This area, on the West side of Greece opposite to Italy, provides a scenery different from any other complex of Greek islands. The land is green, the customs and the tradition as well as the culture of the recent centuries have apparently affected the islands. However, the signs of the ancient history remains unaffected over and above any other influence.
Some interesting places (in alphabetical order)
Superb beaches in an unspoiled and tranquil islet with approximately 100 residents who cultivate their grapevines.
The canal is 3,2 miles long and 81 feet (25 meters) wide, while the limestone from which it is cut rises to 250ft (76 meters) above the sea level and connects the west with the east Greek seas. The ancients used to drag the ships over the land until first Nero started digging. The present canal exists since 1893 but it was enlarged after the damage suffered in the World War II. No doubt it is an impressive yacht passage with road and railway bridges crossing it at its maximum height.
Corfu (Kerkyra) town
The capital of the island is the most famous town in Ionian Sea, since it combines cosmopolitan & night life, relaxation, natural beauty, a miraculous surrounding with a lot of history and proximity to superb bays and beaches. The elements of many different and contrasting civilizations are apparent all around the town. Venetian monuments, Italian style houses, French arcade, Byzantine church, Georgian buildings, spacious squares, large streets with many narrow stone paved backstreets (the famous "kantounia"). Corfu is one of the nicest towns in Europe. Literary figures such as Goethe, Oscar Wilde, Gerald & Lawrence Durrel, the painters Alfred Sisley & Edward Lear, immortalized with their pen or palette Corfu's inimitable enchantment.
A fishing harbor crowded by yachts, in front of a colorful traditional village with tavernas. Cypress trees surround the village.
An Ionian picturesque village with a little harbour, a short distance from many nice baysand beaches.
A very prosperous place until the 18th century, mainly for its commercial fleet. Then, the Turks invaded the area and captured the ships. One of the most pleasing harbours in the gulf of Corinth. Just few hour driving to the ancient oracle and theater of Delphi, a town regarded by the ancients as the center of the World.
The harbour has been recently expanded to accommodate more yachts, but it still remains a small and nice shelter. The village is also small and tranquil with the most of its few houses and tavernas spread along the harbour pier, while just outside the harbour, the pines of the steep hill reach down to the sea. There are only few residents who earn their living from summer tourism.
A very quiet island neighbouring to Kalamos, with only a narrow sea passage separating the two islands.
The village is very picturesque, not only when approached from the sea while entering the lovely little harbor but also when walking in its narrow streets.
A floating bridge connects the island with the mainland. The tranquil and distinctive town of Lefkas is full of wooden and colourful houses. Interesting bays and beaches will be revealed to you, all around the island. In Agios Nikitas you can enjoy one of the most beautiful beaches, with fine white sand as far as your eye can see. There are ruins of the prehistoric city as well as other interesting historical themes.
Although its name means "Mega-island", it is much smaller than Lefkas. There are three villages and three nice bays on the north side of the island. Sea caves and wonderful beaches make the island worth visiting.
The small harbour of the town is built inside the walls of the old Venetian Castle. The scenery of the yachts, the caiques and the fishing boats inside the castle provides a really captivating picture. The town main square with shady trees, is just opposite the entrance of the harbour, thus connecting its old Venetian style with to the small modern town.
The town is a busy tourist centre, a stopover for yachts cruising either south or north. Before tourism, the town lived off the "administrative support" of Scorpio, the Onassis's private islet.
Crystal waters in charming coves, as if it represents paradise in the Eastern Med. Political leaders, famous artists and other VIPs have signed the visitors' book of the tavern in the hill from where the view is marvellous.
Historically, Norman, French, English and Turks have successively occupied the village that was finally delivered to Greece again in 1913. Although visited by many tourists, the village is different than any village in the islands, as the mountainous life of the inhabitants is obvious all around.
The third largest city and a major harbour that connects Greece with Italy by ferry, lying just two hours driving from Athens. A very convenient place for those willing to start or end a cruise in Ionian Islands. Neoclassical houses at the foot of the castle and many mansions such as those housing the Municipal Theatre, the Odeon etc. A visit to the local wine factory " Achaia Klaus" is also worth while.
Paxi (Lakka & Gaios)
A small but really impressive island full of olive trees and grapevines. During the summer, because of so many Italians visiting the islands, the shop- keepers will find it difficult to address to you speaking anything other than Italian language. Lakka is a sheltered bay with nice coloured low houses and charming seaside. Gaios, the capital village with its 19th century houses, is built inside a fjord, along the east side of the island, with two entrances, north and south.
The private island of the famous Greek ship-owner Aristotle Onassis, that was regularly visited by celebrities at the time the owner was still alive. An earthly paradise where approaching and swimming are feasible, however landing is not allowed by the guards of the island.
Two small islets in the entrance of Myrtos bay, just opposite the southern end of Corfu. A nice place for swimming or overnight, as an alternative to Parga.
Although a marina has been recently made, the tranquility of this small green island is impressive. No cars, only a few houses, a church and two tavernas with fresh fish in the north side compose the life of the island. A little wooden ferry connects the island with the opposite mainland.
The southest seaside village of Lefkas. The bay is full of dinghies and windsurfers.
Vathi, the capital town with its delighted red-roofed houses, lies at the very end of the deep and closed bay. The beauty of the island is apparent all around and make it unforgettable to any visitor. That is why Homer's hero, King Odysseus, although wandering for years and years in so many beautiful places, never stopped looking for his country.
It is impossible for one to refer to the beauty of the island and the city itself, within just a few lines. Although destroyed by the earthquake in 1953, the city was rebuilt in its former layout. The streets, the squares, the buildings, the flowers everywhere, the history all around, the local tastes and so many other things make it difficult to describe in brief.
Some indicative cruises
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