Ithaca Attractions

Area of island: 93 sq.

Vathy, Greece

The chief place on the island of Ithaca is the sheltered port of Vathy or Itháki, probably founded by the Romans. It is charmingly situated in a bay - generally accepted as being the cove of Phorkys, in which the Phaeacians put the returning Odysseus ashore ("Odyssey", 13, 96 ff.) - defended by two Venetian forts.

Itháki Archeological Museum

The Itháki Archeological Museum contains artifacts from the excavations at the Heraion sanctuary. The collection of small votive offerings is one of the richest in Greece. The largest free-standing sculpture to have survived from ancient Greece is the museum's star exhibit.

Cave of the Nymphs

Two km/1.25mi west of Vathy, on the slopes of Mt Áyios Nikólaos, is the Mármaro Spília, a stalactitic cave and ancient cult site which is identified as the Cave of the Nymphs ("Odyssey", 13, 107-108).

Mt Aetós - Castle of Odysseus

Five km/3 mi west of Vathy, on Mt Aetós, is the acropolis of an ancient city (seventh century B.C.), perhaps Strabo's Alalkomenai, which was excavated by Schliemann and is popularly known as the Castle of Odysseus.

Fountain of Arethusa

Six km/4mi south of Vathy on a difficult path is the Fountain of Arethusa, beneath the Ravens' Crag ("Odyssey", 13, 408-409). Farther south is the plateau of Marathiá, with extensive plantations of olive-trees, from which there are good views. Eumaios's farmyard ("Odyssey", 14, 6) is supposed to have been in this area.


Three km/2mi south of Vathy is the site of Palaiokhorá, the capital of Ithaca until the 16th century.

Stavros, Greece

The numerous ancient finds made in the vicinity of the village of Stavrós, in the northwest of the island of Ithaca, have suggested this as the most likely site for Odysseus's town and palace.

Panayía Kathará Monastery & Museum

Six km/4mi south of Stavrós is the monastery of the Panayía Kathará, from which there is a magnificent view; festival celebrated annually on September eighth.
The monastery also houses a small museum.
Address: Stavrós, Greece

Pelikata, Greece

Excavations at Pelikáta revealed signs of a Brzone age settelement.

Pólis Bay

Below Stavrós, to the southwest, is the beautiful Pólis Bay, the only harbor of any size on the west coast of Ithaca. A cave on the west side of the bay was a shrine of Athena and Hera in Mycenaean times. Offshore, near the coast of Kefalloniá, lies the tiny islet of Daskalio, identified as the island of Asteris where the suitors planned to ambush Telemachos ("Odyssey", 14, 6).
1km/.75mi north, on Mt Pelikata above Pólis Bay, are remains of a settlement dated between 2200 and 1500 B.C.
1km/.75mi farther north is the chapel of Áyios Athanásios. West of Stavrós are the picturesque inlets of Fríkes and Kióni.


Átokos, 10km/6mi northeast of Ithaca, is the rocky and uninhabited island of Átokos.
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