An Insight into the Ionian Islands
The choice for those opting for a yacht charter in Greece this year is often overwhelming. With more than 2,000 islands of every shape and size imaginable to explore, it is sometimes tricky knowing where to head on your luxury sailing yacht charter.
One of our favourites is a collection of islands in the Ionian Sea, named unsurprisingly – the Ionian Islands. Located to the west of the Greek mainland in an area of 2,500,000 square kilometers the Ionian Islands are comprised of well-known destinations islands such as Corfu, Lefkas, and Cephalonia, where Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was famously set.
However, in order for our clients choosing the Ionian Islands for their yacht charter in Greece to be totally briefed on the area they are about to visit, we have pulled together some interesting facts that they might otherwise not have known.
- Historically the Ionian Islands were greatly influenced by the French, British and Venetians, with Corfu even boasting its own cricket ground.
- The Ionian Sea is the location of considerable seismic activity, but don’t be overly concerned, the last major earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale happened in 1953.
- In fact, the Ionian Islands were once part of Central Greece but were torn apart when the ground sank due to the seismic activity. This accounts not only for the beautifully ragged shores and but it also the islands’ tall mountains, once part of the Pindos mountain range which crosses Central Greece.
- The Ionian Sea is also the point in which the Mediterranean reaches its greatest depth, which is an impressive 16,000 feet or 4,900 metres. As such it is a truly wonderful area to dive for those who would like to use the diving equipment available on many yacht charters.
- There are seven main islands in the Ionian Sea – Corfu, Paxos, Lefkas, Ithaca, Cephalonia, Zakynthos and Kythira – which were originally known as Eftanisos, which means ‘Seven Islands’.
- Ithaca is believed to have been the home of Odysseus in Homer’s tale and is a popular place to visit among our clients interested in history and mythology.
- Corfu was the first Greek island to offer package holidays in the 1960s.
- The Ionian Islands are greener than many of the other islands scattered in Maritime Greece, as they receive a high rainfall in the winter months, while remaining hot and dry in the summer.
- The island of Lefkas is actually attached to mainland Greece by a long causeway and floating bridge.
- The traditional cuisine of the Ionian islands has been greatly influenced by the long time rule of the Venetians and as such has a much more Italian style than the majority of Greek cuisine. This influence can be seen inpastitsatha, a pasta dish with a spicy chicken and red pepper sauce, which is one of the most famous dishes from the island of Corfu.
If you would like to discover the Ionian Islands in luxury this year with family or friends, please do not hesitate to contact bespoke yacht rental experts Navis Yacht Charter. We will be happy to provide more information about sailing itineraries and charter yachts available in the region.