Discover the 10 most beautiful beaches in the Ionian Ιslands
The ultimate guide to the top beaches in the Ionian Sea
The Ionian Islands are scattered off the western coastline of mainland Greece. These Greek islands are known for their lush vegetation and beautiful beaches with clear blue and turquoise waters.
Seeing as many beaches as possible while visiting one (or more) of the Ionian Islands is a must! However, we get what you're thinking. How are you expected to know which of the Ionian Islands' beaches are the best? Don’t panic, we’ve got you covered.
Discover the 10 best beaches in the Ionian Islands chosen by Ferryhopper!
Here are the top beaches in the Ionian Islands:
- Rovinia - Corfu
- Paleokastritsa - Corfu
- Vrika - Antipaxos
- Navagio - Zakynthos
- Myrtos - Kefalonia
- Antisamos - Kefalonia
- Gidaki - Ithaca
- Porto Katsiki - Lefkada
- Agios Nikitas - Lefkada
- Egremni - Lefkada
View of the famous Agios Spyridon beach in Corfu on a busy summer day
Rovinia beach in Corfu
This is one of the most beautiful beaches in Paleokastritsa Bay. Rovinia is an isolated small beach in Corfu surrounded by beautiful green mountains and covered with smooth and shiny white pebbles. It has no infrastructure, preserving its natural beauty, however it can get very crowded during peak season. Sometimes, all that is present is a cantine boat serving sandwiches and cold beverages.
Even though there are no tourist facilities, you’ll be able to find some natural shade thanks to the cave-shaped rocks on the sides of the beach. But, Ferryhopper suggests that you carry water, food and an umbrella with you.
Rovinia can be accessed by boat from Gefyra Beach (Liapades). Leaving your vehicle at a small pаrking area and walking downhill through a narrow 600m long path with wonderful vegetation is another thrilling option.
On the left side of the beach there is a short hiking path over the hill that leads to Limni beach. While following this path you can also have a look from the top of an underwater cave.
You can get to Corfu by ferry from the port of Igoumenitsa in northwestern Greece or by plane from mainland Greece and a few European destinations. During the summer, there are up to 15 daily crossings from the port of Igoumenitsa in Western Greece to Corfu. The Igoumenitsa - Corfu route is serviced by high-speed ferries too.
Tip: if you are an adventure seeker, there is a small cave in the rocks on the beach waiting for you to be explored!
Aerial view of Rovinia beach in Corfu
Paleokastritsa beach in Corfu
Paleokastritsa is undoubtedly the island's most famous picturesque village. Paleokastritsa literally translates to "old fortress,” indicating the presence of such a castle on the rocky cave where the Virgin Mary Monastery presently sits.
Paleokastritsa has six sandy and pebbled beaches scattered around the area. Paleokastritsa's main beach (also known as Agios Spyridon beach) is small, but it is well-known for its chilly waters. It is regarded as one of Greece's most beautiful beaches. Because of the numerous restaurants and taverns surrounding it, it is rarely quiet during the day.
Paleokastritsa’s beaches are fully organized, with sunbeds and umbrellas available for rent, as well as water activities, taxi boats, motorboats, and canoes. Moreover, in this region, there are hotels and apartments to suit all budgets.
You can access the area by car or bus. The journey by bus takes around an hour and buses leave roughly every hour during peak season.
Tip: if you feel like exercising, the Paleokastritsa Monastery is a 15-minute (uphill) walk from the beach.
Sunny day at the heavenly beach of Agios Spyridon in Paleokastritsa
Vrika beach in Antipaxos
Vrika is one of the most popular beaches in Antipaxos. Vrika is the northernmost beach on the island with amazing turquoise waters and soft white sand. It is relatively small and the waters are shallow, therefore ideal for children.
This beach is the perfect place to swim, relax and enjoy the sunshine. Moreover, we suggest taking your snorkeling mask with you to enjoy the beautiful seabed and the small sea cave at Vrika beach!
There are also two tavernas and a beach bar which provide not only food but also sunbeds and umbrellas.
