It is only when one visits the beautiful island of Ithaca that they understand the reason Odysseus longed for his return. Ithaca is part of the 7 Ioanian Islands and lies east of Kefalonia.
The trip to Ithaca requires a few connections by car and boat, however despite the fact that the island does not have an airport or direct boat, the trip is well worth it.
To get to Ithaca you can drive to the town of Astako or the city of Patra, and jump on the ferry which takes you to the island.
The island of Ithaca is mountainous, quiet, with picturesque ports and villages, breathtaking views and a small local population. If you are looking for a secluded traditional Greek island, surrounded by green lush mountains, with beautiful sandy white beaches, clear turquoise Mediterranean sea, and great local dishes... Ithaki is your pick.
World re-known as the land of Odysseus, the origins of Ithaca date back to the Neolithic period, it was during the Mycenaean period that Ithaca was at its peak. The myth of Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey can attest to the history of Ithaca and the people who are mostly known as explorers and navigators. During medieval times the Ioanian Islands were mostly under the rule of the Venetians.
There are 9 towns to visit on Ithaca; Vathi, Lefki, Polis, Afales, Exoghi, Lahos, Frikes, and Kioni. Accomodations are available in each town, mostly traditional boutique hotels. Due to its secluded location Ithaca does not have much tourism, and in the height of the summer it is packed with families who are descendants of the island who mostly live abroad.
The port of Vathi is known as one of the most picturesque natural ports in the Mediterranean, the port has a town full of shops and cobblestone roads, quaint hotels and many taverns that offer traditional dishes of the island.
The traditional cuisine of Ithaca is mostly fish dishes such as Savoro (Floured fried white fish with rosemary and raisins), and the traditional sweet Rovani, (Sweet cake with honey and ground rice).
Every year the island hosts a summer cultural festival, "Return to Ithaca". This year the festival hosted the world famous Martha Graham Dance Company, an Art Exhibit by the Greek-American world re-known artist, Phillip Tsiaras, a Photography exhibition by the Art Curator, Christoforos Dougleris and a poetry installation, "The Blind Date" by Antonis Volonakis.
Ithaca is an unforgettable destination for all travellers, and a great Ionian island hopping must see!
Feature story on Ithaca’s cultural festival “Return to Ithaca”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09hbBeEgYXo
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