Ionian Island Hopping

Resort:
Operator: Saga
Destination: Europe
Price From: £1499.00
Discover the quiet life of the Greek Ionian islands as you hop between Kefalonia, Lefkada and Zakynthos on scheduled ferries, staying in hand-picked hotels. Discover their traditional Greek charm and stunning scenery, enjoy delicious Greek food and soak up the sun on celebrated beaches, including Zakynthos Shipwreck Beach. Youll be hard pressed to find a more captivating holiday in Greece

 

Day 1 UK-Zakynthos-Kefalonia

Fly to Zakynthos, transfer to the port and take a ferry to Kefalonia. Check into the locally rated 5-star Apostolata Island Resort & Spa, for a five-night all-inclusive stay. The 166-room hotel is set on a hillside, offering panoramic views. It has an infinity pool and a spa (treatments extra). Accommodation is arranged in nine buildings of two storeys, accessible by lifts. The hotel runs a complimentary shuttlebus to the sand-and-shingle beach and the town of Skala, four kilometres away, and to and from Poros, once a day. D

Skala

Day 2 Kefalonia

Today is at leisure. Perhaps take the complimentary bus service and explore nearby resorts independently. Perhaps discover the cool depths of Drogarati Cave, with its forest of stalactites and stalagmites or ascend the heights of Mount Ainos to discover its airy forests of native Kefalonian fir trees, an ecosystem unique in the Ionian Region. B, L, D

Mount Ainos

Day 3 Kefalonia

Enjoy another day at leisure. One of the highlights of Kefalonia that you can explore independently is the Cave of Melissani. Slide into the mouth of the cave in a piloted rowboat to discover two vast chambers, one of which has a vegetation rimmed opening to the sky, through which sunlight spills. If you visit at midday, when the sun is directly overhead the cave is filled with a magical blue light. It is easy to see why it is a place that inspired myth: It is said that the nymph Melissanthi threw herself into the lake as her love for the god Pan was unrequited. On her death the dolphins which were her companions and messengers were turned to stone and their shapes can be seen in the stalactites of the cave. B, L, D

Cave of Melissani

Day 4 Kefalonia

Today, enjoy an included full-day trip to the unspoiled island of Ithaki by boat, including lunch at a local restaurant. The island is lush and green due to heavy winter rains and the beaches of this 19-kilometre square island are stunning. It was first inhabited in the 2nd Millennium BC and was the home of Homers hero Odysseus. There are some ancient ruins on the island but it is perhaps best loved for its great walks and hiking. Perhaps explore the islands capital, Vathy, a quaint hamlet on a beautiful bay which was entirely rebuilt after the 1953 earthquake which devastated the island.

Ithaki

Day 5 Kefalonia

Day at leisure. Today enjoy the wonderful hotel facilities, including the pool and free bar or further explore the island independently. B, L, D

Day at leisure

Day 6 Kefalonia-Lefkada

Leave the hotel for the port, and take the public ferry to Lefkada, a quiet island in a cluster of tiny islets. Check into the family-run, locally rated 4-star Enodia Hotel for a four-night, all-inclusive stay. The intimate modern hotel with just 38 rooms is located in the idyllic fishing village of Vassiliki, overlooking Vassiliki Bay, one of the best windsurfing spots in the world. Theres a buffet-style restaurant offering a themed night once during your stay, and a shapely outdoor pool set in a large terrace with sun-loungers. After settling in, enjoy dinner and a relaxing evening.B, L, D

Vassiliki Village

Day 7 Lefkada

Enjoy a day at leisure. You could pop down to the beach and watch the windsurfers or rent some gear at one of the many board shops and have a go yourself! There are bikes to rent at the hotel on which to explore the local area or you could set out on a horseback ride. Stroll on the promenade at Vasiliki, or take a trip to the beach at Nydri or the secluded bay of Agiofilli Beach, a golden sand paradise only accessible by boat. B, L, D

Vassiliki Bay

Day 8 Lefkada

Today, join a included full-day small island-hopping tour by boat. You visit the island of Kalamos, the forested peak of a vast underwater mountain with lost white sand beaches. At Meganisi, discover the deserted coastline and picturesque village of Vathy. Enjoy views of the private island of Skorpios, which was owned by Aristotle Onassis and was where he married Jackie Kennedy. (Its now leased to a Russian heiress.) Enjoy a barbecue lunch during the adventure and return to the hotel for dinner. B, L, D

Kalamos

Day 9 Lefkada

Day at leisure. Lefkada is the only Ionian island connected to the mainland yet its traditional villages, laid-back main town and timeless, green interior remain relatively unspoilt. Perhaps explore the quaint villages and wild olive groves concealed in the islands hills or stroll through Lefkada Town and play chess with the locals in the shade of a taverna. An interesting bit of Lefkada trivia is that it was once a peninsula of the mainland before Corinthian colonisers cut a canal through the isthmus in the 8th century BC. B, L, D

Lefkada Town

Day 10 Lefkada-Zakynthos

Leave the hotel after breakfast, transfer to the port and board a ferry to the island of Zakynthos (may be an indirect service). Check into the locally rated 5-star Mabely Grand Hotel for a five-night, all-inclusive stay (holidays departing on October 7, 2019 stay at the locally rated 4-star Keri Village). The hotel is set in large grounds with two outdoor pools, pool bar, sauna, fully-equipped gym and tennis court, and superb views of the Ionian Sea. Enjoy dinner at the hotel and perhaps relax with an alfresco drink on the terraces surrounding the outdoor pool.B, L, D

Zakynthos

Day 11 Zakynthos

Enjoy a day at leisure. The hotel benefits from its away-from-it-all setting with wonderful walks into the surrounding countryside or into the village of Kampi. The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle bus to a selection of local beaches, or simply make the most of the picturesque and tranquil surroundings, adn relax by the pool. B, L, D

Day 11 Zakynthos

Today, enjoy an included guided boat trip to the famous beached Panagiotis shipwreck and the crystal clear waters of Smugglers Cove. Join your cruiser at the harbour of Zante and sail north, catching sight of the islands lighthouse on the Cliffs of Keri and the turtle-shaped island of Skinari which still belongs to the Vatican. Continue past the Blue Caves before arriving in Smugglers Cove where you can enjoy a swim or stretch out in the sun. On the way home enjoy more swim stops before arriving back in Zante in the late afternoon. B, L, D

Smugglers Cove

Day 13 Zakynthos

Enjoy a full-day island tour of Zakynthos. B, L, D

Zakynthos town

Day 14 Zakynthos

The final day of your holiday is at leisure. Perhaps take a trip out to the Keri Lighthouse, perched 300 metres above the sea and providing the opportunity for breathtaking sunsets and a glimpse of the twin pinnacles of Myzithres. These rock formations take their name from Myzithra cheese because of their similar shape. You can also press into the interior and discover forested wilderness and traditional rural villages or visit the rugged west coast, where mighty limestone cliffs plunge into turquoise waters. B, L, D

Keri Lighthouse

Day 15 Zakynthos-UK

After breakfast, travel to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

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