Mini Guide to Ithaca Island

Ithaca island the birthplace of Odysseus, is set in the Ionian Sea and flies very much under the radar compared to its neighbouring islands Kefalonia and Zakynthos, however, we suggest you put Ithaca at the top of your Greek island holiday list. 

Boasting stunning blue beaches, verdant green landscapes, charming villages, breathtaking views, and Venetian architecture; there is plenty to see and do when visiting the island home of Homer’s mythical hero who found peace on an island that also leaves its visitors feeling relaxed and rejuvenated after spending time here. 

What to see

Vathi, the capital of Ithaca is a beautiful spot featuring deep blue waters, natural charm, and traditional Ionian architecture. Filled with taverns, cafes, restaurants, all-day bars, museums, and boutiques, this is the main part of town where visitors have great options for wining, dining and shopping. 

Perachori, Frikes, Stavros and Anoghi are charming and authentic villages that offer wonderful views over the island; it’s also the perfect place to sit at a traditional kafenion (cafe) and catch the locals sipping slowly on their Greek coffee while chatting away. 

Insights Greece - Mini Guide to Ithaca Island

-The caves in Ithaca are a must: check out the Cave of the Nymphs (legend has it this is where Odysseus hid the gifts of the Phaeacians), Evmaios Cave in southern Ithaca, and the Loizis Cave are also worth a visit, Loizis is named after a man who became very wealthy from selling gold coins he found in this very cave. 

Kioni a stunning fishing village is by far a stand-out! Here you’ll find gorgeous villas filled with bougainvillea, quaint taverns and cafes as well as beautiful restaurants and waterfront bars- the perfect place to catch the sunset. 

– The Monastery of Panagia tis Kathariotissas, the Protector and Patron Saint of the island is situated at an altitude of 600m in the center of the island. From here you will enjoy breathtaking views of the island and Vathi.

Where to Swim

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful beaches and bays on Ithaca and some of our favourites include: Filatro (organised beach with sunbeds), Skinos (a gorgeous secluded beach), Gidaki (which can only be reached by boat), as well as Aetos, Agios Ioannis and Sarakiniko. 

Where to eat

Dine at Ageri tavern at the tiny port of Frikes; we also recommend O Batis, Kantouni, Serirines and Tsiribis– here you will find a great range of freshly made Greek dishes. For a cocktail or aperitif head to Spavento Café Bar, Rhapsody, or Lea’s Beach Bar in Sarakiniko.  

Where to stay

Art hotels, boutique hotels, luxury villas with private pools, check out Levendis Estate, Peratntzada Hotel, Adastra Ithaca Luxury Suites, and Familia a 19th Century olive press converted into a boutique hotel.  

How to get there 

There is no airport on Ithaca island, the closest is Kefalonia airport and there are no direct ferries from Athens to Ithaca, but you can reach Ithaca from Astakos, Kefalonia and Lefkada. You can also reach Ithaca from the port of Kyllini in the Peloponnese (just over 3 hour’s drive from Athens). 

Exploring the Splendid Archeron River 

The Acheron River, set 25km from Parga, is a local gem that supplies the entire area with refreshing H2O. With abundant vegetation and crystal clear water, it’s surrounded by a beautiful natural landscape. 


Insights Greece - Exploring the Splendid Archeron River 

Its springs are located in Ioannina, on the mount Tomaros, at an altitude of 1600 m. The river runs through Preveza and Thesprotia and flows into the Ionian Sea, to the village of Ammoudia. The springs of the Acheron River are an area of outstanding natural beauty are close to the villages of Kanalaki and Glyki.

Getting there

The best way is by car and the area is easily accessible through motorways. From the village of Gliki, you can follow the road signs for “Acheron Springs.” If you haven’t hired a car, you can book a trip with a local travel agent and visit with a tour group. 


Apart from the natural beauty, the springs of Acheron are known worldwide for their mythological contents. In Ancient Greek mythology, Acheron was one of the five rivers of the Greek underworld. According to tradition, Zeus was devastated when the Titans drank from the water, and the ancient Olympian god of the sky condemned the river to remain eternally under the earth while its water became darker. 

Insights Greece - Exploring the Splendid Archeron River 

What you will find here

In many parts of the river where the water flow is normal, there are lakes and water pits that are home to a range of amphibians and fish. In other locations, the river flows through steep and high cliffs. In the rocky side slopes of Acheron, there are many birds of prey that nest in the forest slopes of the canyon.

Acheron River is worth the visit for its magnificent transparent water and
the surrounding rocky landscape. It should definitely be on the list when visiting Parga or any of its nearby areas, as it retains its unspoiled natural beauty and secret energy. Exploring the flows from the mountains of Souli Epirus until it reaches the Ionian Sea in Ammoudia Beach is a memorable experience. 


Just a few km away from the sea, there is a forest with exotic-looking plants growing in the water. After you cross the forest, you will see the edge of the river, reaching the imposing Roman bridge, where you can sit and have lunch. Today, the Acheron River is an ecosystem that is recognised and a protected area by the Natura 2000 Network.

Insights Greece - Exploring the Splendid Archeron River 

What to do 

Apart from exploring the natural wonders, you can also enjoy some great local dishes at one of the nearby restaurants. For adventurous types, along the river is pathways for hiking and rafting activities. The landscape is hilly and green with surrounding elm and oak trees. And for those who don’t mind the cool temperature, make sure you take an unforgettable dip in the extremely cold crystal clear waters at any given opportunity.

Adventure sports

• Horse-riding at Piges

• Paragliding at Paramythia

• Rafting, kayak, canoe-kayak at Stena

• Mountain-bike along the river

• Canyoning at Stena

• A caique mini cruise at the Acheron estuary

• Swimming in the cold waters of the river

Nearby discoveries

• The historical villages of Souli

• The beautiful town of Parga

• The necromantic oracle of Acheron

• The remains and the Museum of the Ancient Nikopolis

• The town of Preveza

• The Ancient Theatre of Dodoni and Ancient Kassiopi

Cover image @wewondertheworld