Country & People
Being spared by mass tourism, and due to the mountainous and sparse landscape, the Ionian Islands offer the kind of idyllic atmosphere that used to be typical for Greece. Lush vegetation alternates with wild and romatic mountains, while deserted settlements show traces of long lost cultures. You can find both wide strips without any tourism and also lively, attractive and colourful harbours.
The profile of the larger islands is dominated by mountains sometimes higher than 1.000 metres. The West coast is characterised by steep and rough cliffs, whereas on the East coast the hills gently bend towards the sea. On the West coast, broad sandy beaches between the rocky ridges invite the sailor to take a dip in the sea. However these spots are only suitable for a short stay for sailing yachts.
Besides silvery olive trees, there are pine trees, oaks, tall bushes with laurel and myrtles that form the landscape. In addition you will also find herbal shrubs with oregano, thyme and sage. On the hill tops, there are decayed wind mills and ruins of medieval castles.
The historical closeness to Italy, especially Venice, is felt everywhere in the architecture, language and cuisine. To peek into the pots in the taverns before ordering your meal is as natural as in the rest of Greece. If you are willing to adopt the relaxed Greek attitude, you will experience Greece at its best. Henry Miller, a famous friend of the island of Corfu, noted in this book “The Collossus of Maroussi” that sitting quitely all day, not reading the newspaper, not listening to the radio, not hearing any gossip, being completely and utterly indifferent to the fate of the world, is the best medicine we can prescribe for ourselves.