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IONIAN ISLANDS

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ITHAKI

Famed worldwide as the home of Odysseus, Ithaki (Ithaca) symbolizes the return home, as well as discovery and fulfillment. Despite its proximity to Kephalonia, it is much more peaceful and quiet than the latter, and is thus an ideal place for alternative activities and a holiday that meets the standards of the most demanding among us.

ITHAKI

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To this day, the Ithaca of Penelope and Odysseus, the island that symbolizes nostalgia for the homeland, has, through the Odyssey, carried its myth to the ends of the world.

Marked changes in the landscape have produced a special look: traditional settlements, deep blue waters that play on white pebbled shores, steep hills, hidden caves, leeward bays and windy capes, as well as archaeological treasures, all awaken memories of the past and enchant the visitor.
The capital and port of the island is Vathy. Built amphitheatrically on the inlet of a verdant natural bay, the traditional settlement with the strong Venetian influence will delight you with its lovely tiled roofs, imposing mansions, and graphic stone lanes. In the middle is the islet of Lazareto or Sotiras.
The historic roots of Ithaca are revealed in the Archaeological Museum; artifacts of sea-faring life and folklore can be seen in the Folklore Museum.
Vathy is an ideal place to become acquainted with the island’s sights. Just 3 km. south is the picturesque Perahori with its wonderful view of the Afentikos Loggos forest. Higher up are the medieval ruins of Palaiohora near the plateau of Marathia with the Arethousa Spring and the Homeric site of Korakos Petra.
Continuing northward, stop at the historic Monastery of Kathara – the most important shrine on the island – from which there is a wonderful view of the south and of Vathy.
The next stop is the mountain settlement of Anogi, adorned by the Church of the Koimisi (Dormition) of the Virgin. The surrounding region is full of enormous scattered monoliths (menirs) the highest of which is the 8-metre Arakles.
Commercial life on the island is concentrated in Stavros. In the city’s bay, the seaport of Stavros conceals a sunken ancient settlement, and on the north side of the windy port is the Homeric Cave of Loizos.
Among the older communities in the northwest is Exogi with lovely Ionian houses and a view of Platreithia with its wild nature and Frikes – the Homeric port of Reithros, according to many scholars.
The favourite seaside centre on Ithaca is cosmopolitan Kioni with its amphitheatrical structure at the back of a hospitable bay dominated by three ruined windmills.
Small pebbled beaches – as sand is rare on Ithaca – with transparent waters in all shades of blue, and trees that are almost touching the sea. Most beaches on the island are accessible by car, but there are others, some of the most beautiful οn the Ionian Sea, that can be approached only by sea or on foot.
The superb embrace of mountain and sea and the steep rocks create an underwater landscape of incredible beauty. The lovely fields of Poseidonia, underwater caves, deep submarine basins and reefs host hundreds of maritime species of flora and fauna, offering unique images to devotees of diving.

Source: Visit Greece - The Official website of the Greek Tourism Organisation