The mythical island of Odysseus
The intensive contradictions of the landscape, decorated with formidable beauty of wild and calm nature, create a challenging and memorable destination. Traditional villages; deep blue waters with bright-white pebbles; steep bare landscapes; hidden caves; sheltered overgrown bays; windswept capes and archaeological treasures awake memories of the past that enchant the visitor. Ithaca is a favorite destination for sailors, who are coming over the summer months, as well as artists who find inspiration here, but also those seeking tranquility. Vathi is called the center of Ithaca, which is built above the protected gulf of Aetos, with Lazareto Small Island in the center.
What to see
An island with a history of thousands of years which is a global symbol of homesickness and love for the homeland, Ithaca boasts rich cultural elements that will certainly impress the visitor. Besides the natural beauty of the island, facts of history are revealed to you, to the remarkable Archaeological Museum and heirlooms of seamanship folklore await you in the Navy- Folklore Museum.
- The Cathedral of Virgin Mary, with the wooden temple and the old bell tower will surely impress you.
- The Cave of the Nymphs (or Marmarospilia in Greek) is located in Vathi and it was the place of worship where Odysseus hid the gifts of Feakes when he returned to Ithaca. Choose the gate of Mortals or this of Gods to admire the impressive stalactites.
- The commercial activity of the island is located on Stavros. A bit far from Stavros there is a significant collection of archaeological finds of the northern part of the island, where some researchers believe that there was the Palace of Odysseus. It is worth just go there and see the most famous of the exhibit, a clay mask fragment with the inscription in ancient Greek, which was found in Cave Loizou.
- In the small coastal village of Aetos, you should stop as you will see the ruins of ancient city which is called ‘’Alalkomenes’’ (about 800 BC), the castle of Odysseus and traces of the Cyclopean Walls at the top of the hill.
The crystal clear water of Ionian Sea is a perfect opportunity for diving and exploring the bottom of the sea. Canoeing and snorkeling make an excellent combination to enjoy the magic waters of Ithaca! Cultural events and festivals take place every year in Ithaca, especially in the summer months in order to entertain the visitors! Innumerable festivals with plenty of traditional wine are waiting for you! You can even rent a boat of your choice and indulge in a beach exploring! The options are endless! A cultural tour with expert guide is a must for lovers of hiking! Another interesting tour is the one in which you will discover all the hidden caves of Ithaca! The experience is unique!
Food in Ithaca definitely worth your attention! At Vathi beach, in Frikes and kioni you will find traditional Taverns to enjoy quality food by the sea and the picturesque ports of the small villages. The Remenzzo restaurant is located in Frikes and has been designated one of the best restaurants on the island! The unique pies, like the onion and bakalopita will amaze you! Apart from the amazing food, the unique view from the restaurant will perfectly accompany your meal! Ageriis located also in Frikesand offers unique specialties and we recommend it highly! The unique location on the ports on the Frikes will surprise you! Ideal for mid-day and evening meal, Calypso restaurant is located in the Kioni beach. Its unique location in combination with its excellent dishes will be unforgettable!
However, if you prefer something different feel free to walk through the streets of Vathi, where you can find restaurants with unique flavors, located among neoclassical mansions and beautiful yards. For seafood and fish lovers, you should taste the tavern Poseidon in Vathi. Its location and the friendly staff will make even better your experience at Poseidon! Select the squid stuffed with vegetables which are among the specialties of the restaurant. One of the traditional products of Ithaca is the white wine and it is called ‘’Thiako’’. As Ithaca is famous for the variety of white wines, it is necessary to try it, even if you are not a wine lover! Concerning the dessert, you will definitely go to try the traditional cake which is called ‘’Ravani’’ and you will find it either at the central square of Vathi or at the traditional villages!