To reach Antipaxos you can take a water taxi from Gaios in Paxi and in about 10 minutes you will reach this paradise. Paxi is normally connected by ferry with the port of Igoumenitsa. There are also ferries from Corfu to Paxi if you fancy an island-hopping trip in Greece.
Tip: behind the tavernas there is a path you can follow for about 30 minutes which will take you to the other popular beach of Antipaxos, Voutoumi.
Vrika beach with turquoise waters in the northernmost part of Antipaxos
Navagio (or Shipwreck) beach in Zakynthos
Navagio is the trademark beach of Zakynthos (also known as Zante) and one of the most photographed beaches in Greece. It was originally known as Agios Georgios, but owes its new name to the shipwreck of a boat that transported illegal cigarettes in 1983. The ship was washed ashore.
Magnificent clear blue waters, white sand, huge vertical cliffs, and the carcass of the shipwreck compose a landscape of impressive beauty.
The beach is only accessed by boat from the port of Porto Vromi. There are a number of tour companies that offer boat trips (at a low price) to this famous beach in Greece. These taxi boats are leaving every hour and the trip is about 30 minutes. Since this is one of the most commercial beaches on the island, we would recommend choosing a tour that would go there early in the morning!
To reach Zante, you can take a ferry from the port of Kyllini on the mainland or fly directly from Athens.
Tip: if you want to update your Instagram account and take the most beautiful photo on Navagio beach, Ferryhopper recommends posing (at a safe distance!) at the top of the 200m tall cliffs that overlook it, rather than on the beach itself.
The famous shipwreck (Navagio) beach in Zakynthos, Greece
Myrtos beach in Kefalonia
The large iconic beach of Myrtos in Kefalonia is one of the best in Greece and it is also featured among the top beaches in the world!
This multi-awarded beach is surrounded by lush vegetation and stunning limestone cliffs. Myrtos is ideal for families because it is covered in small sugar-white pebbles and thin white sand. The small cave-like formation on the eastern part of the beach is definitely worth checking out!
Although there are normally sun loungers and umbrellas available, we suggest that you bring your own beach essentials due to the lack of natural shade. During peak season, a small beach bar serves appetizers and drinks.
As for parking and access, you can easily get to Myrtos by car or motorcycle, but it is advised to arrive early in order to secure one of the popular beachfront spots.
You can get to Kefalonia by ferry from the port of Kyllini or Patras. Book your tickets on Ferryhopper in just a few clicks.
Tip: surfing enthusiasts visit the beach in September as the waves are ideal for water sports!
The impressive white sand and turquoise waters of Myrtos beach, Kefalonia
Antisamos beach in Kefalonia
Antisamos became famous in 2000 after a scene from the Hollywood film Captain Corelli's Mandolin was filmed there. Since then, it has become a popular destination for both Greek and international visitors.
Small pebbles and turquoise waters line the beach, which is long and wide. Antisamos is protected from the wind by the surrounding hills, which are covered in pine trees. The water is deep and very clear. In fact, Antisamos beach has been awarded the Blue Flag for its crystal-clear waters.
This beach is well-organized with umbrellas and sun loungers. However, if you don’t want to rent one, we would recommend bringing your own since there is no natural shade. Antisamos also has two beach bars offering drinks and food, and a water sports center.
You can reach Antisamos beach by car (45 minute drive) and park it there for free or by shuttle bus.
Tip: thanks to its sudden depth, this beach is one of the best places on the island for snorkeling.
Small pebbles and turquoise waters make Antisamos beach one of the best in Greece
Gidaki beach in Ithaca
Gidaki is a secluded beach with crystal-clear waters providing the ultimate summer scenery. The lovely beach is considered the best on the Greek island of Ithaca, as well as one of the most beautiful in Greece.
White shiny pebbles cover the beach, which is surrounded by tall, green rocks. Its secluded location and challenging access make it one of the best places to unwind in an idyllic setting. The view to the neighboring islets, as well as its turquoise and deep blue waters, create an amazing landscape.
The beach can be reached by boat from the port of Vathy or a challenging 35-minute hike starting from Skinos beach. The majority of visitors arrive by boat, however if you're an experienced hiker, you can also try the trail.
