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The Ionian Sea ( el, Ιόνιο Πέλαγος, ''Iónio Pélagos'' ; it, Mar Ionio ; al, Deti Jon ("our sea")) is an elongated
bay A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, such as an ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface ...

bay
of the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
. It is connected to the
Adriatic Sea The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkans. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto (where it connects to the Ionian Sea) to the northwest ...

Adriatic Sea
to the north, and is bounded by
Southern Italy Southern Italy ( it, Sud Italia; nap, 'o Sudde; scn, Italia dû Sud), also known as ''Meridione'' or ''Mezzogiorno'' (, literally "Midday"; in nap, 'o Miezojuorno; in scn, Mezzujornu), is a macroregionA macroregion is a geopolitical subdivis ...
, including
Calabria it, Calabrese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demogr ...

Calabria
,
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
, and the
Salento Salento (Salentino Salentino is a dialect of the Sicilian language spoken in the Salento peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connec ...

Salento
peninsula to the west, southern
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or Shqipëria), officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a par ...

Albania
(and western
Apulia it, Pugliese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_titl ...

Apulia
, Italy) to the north, and the west coast of
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
, including the
Peloponnese The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesia, or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos, ) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while b ...
. All major islands in the sea, which are located in the east of the sea, belong to
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...
. They are collectively named the
Ionian Islands The Ionian Islands (Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including th ...

Ionian Islands
, the main ones being
Corfu Corfu (, ) or Kerkyra ( el, Κέρκυρα, Kérkyra, ), ; ; la, Corcyra. is a Greek island Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group *Greek language, a branch ...

Corfu
,
Kefalonia Kefalonia or Cephalonia ( el, Κεφαλονιά), formerly also known as Kefallinia or Kephallenia (), is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece and the 6th largest island in Greece after Crete, Euboea, Lesbos, Rhodes and Chios. It i ...

Kefalonia
,
Zakynthos Zakynthos (also spelled Zakinthos; el, Ζάκυνθος, Zákynthos ; it, Zacinto ) or Zante meaning "amazing and loving" (, , ; el, Τζάντε, Tzánte ; from the Venetian form) is a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Any ...

Zakynthos
,
Lefkada Lefkada ( el, Λευκάδα, ''Lefkáda'', ), also known as Lefkas or Leukas (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to ...

Lefkada
, and
Ithaca Ithaca, Ithaki or Ithaka (; Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population ...

Ithaca
. There are
ferry A ferry is a vessel used to carry passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo, across a body of water. A passenger ferry with many stops, such as in Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern It ...

ferry
routes between
Patras ) , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_title2 = , demographics1_info2 = , timezone1 = EET , utc_offset1 = +2 ...

Patras
and
Igoumenitsa Igoumenitsa ( el, Ηγουμενίτσα, ) is a coastal city in northwestern Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Eu ...
, Greece, and
Brindisi Brindisi ( , ; scn, label= Brindisino, Brìnnisi; la, Brundisium; grc, Βρεντέσιον, translit=Brentésion; cms, Brunda) is a city in the region of Apulia it, Pugliese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , ...

Brindisi
and
Ancona Ancona (, also , ; ) is a city and a seaport in the Marche region in central Italy, with a population of around 101,997 . Ancona is the capital of the province of Ancona and of the region. The city is located northeast of Rome, on the Adriatic ...

Ancona
, Italy, that cross the east and north of the Ionian Sea, and from
Piraeus Piraeus ( ; el, Πειραιάς ; grc, Πειραιεύς ) is a port city The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Trieste.html"_;"title="Barcola_near_Trieste">Barcola_near_Trieste,_a_small_local_port A_port_is_a_ Barcola_near_Tr ...

Piraeus
westward.
Calypso Deep Calypso Deep, located in the Hellenic Trench, Ionian Sea 62.6 km south-west of Pylos, Greece, is the deepest part of the Mediterranean Sea, with a maximum depth of , at . Manned descents The first manned descent into Calypso Deep was on 27 Septem ...

Calypso Deep
, the deepest point in the Mediterranean at , is in the Ionian Sea, at . The sea is one of the most
seismically active
seismically active
areas in the world.


