Ionian Islands

Ionian Islands


The Ionian islands ( Zakyntos, Corfu, Kefalonia, Lefkada, Paxos, Kythera and Ithaci), during the Byzantine period were part of the Empire, but, as before, each of the islands followed its own history. Of particular historical and cultural unity were from the 15 thcentury AD when the conquest by Venetians, Crusaders. During the Venetian domination in Ionian Islands many tough social fights had been done and French revolution’s ideas “found land suitable to grow”. Thus, when with the Treaty of Kampoformio (1797), the Ionian Islands were surrendered to France, people celebrated this as a liberation from the shackles of feudalism. But French did not solve the basic social problems, the rural problem, and so the feudal oppression reborn after a year, when Russian-Turkish captured the Ionian Islands. In 1799 the Ionian were proclaimed as independent state. It is the first new Greek state.

The first official flag of an independent Greek state after the fall of Konstantinoupoli (Instabul) was the flag of independent Ionian Republic. Introduced in 1800 after a treaty that proclaimed the Ionian Islands as a free and independent state. This flag remained in use until 1807, when the Ionian Islands were returned to France. For the internal conflict that continued after the establishment of the Ionian State, three successive constitutions were voted in 1800, 1803 and 1806. In 1807 with the Treaty of Tilsit, The Ionian Island fell back to French. In 1815 Ionian proclaimed an independent state named “United States of Ionian Islands”, under the direct and exclusive protection of England. The islanders from the first time reacted to this new domination, imposed on them under the guise of protection and beg.

The first extension of Greek state’s frontiers came into more than thirty years after the proclamation of independence. This was neither an effect of any irredentist revolts of the Greek state, nor occurred at the expense of only up to 1878 enemy, the Ottoman Empire. With the treaty signed on March 17th/29th 1864 between the three “Powers”: England, France and Russia, the Ionian Greek kingdom passed definitely to Greek sovereignty on May 21. This fact came as a culmination of a series of consultations and diplomatic negotiations that set fairly heavy conditions for Greece which was blocked from most diplomatic meetings. The treaty established the perpetual neutrality of Corfu, so demolished a part of the fortress of Paxos’ s city. The Greek government accepts all the obligations to foreign governments, corporations and individuals, resulting from contracts concluded with the Ionian State or the Protecting Power, Great Britain. This setting was related to the public debt of Ionian Bank. The Greek government also undertook to pay compensation and pensions to the English officials who would lose their positions with this Union.

Orthodox Church is recognized as mainstream but also declared that there is religious freedom for all faiths and the privileges of the Catholic Church maintained. Great Britain waives the protection of Ionian and together with France and Russia extend the guarantees related to Greece and Ionian Islands. On September 23rd / October 5th the Ionian parliament decided solemnly the union with Greece in “one and indivisible state under George‘s A constitutional sceptre”.



The Ionian Islands are a cluster of seven major islands and several smaller islands located in the Ionian Sea. The seven main islands are, in order of size, Kefalonia, Corfu, Zakynthos, Lefkada, Kythira, Ithaca and Paxos.

The island complex of the Ionian Islands also includes some smaller islands such as Antikythera, Antipaxos, Arkoudi, Atokos, Vromona, Draconera, Ereikoussa, Kalamos, Kalogiros, Karlonisi, Kastos, Lambrinos, Manthraki, Makri, Meganisi, Modi, Othonous, Oxia, Petala, Pontico, Provati, Scorpio, Sophia, Strophades, Soros and more. The Ionian Islands cluster includes the island of Sasson, which from 1864 to 1914 belonged to Greece.

The Ionian Islands are administratively part of the Ionian Islands, except Kythera, which are administratively part of the Region of Attica. The region of the Ionian islands includes the prefectures of Zakynthos, Corfu, Kefallinia and Lefkada.



The Ionian Islands are lush. The mountains of the Ionian Islands are the westernmost parts of the Greek mountain ranges. The highest mountain is Ainos and is located in Kefalonia (1628m), Elati in Lefkada, Vrachionas in Zakynthos and Pantokratoras in Corfu.

The Ionian region is one of the most seismic areas in Greece due to the large fragmentation of land.

The rivers and lakes are very small, like the plains that exist on all the islands and are on the seabed.



The climate of Ionian Islands is Mediterranean, with soft winters and cool summers.



The economy is based on tourism and agriculture (olive trees, citrus fruits, almond trees, vines and grapes).