offering self-catering accommodations with a sea-view balcony. more...
 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...
 Linardos Apartments
Linardos Apartments is located 49 feet from the beach of Asos in Kefalonia. more...
 Labranda Sandy Beach
Located on the sandy St George Beach in the south west of Corfu, the all-inclusive Labranda Sandy Beach offers extensive dining options and sports and entertainment facilities for adults and children . more...
 Gem Villa in Viros Corfu by Konnect
Gem Villa in Viros Corfu by Konnect is located in Virós and offers a garden, barbecue facilities and a terrace. more...
 Apartments MARGARITA Kaizer Bridge
Located in Achílleion, a few steps from Kaiser Bridge Beach and a 4-minute walk from Aeolos Beach, Apartments MARGARITA Kaizer Bridge offers a terrace and air conditioning. more...
 Lilliput Studio Corfu Old Town
Located in Corfu, a 9-minute walk from Ionio University and 0.8 miles from Serbian Museum, Lilliput Studio Corfu Old Town provides accommodations with amenities such as free WiFi and a flat-screen TV . more...
 Pessada Bay Studios and Apartments
Offering a garden, Pessada Bay Studios and Apartments offers accommodations in Pesada, just 1312 feet from the beach. Argostoli is 6.2 mi away. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. more...
 Delfinia
Delfinia is surrounded by a flower garden in the village of Vlachata. more...
 Villa Melograno IV
Featuring a garden, an outdoor pool and pool views, Villa Melograno IV is located in Ambelókipoi. more...
 Fiscardo Studios
Just 33 feet from the scenic harbor and 164 feet from Fiscardo Bay Beach, this property offers a restaurant and bar. more...
 Porto Koukla Beach
Set amid lush greenery, Porto Koukla Beach Hotel offers direct access to the sandy beach of Porto Koukla and it has a swimming pool and a restaurant. Its air-conditioned rooms enjoy free Wi-Fi access . 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...
 Avra Sunset Sea View Liapades
Located in Liapades, Avra Sunset Sea View Liapades features accommodations with an outdoor pool. Free WiFi is featured. more...
 Alegria Kefalonia
Within 1.2 mi of Monastery of Virgin Fidousas, Alegria Kefalonia features free WiFi and a seasonal outdoor swimming pool. Guests have a private balcony. more...


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