The Facts About Ithaca
When holidaying on Ithaca factual information probably isn't that interesting, so that's why I've included trivial facts to take the edge off. Unless you're a statistics enthusiast, I don't mind at all for you to skip directly to the bottom of the page for all the trivia on Ithaca Greece.
The Hard Facts
The island of Ithaca is located west of the mainland of Greece in the Ionian Sea and is the second smallest inhabited island of the "Heptanese". Ithaca consists of two peninsulas with almost equal extent. They are joined by the isthmus of Aetos which is 620 m wide. The island has a maximum length of 29 km and width of 6.5 km. The total area covering 92.5 sq km. The channel between Ithaca and Kephalonia is 14 miles long, with a maximum width of 3 miles and a minimum of 1.5 miles. Its coastline of 45 miles is indented all around with many natural ports. The three highest mountains are Mt. Petaleiko in the south, the Homeric Mt. Neritos and the Mt. of Exoghi in the north.
Ithacas capital is Vathy in the south, and the largest village in the North island is Stavros. There are ports in Vathy, Piso Aetos, Polis Bay, Frikes and Kioni. Administratively, Ithaca belongs to the Kephalonian County which also includes several other neighboring small islands. Occupations of locals are: cultivation, stock-breeding, technical and engineering professions, government, fishing, and for the most part, tourism. A large percentage of the working population are also traditional sailors.
The first numerical information on the Ithacan population is from the Venetian period.
- 1568 - 60 Families
- 1590 - 1,500 People
- 1620 - 2,500 People
- 1655 - 4,500 People
During the English period an official census took place which showed an increase in the population. This Attributed to the rise of trade and marine businesses on Ithaca.
- 1818 - 8077 People
- 1836 - 7,952 People
- 1858 - 11,348 People
- 1862 - 14,451 People
After the union of the Ionian Islands with Greece the population decreased since some moved to the mainland or emigrated to Romania.
- 1865 - 10,642 People
- 1870 - 9,873 People
- 1889 - 8,821 People
The decrease continued during the 20th century with a number of people emigrating to other continents or becoming sailors.
- 1907 - 9,716 People
- 1920 - 9,185 People
- 1928 - 8,836 People
- 1940 - 8,412 People
Ithacas population abruptly declined after World War II, emigration steadily continued and people moved to the larger cities of Greece. An unfortunate reason for this was the earthquake of 1953 which devastated the entire island.
- 1951 - 7,527 People
- 1961 - 6,521 People
- 1971 - 4,156 People
Around 1980 to 1985 the population of Ithaca had stabilized at approximately 3,000. During the 1990's it decreased again to around 2,500. Now in the 21st century there are a number of new inhabitants, those with Ithacan heritage returning for a better, more natural form of life and those from abroad. The population now stands at around 3500.
According to statistics gathered by Mr. G. Vallianos, there are over 13,000 Ithacans or people of Ithacan descent in the world. The most are residents of Athens, Ithaca, Australia, U.S.A., South Africa, Patras, Other Greek cities, Canada and New Zealand.
ITHACA-3084 | ATHENS-2994 | AUSTRALIA-1827 | USA-1443 | STH AFRICA-1026 | PATRAS-411 | CANADA-75 | NEW ZEALAND-69 | EUROPE-33.
These statistics were gathered in 2001.
Ithaca is a green island with large areas of olive groves and some vineyards, also many orange and lemon, pear and fig trees. The flora includes all the typical species seen throughout the Ionian Islands. On the mountain slopes there are oak trees, cypress trees and beautiful wildflowers such as daisies, poppies, anemones and cyclamens. Sage grows wild along the roadsides and throughout the mountains, also rosemary, thyme and many other herbs used by the locals. Horta , Greece' favourite Greens are also picked from the mountains by those who can still distinguish the weeds from edible.
Ithacas rock formations are made up of mother of pearl and limestone. The island suffers, as do the other Ionian islands, from frequent earthquakes and tremors. There has been no serious earthquake however, since 1953. Ithaca produces it's own wine and olive oil, cheese, yogurt, free range eggs and goats meat. There is currently no industry for any of the produce grown on the island other than being sold locally to inhabitants, restaurants, and of course, for personal use. Perahori, in the southern mountains of Ithaki, is currently the only area where Olive Groves are completely organic. Individuals throughout the island have also undertaken the quest for Organic produce, although it is still common practice to spray insecticide for many local farmers. As demand for organic produce increases, so will environmentally friendly farming increase.
