Greece the ideal destination


Ithaki Island the Ideal Destination

Ithaki Island

Known to millions around the wortd as the home of the Homeric hero the wily Ulysses, symbol of homesickness and love for one's native land.

Location

Ithaca is located northeast of Kefalonia- Separated by a narrow channel of water just 3.5 kilometres wide, the two islands are combined for administrative purposes.

Transportation

Year-round ferryboat services are sailing from Patra to Vathi via Sami in Kefalonia. There are also daily services to Pisaetos from Astakos in Aetoloakarnania on the mainland.

History and culture

Ithaca. or Thiaki as the natives call it, was first inhabited in prehistoric times. According to Homer it was the kingdom of Ulysses whose palace was identified by Schliemann on one of the island's heights where a prehistoric citadel was excavated known to the locals as the Castle of Ulysses. The excavations at the acropolis unearthed numerous finds from the classical and Hellenistic periods, now housed in London's British Museum, which indicated that the island was first settled in about 3000 BC also inhabited during the Bronze Age. tthaca entered its heyday after 1000 BC when it served as a trading station for cities in mainland Greece. Corinth in particular. A second citadel was unearthed at Aghios Athanasios near Stavros and a small sanctuary to the "unknown god" was found at Aghios Gheorghios. Occupied by the Romans in antiquity, Ithaca endured frequent pirate raids during the Venetian period. Along with the rest of the Ionian islands, it came under French rule and was later administered by the British, to unite with Greece in 1864.

Sightseeing and monuments

Stretching around a bright green and well-protected bay almost in the centre of the island, capital Vathi is a tiny, picturesque Venetian town with splendid mansions, encircled by the remains of Venetian castles, the remnants of past glory. With its green slopes on both sides lined with smart houses built after the earthquake in 1953, Vathi has a bay of unusual shape containing the small islet of Lazareto.

People and lifestyle

The people of Ithaca are similar to the rest of the Ionian inhabitants. With most of their main occupations revolving around the sea and tourism, they are polite and hospitable.

Sports and Leisure

Rocky and mountainous with several small green valleys with olive trees, vineyards and fruit trees, Ithaca is an island of rare beauty with alternating landscape and high contrast in its scenery. Huge menacing rocks are jutting up from the ground where just a few steps away are the tranquil orchards and vineyards. A strip of land atAetos connects the island's two peninsulas. On the island's most developed beaches at Vathi, Frikes and Kloni, one can rent all the necessary equipment for canoeing and paddle boating. The island's quiet bays are good for fishing. Hunting is supervised, and strict laws protect the island's fauna. The mountain slopes of Ithaca are perfect for climbing. As all the distances on the island are short, it is worth exploring it on foot. The gulf in Frikes and the gulf of Molos are ideal for windsurfing and sailing.

Gastronomy and Shopping

Combining mountains and sea, Ithaca is ideal for tranquil vacations, although visitors can still have a lively time at the few bars found in Vathi or during the cultural events in August. The restaurants serve tasty chicken "tserepa", while seaside tavernas serve delicious fresh fish prepared with raisins and rosemary. The pastry shops sell delicious "ravani", a sweet with rice and honey.

Ithaki Island

Ithaki Island