The birthplace of nostalgia

A hidden gem that is gaining more and more traction among tourists, Ithaca is famous for its rich history, astounding natural beauty and unique culture. The island is a perfect destination for those wishing to escape the buzz of the city and immerse themselves into natures’ magic.

From spring to summertime

Spring is the perfect season to visit Ithaca. The sea may yet be a bit cold to swim in, but there are many other activities to enjoy, such as going hiking to the mountains to explore the natural beauty of the island, which, during the season, is covered by rich vegetation. The most well-known hiking trail leads to Homer’s School, where it is said that the legendary poet taught his students. As they walk the trail, hikers can enjoy the magnificent view to the untamed coastline and hills of Ithaca.

As the summer season takes off, the island is transformed into a seaside paradise. Ithaca is home to a variety of beaches, ranging from small and secluded coves to large sandy beaches that invite visitors to explore them.

A wealth of activities

Filiatro, just outside the town of Vathy, is the most famous beach of Ithaca. It is a large sandy beach, with crystal blue waters, and an ideal spot for swimming and sunbathing. The small bay of Gidaki is also a popular option, and the beach is accessible only by boat or a short distance by foot. If you prefer sea sports, kayaking is a popular choice that allows you to explore the hidden coves and beaches of Ithaca, including its nearby uninhabited islets. Snorkeling and scuba diving are also popular activities because the crystal waters present excellent visibility for exploring the underwater world.

If you are looking for a bit more action, jet skiing, wakeboarding and waterskiing are but a few activities which are available at the beaches of Ithaca. Visitors can also go on a boat cruise around the island, or even rent a boat to explore it on their own.

Considering that it is surrounded by other popular Ionian destinations, such as Kefalonia and Corfu, Ithaca is an additional favorite destination for those enjoying islandhopping – it is very easy to combine a visit to Ithaca with a trip to other nearby islands.

Nevertheless, Ithaca is also an excellent place to relax and rest. Thanks to its magnificent natural landscape and characteristic effortless ambiance, Ithaca is perfect for those wishing to escape the stress of everyday routine. Whether you choose to relax on the beach or drink a cocktail in a seaside bar, or wander the streets of a traditional village, there are many ways to indulge in the simple pleasures of life at Ithaca. 

Daily pleasures

Ithaca is well-known for its traditional cuisine, which includes fresh seafood and local products. The island’s fertile soil and moderate climate make it an ideal place for growing fruits and vegetables, and visitors can enjoy recipes prepared with ingredients that come straight from the farm. One of Ithaca’s most famous dishes is tsigareli, which is a stew made with vegetables and herbs.

Festivals at Ithaca are a very good way to become acquainted with the local traditions and culture of the island, coupled with traditional music, dances, and foods. The greatest and most notable among them is the festival of Panagia each August, which is celebrated with great enthusiasm by locals and visitors alike.

The nightlife of Ithaca is centered around the town of Vathy, which is home to many bars and restaurants, many of which offer live music and entertainment. For more relaxed evening, visitors can make a stroll on the pier and enjoy the amazing view of the port.

A place of living history

Ithaca is full of history. The island is said to be the birthplace of the legendary Odysseus (or Ulysses). Visitors can explore locations mentioned in the Odyssey, such as the Cave of Nymphs and Odysseus’s Palace. The multitude of archaeological sites of Ithaca include Loizos Cave, the ruins of the ancient cities of Alalkomenae and Ithaca, and the Temple of the Goddess Athena. Besides its historical sites, Ithaca also hosts many museums, including the Archaeological Museums of Ithaca, which displays the rich cultural heritage of the island and exhibits artifacts from the Minoan and Mycenean Periods. 

Big enough to welcome us all!

One of Ithaca’s unique characteristics is its size. With a population of just 3,000 residents, the island emanates an ambience of a small and familiar place that is hard to find in more popular tourist destinations. This means that visitors can enjoy a more authentic experience, with a focus on local culture and traditions.

Nevertheless, despite its size, Ithaca’s accommodations present a variety of options which are suitable for many different budgets and preferences. There are small guesthouses that offer a more traditional experience, and there are large hotels and resorts for those who prefer greater comfort. Many accommodations are close to beaches or towns, making the exploration of the island a lot easier.

All in all, Ithaca is a unique destination that satisfies visitors, whatever experiences they may seek in their vacations. If we consider the magnificent natural landscapes, rich culture and history, along with the wide range of activities and landmarks suitable for all preferences, the fact that Ithaca is constantly gaining popularity is as natural as its beauty.

