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In order to book an accommodation on Ionian Islands enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Ionian Islands hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Ionian Islands map to estimate the distance from the main Ionian Islands attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Ionian Islands hotels and see their ratings.

When a hotel search on Ionian Islands is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel on Ionian Islands is waiting for you!

Hotels of Ionian Islands

A hotel on Ionian Islands is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger on Ionian Islands hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms on Ionian Islands are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Ionian Islands hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Ionian Islands hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels on Ionian Islands have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels on Ionian Islands
An upscale full service hotel facility on Ionian Islands that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Ionian Islands hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels on Ionian Islands
Full service Ionian Islands hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels on Ionian Islands
Boutique hotels of Ionian Islands are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Ionian Islands boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels on Ionian Islands may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels on Ionian Islands
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Ionian Islands travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Ionian Islands focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels on Ionian Islands
Small to medium-sized Ionian Islands hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Ionian Islands traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Ionian Islands hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs on Ionian Islands
A bed and breakfast on Ionian Islands is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Ionian Islands bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Ionian Islands B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels on Ionian Islands
Ionian Islands hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Ionian Islands hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels on Ionian Islands
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Ionian Islands hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels on Ionian Islands lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs on Ionian Islands
Ionian Islands timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts on Ionian Islands often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Ionian Islands on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels on Ionian Islands
A Ionian Islands motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Ionian Islands for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Ionian Islands motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation on Ionian Islands

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This article is about the group of islands west of Greece. For the administrative unit, see Ionian Islands (region). For the ancient region in western Anatolia, see Ionia.
Ionian Islands
Ιόνιοι Νήσοι
Traditional region of Greece
Ionian Islands (blue) within Greece
Ionian Islands (blue) within Greece
Country Greece
Capital Kerkyra
Population (2011)
• Total 207.855

The Ionian Islands (Modern Greek: Ιόνια νησιά, Ionia nisia; Ancient Greek, Katharevousa: Ἰόνιοι Νῆσοι, Ionioi Nēsoi; Italian: Isole Ionie) are a group of islands in Greece. They are traditionally called the Heptanese, i.e. "the Seven Islands" (Greek: Ἑπτάνησα, Heptanēsa or Ἑπτάνησος, Heptanēsos; Italian: Eptaneso), but the group includes many smaller islands as well as the seven principal ones. As a distinct historic region they date to the centuries-long Venetian rule, which preserved them from becoming part of the Ottoman Empire, and created a distinct cultural identity with many Italian influences. The Ionian Islands became part of the modern Greek state in 1864. Administratively today they belong to the Ionian Islands Region except for Kythera, which belongs to the Attica Region.

Ionian Islands: Geography

The Ionian islands (Heptanese)
View of Lefkada

The seven islands are; from north to south:

  • Kerkyra (Κέρκυρα) usually known as Corfu in English and Corfù in Italian
  • Paxi (Παξοί) also known as Paxos in English
  • Lefkada (Λευκάδα) also known as Lefkas in English
  • Ithaki (Ιθάκη) usually known as Ithaca in English
  • Kefalonia (Κεφαλλονιά) often known as Kefalonia, Cephalonia and Kefallinia in English
  • Zakynthos (Ζάκυνθος) sometimes known as Zante in English and Italian
  • Kythira (Κύθηρα) usually known as Cythera in English and sometimes known as Cerigo in English and Italian

The six northern islands are off the west coast of Greece, in the Ionian Sea. The seventh island, Kythira, is off the southern tip of the Peloponnese, the southern part of the Greek mainland. Kythira is not part of the region of the Ionian Islands, as it is included in the region of Attica.

Ionian Islands: Etymology

In Ancient Greek the adjective Ionios (Ἰόνιος) was used as an epithet for the sea between Epirus and Italy in which the Ionian Islands are found because Io swam across it. Latin transliteration, as well as Modern Greek pronunciation, may suggest that the Ionian Sea and Islands are somehow related to Ionia, an Anatolian region; in fact the Ionian Sea and Ionian Islands are spelled in Greek with an omicron (Ιόνια), whereas Ionia has an omega (Ιωνία), reflecting a classical difference in pronunciation. In Modern Greek omicron and omega represent the same sound, but the two words are still distinguished by stress: the western "Ionia" is accented on the antepenult (IPA: [iˈonia]), and the eastern on the penult (IPA: [ioˈnia]). In English, the adjective relating to Ionia is Ionic, not Ionian.

