Discovering Ithaca – Journey to a mythical place

Discovering Ithaca, a picturesque Greek island steeped in mythology and surrounded by crystal-clear waters is a journey back in time. Ithaca, commonly known as Ithaki in Greek, is a small Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second smallest of the Seven Islands, situated between Kefalonia and Lefkada. The island is well-known for its beautiful scenery, crystal-clear waters, and pristine beaches. It’s also linked to the Homeric figure Odysseus, whose mansion is claimed to be on the island.

Because of its natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere, Ithaca is a favorite summer getaway. Hiking, swimming, and snorkeling are all popular outdoor activities on the island. Visitors seeking an authentic Greek island experience are drawn to its picturesque towns, traditional tavernas, and local culture. The island is also recognized for its peaceful atmosphere, making it an ideal hideaway for people seeking to escape the rush and bustle of daily life.

Ithaca also provides a variety of cultural activities, as it is home to the ancient ruins of Pilikata village, as well as a number of summer festivals and events. The island is also famous for its superb local seafood, which can be enjoyed in one of the many tavernas or beach bars on the island.

Ithaca is a popular summer destination due to its natural beauty, peaceful atmosphere, and true Greek island experience. It has a wide range of outdoor activities, cultural events, traditional taverns, and local culture to offer.


Outdoor activities

Hiking and walking in the lovely forests and slopes of the island

Hiking, swimming, and snorkeling are just a few of the outdoor activities available on the island. The Stavros to Anogi hike, which gives beautiful views of the island’s coastline and the neighboring Ionian Sea, is one of the most popular hiking trails. Hikers will go through the island’s craggy hills and lush forests, passing small traditional towns and old sites along the way. It is a moderate level hike that takes about 4-5 hours to accomplish. Another popular trek is to the top of Mount Niritos, which provides panoramic views of the island and the Ionian Sea. For those opting for a more difficult journey, there’s the ascent of Mount Aenos, Ithaca’s highest peak.

Swimming and sunbathing on the gorgeous beaches of the island

Ithaca has a number of magnificent beaches that provide visitors with the ideal setting for swimming and sunbathing. Filiatro, a long sandy beach with crystal-clear waters, and Kaminia, a hidden bay with a little beach and turquoise waters, are two of the island’s most popular beaches. Other beaches on the island include Sarakiniko, a little pebble beach famed for its clean waters, and Gidaki, a small sandy beach with crystal-clear waters. Visitors can also swim and sunbathe at the many other beaches on the island, including Frikes, a charming fishing village with a tiny beach and a choice of tavernas and bars. 

Filiatro Beach

Filiatro Beach is famous for swimming and sunbathing due to its long sandy beach and crystal-clear seas. The beach, which is surrounded by lush greenery, is popular for sunbathing, swimming, windsurfing, and kitesurfing. There is a tiny taverna on the beach where you may get a bite to eat or a cold drink. The beach’s location provides a beautiful sunset vista that is well worth seeing.

Kaminia Beach

Kaminia, a secluded bay with a small beach and blue waters, is ideal for a relaxed day at the beach. Beautiful cliffs and crystal-clear waters surround the beach, making it excellent for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. The beach is not crowded, and you can have it all to yourself. The beach is also ideal for fishing, and surrounding caves can be explored.

Sarakiniko Beach

This little pebble beach is famous for swimming and snorkeling due to its clear waters. The beach is surrounded by rocky cliffs and crystal-clear waters, and it provides excellent swimming, snorkeling, and diving opportunities. Hiking and visiting the adjacent caves are additional popular activities at the beach. It’s a terrific place to spend a peaceful and quiet day on the beach.

Gidaki Beach

Gidaki, a little sandy beach with crystal-clear seas and a nearby taverna, is ideal for a day on the beach followed by a fantastic lunch. The beach’s abundant flora and crystal-clear waters make it perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. The nearby taverna serves a range of traditional Greek cuisine, making it an ideal location for a relaxing beach day followed by a superb lunch. The beach is also ideal for visiting local caves and cliffs as well as fishing. It is an excellent choice for families and groups of friends seeking a relaxing and enjoyable day on the beach.

Frikes Beach

This charming fishing village has a small beach as well as a selection of tavernas and bars, making it ideal for a peaceful day on the beach with a delicious dinner and a cold drink. The beach is surrounded by traditional houses and fishing boats and provides excellent chances for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and boat tours. The beach is also ideal for exploring the nearby caves and cliffs, as well as watching the sunset. It’s ideal for anyone want to immerse themselves in the traditional Greek island lifestyle.