Photos and videos

Events calendar

13 Σεπτέμβριου 2023
ITHACA 15/08/2023

Festival of Panagia, village Platrithias

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15 August 2023

ITHACA 05/08/2023

Feast of the Saviour, Stavros village

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5 August 2023

Thematic tourism

Sea Tourism

The island hosts plenty of spectacular beaches, including Filiatro beach, which is known for its turquoise waters and white sand. Other remarkable beaches are Gidaki and Sarakiniko, each with its own unique charm. Kayaking is a good option for exploring the island’s hidden coves and beaches, as well as nearby uninhabited islands. Snorkeling and scuba diving are also popular activity choices, because the crystal blue waters of Ithaca offer excellent visibility for exploring its underwater world.

Still, if you are looking for a little more action, jet skiing, wakeboarding, water skiing, parasailing, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding are several of the activities which are available at the island’s beaches. 

One of the best ways to explore Ithaca is to go on a boat sightseeing tour. This will give you the opportunity to enjoy remote coves, caves, and beaches which cannot be accessed by other means.

Sport Tourism

Sports tourism has become more and more popular over the past few years, and a growing number of tourists seek to combine their love for sports with their passion for travelling. The Ionian Islands are a popular destination for this particular type of tourism – and below you will find out why.

Fans of cycling will discover that the Ionian Islands present a diverse terrain, ranging from moderate seaside roads to highly demanding mountainous passages. The loop from Vathy to Stavros in the island of Ithaca is a popular cycling trail, in which cyclists traverse olive groves and vineyards towards the island’s highest point. Along the way, cyclists can make stops at traditional villages and admire the splendid view to the Ionian Sea.

Gastronomic tourism and Wine tourism

The Ionian Islands offer a rich and diverse cuisine, a blend of traditional Greek gastronomy and influences from other cultures. By emphasizing locally produced ingredients and the power of taste, it is made evident that the Ionian Islands are a special destination for all food lovers.

The Ionian Islands are famous for their “trademark” tasteful qualities, combining traditional Greek dishes with influences from the Italian, Turkish, and Venetian cuisine. The islands offer a wealth of fresh local ingredients such as fish, seafood, olive oil, vegetables, herbs, and wines. Their gastronomy constitutes a unique experience that is bound to thrill and delight all connoisseurs of fine food. 

Each Ionian Island features a variety of traditional recipes and dishes which are unique to the region.

Tserepa – Chicken with tomatoes, pepper plants, and potatoes, baked inside a tserepa, a traditional cooking vessel that is much like a casserole (a lid made of white clay that is used to cover the cooking tray).

Thiacia makaronadia – Thick pasta with a hole in the middle that is cooked with meat, white wine, and onion sauce. It should be noted that Ithaca is famous for its traditional pasta, such as toumatsi and birbilonia. 

Soupa Chtapodi (octopus soup) – A favorite seafood recipe and a delicious main course, served with macaroni.

Rovani – An Ithacan variation of the classic ravani (semolina cake), prepared with short-grain rice ground with honey and olive oil.

Religious tourism

The Ionian Islands have been a hub of religious activities for hundreds of years, hosting a vast number of churches, monasteries, and Byzantine monuments, many of which are open for religious tourists during the months of summer and spring, whether for pilgrimages or just out of desire to explore the rich history of the region through its religious tradition.

Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Ithaca: The crown jewel of the village of Anogi, built during the 12th century, with exceptional frescos and a Venetian-styled bell tower.

Kathara Monastery: A site of reference for all Ithacans worldwide, built on the northeast side of the Homeric Mount Niriton, on the plateau called mountain of the “kathara” (clearings), at approximately 600 m. from the sea and only a few kilometers away from the town of Vathy.

Cultural Tourism

Ithaca has plenty of remarkable sites of great historical and archeological value. The picturesque town of Vathy hosts the Archaeological Museum, the Homeric “Cave of the Nymphs” (also known as “Marmarospilia”), and you can also see the icon of “Jesus Elkomenos” (Jesus pulled to the cross”, which is attributed to the painter El Greco. In Perahorio you will find the ruins of Palaiochora, the roofless churches and their notable Byzantine frescoes, and the monastery of Taxiarches with a view to the southern regions of the island. Stavros presents the remains of a Bronze Age settlement, the school of Homer, and the archeological museum on Pilikata Hill, which is claimed to be the site of Ulysses’s city. Last but not least, the ruins of the ancient acropolis of Alalkomenes (the Castle of Ulysses) can be found in Aetos. 

Ithaca, one of the smallest islands of the Ionian Sea, is also home to many ancient monuments. Loizos Cave is thought to have been a site of religious worship during antiquity. It was named after the legendary musician and poet Loizos, who is said to have used the cave as venue for his performances. Homer’s School is a cultural center at the village of Stavros, dedicated to the study of the works of Homer and ancient Greek culture in general, and used as venue for lectures, seminars, and other cultural events.

Built during the Hellenistic period (3rd to 1st century B.C.), the Ancient Theater at the village of Agios Ioannis in Ithaca is also worthy of a visit. In addition, the Fortress at the city of Vathy, built in the 16th century during the Venetian Rule of Ithaca is an excellent place to explore and admire the panoramic view it offers.