Etymology

The name ''Ionian'' comes from the Greek language . Its etymology is unknown. Ancient Greek writers, especially
Aeschylus Aeschylus (, ; grc-gre, Αἰσχύλος ''Aiskhylos'', ; c. 525/524 – c. 456/455 BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kin ...
, linked it to the myth of Io. In
ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
the adjective ''Ionios'' () was used as an
epithet An epithet (, ) is a byname, or a descriptive term (word or phrase), accompanying or occurring in place of a name and having entered common usage. It has various shades of meaning when applied to seemingly real or fictitious people, divinities, ...
for the sea because Io swam across it. According to the ''
Oxford Classical Dictionary The ''Oxford Classical Dictionary'' (''OCD'') is generally considered "the best one-volume dictionary on antiquity," an encyclopedic work in English consisting of articles relating to classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the class ...
'', the name may derive from
Ionians The Ionians (; el, Ἴωνες, ''Íōnes'', singular Singular may refer to: * Singular, the grammatical number In linguistics, grammatical number is a grammatical category of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and verb agreement (linguistics), ...
who sailed to the West. There were also narratives about other
eponym An eponym is a person, place, or thing after whom or which someone or something is, or is believed to be, named. The adjectives derived from eponym include ''eponymous'' and ''eponymic''. Word usage The term ''eponym'' functions in multiple ...
ic legendary figures; according to one version, ''Ionius'' was a son of ''Adrias'' (eponymic for the
Adriatic Sea The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkans. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto (where it connects to the Ionian Sea) to the northwest ...

Adriatic Sea
); according to another, ''Ionius'' was a son of '' Dyrrhachus''. When Dyrrhachus was attacked by his own brothers,
Heracles Heracles ( ; grc-gre, Ἡρακλῆς, , glory/fame of Hera Hera (; grc-gre, Ἥρα, Hḗrā; grc, Ἥρη, Hḗrē, label=none in Ionic Ionic or Ionian may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Ionic meter, a poetic metre in anci ...

Heracles
, who was passing through the area, came to his aid, but in the fight the hero killed his ally's son by mistake. The body was cast into the water, and thereafter was called the Ionian Sea.


Geography


Extent

The
International Hydrographic Organization The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is an intergovernmental organisation representing hydrography. As of December 2021 the IHO comprised 96 Member States. A principal aim of the IHO is to ensure that the world's seas, oceans and ...
defines the limits of the Ionian Sea as follows: ::''On the North.'' A line running from the mouth of the (39°44'N) in
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or Shqipëria), officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a par ...

Albania
, to Cape Karagol in
Corfu Corfu (, ) or Kerkyra ( el, Κέρκυρα, Kérkyra, ), ; ; la, Corcyra. is a Greek island Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group *Greek language, a branch ...

Corfu
(39°45'N), along the North Coast of Corfu to Cape Kephali (39°45'N) and from thence to in Italy. ::''On the East.'' From the mouth of the Butrinto River in Albania down the coast of the mainland to
Cape Matapan Cape Matapan ( el, Κάβο Ματαπάς, Maniot The Maniots or Maniates ( el, Μανιάτες) are a Greeks, Greek ethnic group native to the Mani Peninsula, located in western Laconia and eastern Messenia, in the southern Peloponnese, Gr ...

Cape Matapan
. ::''On the South.'' A line from Cape Matapan to Cape Passero, the Southern point of
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
. ::''On the West.'' The East coast of Sicily and the Southeast coast of Italy to Cape Santa Maria di Leuca.


Places

From south to north in the west, then north to south in the east: *
Syracuse Syracuse may refer to: Places Italy *Syracuse, Sicily Syracuse ( ; it, Siracusa , or scn, Seragusa, label=none ; lat, Syrācūsae ; grc-att, wikt:Συράκουσαι, Συράκουσαι, Syrákousai ; grc-dor, wikt:Συράκο ...

Syracuse
, port, W *
Catania Catania (, , Sicilian and , grc, Κατάνη) is the second largest city in Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , d ...

Catania
, port, W *
Messina Messina (, also , ; scn, Missina ; lat, Messana; grc, Μεσσήνη, Messḗnē) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger ...

Messina
, port, W *
Taranto Taranto (, also ; ; nap, label=Tarantino Quentin Jerome Tarantino (; born March 27, 1963) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor. His films are characterized by nonlinear narrative, nonlinear storylines, dark humo ...

Taranto
, port N *
Himara Himara (indefinite Albanian form: ''Himarë''; el, Χειμάρρα, ''Himarra'' or Χιμάρα, ''Himara'') is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitAr ...

Himara
, small port, NE *, port and a beach, NE *
Kerkyra Corfu (, ) or Kerkyra ( el, Κέρκυρα, Kérkyra, ), ; ; la, Corcyra. is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea The Ionian Sea ( el, Ιόνιο Πέλαγος, ''Iónio Pélagos'' ; it, Mar Ionio ; al, Deti Jon ) is an elongated bay of the ...

