I still love the Ionian Islands with the same passion from when I was 10...

No surprises...

25 years on and I still love the Ionian Sea Islands with the same passion that I remember from when I was just 10 years old. Often in our thirst for new destinations and weird and wonderful activities it's easy to forget the joy of visiting a place that offers up no surprises at all.

Crystal clear Mediterranean

The crystal clear Mediterranean laps reassuringly on the rocks and Albania still sits mysteriously and tantalisingly close to Corfu; the same tavernas serve up the same menus and the same proprietors greet you with warm and open smiles. OK, there are a few more buildings but strict regulations prevent certain headlands and bays from even the hint of a foundation or electricity pylon.

Perfect to relax

Days pan out as they always have; morning dip in the sea, a trip to buy fresh bread and Greek yoghurt, long and lazy breakfasts followed by a sail or a water-ski, an afternoon plodding about on a chug-chug boat looking for another deserted cove and a picnic lunch, endless swims and snorkeling, an evening trip into the olive tree-clad hills for an ouzo in a tiny village, and a trip out to dinner by fishing boat.

Paxos beach

Boat ride over to Paxos

A final midnight swim in the sparkly phosphorescence caps a perfect day. If you're feeling like you can spare a day out of this hectic schedule, a boat over to nearby Paxos rarely disappoints. Where Corfu has seen the odd building go up, Paxos is still exactly the same as it was when I first visited. There is no airport so the hordes have been kept well away. The island has just three villages with crumbly Venetian buildings dotted along the sheltered water's edge of the Eastern shore. On the Western side of the island, majestic cliffs and cathedral sized caves make for spectacular views and nervous swims into inky blackness.

Feel the warmth of the sun

This is in stark contrast to the waters on neighbouring (and un-inhabited) Anti Paxos where the sandy sea-floor of a whole bay magnifies the electric blue sea above it. If it's a jet-set holiday you're after then forget this part of the Med, but if you can't think of anything better than to feel the warmth of a smooth sun-baked rock beneath your back and the silky water of the Mediterranean cooling you down, look no further than the Ionian islands. Contact Original Travel