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The island of Ithaca, Ithaki in Greece - The quiet Ionian island
Ithaka (or Ithaki, Ithaca - the island somes with many names) is one of the Ionian islands and is situated a bit to the east of the larger island of Kefallonia. The island of Ithaca is not very large and it is quiet. It is also a very hilly island. The area of the island is 96 km2 and the population is just over 4000 people.
The myth says that Ithaca was the birthplace of the Greek hero Odysseus who besieged Troy and who came with the idea to build the big wooden horse. There is no evidence for this, no palace has been found (where his wife Penelope would have lived) and there is not much archaeological evidence that Ithaca was an important power at the time. There is not much more to do than what to Ithaca than walking over the hills and enjoy a the silence, the beauty and the romance of the island.
The current capital is called Vathi which lies deeply tucked away in a cove / bay in the middle of the island. In 1953 the city was destroyed by an earthquake but has since then been sympatheticly restored. The houses have red roofs and most tourists can be found in the harbour near the water, where looking out over the bay and the (prison)islet Lanrioto.
The connections with the ferries to Ithaca are good despite the fact that the island is not really a tourist attraction (most beaches are pebble beaches and there are not that many attractions). Most large ferries call on the capital Vathi, but sometimes there is also a ferry that stops in one of the other two ports (Frikes in the north and Piso Aetos on the west side of the island where there is a sometimes a boat comimg from Kefalonia). In Piso Aetos also sometimes large international ferries make a stop if they cannot find the time to go to Vathi.
From Vathi there is a bus that goed through the hills to the coastal village of Stavros, where there are also some rooms for rent, and to a few other small villages in the north. This bus also visits the old village Perahori that lies below Vathi and which was the center of the island during the time when the pirates dtill made the Greek islands unsafe. In high season, there are also taxi boats from Vathi to the pebble / fishing villages of Kioni and Frikes.
Accommodations on IthacaThe amount of accommodations on the island of Ithaca is limited and can sometimes be on the expensive side. In Vathi there are some rooms for rent and there are a few hotels in the port near the kaiks. Also in Frikes and Kioni there are some rooms for rent.
Sights on Ithaca
• In the capital of the island Vathi there is a small archaeological museum, but this museum is not really quite spectacular.
• At a 1 kilometer distance from Vathi is the interesting Cave of the Nymphes, where according to the myths Odysseus and the goddess Athena once had a hidden treasure.
• At the southeast corner of the island lie the Aretousa Fountains. It is a nice area to go walking but it is advised to take water with you because the place that you go and visits is usually dry.
• The nice fishing village of Kioni in the northeast of the island with a beautiful harbour and a number of derelict windmills.
• The village of Paliochora that you can reach over a path from Perachori. Here are the ruins of the medieval village of Paliochora and there are churches with beautiful Byzantine icons.
• Ancient Alalcomai is located on a hill above the small town of Piso Aetos. Today the 6th century B.C. ruins of the acropolis of Alalcomai remain.
• The Monastery of Katharon which was built at the end of the 17th century and was dedicated to the Panaghia Katharotissa. It is located on Mt. Neritos at a height of 600 meters. From the monastery there are views of Vathi and east towards the Gulf of Patras. There are two alternatives to get there, by road through Stavros and through Anoghi or via the main road.
• The Monastery of Taxiarchi which is located southwest of the village of Vathi. This monastery was built in the 17th century.
• An early Hellenistic settlement at a kilometer distance from Stavros at Pilikata. You can see the ruins of an ancient settlement. The area's archaeological findings are exhibited in a small collection.
Hotels on the island of Ithaca - Hotel Mentor - good reviews - singles, doubles, triples and suites
Situated in the port of Vathi, the capital of Ithaca, this hotel is within walking distance of the centre, with the most modern facilities and a panoramic view of the port. Located 45 km from Kefalonia Airport, this is the ideal environment for an unforgettable trip. From all of the rooms, the view of the calm sea and the dense green of the island will charm you. Meanwhile, in the restaurant for special occasions and roof garden of our hotel, you will always find what you desire. Services include a 24-hour reception, room service, internet access and fax facilities. There is also a cafe bar, situated on the ground floor, with a view of the sea. The hotel Mentor is situated in the port of Vathi, the capital of Ithaca. Within walking distance of the centre, with a panoramic view of the port, and the most modern facilities, it can garantee the ideal enviroment for an unforgettable trip.
All the hotel rooms (4 suites, 28 double-bed and 4 single-bed rooms), are fully renovated, have a bathroom and are equipped with air conditioning, TV and a direct dial telephone.
Check availabilities and prices & book the Mentor Hotel op Ithaca click here