The islands themselves are known by a rather confusing variety of names. During the centuries of rule by Venice, they acquired Venetian names, by which some of them are still known in English (and in Italian). Kerkyra was known as Corfù, Ithaki as Val di Compare, Kythera as Cerigo, Lefkada as Santa Maura and Zakynthos as Zante.

A variety of spellings are used for the Greek names of the islands, particularly in historical writing. Kefallonia is often spelled as Cephallenia or Cephalonia, Ithaki as Ithaca, Kerkyra as Corcyra, Kythera as Cythera, Lefkada as Leucas or Leucada and Zakynthos as Zacynthus or Zante. Older or variant Greek forms are sometimes also used: Kefallinia for Kefallonia and Paxos or Paxoi for Paxi.

Ionian Islands: History

Statue of Achilles in the gardens of the Achilleion (Corfu).

The islands were settled by Greeks at an early date, possibly as early as 1200 BC, and certainly by the 9th century BC. The early Eretrian settlement at Kerkyra was displaced by colonists from Corinth in 734 BC. The islands were mostly a backwater during Ancient Greek times and played little part in Greek politics. The one exception was the conflict between Kerkyra and its mother-City Corinth in 434 BC, which brought intervention from Athens and triggered the Peloponnesian War.

Ithaca was the name of the island home of Odysseus in the epic Ancient Greek poem the Odyssey by Homer. Attempts have been made to identify Ithaki with ancient Ithaca, but the geography of the real island cannot be made to fit Homer's description. Archeological investigations have revealed interesting findings in both Kefalonia and Ithaca.

Ionian Islands: Roman and Byzantine rule

Main article: Cephallenia (theme)

By the 4th century BC, most of the islands, were absorbed into the empire of Macedon. Some remained under the control of the Macedonian Kingdom until 146 BC, when the Greek peninsula was gradually annexed by Rome. After 400 years of peaceful Roman rule, the islands passed to the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire. Under Byzantine rule, from the mid-8th century, they formed the theme of Cephallenia. The islands were a frequent target of Saracen raids and from the late 11th century, saw a number of Norman and Italian attacks. Most of the islands fell to William II of Sicily in 1185. Although Corfu and Lefkas remained under Byzantine control, Kefallonia and Zakynthos became the County palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos until 1357, when this entity was merged with Lefkada and Ithaki to become the Duchy of Leucadia under French and Italian dukes. Corfu, Paxi and Kythera were taken by the Venetians in 1204, after the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire by the Fourth Crusade. These became important overseas colonies of the Republic and were used as way-stations for their maritime trade with the Levant.

Ionian Islands: Venetian rule

Main article: Ionian Islands under Venetian rule
The Lion of St. Mark, symbol of the Venetian Republic, at the New Fortress of Corfu, the longest-held of Venice's overseas possessions.

From 1204, the Republic of Venice controlled Corfu and slowly all the Ionian islands fell under Venetian rule. In the 15th century, the Ottomans conquered most of Greece, but their attempts to conquer the islands were largely unsuccessful. Zakynthos passed permanently to Venice in 1482, Kefallonia and Ithaki in 1483, Lefkada in 1502. Kythera had been in Venetian hands since 1238.

The islands thus became the only part of the Greek-speaking world to escape Ottoman rule, which gave them both a unity and an importance in Greek history they would otherwise not have had. Corfu was the only Greek island never conquered by the Turks.

Under Venetian rule, many of the upper classes spoke Italian (or Venetian in some cases) and converted to Roman Catholicism, but the majority remained Greek ethnically, linguistically, and religiously.

In the 18th century, a Greek national independence movement began to emerge, and the free status of the Ionian islands made them the natural base for exiled Greek intellectuals, freedom fighters and foreign sympathisers. The islands became more self-consciously Greek as the 19th century, the century of romantic nationalism, neared.

