Best Beaches in the Ionian

We are often asked where the best beaches in the Ionian are.  Now, we aren’t biased, but we’re pretty certain all of them have something to offer!

The Ionian is not famous for sandy shores, but that’s not to say there aren’t any… On the beautiful island of Ithaca, home of Odysseus, there are pristine white beaches in the cliff-edged Afales Bay, and this is also home to beautiful free-flowing sand.

What the Ionian IS famous for is white pebbles.  The abundance of these beautiful stones results in a quite extraordinary phenomenon, as the bright sun reflects through the water, resulting in exquisite azure blue seas.  Think of dropping the anchor in 15 metres of crystal clear, and the yacht shadow making it seem as though the vessel is floating mid-air…

So without further ado, these are Fleewinter’s Top 5 Ionian Beaches.

  1.  ‘Paradise Bay’ also known as Kedhros Bay, Northern Anti-Paxos.  This collection of small beaches is home to countless caves, swim-throughs, white stone beaches and the bluest water.  It’s also one of our favourite places to watch a sunset, before heading back to Paxos for the evening: or of course, mooring up for the evening to enjoy the bay at first light.
  2. Ben’s Bar Beach, Paxos.  This beach is home to one of the coolest bars on the island, and what could be better than swimming or paddle-boarding to the beach and ordering a cocktail, before lazily swimming back (or, of course, calling your crew to come and collect you!) to enjoy the afternoon breeze.
  3. Afales Beach, Ithaca.  This is surely the jewel in Ithaca’s crown.  Striking white cliffs, azure blue water and miles of soft pebble and sandy beaches make this an unmissable spot if you’re travelling to the Southern islands.  The bay is very exposed but is perfect for a lazy breakfast, where you can relax and wake up with a pot of coffee while the sun rises over the white crags that fringe the anchorage.  By the time breakfast is finished, the bay is in full sunshine and the water colour ranges from the most stunning sapphire to brightest aquamarine.
  4. Big Cave Bay, Western Anti-Paxos.  Not strictly a beach, this gigantic cave is one of the more accessible in a series of caves that make up a honeycomb on the Western edge of Paxos.  Anchor with the stern facing this cave and enjoy the morning starlings, whooping with delight as they fly through the caves: or indeed swim through the caverns at sunset and marvel at the colours of the sky, from this secluded protected spot.
  5. Beaches south of Asos, Kefalonia.  Asos is an incredibly  picturesque town on the western edge of Kefalonia with a series of beaches to the south.  Many of these are only accessible by boat, and once the day trip boats leave, it’s possible to have them all to yourself for one of the best sunsets you’ll find in the region.

A beach seen from the boat of a catamaran