Known as the homeland of the mythical Ulysses, Ithaca is often overseen by Greek and foreign tourists alike who mostly go for the cosmopolitan Corfu or the crowded Zante. However, this special island is a hidden treasure that emerges from the depths of history and exhibits unique natural beauty, being ideal for those who value serenity, picturesque corners and sparkling deep waters. Ferries to Ithaca depart from the ports of Patra and Kyllini, as well as Kefalonia, creating an excellent opportunity of island hopping!
#What to see
Ithaca surprises the visitor with its overgrown forests and welcoming locals. The island is ideal for couples, families and those who seek tranquility and total relaxation. Vathy is the capital and also the picturesque harbor, with amazing Venetian architecture and small backstreets, ideal for an afternoon stroll. A visit to Kioni is also a must, as it is an extremely charming fishing village, where you can enjoy your dinner right by the sea, while Leuki is a mountainous small settlement with the aura of a more traditional era and a spectacular view to the Ionian sea. Perachori, the island’s largest settlement in situated in the eastern part and you can still walk through though the medieval remains, while Frikes are a peaceful harbor, where you can drink some ouzo in the small taverns.
#Where to swim
Ithaca is home to breathtaking beaches that will awe you with their bright, deep blue and green waters – typical of all Ionian islands. Filiatro is the most renowned beach, with exotic turquoise reflections, surrounded by an overgrown forest. Gidaki is a definite must-see, and can only be visited by boat but worths the effort, as it provides a mind-blowing marine scenery that is hard to find. Brosta Aetos and Aspros Gialos are delicate shores of unique beauty, while Kourvoulia and Mnimata are equally stunning but tend to get crowded, so make sure you get up early.
#What to eat
Ithaca, much like the other Ionian islands, is famous for the production of premium quality honey, olive oil as well as wine. Besides the amazing local products, you will also have the opportunity to taste a variety of traditional dishes such as kotopoulo tserepa (tender chicken cooked in a ceramic pot called “tserepa”), savoro (a fish dish with raisins – surprising combination of flavors), as well as the famous kremmydopita (onion pies that melts in your mouth). Toumatsi is also a traditional pasta variation with unique flavor while for those with a sweet tooth, you must definitely try the famous “rovani”, an amazing cake made by rice and honey.
Tip: do save room for the delightful “hourmades” -fried pastries that will make you forget all about doughnuts, too.