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Ithaki Island

The smallest island the Ionian Islands, lthaki throughout the ages has been known as the home of Odysseus (one of the Greek leaders of the siege of Troy whose 10-year adventurous trip back home to Ithaca, after the fall of Troy, is the subject of Homer's Odyssey). Ithaki is separated from Kefalonia by a channel some 2 to 4 Kilometres wide. The west coast of the island is steep and almost barren in contrast to the green, gentle shoreline on the east. The capital and largest settlement Vathi and is protected from the winds.

We definitely recommend you to visit the wonderful beaches of western Ithaca, (accessible only by boat) for the unforgettable experience of swimming in a beautiful, empty beach. Other beaches to worth visiting are: Aetos, Agios Ioannis, Ag. Nikolaos, Afales, Aspros Gyalos, Dexa, Filiatro, Gidaki, Kaminia, Kathisma, Loutsa, Marmaka, Mnimata, Pisaetos and Sarakiniko.

The MOORING place for charter yachts: in Pisaetos, in Poli Bay, in Pera Pigadi and in Ag. Andreas Bay south of the island.

IMPORTANT FACILITIES for YACHTS AND BOATS ON CHARTER in Ithaki Island (Necessary needs and infrastructure for yachtsmen or generally for anyone who is on sailing vacation / yachting holidays onboard a sailing yacht or a motor boat).

The recommended SHELTER POINTS in Ithaki Island are

HAZARDS and NAVIGATION ADVICE for Ithaki Island and nearby area.

WATER SPORTS in Ithaki Island
As Ithaki is a very small island with many inaccessible beaches, there are no facilities for water-sports of any kind.

SCUBA DIVING in Ithaki Island
Scuba diving is prohibited in Ithaki Island due to the many archaeological findings underwater.

RENT A CAR / BIKE in Ithaki Island (main town and port)
Alpha bike & car rental Tel: +30 2674032850, www.alphacarsgreece.com

HISTORY Information for Ithaki Island
The etymology of the name Ithaca is not determined but many believe that the island was named after Ithacos, son of Poseidon and the nymph Amfimele. Following the findings of a small Bronze Age settlement in Pilikata area, it is believed that the ancient city of Ithaca lies somewhere in the vicinity. As with all the rest of the Ionian Islands, Ithaki has the same rich and varied history with various conquerors and circumstances. What is worth noted is that during the Mycenaean period (1500-1100 B.C.) Ithaca became the capital of all the Ionian Islands, and the opposite lands, and was referred to as one of the most powerful states of that time. The lthacans were characterised as great navigators and explorers with daring expeditions reaching further than the Mediterranean Sea. When Venetians dominated the island, Vathy became the capital of the island and due to fear of pirate attacks, the Ithacans begun to built ships in order to confront the pirates, thus leading to the development and the power of the island?s shipping industry and the improvement of society. Ithaki became part of the New Greek state in 1864 together with the rest of the Ionian Islands. Today, tourism is one of the main sources of income for the Ithacans.

MUSEUMS AND other interesting SITES in Ithaki Island
Among the places worth visiting in Ithaki Island is the Archaeological Museum (Tel. 26740-32200)in Vathi, the Archaeological Collection in Stavros village, the Library and the Cultural Centre.
In contrast to the rich history of Ithaki, the archaeological research has been comparatively limited. You can visit the following sites: the Cave of the Nymphs (Nimfon Cave), the Polis cave (thought to have been the centre for worships through early Greek civilization), Monastery of the Archangels at Perahori, the Kathara Monastery (Moni Katharon) which offers a unique view of the island from its bell tower as it is located 600 metres above sea level.

LOCAL THINGS & STUFF to check or BUY in Ithaki Island
Most of the shops are gathered in Vathy. You can find beautiful shops that propose handmade jewellery, local handmade costumes and fine antiques and some art galleries are selling various art works from local artists. Wandering along the small, picturesque streets of the town will be a relaxing experience and once you get tired you can stop and have a pastry like rovani or chalvas (local sweets) or a drink at one of the cafeterias and pastry shops next to the sea.