Written by Missy Johnston
The Ionian Islands, located off the western coast of Greece’s mainland, inspire feelings of awe and wonder. As one of the most beautiful and historic locations on Earth, these islands offer an immersive paradise for those who can visit on a private yacht.
Sail from island to island to experience the variety, or drop anchor near your favorite beach and stay a while. The choice is yours. Just make sure you allow enough time to visit all of the following places during your luxury private yacht cruise through the Ionian islands.
Find beautiful beaches aplenty.
While many private luxury yacht cruise destinations feature beaches and beautiful scenery, few places can equal the majesty and magic of the Grecian Ionian Islands. It’s almost a given that you will want to drop anchor and spread your towel on the sandy beaches here for at least a day or two. Plus, there’s nothing quite like kayaking or snorkeling off the side of your yacht in the sparkling turquoise water.
Find your perfect white sand beach on the west side of Lefkada, or opt for the rugged, rocky cliffs and seclusion of Zakynthos. If variety is what you crave, Zakynthos is a great bet. It’s not all rocky cliffs and secret coves; Zakynthos also has sandy beaches, must-see sea caves, and Shipwreck Cove, one of the most photographed coves in the world, and most easily visited on a private charter yacht.
No visit to Greece is complete without a dive into history.
The Ionian Islands provide a nearly endless supply of Greek history. If you would like to dedicate a day to exploring the area’s past, come ashore in Ithaki, or Ithaca. The land of Homer’s Odysseus boasts the Folklore and Maritime Museum, the Archaeological Museum, a Crucifixion icon that may have been created by El Greco at the Cathedral of Panaghia, and several landmarks you will recognize from Greek folklore and myths.
The popular island of Corfu, at the northern point of the island chain, is another great place to stop on your historical tour. Tie off at the pier and venture inland to see several cultural institutions and historic sites. Be sure to look around at the nearby buildings; an astute eye will notice the mix of Roman, Byzantine, French, British, and Venetian architecture that was influenced by the area’s many ruling kingdoms throughout the centuries.
Stop by the island of Paxi if you’re in the mood for exclusivity.
Paxi is reachable only by water. It is known for its specialty boutiques and other high-end amenities. Explore the stunning beaches, the wide variety of sea caves, the shops and eateries, and even some ancient Venetian ruins on your own time and at your own pace, unhampered by crowds of tour groups.
Plan at least a week for your private luxury yacht cruise to the Ionian Islands of Greece. Just be prepared to never want to leave!