Corfu and the Ionian Islands

Explore this archipelago, from verdant peaks to emerald beaches

Corfu and the Ionian Islands

Ideal duration : 14 days –
13 nights

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Welcome to Greece, the cradle of our European civilization, a perfect blend of historical heritage, gentle lifestyle and impressive landscapes. Imagine discovering the Ionian Islands, wedged between mainland Greece, Italy and Albania. In no way inferior to the other Greek islands, they are easily the most beautiful in the country. Steep, flower-filled cliffs tumbling into crystal-clear waters, cypress trees and olive groves as far as the eye can see, islands with a strong character, marked by Venetian occupation, offering a rich architectural heritage. Settle into your charming hilltop accommodation overlooking the bay, and watch the sun set over the horizon.

You'll love...

  • Venetian architecture and Italian influences
  • Mild climate, supported by mountains and olive groves
  • Greek hospitality through thick and thin
  • Swimming on some of Greece’s most beautiful beaches

Day 1: Corfu

Fly from France to Corfu airport. The Emerald Isle, as it’s nicknamed, is a verdant island full of promise. An island that combines history with summer, mountains with sea, classic spirit with modernity. With slopes lined with thick forests of pine, cypress and eucalyptus that descend to the blue-green hues of the sea, Corfu is a dream for nature and beach lovers. Start by visiting Corfu town itself. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its complex past, it boasts an astonishing blend of Venetian, French and British architecture. Then take a tour of the Kanoni peninsula, a fine summary of Corfu’s beauty: the sea is draped in many shades of blue and plays dazzlingly with the sun’s rays and the dazzling whiteness of the Vlachernes monastery.

Day 2: Corfu

In Corfu, stay in a magnificent 19th-century stone house set in 20 hectares of grounds, where you can play tennis, sip a cool drink at the pool bar and enjoy a breakfast made with fresh fruit and vegetables from the estate. Today, meet one of Europe’s greatest aristocratic figures, Sisi. In fact, she had a palace built for her in Corfu in 1889, the Achilleion. Then take the tour! The owner’s passion for Greek mythology is evident throughout.

Day 3: Corfu

Today, climb to the Angelokastro, or Angel Castle, perched over 300 meters above sea level. This fortress is one of the most imposing in all Greece.
It offers unbeatable views of the island’s west coast, including the idyllic bay of Paleokastritsa. Paleokastritsa, with its village, monastery and heavenly beach, is the perfect place to visit afterwards. Sleep tonight in a small, refined and intimate hotel, in a traditional and comfortable atmosphere. Don’t hesitate to meet the managers, who will tell you all about their family business, created by their grandmother.

Day 4: Corfu

Head for the village of Agios Georgios and its sumptuous beach stretching for 5 kilometers in an arc pointing to the horizon. This large creek of pebbles and sand is revealed after a long winding road, and then appears surrounded by green hills of olive and pine trees.

 

Day 5: Paxos

Today, drive to Corfu town to board a ferry to the southern island of Paxos. An island of exotic white sand and pebble beaches and, on the land side, lush countryside sculpted by olive groves, fig and cypress forests and vineyards. Stay in a charming home restored from A to Z by two owners who are passionate about their guests’ well-being. Having traveled all over the world, the owner-couple are eager to share their travels and discoveries with one another. You’ll feel right at home, relaxed and soothed.

Day 6: Paxos

Discover Paxos, its coves and lands. Spend some time at the port of Gaios, a charming little town that is both peaceful and bustling with stores and olive oil vendors. Linger in the villages of Lakka and Longos, small, colorful ports full of flowers. You can also take a boat trip to discover the caves and grottoes carved into the white sandstone cliffs of the coast, welcoming the calm turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea.

Day 7: Antipaxos

Antipaxos is the satellite island of Paxos. Tiny but with all the charm of a Greek island, it has nothing to envy its neighbors. Bathe on its northern beaches and enjoy the gentle pace of life, bathed in sunshine and living to the rhythm of the waves crashing on the fine sand.

Day 8: Lefkada

We’re heading for the island of Lefkada today. Make your first stop in the main town of the same name. Renowned as an anchorage point, the town is one of the island’s must-sees, with its pretty, colorful houses. Witness to centuries of history, Lefkada’s architecture has an air of timelessness about it. Enter its small churches and stroll through its narrow streets. Then, settle into a sleek, traditional apartment on a mountainside overlooking a breathtaking sunset.

 

 

 

Day 9: Lefkada

Today, you’ll discover the Orthodox monastery of Faneromeni, with its magnificent view over the sea. Head a little further north to take a look at the Agias Mavras fort and its lighthouse.

Day 10: Lefkada

Today, plunge into the wilder side of the island and take the car down the east coast to Vasiliki beach. In a more natural, undulating landscape, pass through picturesque villages perched high above the water, one after the other. Then enjoy the turquoise waters of one of the island’s most beautiful beaches before taking the ferry to your final destination, Kefalonia.

Day 11: Kefalonia

Set down your luggage in a charming 19th-century house with a cosy, intimate atmosphere. Talk to Katerina, the owner, about the specific history of all the antique objects she has placed there. Let yourself be enchanted by the peaceful calm and authentic atmosphere. Then take a tour of the Venetian castle of Assos, an ancient fortification overlooking the sea that bears witness to the history of the island, which was once under Venetian rule.

Day 12: Kefalonia

Discover the island’s capital, Argostoli. Founded in the mid-18th century by the Venetians, the island’s capital was partially destroyed in the 1953 earthquake. Nevertheless, you can discover the phenomenon of “katavothres”, literally “swallowing holes”: cracks into which seawater has penetrated. Discover the history of the island as you stroll its streets…

Day 13: Kefalonia

On your last day, head for the underground lake of Melissani. Its shades of blue change with the sun and its structure will impress you. Make a detour to Efimia and its 17th-century monastery. This small village on the island’s east coast is also a fishing village, with all the charm of Kefalonia’s fishing villages: picturesque tavernas, diving spots and pleasant little beaches. Around 7 kilometers to the east, don’t miss a visit to the 17th-century Thematon monastery, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and situated a few hundred meters above sea level on Agia Dynati mountain.

Day 14: Return flight

Today, enjoy your last moments in Greece before boarding your return flight to France.

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