Send us your pics from Greece to: firstname.lastname@example.org The Ionian islands may not have the same appeal for tourists to Greece as Santorini, Mykonos or Rhodes, but they are very popular with discerning tourists. The temperate climate, the deep and cool sea waters; the mountains, the lush vegetation the cultural heritage, and the cheerfulness of the inhabitants, make the Ionian Islands the ideal place for a holiday as well as for rest and relaxation. What is more, the Ionian Islands also enjoy a flawless tourism infrastructure, excellent hotel accommodation, restaurants, diving centres, sea sports, cultural events, and a multitude of sights, historic monuments and museums worth visiting. Scattered along the western coastline of Central Greece the Ionian Islands, as they are known, are an island cluster comprising twelve small and large islands. Zakynthos, Ithaki, Kerkyra, Kefalonia, Lefkada, and Paxoi are the six, large Ionian Islands. Antipaxi, Erikousa, Mathraki, Othoni, Meganisi and the deserted islets of Strofades south of Zakynthos are the smaller Ionian Islands. Here are some tips on things to enjoy on two of the major Ionian islands: Corfu and Zakynthos.CorfuSailing and boat trips:Charter a yacht and cruise the Ionian Sea around the island. The calm blue waters are perfect for a leisurely sailing trip, whether you choose to visit inaccessible beaches or venture to neighbouring islands, such as Paxos or Antipaxos. Take one of the many organised boat trips, from tours on a glass-bottomed boat, to an all-day excursion along the coast to spot dolphins, whilst enjoying a beach BBQ.Horse riding:The lush green island of Corfu is the ideal spot for horse riding or pony trekking. From short treks along the coastline, to scenic rides up in the mountainous regions, the island is full of tracks and trails, and the many schools and stables offer plenty of day trips and excursions.Golfing:Enjoy a game or two at the islands’ 18-hole championship golf course at Kerkyra, situated just outside Corfu Town. Set against the stunning scenery of the Ropa Valley, the beautiful backdrop and fantastic weather makes a round of golf in Corfu a wonderful experience. ZakynthosWater sports:Have fun in the sun and try some of the water sports offered in the main resorts on Zakynthos (some resorts have restrictions due to conservation measures). From jet skis, banana boats and pedalos, to water skiing, wind surfing, paragliding and canoeing, there’s plenty of activities on offer along many of the glorious beaches of the island.Scuba diving:Diving is available on the island, and the various schools and centres on Zakynthos offer a host of trips for all levels of divers. A full range of courses are available, from introductory to PADI certified, with daily trips out to explore the caverns, reefs and drop-offs full of fascinating marine life.Sea turtles:Zakynthos is known as the most important nesting ground for the endangered species of loggerhead sea-turtles, the Caretta-Caretta, and a national marine park has been created to protect and preserve these creatures. During the summer months, holidaymakers can visit Laganas and Kalamaki and take a glass-bottomed boat trip to view the turtles in their natural habitat and even swim with them.Walking and hiking:Head off into the bush for some hiking on Zakynthos, with this green island offering the ideal terrain for both serious trekking and leisurely strolls. Choose from acres of lush vineyards and olive groves, the mountainous north or dense pine forests teeming with wildlife, and discover the quiet relaxing side of the island.