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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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 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...
 San Antonio Corfu Resort (Adults Only)
Within 66 feet of Kalami Beach, San Antonio Corfu Resort - Adults only is perched on a hillside among olive groves. It features 2 pools, and offers rooms and suites overlooking the Ionian Sea. more...
 Contessina Suites & Spa - Adults Friendly
Located in Tsilivi, a few steps from Planos Beach, Contessina Suites & Spa - Adults Only has accommodations with a restaurant, free private parking, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a bar. more...
 Kontokali Bay Resort & Spa
Located in the green-covered Kontokali peninsula, the green-key awarded Kontokali Bay Resort & Spa features its own private beach and a sea-water pool. 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...
 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...
 Aeolos Beach Resort
Aeolos Beach Resort features accommodations with modern amenities including air conditioning and satellite TVs. All units have private balconies or terraces, with most facing the sea. more...
 Philoxenia
Located on the northwest coast of Corfu, just 8.7 mi from Corfu Town, Hotel Philoxenia is found in the small beach resort of Ermones. more...
 Porto Demo Hotel
Located in Agios Georgios Pagon, a 3-minute walk from Agios Georgios Beach, Porto Demo Hotel provides accommodations with a restaurant, free private parking, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a more...
 Apollo Palace
Located in Mesongi, 656 feet from Messonghi Beach, Sentido Apollo Palace has a garden and terrace. Featuring a 24-hour front desk, this property also provides guests with a restaurant. more...
 Saint George Palace
Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, Saint George Palace offers pet-friendly accommodations in Dáfni. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Free private parking is available on site. more...
 Akrotiri Beach
Built on a peninsula overlooking Agia Triada Beach in Palaiokastritsa Village, the 4-star Akrotiri Beach features 2 pools and free WiFi in public areas. more...
 Emerald Villas
Within 984 feet from Agios Nikolaos Beach, Emerald offers luxurious villas with private swimming pools enjoying panoramic views over the Ionian Sea. more...
 Rodostamo Hotel & Spa- Adults Friendly
Boasting a seasonal outdoor pool and a furnished sun terrace with Kommeno Bay views, this 5-star hotel offers 24-hour concierge and 24/7 room service. more...
 The Royal Grand Hotel
Featuring free Wi-Fi in lobby area, Royal Boutique Hotel is set in 2 buildings, just 984 feet from sandy Kanoni Beach. more...
 Divani Corfu Palace
Built among lush greenery in Kanoni Peninsula and just 1.9 mi from the center of Corfu Town, the 4-star Divani Corfu Palace features a swimming pool with hot tub. more...
 Aenos Hotel
Aenos Hotel is located on the main square of Argostoli and provides a friendly environment with 24-hour service. It offers buffet breakfast. more...
 Mayor Capo Di Corfu
Nestled amid landscaped gardens, Mayor Capo Di Corfu is located right on the beach in Agios Petros, within 1.2 mi of Lefkimi. more...
 Kairaba Mythos Palace - Adults Only
Located in Corfu, 1.3 miles from Petriti Beach, Kairaba Mythos Palace - Adults Only provides accommodations with a restaurant, free private parking, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a fitness more...
 Kefalonia Grand
Located on Argostoli beachfront, just 787 feet from the central Vallianou Square, Kefalonia Grand features elegantly decorated rooms with modern furniture, a restaurant and free WiFi. 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...
 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...
 Roda Beach Resort & Spa
Located in Karousádes, a 9-minute walk from Roda Beach, Roda Beach Resort & Spa provides accommodations with a restaurant, free private parking, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a bar. more...
 Blue Princess Hotel and Suites
Right on the beach of Liapades, Blue Princess Hotel and Suites is a complex of rooms, bungalows and villas amid a lush garden with 3 pools. It also has 2 restaurants and a poolside bar. more...
 Elegance Luxury Executive Suites - Adults Only
Offering an outdoor pool and a spa and wellness center, Elegance Luxury Executive Suites is located in Tragaki village. It offers elegantly decorated units offering Ionian Sea views. more...


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