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Overview

The Ionians are the westernmost — and most Western leaning — islands of Greece. They have always been dominated or influenced by Roman, Venetian, French, Russian, British or other Western powers. And except for a very brief interlude they were the only part of present day Greece not to be ruled by the Ottoman Turks. They further differ from the Aegean islands in that they are much more verdant, well watered, with a more temperate climate. And except for Corfu, tourism is not on the massive scale of the Aegean. You can actually get lost here. There is much romance here, in the literary sense. Edgar Allen Poe wrote a sonnet to the island of ...

The Ionians are the westernmost — and most Western leaning — islands of Greece. They have always been dominated or influenced by Roman, Venetian, French, Russian, British or other Western powers. And except for a very brief interlude they were the only part of present day Greece not to be ruled by the Ottoman Turks. They further differ from the Aegean islands in that they are much more verdant, well watered, with a more temperate climate. And except for Corfu, tourism is not on the massive scale of the Aegean. You can actually get lost here. There is much romance here, in the literary sense. Edgar Allen Poe wrote a sonnet to the island of Zakynthos. Odysseus left his love Penelope on Ithaki. Lefkas has its famous "suicide cliffs" for the love-lorn. Venetian ghosts are everywhere in the architecture. The wines are unique here, with Cephalonia possessed of three official appellations, the most famous being Robola, which produces a very fine dry white by the same name. Monemvasia and Moscato are sweet.

Richard Sterling
About the Expert

Richard Sterling is the author of Lonely Planet's World Food: Greece, Eyewitness Travel Guide Vietnam, and many other books.

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Richard Sterling for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    July and August for the religious, music, wine and art festivals