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You have surely heard the name of Ithaca (Ιθάκη or Ithaki in Greek) in connection to Odysseus (or Ulysses), hero of Homer’s epic poems Iliad and Odyssey. The truth is it’s still unclear where Odysseus actually existed or whether he was from Ithaca (the most likely it’s that Homer was from the island or at least lived there).

You have surely heard the name of Ithaca (Ιθάκη or Ithaki in Greek) in connection to Odysseus (or Ulysses), hero of Homer’s epic poems Illiad and Odyssey. The truth is it’s still unclear where Odysseus actually existed or whether he was from Ithaca (the most likely it’s that Homer was from the island or at least lived there). However, independently of the historic and archeological importance of the place (which is in any case great), beyond any doubt Ithaca is well worth a visit.

The capital is Vathy (Bάqu). It has some nice tavernas and restaurants and, if you love sailing, you will probably know already that it has one of the biggest natural ports in the world. Very close to Vathy you’ll find the beach Minimata. It’s a small and quiet beach with amazingly clear waters and some trees (good for shadow!). After a long morning at the beach, you can go for lunch to the paliokaravo taverna, only a couple of minutes drive away. Get some tomato keftedes and remember me! ;) Another beach defiantly worth visiting is Sarakiniko. Don’t stay in the first part. Walk over the little hill and get to the second half. Transparent waters, white rocks and some cypress trees.Idillic. Apparently the beach at Agios Ioannis is the best, but it’s more exposed to winds and currents so we couldn’t make it. The northern part of the island also harbors some villages worth a visit, such as Kioni, where you can find great food.

Plus, if you find Ithaca too small or you want to broaden your horizons, you can always visit the nearby islands, such as Kefalonia, Lefkada or Zakyntos. Ithaca is easily accessible from mainland Greece by boat (we took the ferry at Patra) or from one of the bigger Ionan islands around it. It is recommended to hire a car or a small motorbike if you plan to explore the islands.

As for accommodation, I was lucky enough to be visiting friends who own a house there, so I cannot advice anything in particular, but it there seemed to be lots of apartments and houses to let and also hotels and guesthouses in the bigger villages and, of course, in Vathy. You will find more information on http://www.travelinfo.gr/ithaki/index.htm and http://www.ithacagreece.com/

written by jelga

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