Classic style, luxury and Italian flair combine on this island of aristocratic grace. The majestic old and new Venetian fortresses, the Achillion palace and Mon Repos villa top a long list of architectural spectacles, making its long, rich history waltz before your eyes. This island is awash with photo opportunities from the iconic Mouse Island to the Easter pot smashing extravaganza. In addition, there are so many trails to appeal to an adventurous or romantic heart; through Byzantine ruins, across wetlands teeming with bird life, not to mention a plethora of photogenic beaches where woodland reaches right down to the shoreline, at which point the water sports start to make a considerable splash. This is a timeless destination, whose cosmopolitan character delights all its visitors. Sunshine mixed with the rich emerald hues of nature and the crystal clear Ionian await you, as do a fabulous historical journey, charming customs and traditions and the odd time-worn recipe or two, all lovingly passed down through the centuries.
Emerald hillsides and vales, peacock-blue sea, stretches of beach of the pures white sand you’ll ever see and that unmistakable air of sophistication, the tiny islands of Paxi and Antipaxi are ready to provide you a lovely miniature of Ionian wonders! The charming capital of Gaios nestles at the end of a fjord; a visit to the castle of Agios Nikolaos reveals its designer to be the one and only Leonardo da Vinci; the enchanting caves of Ahai and the Ypapanti grotto invite your exploration; ancient olive groves are ideal for an early evening ramble, ending with a clifftop view of the sunset. With a cosmopolitan atmosphere derived from their Venetian heritage and luxurious boutique hotels, all you need do is just relax, sip some sweet, dark wine and let the romance take hold.
The Diapontia Islands constitute another idyllic slice of Ionian life. Whether you sail to Mathraki for its exuberant flora and fauna, Othoni for its mountainous terrain or Erikoussa for its olive making tradition, a heavenly getaway awaits.
Lefkada is one of the Ionian jewels with dense, vibrant forests, cascading waterfalls, cosmopolitan charm and famous beaches, with Kathisma, Egremni and Porto Katsiki never far from the international spotlight. The island is easily accessible, hospitable and lively – a recipe for the perfect summer holiday. Windsurfing, kitesurfing, scuba diving, horseback riding, mountain biking, sailing; there really is an endless stream of sporting activities for you to experience. Its culture comes in the form of Venetian-influenced architecture; in imposing castles and churches; along quaint, often carless, alleyways which lead to peaceful, flower-filled squares. And all the while, the Monastery of Panagia Faneromeni watches serenely over the port with a serious duty of care. You’ll savour the true character of the island, enjoying its folk dances and songs and tasting the local cuisine; Englouvi lentils, air-dried salami with peppercorns, olive oil, honey and wine come in generous helpings. Finally, get acquainted with the ‘bouranelous’, city dwellers for whom fishing is a way of life. Immerse yourself in this magical and sensual world.
Meganisi is an island gem, ideal for the traveller who wants to get away from it all. Its verdant landscape, craggy coastline, enticing coves and crystalline waters will instantly win your heart. The moment you set foot on its shores, the colours, the aromas and the sounds of its unspoilt nature induce a calm, contented feeling. The port of Vathi and Spartohori village are delightful visions of scaleddown beauty; traditional stone houses, winding cobblestone alleyways and fresh fish served in quayside taverns. Vathi, with its perfectly sheltered cove and new marina is a favourite sailing boat anchorage. Katomeri is the only inland village and yet it provides the easiest access to Atherinos fjord, home to the delightful beach of Fanari. Other beaches include Porto Elia, with a view to the islet of Kalamos, and Spilia, a beautifully organized beach near Spartohori. Meganisi also provides excellent fishing opportunities and its long south peninsula is ideal for serious hikers.
Rugged mountain and coastal scenery merge to truly take your breath away; world renowned beaches, like Myrtos, Makri Gialo and Skala, invite you into waters of all shades of green and blue; a rich artistic heritage radiates out from Lixouri, their own ‘Little Paris’, and welcoming islanders are always ready to crack a joke or two. The capital Argostoli speaks volumes of its past through its distinctive architecture, the Drapanos stone bridge, the famous Lithostroto street and its museums of archaeology, history and folk art. The Venetian influence prevails throughout the island, most notably in the shape of the fort of Agios Georgis and the imposing castle towering over the village of Assos. Away from the crowd you can hike among the scented firs of the spectacular Ainos National Park, and marvel at the patient arts of nature in the caves of Drogarati and Melissani. Sailing off the islands waters is also pure pleasure, with picturesque Fiskardo a perfect haven in which to drop anchor and enjoy end-of-the-day delicacies with delicious Robola wine.
According to Homer, for Ulysses, Ithaca was the ultimate homeland, a place of inspiring beauty that gave him the strength to endure his many adventures. Today, its enchanting qualities are still abundantly clear. Arriving by yacht in the sheltered bay of Kioni with its exquisite little fishing village, you are immediately struck by a sense of intimacy and welcoming charm without excessive bluster or fanfare. Even the capital, Vathy, built alongside a deep-water fjord, steadfastly preserves its essential Ionian character. The island casts an uplifting, ethereal spell; myriad colours mingle on beaches of pebble or glistening white sand, such as Platia Ammos, before the turquoise sea beckons you in; legends swirl about its misty mountain peaks and shady trails; the Cave of the Nymphs, the mysterious stone monoliths known as Menhirs in Anogi, the Acropolis of Alalcomenae and diving deep to Poseidon’s underwater kingdom all bring you a tantalizing step closer to deciphering the mysteries of the ancients. Perhaps the most beautiful spot on the island is reserved for the monastery of Panagia tis Kathariotissas, confirmation that here spirituality and nature are in complete harmony. You’ll find art and boutique hotels echo this feeling of subtle refinement, offering an authentic home from home.
Zante is certainly an island of diversity. Famous for beautiful mountain villages and accompanying scenery, it also boasts the first ever National Marine Park in Greece, currently a reserve for rare sea turtles. Then, along with unspoilt nature, perfect for tranquility and reflection, it can also bring you a vibrancy throughout day and night, a sense of fun and carefree youthful energy, radiating from its varied beaches and water sports as well as its trendy bars and clubs. No wonder the Venetians dubbed Zante the “fioro di Levante”, the flower of the orient, and proceeded to crown its capital with a magnificent castle fortress. Navagio, with its world-famous scene of a shipwreck on the sand, and the Blue Caves are undoubtedly the stars among many wonderful beaches and enchantingly rugged coastline, the ideal introduction to the incandescent colours of its waters and exceptionally stunning landscape, which also produces sumptuous wines and nutritious raisins. With so many reasons to come here, why not just feel the energy and recharge with the brilliant blue!
Address: Alikes Potamou, P.C. 49100, Corfu
T: 26610 39606, 26610 31696
F: 26610 42335