In one of our latest posts, in which we shared with you our one-week itinerary for visiting Kefalonia, we already gave a little teaser about visiting Ithaca (also known as Ithaki or spelled Ithaka). If you are spending your holidays on Kefalonia, you certainly don't want to miss a trip to this enchanting neighboring island. Ithaca is a must-see for everybody paying a visit to the Ionian islands. There is something mystical about this island. Its irresistible, laid-back appeal will immediately captivate your spirit and soul.
Ithaca is best known for taking center stage in Homer's ancient Greek epic poem The Odyssey. The story follows Odysseus, king of Ithaka, on his 10-year journey back to his beloved Penelope who had to stay back on Ithaca during the Trojan war. Homecoming is one of the central themes in Homer's poem and Ithacans will surely make you feel right at home once you visit this unspoiled paradise far away from the stressful modern world.
Ferries from Kefalonia to Ithaca (Pisaetos)
Getting to Itaca from Kefalonia is fairly easy. There are daily ferries connecting Kefalonia and Ithaca. There are mainly two companies operating ferries between the two islands: Levante ferries and Ionian P. Lines. Both ferries offer a round trip from Kefalonia (either Sami or Poros) to Pisaetos port on Ithaca. Ionion P. Lines do not offer an online booking system, and thus, tickets need to be purchased at the local port office whereas Levante ferry tickets can be conveniently bought online. You can take your car with you on the ferry which is recommended if you want to explore Ithaca properly. Most of our visitors find it hard to leave our little paradise at Stefanos Home for more than a day. In this case, an Ithaca day cruise with Captain Vangelis from Skala might be the better option.
Where to stay on Ithaca
Vathy is the capital of Ithaca and the largest settlement on the island. This small town is located on the east coast and lies tucked away in the South end of the Molos Gulf. Vathy was almost entirely destroyed by the big 1953 Ionian earthquake, however, the courageous residents rebuild most of the town with its Venetian-styled buildings. Later on, a new governmental regulation prohibited any non-traditional architecture or color which helped to preserve the rich heritage and unique atmosphere of this charming settlement that we can experience today. Vathy offers the largest choice of accommodation on the island paired with a great variety of food, entertainment, and a tranquil nightlife.
Alternatively, you can opt to stay in the North part of Ithaca where you will find a handful of picturesque villages. Kioni is probably the most intriguing choice for you here. The little village is a peaceful gem with a captivating ambiance. The port boulevard - lined with charming tavernas on the one side and mooring sailing boats on the other side - becomes a restful haven for those seeking a relaxing time on the island. Other great options are the villages of Frikes or Stavros.
What to do on Ithaca
Similar to Kefalonia, the best thing to do on Itahki is go to the beach. You are going to miss out if you don't spend a lazy day at one of the dreamy bays with emerald blue water. Gidaki Beach comes highly recommended by travelers and locals alike and is our personal favorite on Ithaca. Gidaki Beach is not accessible by car. You can take a boat from Vathy port (close to the town square) or hike your way there if you feel adventurous enough.
Another great idea for a remote beach experience is Afales Beach in the North part of the island. There is no road leading to this turquoise paradise as the beach is bordered by an
impressive white cliff. You can take a boat taxi from Vathy to get there. If you prefer a more civilized beach with the convenience of driving up there by car and resting on umbrella-shaded sunbeds then head east to Filatro Beach. Enjoy the day between olives tress and indulge yourself in traditional Greek food with a modern twist at the beach tavern Kirki. Try their lemon sorbet.