Ithaca Island
Ithaca Island
Ithaca Island
Ithaca Island
Ithaca Island

Ithaca island

Rushing isn’t something that fits with Ithaki’s style. This special island (also known as Ithaca) has managed to maintain a rhythm of life and a style of tourism completely in tune with nature. Surrounded by the most incredible hues of turquoise – a characteristic of the Ionian Sea – this verdant isle invites you to explore it from coast to coast, to wander through its villages, to chat with its people – in short, to discover it.

MOUNT NIRITO

A narrow, 620-meter-wide isthmus links together the southern and the northern sections of the island. As you ascend towards Mount Nirito and the Monastery of Katharon, various vantage points reveal panoramic vistas of the whole of southern Ithaki. Just before the monastery, you come to Anogi, a small village with many crumbling houses, which today has a population of 37 and just one kafeneio (traditional coffee house)/taverna. Local products are prominently displayed; wine, olive oil and honey still constitute the main products of the island – just as in antiquity. Next to the kafeneio is the church of the Koimisi tis Theotokou (Dormition of the Mother of God), with its Venetian bell tower on one side. It once served as the cathedral of Ithaki, when Anogi was the island’s capital. It was constructed during the Middle Ages, and initially had just a single, small door in the back to afford protection from pirates. The side entrance and windows were added later, while the abundant murals were completed during four different periods. Some small clay funnels are positioned inside the stone walls for better acoustics, as well as some rare murals, such as that of Christ in the sanctuary, and also one of Aghios Ahmet, or St Ahmed the Calligrapher, a Turk who converted to the Orthodox religion due to his love for a Russian woman. Around the village, one can see a peculiar geological phenomenon: tall, natural, menhir-like rocks distinctive enough to have their own names, like Araklis and Kavellaris. Anogi is also the starting point of the best-maintained and most popular hiking trail on Ithaki, which leads to Kioni.

EXOGI

Εxogi is a small settlement in the north of Ithaki, with a great view and a “kafeneio”. There has been an increase in the permanent population of the village; since November 2018, the three residents of Exogi have been joined by others. In conversations in Exogi, you’ll often hear Greek interspersed with English, especially in summertime, when those who have immigrated – mainly to the US – return “home.” Houses open their shutters again and the village comes to life. Your journey to Ithaki can wrap up with a refreshing dip at Afales Beach, which features a bit of the ruggedness, which is typical for the beaches exposed to the northerly winds. Two large tree trunks, resting upon the pebbles, also help lend the scene a sense of wildness, making one half expect to see a raft to wash up on the shore, straight out of one of Homer’s epics.

Ithaca island

Rushing isn’t something that fits with Ithaki’s style.

TOP