Exotic Greece

Ionian Islands Travel Guide – Best Beaches & Snorkeling Spots

Free natural SPA at the beach? Sign me up!

Now that we’ve seen the main attractions and citiesย in Kefalonia, the mysteries of Ithaca and the gems of Zakynthos, it’s time to literally dive in the beauty of the underwater world. And, well, relax on a few of Greece’s most amazing beaches!

The Ionian islands are good for snorkeling as per European standards. Most beaches are shallow and remember – rocky beaches always mean crystal-clear waters <3

Kefalonia


The north part of Kefalonia is generally great for snorkeling but not as good for a relaxing day at the beach. The beaches are gorgeous, but very rocky, so you definitely need some kind of footwear to walk around. There are several small beaches close to Fiscardo that I’m sure you’ll fall in love with!

Dafnoudi Beach


Visibility: (5 / 5)
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Good to relax on: (2 / 5)
Current Friendliness: (4 / 5)




Dafnoudi beach is almost at the north-most point of Kefalonia. To begin with, there is a 10-15 minute hike through the woods to get to the beach, though, so you should have that in mind. If you are using a GPS, it should take you to the road going by this path and you can park right on the street. The beach was very lovely for snorkeling, offering crystal-clear waters and not many tourists around. Bonus tip: get a dry bag, so you can snorkel with your car keys ๐Ÿ˜€

Very close to Dafnoudi beach is Kamilia beach, which is very similar to Dafnoudi, but lovely nonetheless.

Emblisi Beach


Visibility: (5.0 / 5)
Activities: (1.0 / 5)
Good to relax on: (4.0 / 5)
Current Friendliness: (4.0 / 5)



Emblisi beach in Kefalonia is also a great place for snorkeling, mainly because of the interesting limestone formations around it. This beach can get a bit crowded, but it is definitely a larger place than Dafnoudi – there are plenty of parking spots and even a small shop where you can buy food and water. This makes Emblisi beach great not just for snorkeling, but also for spending a full day to relax! In addition, there are trees which you can use for natural shade, so you don’t even need to bring an umbrella with you.

Myrtos Beach


Visibility: (2 / 5)
Activities: (1 / 5)
Good to relax on: (4 / 5)
Current Friendliness: (1 / 5)


Myrtos is the most beautiful beach in Greece! Great for relaxing on the beach (bring an umbrella, though!) but not good for snorkeling as the currents are pretty strong and the visibility is very limited. For a bit more on this beach, check out my Kefalonia blog post.

Xi Beach


Visibility: (3.0 / 5)
Activities: (5.0 / 5)
Good to relax on: (5.0 / 5)
Current Friendliness: (5.0 / 5)

Xi Beach is located at the very southwest of Kefalonia. This beach has red sand! Xi Beach is also surrounded by white clay cliffs, and don’t be surprised if you see people dipping the clay in the sea and putting it on their faces. This like a free spa treatment! The clay is very good for many skin conditions, small bites and can help with dry skin. How cool is that??

Xi Beach is also quite large – the sand strip is over 4 km long, there are abundant umbrellas and sun beds, and, if you have a camera with you – take some night shots there. In addition, there are taverns and shops in that area, so spend a day to relax and enjoy the Ionian waters. There are also many activities and water sports available to entertain you if you’re feeling more energetic.

But why is it called Xi Beach, that’s quite an odd name, isn’t it? Well, the cove of the beach is shaped like the letter X, so that’s how it’s got its name!

Ithaca

Polis Beach


Visibility: (5.0 / 5)
Activities: (3.0 / 5)
Good to relax on: (2.0 / 5)
Current Friendliness: (5.0 / 5)



Ithaca offers many small beaches and coves, but Polis was definitely my favorite snorkeling point in all of the Ionian islands! If you’re staying in Kefalonia, you can definitely get a day trip or a snorkeling trip just to see Polis. The crystal-clear waters and marine life will take your breath away!

Zakynthos

The Blue Caves


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Shipwreck beach (or Navagio) is so amazing, but not good for snorkeling at all. But if you do want to snorkel in Zakynthos, go to the Blue Caves. There are a few places where the water is incredibly calm and clear, and you can even explore the inside of a cave or two! You do need to take a boat to reach the Blue Caves, though, but luckily there are many stands and sellers by the port that can help you with that.

Shipwreck Beach (Navagio)

Visibility: (2.0 / 5)
Activities: (2.0 / 5)
Good to relax on: (5.0 / 5)
Current Friendliness: (1.0 / 5)

No list of the Ionian islands is complete unless we include the breathtaking Navagio! The currents are pretty strong, so it is not ideal for snorkeling as I mentioned above, but still, who can resist swimming in these perfectly-blue waters? Not me! Bear in mind that you need to take a boat in order to get there, as you can see on the photo – the beach is not accessible by land. Luckily, you can get a combined trip very easily for both the Blue Caves and Navagio!

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Rosie Kerrigan

Explore breathtaking new destinations and immerse into different cultures through my lens <3 Travel guides, travel tips and lots of things to do in each destination!

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03 Comments

  1. Pavel

    another great post. Makes me wanna go there:)

    December 28, 2017 Reply
    • Rosie Kerrigan

      Thank you, my curious friend! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ When you do decide to go to the Ionian seas, youโ€™re all set with an itinerary hehe ๐Ÿ˜

      December 28, 2017
    • Pavel

      Oh, so many places to visit, so little time ๐Ÿ˜“

      December 28, 2017

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