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Ithaca

Famous throughout the world as Ulysses island Ithaca is an inspiring island for someone looking for an historical route besides amazing landscapes and beautiful beaches for their vacation

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Surface
117,8 km²
Airport
No
Port
Vathy, Aetos
Faster connection
Plane and Ferry
Connections
Plane and Ferry
Healthcare
Emergency medical service
Tourist presence
Nightlife under 30
Nightlife over 30
Beaches
Pebbles
Beach services
Free
Beaches for children
No
Equipped campsite
Yes
Naturism
Yes
Points of interest
Monastero Panagia Kathariotissa, Alalcomenae
Activity
Boat trip Canoe Diving Hiking Kayak Mountain bike Snorkeling Tour Trekking Windsurf
Holiday type
Family holiday, Romantic trip, Sea and Relax

Ithaca is the homeland of Ulysses, Greek hero that return to his island after 10 years of navigation. Ithaca is located between Kefalonia and the continent. Even being so close to Kefalonia (only 2 km in the closest point) Ithaca is a very peaceful and quiet island to discover.

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It measures 27 km in length and 6,5 in width. It is covered by mountains that make this island a great destination if you like mountain biking, cycling, hiking or just having long walks. While wandering around you’ll be surrounded by the green vineyards, cipresses, olive trees, pines and oaks, besides by the blue and clear waters of the coast.

There isn’t an airport on Ithaca. The closest airport is on Kefalonia and it can be reached with direct flights from Athens within one hour. After reaching Kefalonia visitors can take the ferry for Ithaca from the ports of Sami and Poros.

Why choose Ithaca?

Art hotels, hotel boutiques, luxurious villas and private swimming pools will make your stay in Ithaca delightful. In Vathi, the island’s capital, you will find many bars, cafes, shops and museums besides many restaurants and hotels that cover most of the city. If you love beaches you’ll have the chance to choose from a wide variety of options for everyone! Near Vathi it is possible to visit the Ninfe’s cave, a mythological place where Ulysses was said to have abandoned his war clothes before going back home.

Another city to visit in Ithaca is Kioni. Here the time seems to have stopped and also the tourists can let themselves go and get carried away by the relaxing atmosphere and warm air. Other inhabited centers that are worth visiting are Exogi and Kolieri where you can take some wonderful pictures. On the northern side of the island you will find the old capital of the island: Anogi.

This city is worth visiting thanks to its many historical features such as the venetian buildings and bell tower. Ithaca is also a great island for those people who love sports such as trekking, climbing and diving. 

The beaches on Ithaca have a huge number of coves and creeks where to spend a relaxing day surrounded by a crystal clear and beautiful sea. Here are some of the most important beaches of the island:

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Agios Ioannis beach

In the northern part of the island there is Agios Ioannis, a sandy beach with no services and a bit solitary. The sea is crystal clear and the seabed is a mix of sand and pebbles. A great place to take a long rest and to go swimming.

Dexa beach

Dexa beach is only 2 km far from Vathy, the capital of Ithaca. It is situated on the right side of the port, north of the island. The beach offers natural shaded areas for a relaxing sunbathing and is pretty unique for its blue and transparent waters ideal for both swimming and diving. There aren’t many parking places and there are some bars where to get something to drink or eat. Nearby there is also Nymph cave, where the legend says that ulysses hid the gifts he had brought back from the island of the Feaci.

Filiatro beach

This beach is covered in pebbles and it is located near Vathy, the best place to visit if you are sleeping in the nearby town. Here the trees and the vegetation grow almost into the waters providing some shade during the warmest months. There is also a small restaurant on the beach where you will be able to eat some traditional food after spending a day by the beach and swimming.

Gidaki beach

This small beach can only be reached by boat and it is located very close to Vathy. From Vathy’s port there are boat trips every 20 minutes. It is partly equipped and it has fine golden sand, clean waters with a green shade and a small restaurant where to try some of the typical traditional Greek food.

Polis beach

In the western coast, near the village of Lefki, there is Polis beach. Surrounded by a U shaped bay covered by some green and lush vegetation. The seabed is very shallow, the waters are incredibly clear and the coast is covered in pebbles and flat stones. From this beach there are also daily trips to the caves of Loizo, where different historical objects were found. Unfortunately doesn’t offer any service to the tourists that visit it.

Sarakiniko beach

This pebbled beach is located near Vathy in the south eastern coast of Ithaca. The bay is protected by some tall cliffs that divide the beach in two parts. Not having any services for tourists and being surrounded by so many rocks this beach has a wild and natural atmosphere. The sea is crystal clear and it is perfect for a long swim. It can easily be reached by boat or on foot.

Skinos beach

This pebbled beach is located in the southernmost part of the island near Vathy and surrounded by a bay named after the beach. There is a lush vegetation that grows almost into the waters, the coast is sandy and there are some big rocks nearby that are perfect for snorkeling. The road for reaching the beach isn’t in great conditions and for this reason you should drive carefully. It isn’t equipped with any service for the tourists that visit the island.

