Ionian Sea

Ionian Sea

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The Ionian Sea is an arm of the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

, south of the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

. It is bounded by southern Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 including Calabria
Calabria
Calabria , in antiquity known as Bruttium, is a region in southern Italy, south of Naples, located at the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro....

, Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 and the Salento
Salento
Salento is the south-eastern extremity of the Apulia region of Italy. It is a sub-peninsula of the main Italian Peninsula, sometimes described as the "heel" of the Italian "boot"...

 peninsula to the west, southern Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

 to the north, and a large number of Greek islands, including Corfu
Corfu
Corfu is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, and, including its small satellite islands, forms the edge of the northwestern frontier of Greece. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered as a single municipality. The...

, Zante, Kephalonia, Ithaka, and Lefkas to the east. The islands are collectively referred to as the Ionian Islands
Ionian Islands
The Ionian Islands are a group of islands in Greece. They are traditionally called the Heptanese, i.e...

, and other islands include the Strophades, Sphagia, Schiza
Schiza
Schiza is a Greek island off the southwestern coast of the Peloponnese. The 2001 census reported a population of two inhabitants. Administratively it is part of the municipality of Methóni in the Messinia Prefecture.-External links:*...

, Sapientza
Sapientza
Sapientza is a Greek island off the southern coast of the Peloponnese. It is administratively part of the municipality of Methóni in the Messinia Prefecture. The 2001 census reported a population of seven inhabitants.-External links:*...

 and Kythira
Kythira
Cythera is an island in Greece, once part of the Ionian Islands. It lies opposite the south-eastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula. It is administratively part of the Islands regional unit, which is part of the Attica region , Greece.For many centuries, while naval travel was the only means...

. The sea is one of the most seismic areas in the world.

There are ferry
Ferry
A ferry is a form of transportation, usually a boat, but sometimes a ship, used to carry primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water. Most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services...

 routes between Patras
Patras
Patras , ) is Greece's third largest urban area and the regional capital of West Greece, located in northern Peloponnese, 215 kilometers west of Athens...

 and Igoumenitsa
Igoumenitsa
Igoumenitsa , is a coastal city in northwestern Greece. It is the capital of the regional unit Thesprotia. Its original ancient name used to be Titani....

, Greece, and Brindisi
Brindisi
Brindisi is a city in the Apulia region of Italy, the capital of the province of Brindisi, off the coast of the Adriatic Sea.Historically, the city has played an important role in commerce and culture, due to its position on the Italian Peninsula and its natural port on the Adriatic Sea. The city...

 and Ancona
Ancona
Ancona is a city and a seaport in the Marche region, in central Italy, with a population of 101,909 . Ancona is the capital of the province of Ancona and of the region....

, Italy, that cross the east and north of the Ionian Sea, and from Piraeus
Piraeus
Piraeus is a city in the region of Attica, Greece. Piraeus is located within the Athens Urban Area, 12 km southwest from its city center , and lies along the east coast of the Saronic Gulf....

 westward. Calypso Deep
Calypso Deep
Calypso Deep, located in the Ionian Sea south-west of Pylos, Greece, is the deepest part of the Mediterranean Sea, with a maximum depth of , at .At the Calypso Deep, the African Plate slides under the Eurasian Plate, creating the Hellenic Trench....

, the deepest point in the Mediterranean at -5267 m, is located in the Ionian Sea, at 36°34′N 21°8′E.

Name


The name Ionian comes from Greek . In Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 the adjective Ionios was used as an epithet for the sea because Io
Io (mythology)
Io was, in Greek mythology, a priestess of Hera in Argos, a nymph who was seduced by Zeus, who changed her into a heifer to escape detection. His wife Hera set ever-watchful Argus Panoptes to guard her, but Hermes was sent to distract the guardian and slay him...

 swam across it. Its etymology is unknown. Ancient Greek writers, especially Aeschylus
Aeschylus
Aeschylus was the first of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived, the others being Sophocles and Euripides, and is often described as the father of tragedy. His name derives from the Greek word aiskhos , meaning "shame"...

, linked it to the myth of Io. There were also narratives about other eponym
Eponym
An eponym is the name of a person or thing, whether real or fictitious, after which a particular place, tribe, era, discovery, or other item is named or thought to be named...

ic legendary figures; according to one version, Ionius was a son of Adrias (eponymic for the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

); according to another, Ionius was a son of Dyrrhachus, eponymic for the ancient Greek city of Dyrrhachium (modern Durrës
Durrës
Durrës is the second largest city of Albania located on the central Albanian coast, about west of the capital Tirana. It is one of the most ancient and economically important cities of Albania. Durres is situated at one of the narrower points of the Adriatic Sea, opposite the Italian ports of Bari...

 in Albania). When Dyrrhachus was attacked by his own brothers, Heracles
Heracles
Heracles ,born Alcaeus or Alcides , was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon and great-grandson of Perseus...

, who was passing through the area, 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.

Extent


The International Hydrographic Organization
International Hydrographic Organization
The International Hydrographic Organization is the inter-governmental organisation representing the hydrographic community. It enjoys observer status at the UN and is the recognised competent authority on hydrographic surveying and nautical charting...

 defines the limits of the Ionian Sea as follows:

On the North. A line running from the mouth of the Butrinto River
Butrint
Butrint was an ancient Greek and later Roman city in Epirus. In modern times it is an archeological site in Sarandë District, Albania, some 14 kilometres south of Sarandë and close to the Greek border. It was known in antiquity as Βουθρωτόν Bouthroton or Βουθρώτιος Bouthrotios in Ancient Greek...

