One of the most beautiful parts of the Mediterranean, the Ionian sea off the west coast of Greece is home to some of the most picturesque and quintessential Greek islands that one can visit.
Corfu remains the most well-known of these, and being served by Kerkyra airport it will invariably remain one the most popular tourist destinations in the Ionians. However, if you are looking for a more intrinsically Greek experience, away from the meat markets and tourist traps for which Corfu is renown, there is an alternative.
Kefalonia, 120km south of Corfu, also has its own international airport, and whilst it is well served, sees nothing like the volume of traffic of its better know neighbour. The island in itself is a wonderful place, with a lazy charm and indolence that compliments the beautiful bays and quiet coves that can be found here.
One of the greatest advantages of flying to Kefalonia, however, is the proximity it offers to the other islands of the Ionian, all of which are by comparison far away from the madding crowd and entirely unspoiled.
Our view is that if you’re looking for a special summer, then flying to Kefalonia, chartering a yacht, and cruising between the islands of Ithaca, Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Paxos is hard to beat. There’s simply no better way to escape the heat and take in the rugged beauty of those hard to reach corners, than slowly meandering from bay to bay and taverna to taverna, whilst occasionally cooling yourself down with a brief dip in the crystal aquamarine seas.
If you do decide that this may be a sensible way to spend a few weeks, then here are a few suggestions that we can firmly recommend:
1. Spend the morning swimming in Anti-Paxos before heading to Lakka on Paxos for a lazy lunch of fresh lobster
2. Visit Myrtos Beach in Kefalonia, where several scenes from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin were filmed in 2000
3. Spend a day exploring Ithaca, the mythological home of Odysseus, with it’s myriad traditional tavernas, beautiful sunsets, and secretive bays, perfect for mooring your boat and having a quiet afternoon siesta
4. Take a look (by boat!) at the famous Blue Caves on the northern coast of Zakynthos, before heading on to Shipwreck cove for the obligatory photograph of the old smugglers ship that lends the bay its name.