Ionian Islands – Corfu

Greece is an historic and cultured holiday destination.  The mainland of Greece has dozens of vibrant cities and ancient monuments that together offer a number of suitable locations to suit all holiday-tastes.  From the ancient city of Athens, to the Diros Caves and the Taygetus Mountains, you could revisit the mainland of Greece a dozen times and still have plenty of new adventures, destinations and things to do available to you.

However – if you are anything like me, and not a huge fan of the sun and the heat, during the months of June, July and August, you should consider visiting one of the islands of Greece.

Ionian Islands Greece
Ionian Islands – Image source

The Ionian islands for example, reside on the west coast of Greece and are recommended by many as a great location for families.
There are seven Ionian islands –
Corfu – also known as Kerkyra
Paxos – also known as Paxi
Lefkas – also known as Lefkada
Kefalonia
Ithaca – also known as Ithaki
Zante – also known as Zakynthos
Kythira – also known as Cythera or Cerigo

The beaches and surrounding beautiful crystal blue oceans are some of the most stunning in Europe – arguably in the world.  Fun and adventure is available in many forms on the islands – from the caves that are dotted around the cliffs and peninsulas, the charming rustic villages, and the unspoiled countrysides.

Corfu
Corfu is one of the most popular islands, and is visited by over one million tourists every year.
From the UK; a flight to Corfu takes around 3 hours and is well worth it!  Winters in Corfu are mild – around 10-15 degrees Celsius; whilst the summer months reach around 30 degrees, and with the island-winds it is important to drink plenty of fluids (not caffeinated or alcoholic ones!) and be mindful of the risks of sunstroke and potentially dehydration.

Things to do in Corfu include, of course, visiting the beach.  Paleokastritsa Beach is fantastic for snorkeling.
There are also a number of boat trips where you can explore the caves, or just chill out in the sea:

Caves

You can also take a walk (if you’re feeling anywhere near energetic) to the nearby monastery, where you can take in some of the beautiful views.  If you have car, there is a car park and a restaurant once you get there.

One particular ‘thing to do’ than you might not have otherwise considered – is the Corfu Donkey Rescue.  Despite the name, the Rescue Centre also has dogs and cats that are looked after and cared for there.  Children are usually able to pet the animals and brush the donkeys.  There are volunteers working at the Rescue Centre from all over the world – coming from the likes of America and Canada to help out.  The atmosphere is wonderful there, and the animals, especially the donkeys are very friendly.  See some of the reviews on TripAdvisor.

There is much to do on each of the islands – to write a complete guide to all of them would require a rather comprehensive website!

If you do visit, think beyond the obvious places to visit like the beaches – do some research on the islands – the Guardian and the RoughGuide website are good starting points.

And, if you have the money, yachting is a big thing at the moment in the Ionian Sea!

Ionian Sea
Ionian Sea

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