 (39°44'N) in Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

, to Cape Karagol in Corfu
Corfu
Corfu is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, and, including its small satellite islands, forms the edge of the northwestern frontier of Greece. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered as a single municipality. The...

 (39°45'N), along the North Coast of Corfu to Cape Kephali (39°45'N) and from thence to Cape Santa Maria di Leuca
Santa Maria di Leuca
Santa Maria di Leuca, often spelled simply Leuca, is a frazione of the comune of Castrignano del Capo, in the province of Lecce , southern Italy.A part of the town once belonged to the comune of Gagliano del Capo.- Description :...

 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
Cape Tainaron , also known as Cape Matapan , is situated at the end of the Mani, Laconia, Greece. Cape Matapan is the southernmost point of mainland Greece. It separates the Messenian Gulf in the west from the Laconian Gulf in the east.-History:...

.

On the South. A line from Cape Matapan to Cape Passero, the Southern point of Sicily

Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

.

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, port, W
  • Catania
    Catania
    Catania is an Italian city on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea, between Messina and Syracuse. It is the capital of the homonymous province, and with 298,957 inhabitants it is the second-largest city in Sicily and the tenth in Italy.Catania is known to have a seismic history and...

    , port, W
  • Taranto
    Taranto
    Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base....

    , port N
  • Saranda, port and a beach, NE
  • Parga
    Parga
    Parga, , is a town and municipality located in the northwestern part of the regional unit of Preveza in Epirus, northwestern Greece. The seat of the municipality is the village Kanallaki. Parga lies on the Ionian coast between the cities of Preveza and Igoumenitsa...

    , small port
  • Preveza
    Preveza
    Preveza is a town in the region of Epirus, northwestern Greece, located at the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf. It is the capital of the regional unit of Preveza, which is part of the region of Epirus. An immersed tunnel, completed in 2002 which runs between Preveza and Actium, connects the town...

    , port, E
  • Ancient Paleros
    Ancient Paleros
    Ancient Paleros was a city of ancient Greece, situated in the northwest part of what is now the region of Epirus. During the antiquity it part of Acarnania, according to the Theodorokoi. The city, ruinous for centuries, is thought to have existed during the Mycenean period, since parts of the...

  • Astakos
    Astakos
    Astakos is a town and a former municipality in Aetolia-Acarnania, West Greece, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Xiromero, of which it is a municipal unit. It is located on the eastern shore of the Ionian Sea but small hills to the west of the town block...

  • Fiskardo
    Fiskardo
    Fiskardo , lately, more commonly Fiscardo, is a village located about 54 km north of Argostoli and a district of the city of Erisos....

    , small port
  • Keri
    Keri, Greece
    Keri is a village in the southern part of the island of Zakynthos. Its 2001 population was 487 for the village and 680 for the municipal district...

    , no port
  • Butrinti,Albania, historical and cultural city, SW
  • Vlora(partially on Ionian sea), port and beach, SW
  • Zacharo, beach and thermal springs
  • Methoni
    Methoni, Messenia
    Methoni is a village and a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pylos-Nestoras, of which it is a municipal unit. Its name may be derived from Mothona, a mythical rock. It is located 11 km south of Pylos and...

    , small port and a beach
  • Ionian Islands
    Ionian Islands
    The Ionian Islands are a group of islands in Greece. They are traditionally called the Heptanese, i.e...


Gulfs and straits

  • Strait of Messina
    Strait of Messina
    The Strait of Messina is the narrow passage between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip of Calabria in the south of Italy. It connects the Tyrrhenian Sea with the Ionian Sea, within the central Mediterranean...

    , W
  • Gulf of Catania
    Gulf of Catania
    The Gulf of Catania is an inlet of the Ionian Sea on the eastern coast of the Italian island of Sicily.Some twenty miles long and some five miles wide, the gulf lies between Cape Campolato to the south and Cape Molini to the north. Mount Etna is close to it, and the Simeto River runs into it...

    , W
  • Gulf of Taranto
    Gulf of Taranto
    The Gulf of Taranto is a gulf of the Ionian Sea, in southern Italy.The Gulf of Taranto is almost square, 140 km long and wide, and is delimited by the capes Santa Maria di Leuca and Colonna...

    , NW
  • Ambracian Gulf
    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 , is a gulf of the Ionian Sea in northwestern Greece. About long and wide, it is one of the largest enclosed gulfs in Greece...

    , E
  • Gulf of Patras
    Gulf of Patras
    The Gulf of Patras is a branch of the Ionian Sea. On the east, it is closed by the Strait of Rion between capes Rio, Greece and Antirrio, near the Rio-Antirio bridge. On the west, it is bounded by a line from Oxeia island to Cape Araxos...

    , connecting the Gulf of Corinth
    Gulf of Corinth
    The Gulf of Corinth or the Corinthian Gulf is a deep inlet of the Ionian Sea separating the Peloponnese from western mainland Greece...

    , ESE
  • Gulf of Kyparissia
    Gulf of Kyparissia
    The Gulf of Kyparissia is a long, curving indentation along the western coast of the Peloponnese peninsula, Greece. It lies between Cape Katakolo at the north end and Cape Konello to the south. Near the northern extreme is the city of Pyrgos, with the town of Zacharo near the center and the town...

    , SE
  • Messenian Gulf
    Messenian Gulf
    The Messenian Gulf is a sea that is part of the Ionian Sea. The gulf is circumscribed by the southern coasts of Messenia and the southwestern coast of the Mani peninsula in Laconia. Its bounds are Venetiko Island to the west and Cape Tainaron to the southeast...

    , SE
  • Laconian Gulf
    Laconian Gulf
    The Laconian Gulf , 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", it is approximately 58 km wide east-west, and 44 km long north-south...

    , ESE

External links