Tidbits - Fact or Fiction: Hamilton House in Kioni was built in 1892 by Elizabeth Hamilton, niece of Lord Nelsons mistress, shortly after Ithaca was part of the British Empire. Locals today still call it 'Lizzys' . Many famous people have come to the island over the years, Sophia Loren, The British Royal Family, Madonna, Nicholas Cage, Tom Hanks, Sade, Jamie Lee Curtis, Mr. Bean (He has a house somewhere on the island, but it's a secret) and many more.
Over the past 15 years Ithaca has catered more and more for tourism, but it is still comparatively unspoiled. Strict building regulations prohibit constructions that are not in harmony with the existing architecture of the island, so luckily thus far, Ithaca has no large developments or a hotchpotch of architectural styles.
The loss of the Drachma and the appearance of the Euro in 2002 has changed the dynamics of Ithacan life. Prices have risen and wages remain mostly unchanged. During Summers it is now not uncommon to see laborers and farmers working as waiters or kitchen hands at their favourite restaurant or Kafeneion, servicing Ithakis Tourism, the place they had once whiled away their hours with friends and neighbours over an Ouzo or coffee. Another major impact on Ithakis dynamics is the aging population. Even with the islands' baby boom of 2003 / 2004, there are more aged dying than can statistically be replaced. The church bells toll slowly at least once a month with the announcement of another local death.
Ithaca has over the years, become the discerning Travelers' island of choice, a place where an insight into island life, rarely experienced in other Greek holiday destinations, can easily be achieved with the eagerness of a welcoming local community which shares itself with the travelers who choose Ithaca, or Ithaki as it's locally known. . The island is further assured of its' traditional feel with the villages of Kioni and Lefki being listed as Heritage Villages in 2005.
- The Mayor of Ithaca is Dionios Stanitsas - 17th August 2014 -
- The Mayor of Ithaca is Nikki Kassianou - September 2013 - 2014
- The Mayor of Ithaki is Ioannis Kassiano - November 14th 2010 - Excused from Service in 2013.
- The Mayor of Ithaki between 2006 - November 14th 2010 was Giorgos Vasilopoulos
- The Mayor of Ithaki between 2002 - 2006 was Mr Tilemahos Karavias
- KEP is the Community Services Office and late 2014 also became the office of the 1 remaining tax clerk..
- Ote is the Telephone Company, but it's offices closed down on Ithaca around 2009.
- DEH is the Electric Company. There are only certain days the office is manned.
- IKA is the Government Insurance Company.
- Fimios is an Organization which organizes concerts and events on Ithaca. It is part of the Ithacan Council.
- In 2017 Optic Fibre internet begins to come to Ithaca
- A new law to be implemented in 2015 is that sun lounges and umbrellas must now be 5 meters from the shoreline so that swimmers can enjoy the beach without payment.
- January 2015, SYRIZA, the anti austerity party, wins Greek elections. The world thinks Greece is headed for complete collapse while Greeks believe it will finally rise from austerity ashes.
- In April 2015, a local retrieved a sunken yacht from Filiatro and left a small spill of oil in the sea and on the beach.
- In the summer of 2013, Sarah Jessica Parker from Sex and the City, sailed into Kioni on a yacht. She and her group had lunch, bought a few trinkets and then sailed off again.
- In 2013 the media splashed that Madonna was to invest millions on ithaca, all over the internet. It's not true.
- In March 2013, a young man attempting to bring some marijuana to Ithaca from Patras, stupidly left the bag of dope on one of the ferry sofas. The crew discovered the drugs and swiftly handed them to the captain. The owner of the bag returned to his seat looking for the drugs, when they weren't there, he enquired at the refreshments bar, after which ensued a chase and finally, capture of the unfortunate foreigner who was later prosecuted in Kefalonia.
- In July 2012, Steven Spielberg, who had his yacht berthed in Vathy Bay, was asked to unvail the Odysseus statue in Vathi square, due to the Mayor not having turned up.
- In June 2012, music producer 'Flood' Mark Ellis, married his partner of 12 years, Willow, at Levendi's Estate in the north of Ithaca. He has produced bands such as Smashing Pumpkins, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, U2, New Order, PJ Harvey and Depeche Mode just to name a few. Since his wedding, he comes to Ithaca for holidays.
