Jun 01, 2023
The island of Ithaca (Ithaki in Greek) Greece, located in western Greece, is the home island of Ulysses from Homer's Odyssey.
This charming Greek paradise, belonging to the Ionian island group, is steeped in mythical essence and surrounded by incredible natural beauty. With lush green landscapes, exotic beaches & emerald waters, Itaca will not disappoint, its an island that Homer approves!
This is one island you should put on your list when you are planning your trip to Greece. It is peaceful, and has some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece.
A tip is to visit the this Greek island during August where you will be able to enjoy the panagia festival. So book your villa and enjoy Homer's Ithaca.
Getting around the the Island of Odysseus
The best way around the island is to hire a car. Renting a car on the island allows you to get to parts of the island that are not accessible via public transport.
You are able to find car hire businesses in the town of Vathym the main town of Ithaca.
There is also the KTEL bus system that links virtually all the villages of northern Ithaca.
As this is a small island, their timetable does not run as mentioned on the advertised timetables! They run on Greek time ;)
How to get to the Greek island of Ithaca
There is no direct ferry from Athens to Ithaca. The easiest way to get to Ithaca is to get to Astakos, which is located on the western part of the Greek mainland in Aetoloacarnania, Kefalonia and Lefkada.
Other options are to embark from the picturesque port of Killini in Peloponnese. If you choose the latter, enjoy a delightful stopover at the charming Poros port in Kefalonia.
Pisaetos port in Ithaca welcomes ferries from Killini, Kefalonia, and Astakos, while Frikies port is where ferries from Kefalonia and Lefkada arrive in to.
And if you prefer to dock at Vathy port, hop aboard a ferry, Ithaca is connected to Lefkada and Kefalonia.
As Ithaca does not have an airport, the closest airport is on Kefalonia island. Once you land in Kefalonia you will need to make your way to the port and then hop on a ferry towards Ithaca.
There are flights from Athens to Kefalonia daily during the summer periods.
Things To Do in Ithaca island
Archaeological Museum houses artefacts unearthed from the depths of Aetos, Pisaetos, Kioni, and other regions. These relics offer glimpses into ancient Greece.
The museums showcases delicate coins, miniature statues, fragments of ceramic vases, intricate jewellery, and everyday objects. Of particular fascination is a captivating collection of locally-crafted vases from the geometric period, providing a window into the artistic prowess of this storied land.
Entry Fee: €3
On the mountain below Exoghi and above Platrithias in the north of Ithaca lay the ruins believed to be that of Homers School. The site has been excavated in recent years by the University of Ioannina, Greece. There is access from a track leading up from Geyfiri Restaurant in Platrithias or by a dirt road which starts at the first bend of the road to Exogi.
Cave of the Nymphs
Located in Vathy, the Cave of the Nymphs also known as Marmarospilia. The caves are where Odysseus hid the gifts from the Phaeacians after returning from the city of Troy, and is mentioned in Homer's Odyssey.
Entering the cave is via a narrow path and extends into a chamber that is around 7 meters wide. The cave has several chambers that you can walk through which are decorated with speleothems.
Stavros Archaeological Collection
The Stavros Archaeological collection is well worth the visit. Housing some of the best pieces of pottery, ceramic vases, offerings from Classic and Hellenistic tombs, stone tools and the piece of a Hellenistic mask (2nd century B.C.) that reads Pray to ithaki .
Aretousa Spring in Ithaca
Aretousa Spring is tucked away in the far southeast corner of the island.
Located 5 kilometers from Vathy, the spring is steeped in legend. According to tales passed down through generations, it is the very spring where Odysseus' loyal swineherder, Eumaeus, guided his thirsty pigs.
To find the spring, make your way towards Marathias from Vathi, keeping an eye out for the vibrant blue sign marked "Arethousa Krini." Follow the path it leads you on to the beautiful Aretousa Spring.
Monastery of Katharon
This monastery was built at the end of the 17th century and was dedicated to the Panaghia Katharotissa. It is located on Mt. Neritos.
From the monastery there are views of Vathy and east towards the Gulf of Patras. Using Google maps is your best bet on arriving to the monastery.
Monastery of Taxiarchi
The Monastery of the Archangels is located southwest of Vathy. It was built in the 17th century.
The ancient town of Alalcomenae on Ithaca
Alalcomenae is an ancient town located above the small village of Piso Aetos, to the south of Ithaca.
It was a village during the 6th century and the ruins of the Acropolis of Alalcomenae still remain on the archaeological site.
Many objects of great historical value have also been found, such as some imprints with the name of Ithaca and the image of Ulysses.
Best beaches in Ithaca Greece
Located 3km east of Vathy, the beach is well organised, meaning sun-beds, umbrellas, snacks and drink are all available seaside.
The beach is made up of pebbles and crystal clear blue waters.
Sarakiniko Bay beach
Located 3km east of Vathy, Sarakiniko bay is one of the best nature preserved beaches on the island. It is perfect for snorkelling.
The bay is not organised and best visited via boat, but is also accessible by car.
Located 12km north of Vathy, and a sort walk from the beautiful village of Koni. The beach is secluded but it is well worth the visit. The beach and surrounding areas are pristine and untouched.
The beach is not organised so bring whatever you need for the day and enjoy the cool refreshing waters!
Located 7km west of Vathy this small harbour is a non-organised beach.
The beach or cove is the perfects spot to just relax. The area is quiet and like most of the island, the waters are crystal clear.
Located 2km west of Vathy and consist of sandy and white pebbles.
The beach is not organised but the natural nature of the beach has plenty of shady areas under the trees.
Even thought the beach is not organised, there are some facilities to eat and drink not far from Dexa beach.
Legend has it that, according to The Odyssey, Dexa is the site where Odysseus stopped after returning Trojan War.
Located 5km north east of Vathy, Gidaki beach does not get overcrowded during summer. Its the perfect beach close to the main town to relax and have the beach almost to yourself.
The beach is not organised so take your umbrella, food and drink with you.
The beach is made up of pebbles and clam blue waters
Located 18km north of Vathy and is the most popular beach on the island. It has the best swimming waters. It is not organised but the area of Frikes has many tavernas and cafes for you to visit.
The beach is not windy as it sits behind a cove, making it the perfect location for all day swimming in the Ionian sea.
Best Restaurants and Bars in Ithaca
Located in Kioni this family run restaurant is known for traditional Greek dishes especially their grilled meat delicacies.
Located in Starvos, Dona Lefki is one of the most popular restaurants on the island. The restaurant sits right on the coast with beautiful blue waters as the backdrop.
Serving some delicious and traditional Greek food its really worth the visit.
Also located in Vathy, Rapsody is the perfect spot to have a cocktail after dinner at Dona Lefki. The bar sits on the coast and is one of the island's best places for a drink.
Located in Kioni, is situated on the coast serving up coffee, snacks and meze. It is a popular spot for both locals and tourists.