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How to do Greek Island Hopping in the Ionian islands

Antipaxoi ● Corfu ● Ionian islands ● Ithaca ● Kefalonia ● Lefkada ● Paxoi ● Zakynthos ● 24 May 2018
The Ionian Islands are exactly what you are looking for if you like green islands that look like Italy and have aristocratic atmosphere. They have a mild, friendly character in their landscape. Pine trees and cedar trees until the coastline is a usual picture of the beaches in the Ionian Sea, and thus, the waters of these beaches have an amazing emerald colour. The verdant nature is everywhere and is perfectly combined with the beautiful towns that due to their proximity to Italy have an Italian style and aura, totally romantic. Fiskardo in Kefallonia, the Old Town of Corfu and Vathy in Ithaca are only some of the well-preserved villages with the Venetian character that you should definitely visit. The beaches have shadow and are organised with many touristic facilities and shallow waters, so they are also family-friendly. But most of the Ionian islands are also ideal for young people thanks to their vivid nightlife. 

We present you here all the Ionian islands and we recommend you not to try to choose. You can visit more Greek islands in the Ionian Sea in an unforgettable Greek Island Hopping that gives you the best memories of your life! Start from the south and end up in the north, taming the waves of the Ionian Sea!

Which islands?


Zakynthos is a famous party-destination, especially for British tourists in Lagans. But it is not only an island to party and have fun. It has also wonderful beaches, lush greenery and Italian-style architecture. Have a walk at the central square of the city and main harbor of the island and the paved streets around it, and you will immediately feel the romantic aura. Zakynthos has not only the renowned Shipwreck beach, which is one of the best beaches in the Mediterranean Sea. It has also other equally beautiful long sandy beaches with turquoise waters, such as Laganas, Kalamaki, Agios Nikolaos, Tsilivi, Limni Keriou and Marathonisi. All of them are organised with various touristic facilities, such as sunbeds, umbrellas, cafés, restaurants, shop and water sports. For the lovers of wildlife, Zakynthos is an extraordinary place. It is the island, and especially Laganas Beach and Marathonissi, where the rare species of sea turtle karetta karetta lives and lays its eggs. There are some spaces on the beaches that are protected, without sunbeds and umbrellas, but the most fascinating fact is that you can take the boat in Laganas Gulf and see the sea turtles swim carefree near you!


Kefalonia is an authentic large island with many untouched traditional villages of Italian style architecture and lush greenery. It is located just one hour from Zakynthos, and it is an elegant island with a traditional small town, Fiskardo, on the northern side, which is ideal to relax and adore its beauty. Moreover, Kefalonia has some of the best beaches in Greece, such as Myrtos, Antisamos and Xi Beach. Swimming there makes you understand what Ionian Sea is about. When you see Myrtos from the street above, it is love at first sight. The long sandy beach with the turquoise waters, the golden sand and the steep cliffs, looks like hidden in the arms of the cove. Don't miss also to visit the beautiful towns of Argostoli and Lixouri with the nice beach promenade and the numerous shops.


Ithaca is the island of Odysseus and is characterised by calmness and relaxing atmosphere. What makes Ithaca unique is its virgin landscape with pine trees and the traditional picturesque villages with their friendly aura, which is ideal for families and couples. Ithaca t is a legendary place, the homeland of Odysseus, who was trying to reach it for 10 years according to Homer, but you can easily reach it in one hour by taking the ferry from Zakynthos or Kefalonia. Vathy is the capital and main port of Ithaca with Venetian houses, cobblestone paths and elegant shops. It is a preserved settlement since 1978. Ithaca has numerous beaches with golden sand and azure waters surrounded by lush greenery. Some of them are secluded and not organised, but some other have some touristic facilities, such as hotels, rooms to let, taverns, cafés and sunbeds. These are Filiatro, Sarakiniko and Loutsa.


Lefkada is a popular Ionian island thanks to its stunning beaches as well as its proximity to mainland Greece, to which it is connected by a bridge. Its town is crowded and busy, and there young people can have great fun. Moreover, most of the beaches in Lefkada have water sports facilities, so the island is ideal also for families with children. Lefkada is one of the few islands in Greece, which is totally renowned for its gorgeous beaches. They are astonishing with lush greenery, emerald waters and white sand. Some of them are organised, such as Kathisma, Agiofili and Nidri, but the most impressive and worth visiting beaches are the secluded bays of Egremni, Mylos and Porto Katsiki with remarkably blue waters and impressive cliffs that make them look like a painting. Beach hopping in Lefkada is the best thing to do at your stop on this island during the Greek Island Hopping in the Ionian Sea!


Corfu is a piece of Italy in the western side of Greece, an island with an astonishingly beautiful town as well as important historical sites and amazing beaches. Corfu Town is among the most beautiful and elegant cities in Greece, if not in Europe, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its traditional, Italian architecture, the neoclassical buildings and the well-preserved palaces create a unique charm that impresses every traveller. The best spots inn Corfu Town is the Spianada Square, the Ionian Academy, the Town Hall and the Ionian Parliament. Achilleion Palace, the summer retreat of empress Sissy of Austria, as well as Mon Repos, the summer residence of the former royal family of Greece, are also significant tourist attractions. In regard to the urban beauty, visit also the village of Old Perithia, an unchanged over the course of centuries island with stone-made houses, a representative sample of the Venetian architecture. Corfu has also magnificent beaches, but we definitely recommend you two of them. Paleokastritsa Beach is the most famous beach resort on the island, and it is located close to the main town (23 km). Huge green cliffs surrounding the beach and sea caves dominating the whole scenery, this is Paleokastritsa, which has also a well-known diving club. Near the village of Sidarion, is situated the Channel of Love (Canal d' Amour), an idyllic area with rock formations that create stunning coves and canals. According to the tradition, couples, who swim in the canal, will get married soon. Don't you want to try it with your other half during the island hopping in the Ionian Sea?


Paxoi is a small island on northern Ionian Sea near Corfu that impresses with its crystal turquoise sea waters. This landscape makes you feel like spending your holidays in Hawaii. Plus, Paxoi has also three very beautiful traditional villages, Gaios, Lakka and Logos. Gaios, the main harbor of the island is the biggest village with many touristic facilities, restaurants, accommodation options, cafés and bars. Lakka is located on the northern side of Paxoi and has a lovely small harbor for fishing boats and yachts. From there, you can take the boat for a day excursion to the nearby sea cave of Ipapanti. Logos is renowned for its traditional fish taverns at the beachfront and is the counterweight to busy Gaios. There, you can enjoy the spiritual vibes of the village as it is an artistic destination. Every year at the end of August, takes place the International Music Festival with classical music of famous Greek and foreign artists.


Antipaxoi, the tiny island near Paxoi, has spectacular turquoise and indigo waters, cliff top surroundings and lush greenery. It is impossible to resist to the pearl-colored sand the moment you step off the boat onto Antipaxoi. Voutoumi and Mesovrika are the top beaches of the island, if not of the Ionian Sea, literally paradises on earth. You can go to Antipaxoi by boat in half an hour from Paxoi, but keep in mind that the island has no tourist facilities (only a few taverns).

Which combinations?

There is a ferry line, which connects all the Ionian islands, so you can easily visit all of them if you want to. However, if you don't have as many days as you want during your Greek Island Hopping, you may want to visit only 2-3 islands. On the southern side, you can combine Zakynthos with Kefalonia. On the first island, you can have fun, while on the other, relax and enjoy a road trip -if you want to rent a car- to the numerous beautiful villages. For peaceful and relaxing vacation, combine Kefalonia with Ithaca, which is literally located near Kefalonia. Lefkada is located in the middle of the Ionian Sea, so you can combine it either with Zakynthos, Ithaca and Kefalonia or with Corfu, Paxoi and Antipaxoi. Corfu is a large island with numerous points of interest, so we recommend you to spend some days there. Then, you can go to the neighboring island of Paxoi for a couple of days, from which you can make a day trip to Antipaxoi.

How to get there?

Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Corfu have airports, so you can go directly to one of these islands, as during the summer months there are many charter flights. To these airports, you can go either from your country or from Athens, if you want to combine Greek Island Hopping with a visit in the Greek capital. From Athens, there are many domestic flights per day with various airlines, some of them low cost, and the flight lasts less than one hour even to Corfu, which is the remotest island. Then, you can continue with your island hopping in the Ionian islands, as there are several boats and ferries that connect the islands and you can find great ferry deals in Greece, especially if you book online. 

Another option is to drive or take the public road transport from Athens to Kyllini or Patras port. From Kyllini and Patras, you can take the boat to Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Ithaca. By public road transport, you need three hours from Athens, but you have also the option to take a flight to Araxos, the airport near Patras. Boats to Corfu depart from Igoumenitsa in the northern side of Greece (6 hours from Athens). However, from this summer, there are several ferry lines that depart from Patras and connect all the Ionian islands. Keep in mind that from Patras to Corfu, you need several hours (more than 4) by boat.

Where to Stay

Hotel in Corfu, Greece Hotel Dalia
Hotel Dalia
National Stadium Square, Garitsa, Corfu Town, 49100 Corfu, Greece

Dalia Hotel is located in Garitsa, Corfu, just a 10-minute walk from Corfu International Airport. The historic centre of Corfu is a 20-minute walk away. Corfu Port is 3 km away.

Hotel in Zakynthos, Greece Avalon Hotel
Avalon Hotel
Stavros Bochali, 29100 Zakynthos, Greece

Enjoying the magnificent view of Zakynthos Town, Avalon Hotel is located on the picturesque hillside of Bochali just 1 km away from the center of the lively capital of Zakynthos and from the nearest beach. The main port of Zakynthos island is at 3.5 km. Zakynthos International Airport is 6 km away.

Boutique Hotel in Lefkada, Greece Pirofani
10, Dorpfeld Str., 31100 Lefkada, Greece

Pirofani is located in the centre of Lefkada town, a 4-minute drive from Gira beach. Nydri Town is 16.4 km away.