Ionian Coast | Mainland Greece
38.7814° N, 20.8824° E
The Ionian coast extends from the upper end of Peloponnese until the northern borders of the country and is actually the west coast of the continental Greece. It is a place of untouched beauty yet all organized and ready to welcome guests for the most refreshing holidays. With a prominent traditional character adorned with Venetian elements, the graphic towns and villages of the area exude the essence of old-time splendor and authenticity.
Throughout its beautiful extend, the Ionian coast is rugged with picturesque villages and small towns, small resorts hidden within the lush vegetation of its treasured hills and white shores that offer everything a guest may need: from fully organized beaches to quiet, almost private hidden coves.
Visiting this part of Greece is an experience in itself; one can choose to either stay in one of its graphic areas and enjoy the utmost of relaxation, or take the opportunity to explore all the surrounding beauties by staying in different areas every 2-3 days. Whatever the visitor chooses, one thing is certain: the Ionian coast will lure them into its authentic holiday life with its vibrant resorts and its pristine natural diversity.
SyvotaSyvota is a seaside settlement a few kilometres north of Parga where the turquoise waters of the sea magically blend with the lush vegetation creating the most idyllic picture. Verdant islets featuring few of the best beaches of the area are located right amidst the emerald bay that make Syvota look just like a painting. Syvota has it all: vibrant nightlife, quality taverns and cozy cafes while it is the perfect spot to either visit the inner part of Epirus, and specifically the Acherontas river springs, or rent a small boat and explore all breathtaking surrounding coves for a magical day at the beach.
PalerosLocated only 30 minutes away from the beautiful island of Lefkada Paleros is a small graphic village famous for its surrounding beaches that constitute a must-visit for summer holidays. Paleros is built right by the sea and its original beauty roots in its resemblance to a mountain village built in the local architecture with stone-paved squares and alleys. Apart from its renowned beaches, Paleros is an ideal destination for hiking lovers as it features numerous paths passing through hills and mountains of unique natural beauty.
PrevezaOne of the most popular places on the Ionian coast Preveza is a “mainland island” that will lure guests into its aristocratic ambience with paved alleys and pedestrian areas traversing its magnificent centre. A cosmopolitan yet authentic town built right at the edge of a peninsula between Amvrakikos Gulf and the turquoise Ionian waters, Preveza is indeed a sophisticated place amazingly combining contemporary facilities with traditional architecture and neoclassical mansions. Strolling around its seafront passage and having a taste of the local taverns is definitely a must-do.
PargaParga is a fairytale-like settlement amphitheatrically built right across the islands of Paxos and Antipaxos. Its vibrant seafront promenade with numerous taverns, bars and cafes is majestically completed by its colourful Ionian-style buildings. Parga’s picturesque castle is located at the hilltop right at the edge of its port and it’s a perfect spot to enjoy an afternoon coffee or a glass of wine overlooking Parga’s bay and the Ionian Sea through the pine trees. Right amidst the bay of Parga, Panagia’s verdant islet is found, named after the small church of Panagia (Holy Mother) built on its coast. Right on top of the islet’s hill stands the French castle built in the early 19th century by the French conquerors.
When visiting the Ionian Coast one can choose among countless things to do and diversified places to visit. To start with and as the Ionian Coast is vast and full of hidden gems, visitors should definitely make arrangements in order to visit as many spots and areas as possible. One can start from the southern part and spend two days at least in all of the area’s hotspots while heading to the north.
Countless beaches scattered either on the beautiful coast or the islets swimming in the Ionian waters are waiting to lure visitors into their magical bliss. Sailing around the coast is, thus, highly suggested in order to discover all those hidden gems of utter beauty and absolute isolation.
Diving aficionados will treasure the area as it boasts a rich seabed and waters bursting with all kinds of sea life. For nature lovers, the area is suggested for various hiking walks or biking trails within the mainland’s hidden trajectories.
One of the must-sees of the area is Acherontas River whose springs, during ancient times, were thought to be one of the gates to god’s Ades underworld. The site is found at the northern part of the area going towards the heart of Epirus; the river’s banks offer a refreshing walk through narrow paths and steep rocks during hot summer days. For the daring ones the freezing cold waters will definitely revitalize swimmers in their cold embrace. One can even swim to the springs of the river despite the strong currents.
And of course, as the entire Ionian Coast unfolds right across the beautiful Ionian Islands, a daily excursion to one of the islands will fill the canvas of summer holidays with even more unforgettable experiences.
The Ionian Coast is actually the west coast of the country and, thus it can be reached by car. Driving from Athens, the Ionian Coast is at about 350km distance (first stop Paleros) while the entire coast is about 150km long. From Thessaloniki the driving distance is approximately the same (350km) while there are some flights from Athens to Preveza mostly during summer months. Flights from Athens to Ioannina, Central Epirus, are also operated and then one can drive to Syvota for 1,5hr (100km).
The Ionian Coast extends at about 150km and boasts numerous towns and settlements where accommodation options vary from fully organized luxury hotels and resorts to luxurious private villas. Holiday villas with pool are the perfect choice for visitors to the Ionian Coast as their super full days here should close with cocooning at the cozy pool terrace overlooking the cerulean sea. As such, the Greek Villas’ team of experts has handpicked some of the best luxury villas in the Ionian Coast for those who want to taste absolute comfort and pampering.