Awe-inspiring steep coastlines, gleaming sandy shores, towering mountains, Venetian churches and castles, olive groves and pine forests; these are just some of the beauties that set the Ionian apart from other island groups. Located on the western coast of Greece, the Ionian Islands are paradisiacal, with a fertile soil giving life to the greenest of green complemented by the bluest of blue, as the olive trees, pines and vineyards dot its terrain all the way down to Adam’s ale.
Each of its islands, be it large or small, work together to bring an amalgamation of rich history and myths, natural beauty, a wealth of culinary flavors and endless outdoor excursions to keep you busy. Most importantly, the Ionian is a gateway to an unconventional experience focusing on true Greek authenticity, and what better way to explore this fairy-tale destination than by renting a yacht for a week, sailing through lesser-known islands of immense beauty.
Below, we set sail with a compilation of our favorite Ionian islands to drop anchor, in our recommended itinerary:
Day 1: The unique Corinth Canal and the quaint village of Galaxidi. Your adventure starts off in Athens where you will embark on your luxurious yacht. From there you will sail through the Corinth Canal, one of the narrowest canals in the world, before arriving at Galaxidi – a traditional seaside village featuring verdant landscapes with picturesque houses and a small harbor.
Day 2: Ithaca, the home of Odysseus. You will sail to Ithaca, an Ionian island filled with delightful coastal settlements where you will have the chance to revel in beautiful gulfs and turquoise waters or even hike a nature trail leading up to Gidaki beach.
Day 3: Lefkada’s jewel and the exclusive island of Scorpios. You will visit the magnificent island of Lefkada where you will spend your day at one of the most awe-inspiring beaches, Porto Katsiki; its abrupt white cliffs form the perfect contrast to the deep blue Ionian waters. From there, you will move on to the prestigious and breath-taking private island of Scorpios – once owned by the legendary Aristotle Onassis, which has hosted countless celebrities of the likes of Maria Callas.
Day 4: Antipaxi, an untouched Ionian gem. The islet of Antipaxi is without a doubt one of the most heavenly destinations in Greece. Decorated with crystal-clear azure waters, it is a place of vibrant colors, picturesque orchards, endless vineyards, and an untamed nature unlike any other.
Day 5: Corfu, the Queen of the Ionian.
On this day, you will be visiting one of the most beautiful and romantic Greek islands, Corfu. An enchanting destination surrounded by alluring shades of turquoise waters, a matchless natural beauty, impressive history, endless picturesque seaside villages and exceptional artistic features; it is no wonder that it captivates the hearts of those who pay it a visit.
Day 6: Paxi, a paradise of olive groves.
Moving on to Paxi (Antipaxi’s neighbor), you will have the chance to treat your eyes to the greenest Ionian island with its never-ending stretches of olive groves, while its picture-perfect beauty emanates an air of simplicity and elegance. You can spend your day enjoying the striking blue waters, exploring the remarkable caves or even go on a relaxing hike in pursuit of the historic cisterns of the island.
Day 7: Myrtos Beach, Kefalonia – nature’s miracle. The last island you will be visiting is Kefalonia where you will relax at the famous Myrtos beach; a geological wonder birthed by nature forging one of the purest and most striking settings. Then, you will embark on an exploration of the quiet, yet beautiful town of Fiskardo filled with Venetian houses all across its harbor.
Day 8: Finally, you will depart from Kefalonia and connect to Athens via plane to catch your international flight back home.