- Bon Jovi motored into Kioni in the summer of 2012, had lunch at the Mills, let people take a few photos and motored out again.
- Stylist and image maker, Charlotte Stockdale and husband Marc Newson, designer extraordinaire, have a home on Ithaca.
- Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry & Tourism in Cyprus, owns a small villa in the north of Ithaca.
- In 1895, Ithaca won the Golden 1st Prize for best wine at the Paris Agriculture exhibition.
- Mobile phone carriers Cosmote, Telestet and most recently Vodaphone have excellent reception in all the villages except for Kioni. To get a signal there, a short walk to Raxi is suggested.
- Rovanni is a 'sweet' unique to Ithaca as is Savoro, which is a fish dish.
- On Ithaca, as elsewhere in Greece, business hours are: 8/9am-2pm and then again 5pm-9pm.
- In northern ithaca, the Bread Van can deliver fresh bread to your door if you hang a bag on your gate with the money in it or wait for it to pass on the road.
- Trucks delivering Fresh Fruit and Vegetables come from Lefkada and Kephalonia. You can buy straight from the truck.
- Water was scarce on Ithaca prior to 2004. The islands supply was then mostly from rainfall or from the mountain springs which have been tapped around various parts of the island. Kalamos Spring in the north of the island is one. Until the desalination Plant in Kioni, 'water pirates' used to deliver water by ship to that village in Summer. Ithaca has desalinization plants in Vathy, Stavros and Kioni which service most of the island.
- Ithaca has pebble beaches. A high percentage are sea- smoothed marble. Marmaka Beach in the north, derives it's name from it's marble pebbles. Club Med once set up shop there in the early 70's. Now it's a favorite fishing haunt for the locals and a yachters retreat in the summer.
- A little sand can be found at Dexa Beach, south Ithaca and a little sand at Aphales Beach, north Ithaca. many years ago, Aphales was a sandy beach.
- There is no airport on the island, but it does have a heliport for emergencies and Argostoli airport in Kephalonia is only a short ferry ride away.
- In the summer of 2002 it rained an unprecedented number of days. The old locals had never seen anything like it. Tourists were washed out.
- The disused hotel in Kalamos was once the favorite location for writers and movie stars of the 50's. Sophia Loren was one to have looked across the once magnificent gardens and orchards. It was bought by a private owner who has now made it his home.
- In summer of 1995, a fire on the lower slopes of Exoghi spread into the inhabited areas of Platrithias, singeing gardens and threatening to jump the main road putting the lower lying villages at risk. Water bombing planes from Patras came to the rescue. It took all day to put out.
- In the summer of 2009, the Rubbish Dump that was officially not a rubbish dump, caught on fire and sprewed toxic gases into the air around the area of Aetos. 20 years of old fridges and washing machines, car parts and tyres among other toxic waste, smouldered and relit the fire several times over the period of a year. The dump was then relocated to another unofficial area. The council clean up crews wore protective gear and has short shifts of dumping soil onto the fire.
- 2010 saw Ithacans vote a Mayor into government who on his promo pamphlet noted that, although he had been jailed for drug trafficking, he was innocent. He put 5 euro into an envelope and said vote for me. They did. When he was asked to leave his position by the Minister of the Interior, which according to the findings, Kassianos was found to have damaged the municipality's interest. The mayor was found to have burdened municipal coffers with an outstanding debt of 8,447,955 euros that a construction firm he owned owed the state, his sister took over mayorship. This infamous mayor also slapped an opposition councillor for disagreeing with him, an episode filmed for prosterity by the local tv.
- Soccer is Ithacas sporting passion.
- There have been several documentaries made on Ithaca, a Series shown by Greek TV Alpha and also one 'Porno' film.
- All Ithacans are related to one another somewhere along their family tree.
- The local names for Ithaca is Thiaki or Ithaki.
- Anoghi means - On top of the world.
- Exoghi means - Out of this world.
- Kathara means - Clean
- Platrithia means - Wide.
- Vathy means - Deep
- Frikes means - Freaky
- Lefki means - White
- Aetos means - Falcon ... Piso Aetos means - Behind Falcon
- Stavros means - Cross
- Polis means - City
- Kioni means - Column. The village was named after the reported ancient temple which was supposedly at Mavrona.
