The Ionian Sea ( el|Ιόνιο Πέλαγος, ''Iónio Pélagos'' ; it|Mar Ionio ; al|Deti Jon ) is an elongated bay of the Mediterranean Sea. It is connected to the Adriatic Sea to the north, and is bounded by Southern Italy, including Calabria, Sicily, and the Salento peninsula to the west, southern Albania (and western Apulia, Italy) to the north, and the west coast of Greece, including the Peloponnese. All major islands in the sea, which are located in the east of the sea, belong to Greece. They are collectively named the Ionian Islands, the main ones being Corfu, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, Lefkada, and Ithaca. There are ferry routes between Patras and Igoumenitsa, Greece, and Brindisi and Ancona, Italy, that cross the east and north of the Ionian Sea, and from Piraeus westward. Calypso Deep, the deepest point in the Mediterranean at , is in the Ionian Sea, at . The sea is one of the most seismically active areas in the world.


The name ''Ionian'' comes from the Greek language . Its etymology is unknown. Ancient Greek writers, especially Aeschylus, linked it to the myth of Io. In ancient Greek the adjective ''Ionios'' () was used as an epithet for the sea because Io swam across it. According to the ''Oxford Classical Dictionary'', the name may derive from Ionians who sailed to the West. There were also narratives about other eponymic legendary figures; according to one version, ''Ionius'' was a son of ''Adrias'' (eponymic for the Adriatic Sea); according to another, ''Ionius'' was a son of ''Dyrrhachus''. When Dyrrhachus was attacked by his own brothers, 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.



The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Ionian Sea as follows: ::''On the North.'' A line running from the mouth of the Butrinto River (39°44'N) in Albania, to Cape Karagol in Corfu (39°45'N), along the North Coast of Corfu to Cape Kephali (39°45'N) and from thence to Cape Santa Maria di Leuca in Italy. ::''On the East.'' From the mouth of the Butrinto River in Albania down the coast of the mainland to Cape Matapan. ::''On the South.'' A line from Cape Matapan to Cape Passero, the Southern point of Sicily. ::''On the West.'' The East coast of Sicily and the Southeast coast of Italy to Cape Santa Maria di Leuca.


thumb|230px|The Ionian Sea, view from the island Lefkada, Greece From south to north in the west, then north to south in the east: *Syracuse, port, W *Catania, port, W *Messina, port, W *Taranto, port N *Himara, small port, NE *Saranda, port and a beach, NE *Kerkyra, port, E *Igoumenitsa, port, E *Parga, small port, E *Preveza, port, E *Astakos, port, E *Argostoli, port, E *Patra, port, E *Kyparissia, port, E *Pylos, port, E *Methoni, small port and a beach *Ionian Islands

Gulfs and straits

*Strait of Messina, W *Gulf of Catania, W *Gulf of Augusta, W *Gulf of Taranto, NW *Gulf of Squillace, NW *Ambracian Gulf, E *Gulf of Patras, connecting the Gulf of Corinth, ESE *Gulf of Kyparissia, SE *Messenian Gulf, SE *Laconian Gulf, ESE


* Corfu * Kefalonia * Ithaca * Zakynthos * Lefkada * Paxi * Kythira


* Antikythera * Antipaxi * Arkoudi * Atokos * Kalamos * Kastos * Ksamil Islands * Kravia * Kythros * Lazareto (Ithaca) * Lazaretto (Corfu) * Meganisi * Navtilos * Pontikonisi * Proti * Sphacteria * Skorpios * Sparti (Lefkada) * Strofades * Vido


The Sea was the location of the famous naval battle between Octavian and Marc Antony 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


External links

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