The Ionian Islands got their name because of their location.
For they are lined up off the shores of western Greece in the Ionian Sea.
Corfu (Kerkyra) is the second largest island of the Ionian Islands and perhaps the best known.
Homer described the Ionian island, which is a garden island directly opposite the Peleponnes, as “wooded Zakynthos”.
The largest of the Ionian Islands is Kefalonia, an idyllic, clean and green island covered with pine forests.
Lefkada is very close to the Greek mainland and can be reached quickly via a bridge from the Greek city of Preveza, where the airport is also located.
THE IONIC ISLANDS
They are mainly considered a crossroads between Greece and Western Europe. Since they are located relatively north by Greek standards, winter can certainly set in here.
For the nearby mainland around Igoumenitsa even hosts winter ski areas in the mountains near the Mediterranean Sea, where snow falls very often in winter. Therefore, the temperatures in the Ionian Islands are also rather in the single digits to small double digits with a lot of rain.
But from May to October is the season here and it is pleasantly warm. When choosing a time to travel to the Ionian Islands, you should always take into account what kind of vacation you want to spend here.
If the focus is on relaxing on the beach, then the summer months from June to September are ideal, because then it can also be very dry and hot with temperatures between 28 ° and 32 ° Celsius and also the nights do not cool down. However, if you want to spend your vacation time mainly sightseeing, go in the somewhat cooler months of May or October, but even at these times you can still spend nice warm beach days in between, as the temperatures in these months are still above 20 ° Celsius. However, it is no longer quite so hot and for tours across the islands the ideal weather…
Ithaca, the island where Odysseus was born, has been attracting tourists only in recent years.
Elafonisos, the small Ionian island can be found between the island of Kythira, which also belongs to this group of islands, and the Peleponnes.
Vido is a small island located just in front of the old port and the old town of Corfu (Kerkyra).
Away from tourism, experience the original life of the Ionian Islands
Many hotels in the Ionian Islands offer tourists everything they need for a relaxing vacation. However, if you want to experience the original life, you will not only stay on the beach but also explore the hinterland.
For this purpose, rental cars or small mopeds are available, but also the regular buses with which the local islanders get from village to village offer a possibility to explore the islands on their own. The good thing about this is that you can stand anywhere on the road that is used by the buses and you will be taken everywhere by the bus drivers and also let out again.
The Greeks do not yet know a stubborn approach to the marked stops. So you can get from village to village quickly, mingle with the locals and enjoy lunch in one of the many taverns frequented by the villagers. Here you don’t order according to the menu, the host invites you into his kitchen and lets you look into his pots.
This way you know exactly what you are ordering. In the larger ports, boat tours are also offered, which offer deep-sea fishing or dolphin watching. Those arriving by car can already keep their eyes open on the ferry crossing, sometimes larger groups of dolphins accompany the ships.
Kythira, unlike the other Ionian islands, is located on the southeastern tip of the Peleponnese, so you will not find the green vegetation known from the other islands of this group.
For all individualists who want to experience the Greek life, the Ionian island of Meganisi is the ideal vacation destination.
Kalamos in the Ionian Sea belongs to the municipality of the island of Lefkada. It is only about 2 km away from the mainland and separated here by a sound.
Othoni off the coast of Corfu (Kerkyra) is the westernmost island of Greece and the largest of the diapontic islands with about 10 km².
When is the best time to travel?
The Ionian Islands are always worth a visit. Who does not attach so much importance to mass tourism and would like to get to know the original life of the islanders is exactly right here. And the mild climate offers also in the summer months a good tolerance. Because compared to other southern vacation countries, you will find many green forests in addition to the cliffs, bays and sandy beaches in the interior of the island.
Already the Austrian Empress Sissi had recognized that the Ionian Islands combine mild climate and wonderful nature and for this purpose had a palace built high above the old town of Kerkyra (Corfu). The Ionian Islands did not always belong to Greece, they were first conquered by Romans, after a Byzantine period by the Venetians and later by the French.
All these eras are reflected everywhere on the islands and therefore make them so interesting. Therefore, all the islets belonging to this group of islands are always worth a trip in the summer and invite you with their sandy beaches on secluded bays and the mountains to relax, recreation and beautiful excursions.
The archipelago in the Ionian Sea
Corfu belongs to the group of islands with the capital of the same name, called Kerkyra by the Greeks as the most famous island with a beautiful old town. It can be reached quickly by plane from all German airports. Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian islands and Lefkada is the island that can be reached most quickly from the Greek mainland and here from Preveza, as it is closest to the mainland.
But also the smaller, so far not so well known islands like Elafonisos, Ithaka, Kalamos, Kythira, Meganisi, Othoni, Vido and Zakynthos are developing more and more into small vacation giants. Many Greek television programs are broadcast from Zykanthos, as a shipwreck on the beach of Navagio provides a wonderful backdrop for this. South of Corfu there are also two other small islands, Paxi and Antipaxi, which have only recently begun to attract tourists with comfortable hotels.