- Yia soo doesn't actually mean 'Hello' it means 'Your health' and is said for welcoming or farewell greeting as well as toasting a drink.
- Many foreigners believe that many Greeks go by the name of 'Malaka' as most are called just that. Maybe they do, but it actually means 'Wanker'
- Ithacan night clubs play greek techno and dance as well as Western dance music.
- If you build a house without proper and approved specifications, electricity will not be connected to the property.
- There were no street lights before 1986.
- Ithacas electricity supply comes from Kephalonia.
- In the summer, the Taxation Department makes impromptu visits, auditing shops and businesses. It's illegal not to have all your accounts on the property in which you do business.
- To have a business or work on the island in the food and hospitality industry, you need a health certificate. X-Rays, Stool analyses and blood tests.
- Frikes is the coldest place on the island. In winter it doesn't get sun until after midday.
- Ferries don't run with 8 force winds.
- Lighting fires or BBQs is prohibited in Summer as they are elsewhere in the world.
- By the end of October each year, the tourist oriented villages are packed up and put away until the next Summer season.
- At Christmas it was custom to light up boats around the villages. Now Ithacans light up everything.
- The floating marina in Frikes is considered unsafe
- Siesta time on Ithaca is between 3pm and 6pm
- Ithacan Morning -- rise til 2pm, Midday -- 2pm-5pm, Afternoon- 5pm-9pm, Eve - 9pm onwards.
- In summer, it is not unusual to go out for the evening at 11pm.
- Only Australians ask for Café Latte
- Northern Ithacan Café proprietors pride themselves on their coffee making ability
- The average 'Services' wage is 3 - 5 euro an hour
- Fried whitebait is a favorite dish.
- Ithacans, like all Greeks, are passionate about politics. News programs monopolize television viewing.
- The building regulations on Ithaca are strict and state that no building is to be higher than 2 storeys. So how come there are so many 3 storey buildings? The hole in the law is that there can be no more than 2 storeys seen from the road. As Ithaca is mountainous, most houses are built on a slope so 3 storeys and a basement floor (really 4 storeys) are not disputed as the 2 extra storeys can't be seen from the road.
- In August the roads into the center Vathy and Kioni are closed to traffic. They become promenades for the foot-restless.
- On August 5th 2004, the Olympic Flame came to Ithaki as part of the pre Athens Olympics.
- In the Summer of 1995 there were daily earth tremors.
- In Summer of 2003 Ithaki had an Earthquake of 6.7 on the Richter, which centered from the neighboring island of Lefkada. The earth moved sideways and reminded all the old locals of their 1953 experience.
- In 2003 / 2004, Railing was finally erected along the roads from Kioni to Vathy.
- 2003 / 2004 Ithaca went through a baby boom. In the future the schools closed down in Kioni, Platrithia and Frikes may re-open.
- In the winter of 2004 in the month of February, temperatures reached an unprecedented - 8 degrees Celsius. Water pumps all over the island burned out and pipes froze.
- Pre-Easter Carnival time is 40 days before Easter.Greeks stop eating meat and dairy until Easter. In February 2004, the celebrations in Vathy were cut short due to heavy rain.
- August 2004, The Kefalonia ferry suffered a mechanical problem that had it drifting in the bay until it ran to ground. People were shooted off and taken to shore by boats. After 5 hours it was tugged back to Patras for repairs.
- January 2005 , the first Asian Restaurant got under way in Vathy. Chez Manu. It closed in 2006 and reopened with Greek food, called Piccolo.
- Friday 1st July 2005, Andy Pappas opened Yefuri Restaurant in Platrithia. In the 80's it was called Levendis and owned by Naki Raftopoulos. Yefuri means, bridge.
- In 2003 an EU law was passed that those wanting to hire scooters must have that permission included in the drivers' license eg. like Australia, or as those coming from the UK, a DVLA scooter permit given to any lisenced driver for a minimal fee.
- As at August 2005, 65 building permits have been approved by the Council. That's a boom for the island.
- Polis Beach, 2005, is the third site to have German Technology Water Desalinization facilities to supply water to the Stavros and Platrithia area, joining Vathy and Kioni in this advanced step forward for Ithaca.
- On 26 August 2005, Vathy has its' first Panighiri in many, many years at Lazaretto island in the bay.
