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Ferries to Ionian Islands

The Ionian archipelago sprawls down the west and south coast of Greece, comprising Kerkyra, Paxi, Lefkada, Ithaki, Kefalonia, Zakynthos and Kythira.

As soon as you step off the ferry, you’ll be immersed in their rich history, which is evident in the numerous landmarks and architecture.

Kerkyra, commonly known as ‘Corfu’, is the most visited and popular of the islands. One of the highlights is the Palace of St Michael and St George. Previously the residence of British High Commissioners, it’s now home to the world-renowned Museum of Asian Art. A tour around this gallery will show you over 10,000 priceless Asian artefacts.

Also on Corfu is the impressive Palaoi Frourio fortress, built in the 15th Century. It was used to successfully repelled all three major Ottoman Empire sieges in 1537, 1571 and 1716 and makes for a fascinating day out.

On Zakynthos, be sure to visit the Roma Family mansion in Zante Town. It was built in 1660 and was one of the few buildings to be left standing after the 1953 earthquake. It hosts stylish period furnishings and large, beautifully decorated rooms, giving you a real insight into its history.

Delve further into the islands’ past with a visit to the Venetian style castle, Kastro, on Kythira. It sits in front of an enormous cliff, offering breath taking coastal views.

There are many Ionian sites and landmarks referenced in Homer’s Iliad. One of the most popular is the Fountain of Arethousa on Ithaki, which is where Odysseus’ swineherd brought his pigs to drink. It’s well hidden amongst untouched landscape and the round trip takes around three hours, so bring plenty of water and something to eat.

The Ionian Islands are well connected by ferry, with crossings from mainland Greece and the Italian east coast as well.

The Greek departure points are in Kyllini, Ithaka and Kefalonia, with services running almost every day.

If travelling from Italy, you can depart from Ancona. This route is operated by Anek Lines Superfast Ferries, who offers a leisurely half day journey to Corfu.

You can also sail from Bari and Brindisi once and twice a week respectively. These journeys last about a day on high-speed, comfortable ferries.

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Popular Ferry Operators

  • Ventouris Ferries
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  • Anek Superfast
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  • Minoan Lines
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Ionian Islands reviews

  • "Review of trip on Santorini Palace"

    Booked 4 return tickets which pre allocated your seats. Unfortunately the seats were not all together which appeared to be a problem for other travellers too!

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  • "Ferry from Heraklion to Crete"

    Punctual organised apart from seating seats are allocated and large family causing chaos as they took up seats next to windows and sat all together in unallocated seats one gentleman came and they said they were “family” he was pressured and left to find a seat somewhere else they had buggies for children. Kept in aile no one could get passed think this could be a health and safety issues it can be difficult when travelling with small children but not at the r at the expense of everyone around them staff should be on hand to check seating and passengers should not feel obliged to vacate their seat for a family of 10 plus sitting all together in non allocated seats 

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  • "Excellent"

    Everything on time, excellent service, fast speed, no complains.

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  • "First Time on Minoan"

    It was our first time riding Minoan Lines. We've ridden ferries around the Mediterranean before, so Minoan was not far from what we've experienced. The cabin was mostly clean. The seats were comfortable, but a few were broken. Mine only stayed in the reclined position, much to the dismay of my back and the woman behind me. The food was good and reasonably priced. The staff were friendly enough. I thought the staff cleaned the toilets at weird times--mostly when lots of people were moving to use them. Our boat was a little late arriving at Ormos Athinios, so it was also a bit late arriving at Mykonos. It was not a big delay, so we weren't put out at all. Would ride Minoan from Santorini to Mykonos again.

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Onboard the ferries

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Ship guides, videos & reviews

Routes and Ports in Ionian Islands