The Ionian Islands, also known as the Eptanisa, are all the islands of the Ionian Sea along and near the western coast of mainland Greece. The name “Eptanisa” (greek for 7 islands) comes from the number of the larger islands of the complex which are Corfu, Zakynthos, Ithaca, Kefalonia, Kythira, Lefkada and Paxos.
However, the Ionian Islands also consist of smaller islands that include Meganissi, Antikythera, Antipaxi, the famous Scorpios of the Onassis family, and others.
The main feature of the islands of the Ionian Sea is the lush vegetation and beautiful blue beaches. Each island has its own history and tradition, and as a whole, the economy is based primarily on agriculture and tourism. The highest mountain of Eptanisa is Αinος, located in Kefalonia, with the highest peak at an altitude of 1628 meters.
The Ionian Islands have not experienced any Turkish occupation. They were ruled by the Venetians in the 13th century. The Italian influence is evident on the streets, the buildings and in the field of music. The “Eptanesian School of Music” ,the father of which is considered to be the composer from Corfu, Nikolaos Mantzaros, highlighted personalities who excelled in the international music scene. The famous “Serenade”, with a completely different melody of known folk songs, also flourished in the Ionian Islands.
The cuisine of the Ionian Islands offers great specialties, such as Pastitsada and the veal Sofrito of Corfu, the rooster ragu and custard pie of Lefkada, the fig pie of Ithaca and the meat pie of Kefalonia.