- In June 2006, the Aetos Road was finally repaired after nearly five years of work in progress.
- In July 2006 a small Mobile Phone atennae was erected at Lykoudi Apartments in Kioni, but opposition wants it removed. Phones connected to Cosmote can now get mobile reception in Kioni...until the opposing win the fight to have it removed.
- After years without a water supply, Lefki, In July 2006, finally has small water supply which was drilled for in the mountain side, to service the community. The water isn't great for drinking, but every other use seems ok. It tastes a little of salt.
- July 2006, Vathy, the Captial of Ithaca, has ADSL fast internet connection, but the northern villages do not.
- October 2006 - SeaAirlines sea planes began their service from Patras and Corfu to Ithaca.
- In October 2006, the local elections for Mayor, Local Council and Regional Representative saw a change in Goverment. The 2 Terms by previous Mayor, T. Karavias ended on Sunday 22.
- 2006 and 2007 saw the first changes in tourism, when major Tour Operators either folded or began to abandone Ithaca as one of their offered destinations. Steady tour operators remain and Independent tourism survives.
- 2007 - 2008 will see an Olive Oil Press Museum in Exoghi.
- 2008 saw ithaca suffer under a National and broad strike which included all facets of business and services. the strike was due to Pension Fund changes suggested by the New Democratic Party
- 2009 Ithaca started recycling with recycling bins all over the Island.
- 2009 Parents from the School Community started a series of demonstrations to force the government to bring a Pediatrician to the island. As at January 2010, their efforts had not been successful, although they continue to strike.
- 2010 Vathy opened its Environmental Center.
Vathy - Accommodation - Architects - Art Gallery - 3 Bakeries - 3 Banks– National Bank of Greece with ATM Alpha Bank with ATM Agrotiki Bank - 3 Beauty Shops - Beaches - Bedding / Carpet -4 Bike Rental - Boat Hire - Bric-a-brac stores - Bus Stop - 3 Butchers - Cafes - Creperie - 3 Car Rental - Car Repairs - Cemetery - 2 Chemists - Cinema (only operational during winter) - Computer School - Clothing Stores - Dentist - Community Services Office - Daily Cruises (in Summer) - DEH Electric Company - Docking Tariff - Dry Cleaning - Engineers - Fish Monger - Football Oval - Furniture Store / Pc repairs - 3 Fruit and Vegetable Stores - Garden Theatre - Gymnasium - 3 Hairdressers - Hardware Stores - High School - Hospital with Dental - IKA Insurance Company - 3 Internet Cafes - KKE Headquarters - Laundry - Library - Liquor Stores - Marina - Gassing Station - Municipal Buildings - 3 Museums - 3 Newsagents - Night Clubs - 3 Nurseries - Orchestra - Ote Telephone Company - Paint Ball - Parking - Parks - 2 Petrol Stations - Photo Developing / Video Store - Photographers - Piano Teacher - Pizzeria - Police Station / Visa Extentions Officer - Port Police - Post Office - Primary School - Resorts with Pool and Tennis courts - Restaurants - Snooker / Pool - Solicitors - Sports Shop - 4 Supermarkets - Taxation Office - Taxi rank - Television and Radio Station - Tourist shops - Town Hall - Town Square - 2 Travel Agents - Tutoring School - Tyre Repairs - Venetian Church - Whitegood Store / TV etc - Accountants - ADSL
In Summer there are concerts and plays organized by Fimios, which bring world class acts to the shores of Ithaki. Easter is also a great time to be in Vathy with the Easter Parade. During 'European and World Cup' season, the Tvs are always out in the Village Squares.
Sarakiniko - Beach - Camping - German Commune. This area is best known on Ithaki as the German commune which was started by a German artist who advertised for like minded people to come forward. The commune is a Company which bought over 700 acres of the island back in 1977. To this day there is no electricity or phone, only solar power, and out of the 200 people that originally settled there, only 10 people remain. It is no longer a working commune. Each to their own now. In its' day, Sarakiniko was a complete community, a little Germany one might say, with lawyers, doctors, the poor, mentally challenged, couples, singles, young families, free love, pot, the suicidal, the homicidal. The good and the bad, all the elements of any country, but with the ideals of living an eco friendly life. With the entire community deliberating, voting and deciding on the running of this Company, it only took 10 years for this German Utopia to reach the end of its' idealistic dream. The reality was too many cooks in the kitchen and as more unrest within the commuinity abound, many left and returned to their previous lives. The myth of this Commune is that this community was made up of hippies. This is false. They were all partners in a Company. Now days, Sarakiniko is better known for its' sleepy beach and cove which is surounded by shady trees and occasionally, campers.
