The Ionian Sea (Greek Ιόνιο Πέλαγος, Italian Mare Ionio) is an arm of the Mediterranean Sea, south of the Adriatic Sea. It is bounded by southern Italy, including Calabria and Sicily, to the west, by southwestern Albania and a large number of Greek islands, including Corfu, Zakynthos, Kefalonia, Ithaca, and Lefkada to the east. The islands are collectively referred to as the Ionian Islands, and other islands including the Strophades, Sphagia, Schiza, Sapientza and Kythira. The sea is one of the most seismic areas in the world.
The ferry route between Patra and Brindisi and Ancona crosses over the east and north, and shipping routes from Athens westward cross over the Ionian.
Other ferry routes connecting the islands and land except for Lefkada are mainly in the east and southeast.
Origin and myth of the eponym of the Ionian Sea
The eponym of the Ionian Sea (whose name was more often, particularly by Aeschylus, attributed to Io's voyage; previously the Ionian Gulf was thought to have been called the sea of Cronus and Rhea). Ionius was the son of King Adrias of Illyria who gave his name to the Adriatic.
Ionius was also said to have been a son of Dyrrhachus of the town of Dyrrhachium (modern Durrës). When Dyrrhachus was attacked by his own brothers, Heracles, who was passing through the country, came to his aid, but in the fight the hero killed his ally's son by mistake. The corpse was cast into the sea, which thereafter was called the Ionian sea.
In order from south to north in the west and then north to south in the east:
- Syracuse, port, W
- Catania, port, W
- Saranda, port and a beach, NE
- Parga, small port
- Fiskardo, small port
- Keri, no port
- Methoni, small port and a beach
Gulfs and straits
- Strait of Messina, W
- Gulf of Taranto, NW
- Ambracian Gulf, E
- Gulf of Patras, connecting the Gulf of Corinth, ESE
- Cyparissian Gulf, SE
- Messenian Gulf, SE
- Laconian Gulf, ESE
In order from north to south
- Pineios River (Peloponnese)
- Ambracian Gulf
- Gulf of Patras/Strait of Rio-Antirrio Watershed
- Cyparissian Gulf