7 Islands in 7 Days

Corfu to Zakynthos. Greece's Ionian Islands are a diverse playground of jaw dropping destinations entwined with ancient history.

Forests, Caves and Shipwrecks

The chain of islands running down Greece's west coast are individual in style, but take touches of inspiration from Italy, France and Britain. Some of the prettiest architecture and the best cuisine in the Greek islands are found here, and Lefkada's beaches are some of the best in Europe.



The Venetians endowed Corfu Town with gracious townhouses. The French built elegant Parisian-style arcades. Its grand cafés now serve thimbles of strong Greek kafe elliniko with sticky slices of baklava, all carefully preserved within a UNESCO-protected site.

Cruise north towards Nissaki and choose from stunning anchorages. Most are in gin-clear coves accessible only by sea. The Rothschild villa is hidden amongst the olive groves. On the west coast, Palaiokastritsa commands an azure blue bay overlooked by forested cliffs. Its coastline deepens into a snorkelling paradise, hiding rainbow-coloured wrasse, red squirrel fish and astakos, a particularly tasty local lobster.



In Greek mythology, Poseidon hacked off a piece of Corfu for himself and sea goddess Amphitrite. A wise choice. His island paradise of Paxos is famed for its serenity within the luxury yachting set. Better still, it's carpeted with enough olive groves and healing springs to make a Greek god weep with joy.

Non-divine guests may still moor in Gaios. The Paxian capital is protected by the tiny islet of Agios Nikolaos, creating the prettiest port in Greece. Paxos’ hallowed coastal highlights lay in the west and south. Here over 40 fjord-like caves bite into the coastline cliffs.



Antipaxos has a reported population of just 64 residents. But these must be the happiest locals in the Hellenic Republic. The tiny island is carpeted with sailors’ two favourite topographies: vineyards and beaches. Vrika Beach is soft, sandy and sun-kissed. Voutoumi Beach is pristine, pebbly and lapped by an Ionian-only shade of eggshell blue waters.

It’s Antipaxos’ southern shores that most appeal to luxury yacht guests. Think private coves, sandbars and caves that sink under the waves. The best sunset starters include keftedakia meatballs, kolokithopita courgette fritters and urchin roe dip. The best seafood dinners are the ones caught over the side.



The tiny fishing village of Agios Nikitas is a superyacht secret. It boasts superb beaches to either side that can only be reached by sea. Near the southern tip of the island, Porto Katsiki is a spectacular crescent of wide sand and turquoise water. Once again, geography places it off-limits to those visitors without a boat.

But Lefkada’s biggest charms lie beyond the southern tip of the island. Nidri, midway down the east coast, stands on a mirror-calm lagoon dotted with tiny islets. The shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis is buried nearby on the dynasty’s private island of Skorpios, one of a scattering of uninhabited isles that lie between Lefkada and mainland Greece.


Vlicho Village

Vlichos is a lovely coastal village, quite traditional and located south of Lefkada Town. The village lies around a natural bay where fishing boats and private yachts moor during the summer period.


Papanikolis Cave

During the Second World War, it’s believed the cavern was used as a hiding spot for Greek submarines seeking cover after attacks on Italian ships.



Meganisi translates as ‘big island’. Yet little could be further from the truth. Wild green forest tumbles down this tiny island. Desert island sands ribbon the shoreline at Agios Ioannis beach.
The giant sea cave of Papanikolis is the second largest in Greece. It also hosts what must be the world’s most private beach within its eerie interior. Snaking off to Meganisi’s southeast is a long, uninhabited peninsula, which cries out for exploration by kayak or jet ski.
Scorpios, the island of Aristotle Onassis remains one of the world’s largest private islands. The hospitable people, their peaceful way of living, the interchange of scenery and special food creates an ideal place for a vacation.



Odysseus gave Ithaca its greatest pr boost. The Greek hero braved ten years of high seas to sail home to this mythical paradise. The island capital of Vathy is protected by a crescent of pine-covered cliffs, which encloses a perfect disc of blue sea.
Just 3,000 ithacans share this green eden of 120km2. The village of Perahori cascades down the hillside on the island’s southern side. Kioni unfolds around the ionian sea to the north, and the lofty Anogi village looks like it missed the coming of the normans, turks, venetians and french. A crew-led hike up 806m-high mount Nirito allows guests to gaze down upon several millennia of drama.



Steep white cliffs and Greece’s bluest seas greet visitors to Kefalonia. High above, a network of trails leads to the peak of Mount Enos, the tallest summit in the Ionian island chain. The view from this 1,628-metre massif is awe-inspiring. Kefalonia and its neighbours are spread below like emerald gems on a sea of blue.
On the northern tip of Kefalonia lies Fiskardo. Rows of pastel coloured houses hide many an excellent restaurant, making this the prettiest harbour village in Greece. Order kakavia, the island’s luscious seafood signature stew. The most serious lunches can be slept off at Mirtos, a celebrated strip of pure white sand.

One of Kefalonia’s neighbours is tiny Ithaca. The island is the ultimate destination of Homer’s Odyssey, the greatest sea-going legend of all time. Separated from Kefalonia by a narrow strait, its perfect natural harbour is invisible from the sea. Anchoring here is like discovering a secret mariner’s lair.



Skip the party tourism on this island’s east and southern coasts and anchor near its stunning western coast or northern caps. Mountains lined by forests sweep down to shimmering turquoise waters. Native loggerhead turtles are becoming scarce but can be spotted, and on the island’s famed shipwreck beach, kids of all ages can explore a washed up boat on a tiny golden beach. On the smaller surrounding islets, swim through cave passageways and snorkel in clear blue waters.