Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Ionian Islands
Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

Greece’s western coastline has been shaped by seismic geological forces. Tectonic activity along a coastal fault-line wrenched the Ionian Islands from the mainland millions of years ago, resulting in a dramatic and picturesque seascape. Today there are all manner of attractions that bear testimony to the comings and goings of powerful dynasties, republics and empires. The largest islands include Corfu, Ithaca, Kefalonia, Lefkada, Paxos, Kythira and Zakynthos, while Antikythira, Antipaxi, Ereikousa, Mathraki,  Meganisi, Othonoi and Strofades are smaller, lesser known islands. 

Archaeology & History Sites in Ionian Islands

Castle of Santa Maura

The first structure, a defensive station, to protect the island of Lefkada from raids from the mainland, was built in 1300 by the Frankish ruler Giovanni Orsini. Since then the castle has been significantly modified and occupied by almost everyone, from the Venetians to the Ottomans, from the French to the Russians, from the British to the Greeks. Although most of the buildings within the walls were destroyed, many features have survived, including the 14th century church dedicated to Saint Maura and the English prison.

Museums & Art Galleries in Ionian Islands

Focas Cosmetatos Foundation

Once the Focas Cosmetatos family home, the building was severely damaged during an earthquake that struck Kefalonia in 1953, and the fires that raged in the aftermath of the quake. Almost unrecognisable, the house was rebuilt and turned into a museum and art gallery, showcasing the family’s collection of art, furniture and other historical objects relating to the history and culture of Kefalonia and other Ionian Islands. These include a collection of historic lithographs and coins and bank notes, with items from ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine periods.