In Gidaki, there is a canteen serving refreshments and snacks that also rents out a few sun loungers and umbrellas. The beach has no more visitor amenities, so make sure you come prepared, especially if you’re visiting during the off-season.
Ithaca is normally connected by ferry with the port of Astakos in Western Greece. There are also ferries from Kefalonia to Ithaka if you want to go on an island-hopping trip in Greece. Book ferry tickets from Astakos to Ithaca and see all ferry routes on Ferryhopper’s Map of ferries.
Gidaki, a secluded beach in Ithaca, Greece on a peaceful summer day
Porto Katsiki beach in Lefkada
Porto Katsiki is undoubtedly the most famous beach in Lefkada and one of the prettiest in Greece. Its name comes from the fact that this area was once exclusively accessible to goats :P. Located on the southwestern side of the island, its huge abrupt white cliffs and lush greenery form a unique antithesis with the clean emerald waters of the Ionian Sea.
Numerous sunbeds and umbrellas are available on this sandy beach. However, the cliffs offer a few beautiful shaded spots for some privacy. Moreover, a bar and canteen are available on top of the stairs.
You can reach Porto Katsiki by both car and boat. The beach offers some large paid parking sites, but during high season months these places fill up quickly. From the parking area you can then walk a few steps through a wooden passage and down the cliff. There are also boats to Porto Katsiki from Nidri and Vasiliki villages.
You should bear in mind that since this is one of the western beaches of Lefkada, there are periods where there’s wind and big waves. In these cases, swimming is only recommended for experienced people.
Lefkada is linked to the Greek mainland by a bridge so it is easily accessible by car. There are also ferries from Ithaki, Kefalonia and Meganisi to Lefkada if you want to go on an island-hopping trip in the Ionian Islands.
Tip: stay until sunset on this amazing beach if you can. The sun will turn those white cliffs into the color of honey and leave you in awe.
Porto Katsiki with its huge white cliffs and lush greenery
Agios Nikitas beach in Lefkada
Agios Nikitas is a small picturesque fishing village 13km southwest of Lefkada Town. The beautiful sandy beach in front of the settlement is small, with shallow turquoise waters. However, it's just as lovely as the rest of the Lefkada’s beaches since it combines a refreshing swim with a fantastic meal at one of the island's top fish tavernes.
Agios Nikitas has a few supermarkets and souvenir shops close to the beach where you can buy some souvenirs or other necessities. Umbrellas and sun loungers are also available to rent on the beach.
It is quite popular among visitors due to its excellent facilities and peaceful ambience. But it is ideal for families and couples looking to avoid the busy tourist season and summer heat in July and August.
There’s also a lifeguard on the beach during summer season, who sets the green, yellow or red flags to the tower (in case of red, swimming will be prohibited due to large waves).
The only drawback of Agios Nikitas is that there is a limited number of free parking spaces, making parking challenging during peak season, especially on weekends.
Tip: from the village center you can take the long hiking trail and reach another amazing beach, which is called Milos beach.
The picturesque fishing village of Agios Nikitas in Lefkada
Egremni beach in Lefkada
Egremni is another beach in Lefkada that attracts thousands of visitors every summer. In fact, with a length of approximately 2.5km, Egremni is one of the island's longest beaches. This sandy beach with white sand, shiny pebbles and crystal-clear waters is surrounded by impressive barren cliffs. Its distinctive beauty has made it one of the world's most photographed landscapes.
Despite the fact that Egremni is often overcrowded, if you’re seeking peace and relaxation, you can find some private spots. However, you should bear in mind that staying right under the vertical cliffs is dangerous and not recommended. Therefore, it is better to stay close to the sea because there may be some falling rocks and stones.
Egremni is accessible by boat and through a newly constructed and safe metal staircase that leads to the shore. The boat excursions from Nidri and Vasiliki depart in the morning hours during summer months.
Tip: if you can, avoid visiting the beach during the hottest hours, since the walk from Egremni to the parking lot can be quite tiring.
The famous Egremni beach with turquoise waters and lush vegetation
There are so many more exceptional beaches in the Ionian Islands! Discover the best Ionian Islands, see all Greek ferry schedules for 2022 and book cheap ferry tickets online on Ferryhopper with just a few clicks.