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The Ionian Islands are a group of islands in Greece. They are otherwise known as the Seven Islands, although the group includes many other smaller islands, along with the MAIN principal ones. Six of the main islands are in the Ionian Sea, sandwiched between Greece and Italy. The Seventh, Kythira, is at the foot of the Peloponnese, not really logically in any of the main Greek island groups. All of the Ionian Islands are popular holiday destinations, particularly sailing Greece.
Landscape and climate
Because the location of the islands are quite different from the Greek islands in the Aegean, it is much greener and not quite as burning hot in the summer. During winter, the islands can get quite a lot of rain, especially the most northern island, Corfu. It is this that gives the island a certain lushness, and why it has one feature that’s uncommon for a Greek island: golf course.
Short introduction of the Ionian Islands
Corfu. Settlers and visitors alike are delighted by the pleasant, green island of Corfu for so many years. Since the Roman times, it is already a popular holiday destination, and remains to one of the busiest spots in the Mediterranean today. Corfu has a population of a little over 100,000 living in 593 square kilometers, making it one of the most densely populated areas of Greece.
Ithaca. One of the smaller islands, Ithaca is a great place get away from it all. It is known as the legendary island of King Odysseus from Homer’s Odyssey. It might be quite small, but this is a dramatic island with mountainous peaks. It is great for walking, exploring the sights of Odysseus. Ithaca does not have great beaches, but there are a few decent ones that should be a joy to sunbathers.
Kefalonia. The administrative center of the Ionian Islands, Kefalonia is also the largest island in the group. It has some of the best beaches, and some of them are picturesque, widely used in literature and Greek tourism adverts. Its capital is Argostoli, and is home to museums and a waterfront. The island also offers mountain hiking, a show cave and an underground saltwater lake.
Kythira. While a large island, Kythira has a small population and fewer tourists compared to the other islands. The island offers rugged bays, steep cliffs, and strong winds. The seas here are rough, so there are some ferries that are cancelled. The sea here is very notorious, which is why the Corinth Canal was built to save boats from going through the Peloponnese waters.
Lefkas. This island might not offer the most dramatic sceneries among all the islands, but it has a few beautiful spots. The west coast has some very impressive beaches, while south of the island is a great place for windsurfing and sailboat rentals. All in all, this island offers a good mix of small-scale tourist beach resorts and natural, unspoiled Greek villages.
Paxos. A lovely island south of Corfu, Paxos is a quieter Greek holiday because it offers nothing else but swimming, walking, and eating and drinking. Its capital is Gaios with hotels and restaurants, although they tend to be expensive. For those who are into budget travelling, there is the small town of Lakka, and the pretty fishing village of Longos.
Zakynthos. Otherwise known as Zante, Zakynthos is the southernmost of the islands. This is a popular holiday island, offering some of the best beaches, particularly Laganas in the south part of the island. Around the island is some rugged cliff scenery that features an unspoilt mountainous interior where you can still find and enjoy that real Greece.