“As you set out on the journey to Ithaki, / wish that the road be long, / full of adventures, full of knowledge”, Cavafy wrote in his famous poem “Ithaka”. Homer’s Odysseus took ten years to get back to his island where Penelope was waiting for him, but nowadays it is only a smooth four-hour boat ride to get from Patras to this gem in the Ionian Sea. With unspoiled little villages, densely forested hills and mountains, peaceful olive groves, a capriciously shaped coastline with charming hidden coves and stunning pebble beaches, and the clearest of emerald waters to dive into – Ithaca (or Ithaki) is my kind of island. It has some very charming small hotels and it simply is a wonderful Greek holiday destination. One you don’t have to share with the crowds.
Vathi, the picture-perfect capital of Ithaca, is a small settlement of mostly neo-classical houses (many rebuilt after the 1953 earthquake) hugging a bay that cuts deeply into the island. It’s lively in the summer, when sailing and pleasure boats moor in the port and terraces fill up with holidaymakers, but the buzz never gets too much. An adorable little town!
Small hotels and other special places to stay in Ithaca