It may not have the soft golden sands of the west coast, but with an 800meter mountain as a backdrop and some of the deepest blue waters anywhere in the Mediterranean sea, it is the most spectacular stretch of coastline of the island.
The first and longest beach at the foothills of mount Pandokratoras is Barbati, a very well organized beach with all the facilities one could wish for and also easy access from town. Venturing past Barbati, progress by road is slow on the narrow winding roads, but highly rewarding with numerous delightful small beach and a lot of gem's in between.
The drive itself, though tiring, is very interesting with some spectacular view, dense forest, even streams trickling down the mountain. Its probably obvious by now that the best way to discover this part of the island is by boat, a small runabout which you can hire without any special license, is all you need to find your perfect spot.
Among these bays you will also find some of the best places to eat, from simple tavern's with home cooking to gourmet fish restaurants, which also explains the number of luxury yachts anchored close to these bays. It also a very quiet area, there are no nigh clubs or noisy bars, very much a place to calm down and enjoy nature.
If all this is not reason enough to lay your towel (or anchor) down, there is yet another advantage to making your way here. Although the Ionian does not suffer from the relentless winds of the Aegean, it does get windy, very windy on occasion. That huge mountain suddenly becomes your best friend and lack of soft sand a blessing.
Clearly this is not the place for everyone, but for some, the only place to be.