Les îles Ioniennes: 4 must-see attractions
Places to visit in the Ionian Islands
Other Ionian islands
The other Ionian Islands share several points in common, not least their idyllic sandy beaches and traditional villages, but each has its own individuality too: Lefkada with its imposing fortress and venues for surfing; The historic Agios Nikolaos castle on Paxos was built by the Venetians following the designs of a certain Leonardo da Vinci; Ithaca is the island of poets and the birthplace of Ulysses. The small town of Kioni is charming; Kythira’s mesmerising landscapes were the homeland to the goddess Aphrodite.
Take another boat ride to land in Zante, renowned for its natural marine heritage. Here you will find the premier marine reserve in Greece. A rare place to witness loggerhead sea turtles lay their eggs on the island’s beaches. Here you can also see the shipwreck of a merchant's vessel run aground on Shipwreck Bay at the foot of the beach. Only accessible by sea, the sunset illuminating the sails of the wreck is a spectacular and chilling sight.
Between its cultural gems and natural wonders, Kefalonia’s attractions are innumerable. The citadel of Assos built by the Venetians in the 16th century is an essential stop. The traditional fishing village and colourful houses of Fiskardo and Argostoli, the capital, are worth visiting. Argostoli is home to one of the largest libraries in Greece as well as several museums. The beaches of Cephalonia are known for their beautiful setting and have featured in many films. Myrtos, for example, is worthy of a postcard with its white sand and turquoise-green water. In addition, don’t miss a visit to the Melissani caves where the deep blue subterranean lake can be discovered via a guided boat ride
Corfu, largest and best known of the Ionian Islands is a great place to start your discovery of the archipelago. Formerly a Venetian trading post, in bygone days the island was a hub of maritime commerce. Classed as a UNESCO world heritage site, Corfu’s complex past presents us with a surprising mixture of Italian, French and British architecture. In the eponymous town you can admire the imposing fortress and its ramparts built during the 15th century. From there it is a short step to the archaeological museum and its beautiful ancient exhibits. Another era, another style: in Achilleion are the luxurious villa’s built in the 19th century for Sissi, the Empress of Austria who fell in love with the island. After the sightseeing comes relaxation. Finish the day swimming from one of the idyllic beaches, before dining on the local specialities, pastitsada (ragoutand pasta) accompanied by kumquat liqueur, the islands typical tipple.