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Day 10: Alykes - Ithaca

Ionian Islands in two weeks


It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Ithaca is one of the most famous of the Greek isles. The name is familiar to virtually everyone who’s ever heard of the works of the ancient Greek poet Homer, for Ithaca is the birthplace of the legendary hero king, Odysseus. But archaeologists hold differing opinions regarding his exact place of residence, with possible versions ranging from Alalcomenes to Stavros.

Today’s attractions include an archaeological museum, a bust of Odysseus, the ruins of the ancient settlement of Pilikata, and numerous caves also mentioned in myths, such as Marmarospilia, the cave of nymphs. In 2010, the archaeologist Thanasis Papadopoulos announced that he had found the ruins of a three-story building in Ithaca Odysseus’ palace with a staircase set deep in a cliff. The palace is located not far from the village of Eksogi and forms part of the School of Homer archaeological park.

The island’s present-day capital is Vathi. It spreads out along the shores of a convenient, welcoming cove and naturally began to attract the attention of yachtsmen. The venetians built this stunning city and left a distinct imprint on its architectural style. You’ll see it clearly in the charming two-story houses with tiled roofs and narrow balconies as they ring the cove like an amphitheater. All tourist life is centered in Vathi, with the rest of Ithaca left in tranquility and peace.