Ionian islands (νησιά του Ιονίου ή επτάνησα) are the most western group of islands in Greece, stretching along the west coast of Greece in the Ionian Sea. They are traditionally called the Heptanese, i.e. “the Seven Islands” but the group includes many smaller islands as well as the seven principal ones.
The seven islands from north to south are:
1) Kerkyra (Κέρκυρα) usually known as Corfu in English and Corfu in Italian
2) Paxi (Παξοί) also known as Paxos in English
3) Lefkada (Λευκάδα) also known as Lefkas in English
4) Ithaki (Ιθάκη) usually known as Ithaca in English
5) Kefalonia (Κεφαλονιά) often known as Kefalonia, Cephalonia and Kefallinia in English
6) Zakynthos (Ζάκυνθος) sometimes known as Zante in English and Italian
7) Kythira (Κύθηρα) usually known as Cythera and Cerigo in English. It not part of the region of the Ionian Islands anymore, as it is included in the region of Attica.
The rest of them are smaller but they have a unique charm on their own. Although some of them are uninhabited, we can mention some honorable islands worth to visit from north to south such as: Ereikousa, Othonoi, Mathraki, Antipaxi, Meganisi, Kalamos, Kastos, Megalo Fermekoulo, Mikro Fermekoulo, Atokos, Echinades group of islands, Arpia, Stamfani and Antikythera.
The islands are well known for their beautiful sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, architecture, charming villages and stunning scenic countryside which is verdant and flourishing with greenery and nature. These islands are known to be covered with green unlike the Cyclades, which is due to rareness of rain.
The mayor communities throughout the islands are the city of Corfu (also capital of Corfu region), Zante city (capital of Zante), Argostoli (capital of Kefalonia), Lixouri (in Kefalonia), and Lefkada city (Lefkada capital).
Each Ionian island has a distinct character. As a distinctive historic region they date to the centuries-long Venetian rule, which preserved them from becoming part of the Ottoman Empire and created a recognizable cultural identity with many Italian influences. The Ionian Islands became part of the modern Greek state in 1864.
- Arcadion Hotel
- Arion Hotel
- Sunset Hotel Corfu
- Acharavi Hotel
- Aeolos Beach Hotel
- Alexandros Hotel
- Aqualand Resort Hotel
- Ariti Grand Hotel
- Blue Princess Hotel & Suites
- Corcyra Gardens Hotel
- Corfu Palma Boutique Hotel
- Delfinia Hotel
- Divani Corfu Palace Hotel
- Elea Beach Hotel
- Fundana Villas Hotel
- Ithea Suites Hotel
- Mr & Mrs White Hotel
- Saint George Palace Hotel
- Corfu Holiday Palace Hotel
- Corfu Palace Hotel
- Grecotel Corfu Imperial Hotel
- Kontokali Bay Resort & Spa Hotel
- Marbella Corfu Hotel
- Rodostamo Hotel & Spa
- Mentor Hotel
- Korina Gallery Hotel
- Ammes Hotel
- Athina Hotel
- Ionian Plaza Hotel
- Mounda Beach Hotel
- Astra Village Hotel
- Avithos Resort Hotel
- Kefalonia Grand Hotel
- Kymata Bohemian Beach Resort Hotel
- Melmar View Hotel
- F Zeen Boutique Hotel
- Anemes Hotel
- Anatoli Hotel
- Athena Hotel
- Boschetto Hotel
- Ionion Star Hotel
- Blue Horizon Villas Hotel
- Amaryllis Hotel
- Contessa Hotel
- Contessina Hotel
- Gloria Maris Hotel Suites & Villa
- Herodotos Studios
- Letsos Hotel
- Mirabelle Hotel
- Zante Pantheon Hotel
- Castelli Hotel
- Diana Palace Hotel
- Diana Hotel
- Filoxenia Hotel
- Keri Village Hotel
- La Caretta Hotel
- Palatino Hotel
- Galaxy Hotel Beach Resort
- Lesante Blu Exclusive Beach Resort Hotel
- Mediterranean Beach Resort Hotel
- Saint John Villas & Spa Hotel
- Zante Park Resort & Spa Hotel
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At the older ages, the islands were settled by Greeks at an early date, possibly as early as 1200 BC. Homer wrote the ancient Greek Odyssey and mentioned Ithaca as the birthplace of Odysseus and archaeological investigations have revealed interesting findings in both Kefalonia and Ithaca.
By the 4th century BC, most of the islands were absorbed into the empire of Macedon. Some remained under the control of the Macedonian Kingdom until 146 BC, when the Greek peninsula was gradually annexed by Rome. After 400 years of peaceful Roman rule, the islands passed to the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire.
The Ionian islands fell under Venetian rule in 1204, where the Republic of Venice controlled Corfu and slowly the rest of the islands.
Once Greek independence was established after 1830, however, the islanders began to resent foreign colonial rule by the British and to press for union with Greece. In 1862, Britain decided to transfer the islands to Greece, as a gesture of support intended to bolster the new king’s popularity.
DnD Travel offers you the opportunity to book a vehicle of your choice in Cyclades islands. Contact us for more details or read some useful information about transport for Cyclades islands.
Getting to Cyclades islands is easy. By plane or by ferry either.
There are airports in Corfu, Zakynthos, Lefkada, Kefalonia and Kythira. The airports of Corfu, Kefalonia and Zakynthos receive domestic flights from Athens and Thessaloniki and also charter flights from abroad in summer. The airport of Lefkada works only in summer and receives charters from abroad. The airport of Kythira receives domestic flights from Athens. All these airports also serve charters from other Greek islands.
Ferries to the Ionian islands are operated from ports in western Greece. Ferries from Patra go to Ithaca and Kefalonia. Ferries from Igoumenitsa go to Corfu and Paxi. Ferries from Killini go to Kefalonia and Zakynthos. Ferries to Kythira depart from Neapoli Peloponnese, while in summer there are also ferries from Piraeus port and Kissamos Crete.