Ionian Islands: Napoleonic era

Main article: Septinsular Republic
See also: French departments of Greece and Siege of Corfu (1798–99)
Flag of the Septinsular Republic.

In 1797, however, Napoléon Bonaparte conquered Venice, and by the Treaty of Campo Formio the islanders found themselves under French rule, the islands being organised as the départments Mer-Égée, Ithaque and Corcyre. In 1798, the Russian Admiral Ushakov evicted the French, and established the Septinsular Republic under joint Russo-Ottoman protection-the first time Greeks had had even limited self-government since the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The plenipotentiary of the Czar was Count George Mocenigo, a noble from Zante who had earlier served as Russian diplomat in Italy. However, in 1807, they were ceded again to the French in the Treaty of Tilsit and occupied by the French Empire.

Ionian Islands: British influence

Main article: United States of the Ionian Islands
Flag of the United States of the Ionian Islands.
Ioannis Kapodistrias from Corfu island, first governor of the modern Greek state.

In 1809, the British defeated the French fleet in Zakynthos (October 2, 1809) captured Kefallonia, Kythera and Zakynthos, and took Lefkada in 1810. The French held out in Corfu until 1814. The Treaty of Paris in 1815 turned the islands into the "United States of the Ionian Islands" under British protection (November 5, 1815). In January 1817, the British granted the islands a new constitution. The islanders elected an Assembly of 40 members, who advised the British High Commissioner. The British greatly improved the islands' communications, and introduced modern education and justice systems. The islanders welcomed most of these reforms, and took up afternoon tea, cricket and other English pastimes.

Once Greek independence was established after 1830, however, the islanders began to resent foreign colonial rule by the British, and to press for Enosis, i. e. union with Greece. The British statesman William Ewart Gladstone toured the islands and recommended that having already Malta, giving the islands to Greece wouldn't hurt the interest of the British Empire. The British government resisted, since like the Venetians they found the islands made useful naval bases. They also regarded the Bavarian-born king of Greece, King Otto, as unfriendly to Britain. However, in 1862, Otto was deposed and a pro-British king, George I, was installed.

Ionian Islands: Union with Greece

In 1862, Britain decided to transfer the islands to Greece, as a gesture of support intended to bolster the new king's popularity. On May 2, 1864, the British departed and the islands became three provinces of the Kingdom of Greece though Britain retained the use of the port of Corfu. On 21 May 1864 the Ionian Islands officially reunited with Greece. Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark was born in Corfu in 1921 and grew up to become Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Ionian Islands: World War II

Further information: Axis Occupation of Greece

In 1941, when Axis forces occupied Greece, the Ionian Islands (except Kythera) were handed over to the Italians. In 1943, the Germans replaced the Italians, and deported the centuries-old Jewish community of Corfu to their deaths. By 1944, most of the islands were under the control of the EAM/ELAS resistance movement, and they have remained a stronghold of left-wing sentiment ever since.

Ionian Islands: 1953 earthquake

Main article: 1953 Ionian earthquake

The 1953 Ionian islands earthquake occurred with a surface wave magnitude of 7.2 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of X (Extreme) on August 12, 1953. Building damage was extensive and the southern islands of Kefalonia and Zakynthos were practically levelled. The islands were reconstructed from the ground up over the following years under a strict building code. The code has proven extremely effective, as many earthquakes since that time have caused no damage to new buildings.

Ionian Islands: Today

Corfu (city).
Zakynthos (city).

Today, all the islands are part of the Greek region of the Ionian Islands (Ionioi Nisoi), except Kythera, which is part of the region of Attica. Kerkyra has a population of 103,300 (including Paxoi), Zakynthos 40,650, Kefallonia 39,579 (including Ithaca), Lefkada 22,536, Ithaki 3,052, Kythera 3,000 and Paxi 2,438.

In recent decades, the islands have lost much of their population through emigration and the decline of their traditional industries, fishing and marginal agriculture. Today, their major industry is tourism. Specifically Kerkyra, with its harbour, scenery and wealth of ruins and castles, is a favourite stopping place for cruise liners. British tourists in particular are attracted through having read Gerald Durrell's evocative book My Family and Other Animals (1956), which describes his childhood on Kerkyra in the 1930s. The novel and movie Captain Corelli's Mandolin are set in Kefallonia, in which Captain Corelli is part of the Italian occupation force during the Second World War.