Kerkyra
, port, E *
Igoumenitsa Igoumenitsa ( el, Ηγουμενίτσα, ) is a coastal city in northwestern Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Eu ...
, port, E *
Parga Parga ( el, Πάργα ) is a town and municipality located in the northwestern part of the regional unit of Preveza in Epirus sq, Epiri rup, Epiru , native_name_lang = , settlement_type = Historical region Historical region ...

Parga
, small port, E *
Preveza Preveza ( el, Πρέβεζα, ) is a city in the region of Epirus (region), Epirus, northwestern Greece, located on the northern peninsula at the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf. It is the capital of the Preveza (regional unit), regional unit of Prev ...

Preveza
, port, E *
Astakos Astakos ( el, Αστακός, meaning "lobster") is a town and a former municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as gr ...
, port, E *
Argostoli Argostoli ( el, Αργοστόλι, Katharevousa: Ἀργοστόλιον) is a town and a former municipality on the island of Kefalonia, Ionian Islands (region), Ionian Islands, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the mu ...

Argostoli
, port, E *, port, E *
Kyparissia Kyparissia ( el, Κυπαρισσία) is a town and a former municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by n ...

Kyparissia
, port, E *
Pylos Pylos (, ; el, Πύλος), historically also known as Navarino, is a town and a former municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdiv ...

Pylos
, port, E * Methoni, small port and a beach *
Ionian Islands The Ionian Islands (Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including th ...

Ionian Islands


Gulfs and straits

*
Strait of Messina The Strait of Messina ( it, Stretto di Messina, Sicilian: Strittu di Missina) is a narrow strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrowing, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. The surface water generall ...

Strait of Messina
, W * Gulf of Catania, W * Gulf of Augusta, W *
Gulf of Taranto The Gulf of Taranto ( it, Golfo di Taranto; Tarantino Quentin Jerome Tarantino (; born March 27, 1963) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor. His films are characterized by nonlinear narrative, nonlinear storylines, ...
, NW *, NW *
Ambracian Gulf The Ambracian Gulf, also known as the Gulf of Arta or the Gulf of Actium, and in some official documents as the Amvrakikos Gulf ( el, Αμβρακικός κόλπος, translit=Amvrakikos kolpos), is a gulf of the Ionian Sea in northwestern Greec ...
, E *
Gulf of Patras The Gulf of Patras ( el, Πατραϊκός Κόλπος, ''Patraikós Kólpos'') is a branch of the Ionian Sea The Ionian Sea ( el, Ιόνιο Πέλαγος, ''Iónio Pélagos'' ; it, Mar Ionio ; al, Deti Jon ("our sea")) is an elongated ...

Gulf of Patras
, connecting the
Gulf of Corinth The Gulf of Corinth or the Corinthian Gulf ( el, Κορινθιακός Kόλπος, ''Korinthiakόs Kόlpos'', ) is a deep inlet An inlet is an indentation of a shoreline, usually long and narrow, such as a small bay or arm, that often lea ...

Gulf of Corinth
, ESE *
Gulf of Kyparissia The Gulf of Kyparissia ( el, Κυπαρισσιακός Κόλπος, ''Kyparissiakos Kolpos'') is a long, curving indentation along the western coast of the Peloponnese The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesia, or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόνν ...
, SE *
Messenian Gulf The Messenian Gulf (, ''Messiniakós Kólpos'') is a sea that is part of the Ionian Sea The Ionian Sea ( el, Ιόνιο Πέλαγος, ''Iónio Pélagos'' ; it, Mar Ionio ; al, Deti Jon ) is an elongated bay of the Mediterranean Sea. It is ...

Messenian Gulf
, SE *
Laconian Gulf The Laconian Gulf ( el, Λακωνικός Κόλπος, translit=Lakonikos Kolpos), is a gulf in the south-eastern Peloponnese, in Greece. It is the southernmost gulf in Greece and the largest in the Peloponnese. In the shape of an inverted "U", ...
, ESE


Islands

*
Corfu Corfu (, ) or Kerkyra ( el, Κέρκυρα, Kérkyra, ), ; ; la, Corcyra. is a Greek island Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group *Greek language, a branch ...

Corfu
*
Kefalonia Kefalonia or Cephalonia ( el, Κεφαλονιά), formerly also known as Kefallinia or Kephallenia (), is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece and the 6th largest island in Greece after Crete, Euboea, Lesbos, Rhodes and Chios. It i ...
*
Ithaca Ithaca, Ithaki or Ithaka (; Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population ...

