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Beach with boats

Ionian Island Hopping

Itinerary

  • Itinerary:
    Zakynthos - Kefalonia - Ithaca - Lefkada
  • Duration:
    13 days / 12 nights (flexible)
  • Price:
    from £ 1,685.- per person (excluding flights)
Island-hopping is not solely a tropical affair. With countless possibilities (literally; the numbers range between 1,200 and 6,000 islands), Greece is an exciting destination to explore, with the Ionian islands being some of the most beloved. Green, fresh and incredibly diverse due to the various influences across the centuries, the Ionians will provide both the culture fix and a much needed escape from it all. Explore the famous caves in Zante, lose yourself in the venetian towns of Kefalonia and odyssey across the clear waters of Ithaka, the homeland of the famed Homer's hero.
Greece Ithaca beach
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Days 1-3 – Shipwrecks and sea turtles

Zakynthos is a relatively small island and is known for its crystal-clear water, the white cliffs and the rugged mountains. Drive along winding roads through the unspoilt interior to your studio located on the east side of the island, on a quiet and fine sandy beach. After checking in, take a dip in the sea water, or settle down at one of the beachside taverns and enjoy a cool drink. If you’re full of energy explore the villages with orange roofs and marvel at the two million olive trees as you avoid crossing goats before cooling off on one of the sandy or pebble beaches. 

Smuggler’s Bay is on the agenda today. The Navagio Bay has become famous for the shipwreck that lies here. In 1980 the ship ran aground, full of cigarettes and booze, hence the nickname Smuggler’s Bay. You’ll depart from the harbour and sail across the blue waters to the bay, before continuing to the ever-changing shades of the water in the Blue Caves. 

The rest of the day is free for you to explore Zakynthos on your own. Journey to Cameo Island and snorkel off of the its golden-sand beaches. For the most beautiful sunset go to the lighthouse in Keri. It’s the perfect vantage point to watch the sun disappear into the bay.

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Days 4-6 – The Venice of Greece

Arrive on Kefalonia, the lesser known of the Ionian islands, where you will find picturesque harbour towns full of colourful Venetian mansions. A quieter island so you can still find white sand beaches hidden between and steep cliffs with only a handful of other people on themYou’ll sleep in an apartment in the harbour of the tiny village of Agia Efimia oa boulevard where you can eat delicious food while taking it easy and really adapting to the Greek pace of life.

Today you’ll hop on a bike to explore a different part of the island, via a winding road through the green hilly interior. After a short ride, you’ll arrive in the town of Argostoli, the capital of Kefalonia. Stroll on the boulevard and with a bit of luck, you’ll spot the Caretta Caretta turtle swimming near the fishing boats. Continue on pedalling through the countryside, past vineyards and coves with red and grey sand beaches. In the evening, head back to the boulevard for another Greek feast. 

The following day is free for you to do as you please. There is so much to see and do among the steep green rock cliffs, white sand beaches and turquoise sea water. 

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Days 7-9 – Odyssey across Ithaca

Today you’ll reach Ithaca, the homeland of the famed Homer’s hero, Odysseus. Tucked away between the Greek mainland and the island of Kefalonia, this island is a true hidden paradise. Here, you’ll stay in Vathy, a small quaint town and the island’s capital with moon-shaped harbour, white bobbing boats, azure waters and plenty of small welcoming tavernas with white and blue table clothes. Your home here is an old olive press, converted into a small boutique hotel. Packed with character it has a lovely outside terrace to enjoy your breakfast, and the lack of swimming pool isn’t an issue with so many incredible beaches to choose from.

The next morning you will explore the most beautiful beaches of Ithaca on a sea kayak together with your guide. After a briefing, you’ll glide along the coast, past hidden coves and bays. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy a dip in the sea to keep you cool. The waters here are calm and clear, making this experience easy and enjoyable even for the novice kayakers.

The rest of your time on the island is free for you to do as you please. Explore the small towns and villages by car, laze on the many beaches and hike to your heart’s content. Or simply watch the world go by in one of the inviting tavernas over a Greek coffee (or wine).

 

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Days 10-13 – Chalk cliffs and sandy beaches

Today you’ll travel to Lefkada using the floating bridge that connects it to the mainland, with aroma of the fragrant cypress trees and the chirping of the cicadas welcoming you as you arrive. Your studio apartment is just a few short steps from the sea and located in a small village set on idyllic bay with a wide pebble beach and crystal-clear water. The following day you will be captain for the day, as you’ll have a full day’s motorboat rental, allowing you to explore the island at your own pace. Grab a picnic from the town of Nidri before you set sail, then choose to head to the east of the island to explore bays only accessible by water or island hob to nearby Madouri and Skorpios 

After a day at sea, why not stick to solid ground for the rest of your time and take the road to the Cape of Lefkatas, the southernmost tip of the island. On the west of the island, you’ll find some the most beautiful beaches on Lefkas, like Porto Katsiki with its pearly white sand beach and turquoise sea framed by steep white cliffs. End the day taking a look at the lighthouse at Doukato and admiring the view from the 60-meter high cliff it’s perched on. 

The next day is yours to enjoy as you please. Take some time to explore the nearby beaches and hidden gems before enjoying a delicious seafood lunch at a local taverna. Enjoy the last moments of sunshine before you are collected and taken to the airport the following day.

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Ionian Island Hopping

Accommodation

For this bite-sized trip we offer the following options

Kefalonia boat Greece
white sandy beach cove
Option
1

Journey through the Ionian Islands (self-drive)

  • Price:
    From £ 1,585.- per person (excluding flights)
  • Included:
    All accommodation, excursions and car hire

If you’re after more freedom and flexibility and want to get to the most remote corners of the Ionian islands, why not choose our self-drive option. Discover the best of the Ionian Islands on this island hopping itinerary. Pastel coloured houses with orange roofs, fishing boats floating on a crystal clear sea and a green interior. This is Greece, but away from the crowds. The chalk-white beaches are a feast for the eyes and the journey is part of the adventure.

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