Ionian and Aegean Islands to Visit Now, From Corfu to Skiathos

10 Unmissable Ionian and Aegean Islands to Visit Now

If you’re planning to visit some of the best islands of Greece, you have a challenge on your hands. Not only are there 6,000 gems, but each one is unique and has something special to offer — from white sandy beaches to nightlife that will rival even Ibiza.

With constantly changing scenery, awesome food, and a friendly atmosphere as the hallmark of each of these islands, this concise Greek Ionian and Aegean island-hopping guide will hopefully help you find exactly what you are looking for.

The Ionian islands

The Ionian island cluster lies to the west of mainland Greece in the Ionian Sea. While these islands range from popular to lesser-known, they each have an appearance and character of their own. Plus, booking gorgeous Ionian villa holidays will ensure you will have an unforgettable vacation in Greece.

1. Corfu

Ionian and Aegean Islands corfu

Image credit: Alexander Mils

Corfu is the administrative capital of the Ionian islands and lies near the Italian coast. The island also lies in close proximity to Albania; head to the eastern side of Corfu to see the Albanian coast lying just two miles away.

Corfu is a fascinating blend of Greek mythology and modern influence, with the Old Town aptly listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site! The Ionian Academy originated here, as did the first Greek theatre and the opera house. No matter your preferences, Corfu is a must-visit Ionian island destination.

2. Kefalonia

Ionian and Aegean Islands kefalonia

Image credit: Mac McDade

With an area of 298 square miles, Kefalonia is the sixth-largest island of Greece and the largest of all the Ionian islands. Charming villages, diverse natural scenery, and gorgeous beaches are some of the things to expect in Kefalonia.

There are also some unique aspects to this amazing island. For example, since the soil is rich in inorganic metals, the rabbits and goats living on the island have developed gold-coloured teeth!

Another otherworldly spot is the Cave of Melissani, which emits a magical blue light when the sun rays hit the sea at right angles. It’s no doubt that for unparalleled natural beauty, Kefalonia is the place to head to.

3. Ithaki

Ionian and Aegean Islands ithaki

Image credit: Apostolos Zafeiriou

To the northeast of Kefalonia lies Ithaki, an Ionian island made famous by Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey. Though the island is relatively very small (at just 37 square miles) and less visited by tourists, it’s the best place to be if you want to stay away from crowds.

What’s more, the capital city of Vathy has just 5,000 full-time residents, where even the largest villages look small in comparison. However, despite its size, Ithaki is home to some splendid attractions like the Archaeological Museum, The Church of Savior Christ, and the Cave of Nymphs. For those looking for a historical adventure, Ithaki is sure to deliver.

4. Meganisi

Ionian and Aegean Islands meganisi

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Conveniently nestled between Lefkada and the Greek mainland, the beautiful island of Meganisi is a perfect destination for a short trip. Untouched by mass tourism, Meganisi has some amazing beaches and secluded covers that can only be accessed by boat.

Since the island is small, it is a great place for relaxation. Another notable activity in Meganisi is hiking, with numerous paths leading to chapels, remote settlements, and hilltops offering breathtaking views.

A ferry from Port Nidri in Lefkada is the only way to reach the island.

5. Paxoi

Ionian and Aegean Islands paxoi

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This tiny Ionian island occupies a land mass of just 12 square miles and is not on the radar of every tourist. However, what makes Paxoi well worth a visit are the unspoilt beaches for an authentic Greek beach experience. Some notable stretches of sand can be found on the beaches of Plakes, Pounds, and Levrechio.

Paxoi is also noted for its therapeutic hot springs that can be found on the beaches of Ozia, Glyfada, and Yianna. Here, springs flow into the sea over the subterranean soil. With so much undiscovered beauty, Paxoi is a good choice for a peaceful and slow-paced holiday.

6. Parga/Epirus Coast

Image credit: Miltiadis Fragkidis

The town of Parga is, without doubt, the most sought-after holiday destination on the Epirus Coast. The eye-catching Venetian castles and breathtaking sea views combined with colourful architecture amid lush green nature never fail to leave visitors mesmerised.

Swimming in the calm waters of Parga is a delight as is hiking in the springs of the Acheron River. Rafting is also popular with river routes from the springs to the Ionian Sea.

The Aegean islands

Unrivalled, unparalleled, and unbelievably stunning are not enough to describe the fame of the Aegean islands. Indeed, these islands have rendered untold beauty to the millions of visitors who flock here year after year.

7. Skopelos

Image credit: Nikola Radojcic

Nestled perfectly around its horseshoe-shaped harbour and clinging to the hills, the island of Skopelos seems like a phoenix rising up from the waters. Just picture pure all-white facades and tiled roofs with cerulean blue shutters.

Looking for signs of the intrinsic beauty the island of Skopelos is known for? The labyrinth of traffic-free narrow streets hides innumerable photogenic treasures, tempting taverns overlooking vine-covered terraces, and the remains of the 13th-century Venetian castle on top of the town.

8. Alonissos

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Known for its picturesque beaches and surreal natural beauty, Alonissos is one of the leading island destinations in the Sporades island group. The capital Chora offers spectacular views of the Aegean and the surrounding villages of Votsi, Patitri, and Steni Vola, among others.

To get to Alonissos, you’ll need to take a ferry from Volos Port (the port is connected to Athens via the KTEL bus network). While things to do are limited, visitors can swim in the calm waters or visit the local villages for traditional architecture, natural surroundings, and exceptional local hospitality.

9. Pelion Peninsula


The Pelion Peninsula is no stranger to natural beauty. A huge mountain dotted with traditional villages and fringed by pristine beaches are hands down the real gems of Pelion. Moreover, the region is covered in forests, which offer many hiking trails leading to waterfalls, monasteries, and secluded beaches.

Recently, a few diving centres have opened up in Pelion that offer diving trips to the neighbouring islands along the coast. A small ski centre will also open up during winter in the Chania village. Expect plenty of opportunities for skiing and snowboarding at this time.

10. Skiathos

Image credit: Nick Karvounis

Of all the Northern Sporades islands, Skiathos is the most cosmopolitan and truly a real “paradise on earth”. The unspoilt island is blessed with as many as 60 beautiful beaches including Koukounaries, said to be the third most beautiful beach in the Mediterranean. Add to it the vibrant nightlife, and you have an island that attracts eager groups of youths each year.

The ultimate hotspot for non-stop entertainment till early morning? The pedestrian street near the Old Harbor. Certainly, colourful cultural events and concerts add an extra flavour to a holiday on this island.

For all those planning a Mediterranean getaway this summer, the Ionian and Aegean islands offer something for everyone — whether you’re seeking relaxation and indulgence or adventure and exploration. From the stunning turquoise waters and pristine beaches to their delectable cuisine and charming atmosphere, these islands promise unforgettable memories that will linger long after the journey ends.


About Author

Jyotsna Ramani
Jyotsna Ramani

Jyotsna Ramani is a passionate writer and an avid globetrotter. She loves putting pen to paper and sharing her worldly adventures on her travel blog -