Palaehora - Isolation & Walking Tracks
Perahori - Ancient site - Bakery - Café/ Restaurant - Churches - Eco-Friendly produce and Farming - Great view of Vathy - Wine making. Perahori is much more than a mountain village with a great view. It is also the first village on Ithaki to grow organic produce. Perahorians are friendly people with nice demeanors. Ask one of them, they'll confirm it for you.
Piso Aetos - Archaeological Sites - Beaches - Cantina - Directly opposite Sami on Kephalonia - Ferry Ticket Booth - Port. When coming to Ithaca you may well end up at the Port of Piso Aetos. Don't be too shocked to see there is nothing around. Taxis await every ferry and will transport you to the villages or Vathy for 20 - 30 euros or more depending on the amount of passengers and luggage.
Kathara - Bulls - Cows - Goats - Monastery - Mobile Phone Towers - Religious relics for view and sale - Spectacular views of Vathy, Piso Aetos and Kephalonia Kathara is at the top of Ithaki. Here you are enveloped by the clouds amidst a barren and rocky terrain. A far cry from the lush lowlands. Kathara is isolation and serenity...except for the hum of the mobile towers.
Anoghi - Amazing rock formations - Café/Restaurant - Heliport - Restored Church with Frescos - Snow in winter. One lives in Anoghi for love or necessity. It is an isolated mountain village that even during Summer can be covered in low cloud.
Kioni - Accommodation - Beaches - Beach Cantina - Bike - Hire - Boat Hire - Cemetery - 3 Cafes/ Bar - Clothing Store - Church - Desalinization Plant - 2 Jewellery / gift Shops - Health Clinic Day - Hotel / Bars / Restaurants - Marina - 1 Mini Markets - Park - 4 Restaurants - 1 Ceramics/ Gift Shop - Windmills Kioni is famous for its' picturesque views, colorful bay and harbour. Its' beaches are small coves spread around the east side of the bay. It also seems to be the lunching spot for the rich and famous such as Madonna, Grace Jones and Jamie Lee Curtis. Kioni people are private and passionately communiity minded. They like their village and rarely go anywhere else. Tourists, once there, tend to do the same.
Aghios Ioannis - Accommodation - Beaches. A favorite beach destination of those in the 'know'. Clear aqua sea with a view over to Kephalonia and hidden coves. The area is nicknamed 'The Millionaires Mile'.
Lefki - Accommodation - Beautiful sunsets - Beach below - Peace and Quiet - Tatooist - View of Kephalonia - Village Square/car park. There are no stores in Lefki, but it has no doubt the best sunsets and a great view of the Isthmus and Kephalonia. It's the last place on the island for the sun to go down. Lefki residents are house and garden proud. You will always see immaculate residences all along the Lefki stretch. After the 53 earthquakes, cottages were built for the village, unfortunately they forgot to add bathroom and WC.
Stavros - Accommodation - Atenet Banking ATM - Beach Below - Bust of Odysseus - 2 Butchers - 4 Cafes / Bars - Chemist - Church - Creperie - 1 Everything Store - Fruit and Veg Store - Hairdresser - Hardware Store - 1 Medical Clinic - 1 Doctor's Surgery - 2 Mini Markets - Museum - Notice Board - 2 Parks - 1 Pizzeria (closed 2014) - Primary School - 3 Restaurants - 1 Supermarket - 2 Sweet Shops / Cafes / Bars - Taxis - Tourist / Bric-a-brac Store - Underwear/ clothing - Village Square - Wood Oven Bakery - W/goods / Electrical Store - Chemist - Building/Construction Supplies - Painting and Supplies - Real Estate Agent. Stavros is the largest village in Northern Ithaki. It attracts residents due to the milder weather conditions in Winter. It can be sleepy one minute and chaotic the next. That's the surprise about Stavros. You just never know the mood of the village at any given time. Stavros is host to the Summer Festival of Sotiros, a 2 day feast in the Square of the village. Date 5 & 6th August.
Polis - Banana Lounge and Umbrella rental - