Holidays in Ithaca island
The dreamy island of Ithaca; a universal symbol of longing and love for one’s home, belongs to the Ionian complex. The captivating capital, the quaint villages, the lush hills and the beaches with crystal clear waters create an earthly paradise, which seduces travelers and inspires poets!
The verdant island of Odysseus spreads over two peninsulas connected by a narrow strip of land. The capital and main port of Ithaca is the beautiful Vathi; built in the traditional Ionian architecture. Vathi stretches around the cove which "embraces" Lazaretto island, creating an image that seems to have sprung from a painting! Wander through the picturesque stone alleyways of the capital, between impressive mansions and houses with red tile roofs; enjoy sweet treats in retro patisseries; have a drink at the atmospheric bars next to the port and try the local cuisine in the traditional restaurants. Trademark in Vathi is the Draculis Palace; a neoclassical mansion which dominates the heart of the port. On the hill that rises above the town, there is the castle from where you can enjoy breathtaking views! At the entrance of the harbor, you will see the Venetian fortress with its cannons. Other major attractions in Vathi are the Theatrical Municipal Library, the Library of the Cultural Centre as well as the ancestral home of Odysseus Androutsos; a hero of the Greek War of Independence. Very close to the city, there is the famous Cave of the Nymphs or Marmarospilia where you can admire beautiful stalactites. According to an ancient Greek legend, here Odysseus hid the gifts of the Phaeacians, when he returned to the island.
Ithaca is the home of several notable museums, including the Maritime and Folk Museum, the Archaeological Museum of Ithaca and the Archaeological Cross Collection. Known for its beautiful numerous churches, including the Cathedral of Panagia (Our Lady) in Linovrochia, with magnificent temple made of wood; Anogi church, which is listed as a historical monument and Panagia Kathariotissa church, the patron saint of the island. In the ruins of the medieval village of Paleochora, there are many well preserved churches adorned with famous Byzantine frescoes.
During your stay on the island, do not forget to visit the picturesque Kioni village, which is perched on a green slope. Walk in the alleys of this settlement, among old stone houses with flowery gardens and enjoy a drink or meal by the sea, overlooking the moored sailboats. At the end of the village, at Psigadi, the three ruined windmills, a trademark of the settlement, will sting your attention.
It is also worth visiting Pilikata, where, according to the Homeric descriptions, the city of Odysseus, the picturesque mountain village of Stavros, is placed.There, the bust of the explorer and the ruins of the ancient city of Alalkomenes in Aetos hill and the mountain village of Anogi where scattered boulders, known as menhirs can be found.
And when the time comes to leave the island, you will then understand why Odysseus fought for ten years with all those beasts in order to return to his beloved Ithaca ...
In Ithaca, you will find numerous paradise bays with turquoise waters, white pebbles and trees which almost reach the sea!
In the southern part of the island the idyllic bay of Skinos and the beautiful beach of Dexia or Dexa with umbrellas and sun loungers, as well as trees that provide natural shade, lie. The most popular beach is Filiatro, which is organized with umbrellas and sunbeds. Next to Filiatro there is Sarakiniko beach, full of green trees. One of the most beautiful beaches of the island is the quiet and deserted Gidaki beach, with turquoise waters and beautiful natural environment!
In the north part of Ithaca, there are the Cross bay and White Gialos beach. Those who love isolation can choose one of the bays which are found on the way from Frikes to Kioni.
How to get there
Travelling by car or bus and by boat
To reach Ithaca from Athens, you can drive via the National Highway to Patras until you reach the port of Kyllini or take the Intercity Bus (KTEL Bus of Kefalonia); the trip lasts approximately 4 hours. There, take the ferry-boat to get across to the port of Piso Aetos. You can also take the Intercity Bus (KTEL Bus of Aitoloakarnania) and reach Ithaca via the town of Astakos (approximately 2 hours ride).
For more information on the bus routes of KTEL of Kefalonia click here.
For more information on the itineraries visit the companies’ sites:
Travelling by car and by boat
To reach Ithaca from Thessaloniki, you can drive to the port of Astakos, from where you take the ferry-boat to the port of Piso Aetos.
Travelling by airplane and by boat
The fastest way to reach Ithaca from Athens is to fly directly from Eleftherios Venizelos – Athens International Airport to the airport of Kefalonia, as well as from Macedonia International Airport of Thessaloniki. Then, you can get to the port of Fiskardo or Sami, where you take the ferry-boat from to get across to Ithaca, to the ports of Piso Aetos or Frikes.
For more information on the flights schedule from Athens Airport click here.
Connections with other islands
Ithaca is connected by boat with the island of Kefalonia via the ports of Fiskardo and Sami, as well as with the islands of Leukada, Zakynthos and with the port of Astakos.
Transfer within Ithaca
To move around Ithaca, you can use the local bus and taxies. You can also rent a car or a motorcycle from the rental services on the island.
During your stay in Ithaki, you can be served for health issues:
Health Center of Ithaki which is located in Vathi, Tel: (+30) 26740 32222
Regional Clinic of Stavros, Tel: (+30) 26740 31207
Useful phone numbers
Ithaki Port Authority: (+30) 26740 32909, 22031
Killini Port Authority: (+30) 26230 92211
Kefalonia Airport: (+30) 26740 41511
Police Station of Ithaki: (+30) 26740 32205
Fire Department: (+30) 26740 33499, 33199
Health Center of Ithaki: (+30) 26740 32222
Regional Clinic of Stavros: (+30) 26740 31207
TAXI: (+30) 26740 33030