Ithaca is very small and it is the second smallest inhabited island of the Ionian sea. Unfortunately there aren’t many activities to choose from because of the island’s small size. Ithaca has a long and indented coasts with a very steep surface. There aren’t many roads or paths around the island and for this reason both busses and cars on the island have problems moving around.

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Thanks to this the island hasn’t become very touristy and the landscapes are still completely natural and unspoilt. The ideal place for a quiet and relaxing holiday surrounded by nature and silence. If you choose to stay in Ithaca you will also have the chance to enjoy the island’s nightlife. In Vathi you will find two discos besides many taverns and bars all around the places center. An interesting fact is that this was the island where Prince Charles and Princess Diana spent a few days during their royal honeymoon.

Alalcomenaeus acropolis

This antique city was founded in the XI century and it is located in a narrow isthmus for its strategic position. There is also an archeological site where the remains of Alalcomenae acropolis were found. Also some bronze coins and writings were found. It is located above the village of Piso Aetos.

The cave of the nymphs

Also known as Marmarospilia this cave is famous for the many stalactites formations that can be found here. A big archeological site shows that this cave was once traditionally used for a ceremony in which the nymphs from where the cave gets its name used to gather for a ritual. The cave is also described in the Odyssey.

The small island doesn’t have an airport. So for reaching Ithaca you will have to first stop in Lefkada or Kefalonia. Once there you will only have to take a ferry that takes you directly to Ithaca.

Reaching Ithaca from Italy

The airport of Kefalonia receives internal daily flights from Athens and the journey lasts about 1 hour. There are also many direct flights from european airports to Kefalonia and even charter flights from countries all over the world. After having reached Kefalonia by plane you will have the chance to take a ferry for Ithaca from the ports of Simi or Poros.

If you don’t like travelling by plane and you want to reach Ithaca by ferry there are many options to choose from. The journey for reaching Patrasso is very long but from here you will find a ferry for Ithaca. Igoumenitza is closer to reach by boat but once you get there you will have to drive more than 150 km before getting a ferry in Nydri or Lefkada.

Reaching Ithaca from continental Greece

There are ferries that leave the portual city of Killini in the Peloponnese. Occasionally there are ferries for Ithaca that leave from Patrasso, but this doesn’t happen every summer. These ferries that leave Killini also reach the islands of Poros and Kefalonia before arriving to the port of Pisaetos in Ithaca.

There are also ferries for Ithaca that leave from the ports of Pisaetos, Sami and Kefalonia. During the summer there are also ferries that leave from Vassiliki, Lefkada and Frikes 3-4 times a week.

The small island doesn’t have an airport. So for reaching Ithaca you will have to first stop in Lefkada or Kefalonia. Once there you will only have to take a ferry that takes you directly to Ithaca.

Reaching Ithaca from Italy

The airport of Kefalonia receives internal daily flights from Athens and the journey lasts about 1 hour. There are also many direct flights from european airports to Kefalonia and even charter flights from countries all over the world. After having reached Kefalonia by plane you will have the chance to take a ferry for Ithaca from the ports of Simi or Poros.

If you don’t like travelling by plane and you want to reach Ithaca by ferry there are many options to choose from. The journey for reaching Patrasso is very long but from here you will find a ferry for Ithaca. Igoumenitza is closer to reach by boat but once you get there you will have to drive more than 150 km before getting a ferry in Nydri or Lefkada.

Reaching Ithaca from continental Greece

There are ferries that leave the portual city of Killini in the Peloponnese. Occasionally there are ferries for Ithaca that leave from Patrasso, but this doesn’t happen every summer. These ferries that leave Killini also reach the islands of Poros and Kefalonia before arriving to the port of Pisaetos in Ithaca. There are also ferries for Ithaca that leave from the ports of Pisaetos, Sami and Kefalonia. During the summer there are also ferries that leave from Vassiliki, Lefkada and Frikes 3-4 times a week.

In Ithaca there aren’t many hotels and accommodations to choose from. In Vathi, the island’s capital, you will find many apartments and hotels besides small alleys full of shops and cafes. Given the shape of the island and the marvellous landscapes you can also look for hotels and apartments with some beautiful views of the sea.

Where to stay in Ithaca

In Vathi you will find a unique and elegant art hotel. The rooms and suites are completely white besides having beautiful private balconies that offer a wonderful view on the bay of Vathi. If you are travelling with families there is a cottage with two bedrooms that will give you the chance to enjoy the true greek atmosphere.

The best place if you are looking for an ecological vacation surrounded by lush nature far away from the crowded centers. If you want to stay by the sea there are many single apartments with a very tiny kitchen. Here you will be able to enjoy the beautiful view of the Ionian sea, being at only a few minutes from some beautiful beaches.

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