Ionian Islands: Demographics

The Ionian Islands' official population, excluding Cythera, in 2011 was 207,855, decreased by 1.50% compared to the population in 2001. Nevertheless, the region remains the third by population density with 90.1/km² nationwide, well above the national of 81.96/km². The most populous of the major islands is Corfu with a population of 104,371, followed by Zante (40,759), Cephalonia (35,801), Leucas (23.693) and Ithaca (3.231). The foreign-born population was in 2001 19,360 or 9.3%, the majority of which was concentrated in Corfu and Zante. Most of them originate from Albania (13,536). The fertility rate for 2011 according to Eurostat was 1.35 live births per woman during her lifetime.

Ionian Islands: Culture

Further information: Cuisine of the Ionian islands, Music of the Heptanese, Ionian School (music), Heptanese School (literature), and Heptanese School (painting)

Ionian Islands: Economy

Sun-drying of Zante currant on Zakynthos.

The regional Gross Domestic Product for 2010 was 4,029 million euros. The GDP per capita for the same year was 18,440 euros per capita which was lower than the national median of 20,481. However, the GDP per capita of Cephalonia and Zante, 23,275 and 24,616 respectively, was much higher than the national figure. Additionally, unemployment for 2012 was 14.7, the lowest among all Greek regions, and much lower compared to the national unemployment of 24.2.

Ionian Islands: Tourism

Carnival in Kerkyra by Charalambos Pachis.

The region is a popular tourist destination. The airports of Corfu, Zante and Cephalonia were in the top ten in Greece by number of international arrivals, with 1,386,289 international arrivals for 2012, with Corfu being the sixth airport by number of arrivals nationwide, with Zante and Cephalonia also being in the top ten. While Cephalonia Airport had the biggest increase nationwide by 13.11% compared to 2011, while Corfu had an increase of 6.31%.'

Ionian Islands: Major communities

  • Argostóli (Αργοστόλι), in Kefalonia
  • Kérkyra (Κέρκυρα), in Corfu
  • Lefkáda (Λευκάδα), in Lefkada
  • Lixouri (Ληξούρι), in Kefalonia
  • Zákynthos (Ζάκυνθος), in Zakynthos

Ionian Islands: See also

  • Corfiot Italians
  • Homer's Ithaca

Ionian Islands: References

  1. LSJ, A Greek-English Lexicon s.v. Ἰόνιος.
  2. Μεγάλοι Έλληνες, τόμος Ά, του Παναγιώτη Πασπαλιάρη, Ιωάννης Καποδίστριας, σελ. 45, Buy book ISBN 978-960-6845-32-1
  3. "ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑ, ΜΝΗΜΕΙΟ ΕΝΩΣΕΩΣ". Ionian U. Ionian U.
  4. ΔΕΛΤΙΟ ΤΥΠΟΥ (PDF) (in Greek). Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  5. Πίνακας 3: Αλλοδαποί κατά υπηκοότητα, φύλο και λόγο εγκατάστασης στην Ελλάδα Σύνολο Ελλάδος και νομοί (PDF) (in Greek). Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  6. "Eurostat – Tables, Graphs and Maps Interface (TGM) table". epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  7. "PAGE-themes". statistics.gr. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  8. "EUROPA – PRESS RELEASES – Press release – Unemployment in the EU27 regions in 2012 Regional unemployment rates ranged from 2.5% in Salzburg and Tirol to 38.5% in Ceuta and 34.6% in Andalucía". europa.eu. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  9. "Greek Tourism: Facts and Figures 2012" (PDF) (in English and Greek). Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  10. "INTERNATIONAL TOURIST ARRIVALS AT THE MAIN AIRPORTS, JAN-DEC 2012/2011- PROVISIONAL DATA" (PDF) (in English and Greek). Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  • Ionian Islands The Official website of the Greek National Tourism Organisation
  • Ionian Islands at DMOZ

 / 38.500; 20.500

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