Week of best luxury cruise among unforgettable islands of the Ionian Sea: Corfu - Paxi - Antipaxi - Lefkas - Kefalonia - Zakynth - Ithaka - Saranda - Corfu
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DAY 1. CORFU
This Greek island during long time belonged to Italians and in Kerkira town this is visible by a naked eye: Venetian labyrinth of streets, garlands from laundry ropes somewhere above head and coffee smell coming out from every open door.
If there is time before departure, on the way from the airport to the port one may look into the temple of Saint Spiridon the Primifuntian – one of the most significant Christian Saint.
The temple of Saint Just Warrior Fiodor Ushakov – the Russian naval commander who played the important role in liberation of the island and its further to Greece – is across the square from this temple.
DAY 2. PAXOS - ANTIPAXI
Paksi (or Paksos) is the smallest Ionian island. It has been created by Poseidon who chipped out a piece of land out from Corfu so as to establish on it a love nest for himself and his wife Amphitrita. And Greek gods knew sense of love nests – make sure yourself! At Paksi we will go near Yellow caves known all over Greece. And although their real color is creamy-champagne they got their name because of unusual color of water.
Antipaksi is absolutely tiny island and literally it means “opposite Paksi” and it is really a blessed place, it is real paradise for anyone looking for rest and solitude. The island is known with its famous beaches among which Vutumi with turquoise waters is considered to be the most beautiful in the world. And we shall go there!
DAY 3. LEFKAS - KEFALONIA
“Levko” in Greek means “white” and the island got its title namely due to white upright rocks which stay almost along all western coast of the island. At that abundance of rocks and mountainous landscape of one side of the island is completed with splendid wide sandy beaches from the other side.
Amateurs to plunge into a medieval atmosphere may stroll along streets with abundance of ancient churches. We also invite to visit wine factory at Levkas and the monastery of Faneromenis God’s mother. Only 5 monks live on territory of the monastery although it attracts abundance of pilgrims as the wonderworking icon of miraculously appearing God’s mother is here. This character is considered today as the protector of the island.
In the town one may stroll along Lifostroto - stone-lined central street with many coffee shops, restaurants and bars. After going deeper into the town you will get into the garden of British governor Napier. Nice coffee shops and simply cozy small benches with look onto the opposite coast are available at the embankment nearby bust of kefalonian poet Nikos Kavvadis. By the way, stone-made bridge Drapano 900 meters long constructed by British in 1813, leads the way there.
DAY 4. KEFALONIA
Kefalonia is the island of sailors and alpinists, Greeks and Venetians, winemakers and travelers. Enom – the highest mountain of Ionic islands (1628 m) is located here and unique pine trees are growing. Those willing to make a pilgrim tour may get into the Saint Gerasim monastery on territory of which the ancient sycamore survived, which was once planted by the saint himself, and his cave-cell is located under the building of the monastery. Then we shall go for Andrew the First-called monastery, the museum with miracle-making icons of Stephano Tsagarol, the Monastery of Saint Crucifixion in Pessado and the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary with benches. It is also possible to pop into the local winery where 6 kinds of Kefalonian wine are being made out of Robola grape.
Another excursion will go to the famous Drogarati cave with stalactites, stalagmites and unusual acoustic due to which Maria Kallas and Luchano Povarotti took the floor. Then the observation ground above the famous beach Mirtos is waiting for us, and then we shall have lunch in the picturesque by of Agia Efimia. Our trip will end with the visit to the underground lake Melissani, over which the vault of the cave was destroyed in the result of the earthquake. And now sunbeams create in the water appalling gamma of colors ranging from sky-blue to intense dark-blue.
DAY 5. ZAKYNTHOS
Zakynthos is the only Greek island having international status of the natural wildlife reserve. The island has been called “The flower of Mediterranean East” for its beauty and balmy gardens. Mirror-like waters of Zakynthos may be met at every Greece postcard. Namely here yachts on water surface look like suspended in the air. Certainly, to be here and not to swim in this magic is crime!
After reaching the town one may go to the National Sea wildlife reserve or visit the temple of Saint Dionysus, the local winery and the factory for pressing olive oil or come out to the coastal avenue – Strata Marina – the liveliest street in the town with coffee shops, bars and restaurants.
DAY 6. ITHAKA
Itaka is known to the entire world as motherland of Homeric hero Odyssey. The island became symbol of coming back home as namely here his beloved wife Penelope has been waiting for him complete 20 years.
Itaka attracts with rich archeological heritage. Catron – the most significant monastery at Itaka is located north from the capital at elevation of 500 meters above the sea level in place titled Anogi. This is the monastery of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A unique view onto the island opens from its bell tower. Arcadia mountains, Arkhinades islands, eastern coast of Kefalonia and even entrance to Patra Bay may be distinguished on the horizon. The embankment of Peloponnesus and Zakynthos are visible in good weather. Itaka is the refuge of romantics. Lonely bays, empire of calmness, quietness and silence and conciliatory atmosphere are here. It is the ideal place to restore sole balance.
DAY 7. SARANDA
Saranda is the resort town of Albania where the most beautiful embankment of the country is located.
Ancient town of Saranda is known from times of Ancient Greece. Enormous number of Greeks inhabits this region till present. Due to this reason Greek government even wanted to connect this territory to Greece. Cicero calls Saranda in his tractates as the important strategic point. This town in the times of Byzantine Empire was the ferry port between Italy and Epirus. Byzantine heritage left many traces here. Near Saranda ruins of the ancient town of Butrinty which got status of “The town of the world heritage” are located. Antique town of Phinichi is located neaby, in which, as many scientists consider, the largest Acropolis n the world is available and it is 7 times larger than Acropolis in Athens. “Blue eyes” and beautiful tiny islands are nature’s gift. Those who want may spend time at Ksamile – the best beach of Albania, which is famous with a group of the uninhabited islands located at the distance of 10 minutes swim from the shore.
DAY 8. CORFU