Snorkeling and diving in the stunningly blue waters of the island

Snorkeling and diving in Ithaca’s crystal clear waters is a popular activity for island visitors. The island’s pure waters, rich marine life, and breathtaking underwater scenery make it an excellent snorkeling and diving destination. Kaminia, a hidden bay with a little beach and turquoise waters, and Sarakiniko, a small pebble beach famed for its pristine waters, are two of the greatest places for snorkeling and diving. Other snorkeling and diving destinations on the island include Filiatro, a long sandy beach with crystal-clear waters, and Gidaki, a little sandy beach with crystal-clear seas and a nearby taverna. Visitors can also see the underwater caverns and cliffs that surround the island. Snorkeling and diving equipment are available.

Cultural experiences

Visiting the Pilikata settlement's old ruins

The Pilikata settlement’s ancient ruins are a must-see for history enthusiasts visiting Ithaca. The Pilikata town is a Neolithic archaeological site and one of the most important historical sites on the island. The settlement is estimated to have been inhabited between 3000 and 2000 BCE, and it has a number of ancient constructions such as houses, graves, and walls. Visitors can explore the ruins and learn about the island’s historic history while admiring the stunning views of the surrounding environment and the Ionian Sea. The site also includes a modest museum where artifacts discovered during excavations are displayed. Pilikata is accessible by automobile and is located near the village of Stavros.

Exploring the traditional villages of the island and learning about the local culture

Exploring Ithaca’s traditional villages and immersing yourself in local culture is a terrific opportunity to learn about the island’s rich history and way of life. Villages on the island, such as Frikes, Stavros, and Kioni, provide a glimpse into classic Greek island life, with picturesque cottages and small streets, traditional tavernas, and friendly residents. Visitors can walk around the villages and enjoy the historic architecture, browse for traditional products such as ceramics and textiles, and sample wonderful local foods at the tavernas. Throughout the year, the island hosts a number of festivals and events, such as the Ithaca Festival, which celebrates the island’s culture and history via music, dancing, and food. Exploring the island’s traditional villages is a great opportunity to get to know the real Ithaca and learn about its culture and way of life.

Attending one of the various festivals and activities held on the island during the summer months

Attending one of the island’s many summer festivals and events is a great way to learn about Ithaki’s rich culture and active community. During the summer months, the island hosts a variety of activities ranging from traditional religious festivals to contemporary music events. For example, the Ithaki Festival, which takes place every August, is one of the most popular events on the island. The festival includes live music, dance, theater, and poetry acts, as well as traditional food and drink. Visitors can also attend the annual Frikes’ Festival in June, which includes live music, dancing, and traditional cuisine and drink. Furthermore, the yearly Kioni’s Festival is a fantastic way to learn about the island’s culture and people. These events are a terrific way to get to know the island’s lively community and culture, as well as meet both locals and visitors.

Food and drink

Trying traditional Greek cuisine in one of the island's tavernas

For foodies visiting Ithaki, sampling authentic Greek cuisine at one of the island’s tavernas is a must. The tavernas on the island serve a variety of traditional Greek cuisine created with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Traditional Greek delicacies such as moussaka, dolmades, and souvlaki, as well as fresh seafood specialties such as grilled octopus and fried calamari, are available to visitors. Many of the island’s tavernas also serve traditional mezedes, small plates of appetizers that are ideal for sharing. To complement the meals, the island’s tavernas provide a broad selection of local wines and ouzo, a traditional Greek spirit. Dining at a typical taverna is a terrific opportunity to appreciate the delicious food and laid-back ambiance of the island. Visitors should also try the local cheeses, including as the famed Feta and Graviera, as well as the excellent local olive oil.

Trying local seafood gathered by the island's fishermen

While visiting Ithaki, sampling local seafood collected by the island’s fisherman is a great opportunity to enjoy the freshest and most delectable seafood. Traditional fishing methods are used by the island’s fisherman, who bring in a variety of seafood such as octopus, squid, and various species of fish. These items are available in many of the island’s taverns and restaurants, and they are frequently prepared using traditional Greek cooking methods. Visitors can sample grilled octopus, fried calamari, and fresh fish collected by the island’s fisherman. Visitors can also take a trip out to sea with one of the local fishing boats to learn about the fishing process firsthand and to enjoy the stunning views of the Ionian Sea and the island’s coastline.

Final Thoughts

Ithaca has for sure a diverse choice of summer activities for guests to enjoy. There is something for everyone on this charming Greek island, from hiking and trekking through the island’s lush forests and hills to swimming and sunbathing on its stunning beaches. Visitors can also snorkel and dive in the island’s crystal clear waters, visit the ancient ruins of the Pilikata settlement, learn about the island’s traditional villages and culture, attend one of the island’s many festivals and events, sample traditional Greek cuisine at a taverna, sample local seafood caught by the island’s fishermen, and end the day with a refreshing cocktail while watching the sunset at a beach bar. Ithaca is ideal for anyone looking for a quiet yet active summer vacation. It is likely to create a lasting impact on those who visit with its magnificent surroundings, rich culture, and wonderful food.


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