Greece - Ionian Paradise
The Ionian Sea is located to the west of the Greek Mainland and island resorts boast beautiful countryside, crystal clear water and the opportunity to experience friendly laid back Greek life. Corfu is by far the best known island but Karen recently visited some of the more traditional areas and has written this destination guide to give you the benefit of her first hand knowledge.
Sivota and Parga are both on the Greek Mainland and car hire is ideal if you want to spend time exploring the area and some of the islands. Paxos, Lefkas and Meganissi are all islands which can be easily accessed from Preveza or Corfu airports and you can either just relax and explore one island or take day trips by boat to experience others.
Paxos is the smallest of the Ionian Islands, just seven miles long and three miles wide and can be reached by flying to Corfu and then taking the one hour hydrofoil transfer. It has pretty villages, wooded landscapes and white pebbled coves, a paradise for walkers.
The island has three main seaside villages Gaios, Loggos and Lakka each with its own charm. Gaios is the capital; popular with the yachting fraternity it has an attractive square and harbour with a good choice of restaurants. Lakka in the north has a wide circular bay and an authentic village atmosphere. Loggos is the smallest and prettiest with a cluster of houses around the busy waterfront.
Recommended accommodation on Paxos
Paxos Beach Hotel about 20 minutes from Gaios has one of the best locations on the island situated above its own peaceful white pebbled beach. The 42 rooms in small stone terraced units set among the olive groves.
Villa Jasmine near Magazia and 10 minutes drive from Gaios is an idyllic small villa for just two people with its own private pool.
The resort of Parga is located on the mainland amid lush countryside just an hour north from Preveza airport. The much photographed and brightly painted harbour has a great selection of cafes, bars and restaurants. It is sheltered behind a rocky headland crowned by a Venetian Fort. On the other side of the headland you will find Valtos beach, about a 20 minute walk or alternatively it can be accessed by one of the cheap water taxis which operate until around 11pm.
Recommended accommodation in Parga
The four star Parga Beach Hotel offers an excellent standard of accommodation and is located directly on Valtos Beach.
Aleca Studios are much simpler, privately located with great views; just 10 minutes walk from the center. They are spacious and well furnished and offer great value for money.
For more information call the Adeona Travel team today on: 0161 486 9247
Only just an island, Lefkas is joined to the Greek mainland by a swing bridge and is just a 40 minute transfer from Preveza airport. Nidri, on the east coast, is the only true resort and still retains its Greek character with a traditional harbour front of restaurants, shops and bars. The resort is very flat and would be suitable for anyone with walking difficulties. Whilst the east coast is sheltered, very pretty and shingly, with pine and olive trees to the water’s edge, the west coast is rugged and open, with towering cliffs and fabulous beaches.
Recommended accommodation on Lefkas
Palm Tree Hotel has an enviable location, right on the beach but within a few minutes’ walk of Nidri’s waterfront. It is family run with 16 simple comfortable rooms and brilliant views. The hotel has a lift so would be suitable for those with mobility difficulties.
Stella Geni Apartments are located at the water’s edge in the small resort of Geni. The 5 maisonette style apartments share a pool and lovely views over the bay to the mountains. There are traditional tavernas within walking distance but the best way to get around is by hiring a boat which can be moored in front of the property.
The Island of Meganissi is Greece at its best. Reached by a 40 minute ferry from Lefkas it offers complete relaxation, with magnificent views, walking, swimming and traditional tavernas. The beaches on the Island are mainly white pebble, backed by pine and cypress trees. Accommodation is either in small self catering apartments or private villas. Car hire is recommended to explore the island and enjoy the secluded coves and beaches.
Recommended accommodation on Meganissi
Rose Garden Apartments in Vathy are located just to the side of the harbour in an elevated position offering great views but with easy access to the waterfront.
Villa Aleka is just five minutes walk from Spartochori and 10 minutes from Spilla, where you will find a couple of waterfront tavernas and a sheltered beach.
Sivota, situated on the mainland opposite the southern tip of Corfu, enjoys a setting of remarkable natural beauty. In the evening the harbour front attracts many boats and the tavernas and shops are lively. Sivota is a beach lover’s paradise with a dozen excellent sandy beaches many of which can be accessed on foot.
Recommended accommodation in Sivota
The 40 room Filakas Hotel has an amazing location directly above Sivota’s pretty harbour, with well furnished room, balconies and great sea views.
However, the best views are probably from Costa Smeralda Apartments, located 700m from Sivota’s harbour. Private gardens lead to a large pool and Bella Vraka Island beach.
The Ionian mainland resorts and islands we have featured are all ideal for a seven night holiday, if you want to expereince more of what the area can offer we would be delighted to recommend day excursions and can you give advice on ferry crossings and journey times. If you are planning a fourteen nights holiday then why not consider a two centre option, we can arrange transfers, car and boat hire in advance.
Please call Karen if you would like to know more about her experiences or to start planning your own Ionian holiday.