Ithaca
*
Zakynthos Zakynthos (also spelled Zakinthos; el, Ζάκυνθος, Zákynthos ; it, Zacinto ) or Zante meaning "amazing and loving" (, , ; el, Τζάντε, Tzánte ; from the Venetian form) is a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Any ...

Zakynthos
*
Lefkada Lefkada ( el, Λευκάδα, ''Lefkáda'', ), also known as Lefkas or Leukas (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to ...

Lefkada
*
Paxi Paxi or Paxoi and Antipaxoi or Antipaxos (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. ...

Paxi
*
Kythira Kythira (, ; el, Κύθηρα, , also transliterated as Cythera, Kythera and Kithira) is an Greek islands, island in Greece lying opposite the south-eastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula. It is traditionally listed as one of the seven main Io ...


Islets

*
Antikythera Antikythera or Anticythera ( ) is a Greek island lying on the edge of the Aegean Sea, between Crete and Peloponnese. In antiquity the island was known as (). Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality of Kythira i ...

Antikythera
* * Arkoudi *
Atokos Atokos ( el, Άτοκος), is a small Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. It ...

Atokos
*
Kalamos Kalamos (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers ...
*
Kastos Kastos ( el, Καστός) is a Greek island Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family **Proto-Greek ...
*
Ksamil Islands The Islets of Ksamil (), consist of four rocky islets located in the direct proximity to the Ionian Sea in Southern Albania. The village of Ksamil, after whom the islets are named, is located to the east of the islets. Furthermore, the islands are ...
* Kravia * Kythros * Lazareto (Ithaca) * Lazaretto (Corfu) *
Meganisi Meganisi (Greek language, Greek: Μεγανήσι, literally "big island") is a Greece, Greek island and Communities and Municipalities of Greece, municipality immediately to the east-southeast of the island of Lefkada. The municipality includes th ...

Meganisi
* Navtilos *
Pontikonisi Pontikonisi ( el, Ποντικονήσι, "Mouse Island") is a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located i ...

Pontikonisi
* Proti *
Sphacteria Sphacteria ( el, Σφακτηρία - ''Sfaktiria'') also known as Sphagia (Σφαγία) is a small island at the entrance to the bay of Pylos in the Peloponnese, Greece. It was the site of three battles: *the 425 BC Battle of Sphacteria in the Pe ...

Sphacteria
*
Skorpios Skorpios or Scorpios ( el, Σκορπιός, ) is a private island in the Ionian Sea off the western coast of Greece and just to the east of the island of Lefkada. The 2011 census reported a population of five inhabitants. Administratively it i ...

Skorpios
* Sparti (Lefkada) *
Strofades Strofades or Strofadia or Stromphides ( el, Στροφάδες or Στροφάδια or Στρόμφιδες) is a group of two small Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), of ...

Strofades
*
Vido Vido ( el, Βίδο) is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called isl ...


History

The Sea was the location of the famous
naval battle Naval warfare is human combat in and on the sea, the ocean, or any other battlespace involving a major body of water such as a large lake or wide river. History Mankind has fought battles on the sea for more than 3,000 years. Even in the interi ...
between
Octavian Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate (the first phase of the Roman Empire) has consolidated ...
and
Marc Antony Marcus Antonius (14 January 1 August 30 BC), commonly known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century A ...
known as The Battle of Actium, a war fought in 31 BC.https://www.britannica.com/event/Battle-of-Actium-ancient-Roman-history


See also

*
Calypso Deep Calypso Deep, located in the Hellenic Trench, Ionian Sea 62.6 km south-west of Pylos, Greece, is the deepest part of the Mediterranean Sea, with a maximum depth of , at . Manned descents The first manned descent into Calypso Deep was on 27 Septem ...

Calypso Deep


References


External links


The Ionian-Puglia Network of Ground Meteorological Stations (real-time weather observations)
{{Authority control Seas of Italy Seas of Greece Seas of Albania Albania–Greece border Marginal seas of the Mediterranean European seas Landforms of Corfu (regional unit) Landforms of the Ionian Islands (region) Landforms of Thesprotia Landforms of Epirus (region) Landforms of Preveza (regional unit) Landforms of Aetolia-Acarnania Landforms of Western Greece Landforms of Cephalonia Landforms of Achaea Landforms of Messenia Landforms of Peloponnese (region)