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Ithaca is almost two islands - it's two large bodies of land joined by a narrow strip. It's got sheer cliffs for dramatic views, olive groves for rural ones and plenty of choice when it comes to sea views. Vathi is the island's main town. And if you're looking for a large, possibly swanky, hotel, then this is one of the best places to stay on Ithaca. Vathi is also where you'll find the Archaeological Museum and the Folkloric Museum.
Ithaca has one of the world's largest natural harbours, rocky mountains and a selection of beautiful beaches; ranging from smooth and sandy sweeps to perfectly pebbled paradises you can only reach by boat.
But it's most famous for being the home of Odysseus. The lovely island on which his long suffering wife, Penelope waited for him.
Unfortunately archaeologists and historians are no longer certain this was Odysseus's home. While the island does a roaring trade off the back of it, offering archaeological tours to sites from the Odyssey, and labelling many products with his name, there's now some debate that the description doesn't quite match up.
Whatever the truth, there's proof that this island has been inhabited for the past 6,000 years. And has ancient caves, abandoned mountaintop villages and Byzantine churches and monasteries to prove it.
For somewhere traditionally picturesque head to Kioni, in the island's north. It is a smaller village, but still well set up for visitors.
If you like your seafood and your sailing, Frikes is still a fishing village, so the seafood is fresh as can be, and it has good marina facilities.
For those planning an active holiday there are plenty of options.
- Explore the mountainous regions, cypress forests and olive groves by hiking or biking.
- Find your very own sandy sanctuary as you sea kayak around the island.
- Or get under the waves scuba diving or snorkelling around the clean coastal waters.
Perahori is one of the best places to stay on Ithaca for hikers. This charming little village has wonderful views over the island and is the starting point for some of the island's best walks.
For romantic chic
The Perantzada hotel is a sophisticated art hotel situated in Vathi. The all-white rooms and suites ooze class and private balconies have wonderful views over Vathi Bay.
For rustic relaxation
The Levendis Estate is an ideal choice for families (accommodation is in two bedroom cottages spread around the estate) and is one of the best places to stay in Ithaca for those looking for an eco friendly yet luxurious holiday away from the madding crowds.
Still not sure which to choose? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay on Ithaca, or call, or email, one of our gurus for advice. Alternatively check out our recommendations on Kefalonia.
Best Hotels in Ithaca
Captain Yiannis Hotel 23 rooms from $78Vathi, Ithaca
This cute, comfortable and cosy property has apartments, rooms and suites offering wonderful views of the Ionian Sea. Decor is simple yet artistic and includes a sitting area, well equipped kitchenettes and private balconies. Breakfast and light snacks by the poolside are available too.Weddings - Their pool side space is an ideal spot for a small wedding celebration or a birthday partyLocal exploring - Ideally located, close by to the beaches and the town areaFamilies - Apartments are ideal for families for long or short staysBeach nearby - A short walk from the Loutsa Beach
Perantzada Hotel 19 rooms from $120Vathi, Ithaca
A chic all white hotel on the coastline in Vathy. Rooms and suites are romantically decorated, have private balconies, sea views and all the mod cons. Lovely pool and terrace. Walking distance to main attractions. A spot for honeymooners and romantics.Views - Great views over Vathy BayRomantic BreakHoneymoonsSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape
Levendis Estate 4 rooms from $372Stavros, Ithaca
A fantastic choice for honeymooners or families. Rustic cottages surrounded by nature and sunny shores with beautiful views. Rambling gardens, wildlife, beaches, and biking. Magical and understated.Back to NatureViews - Great views from hotelHoneymoonsFamiliesRecommended by - I Escape