Ionian Islands are a group of islands west of the Greek
mainland and Peloponnese. The islands were initially Greek,
later became Macedonian. For most of their history the
islands were part of whatever empire had invaded Greece.
First came the Romans and then the Eastern Roman Empire. This
was followed by a long and prosperous period where they were
under the Byzantine Empires rule.
As a result of the Crusades they became part of the Republic
of Venice. This happened in the 12th century. After the fall
of Venice in the Napoleon war they came British under British
protection. Initially this was welcomed by the islanders but
when Greece became independent in 1830 not so much anymore.
In 1864 the Ionian Islands were finally given to Greece. With
this gesture the British supported the enthronement of the
George I. who - unlike his successor Otto - they considered
Picture: © Mirko Wilhelm -
The Ionian Islands consist of six larger and countless small
islands. Most important are: Corfu, Kythira, Lefkada, Ithaki,
Kefallonia, Zakynthos and Paxos. The islands are greener with
more rain than the islands in the eastern part of Greece.
Corfu, Kefallonia and Zakynthos have an airport. The others
are easy to reach by boat.
The islands from north to south:
Corfu is biggest of the islands and probably also the best
known. The island is only a few kilometres off the Albanian
coast. Corfu can be reached directly by boat from Italy. The
"Pink Palace" is probably the most famous Youth Hostel in all
Europe. It's massive. The only available option to book is
half board (from 21 Euro in dorm room). Staying there means
party 24/7. They got pool table, table tennis, whirlpool and
other amenities available. If you look for peace and quite
this is the wrong place to be. If you up for mayhem Pink
Palace is your first choice.
Picture: © eyewave -
Paxos ist he smalles of the islands. It has an area of only
20 km˛ with about 5000 people living there. There are a few
nice villages and beaches.
Lefkas is connected to the mainland by a bridge. There is
little tourism. It is therefore relatively unspoiled.
Kefalonia is quite big (40.000 inhabitants) and surprisingly
green. Despite its size and he presence of an airport there
is very little tourism. Most of the locals are farmers. The
main attraction of the islands are the caves.
Ithaka is a beautiful island. It's quite small but famous.
Odysseus allegedly lived here.
Zakynthos is a popular destination for package holiday
makers. Despite the tourism the island is still a good place
to go. The beaches are awesome, hiking and cycling are most
popular. The island is also famous for sea turtles.
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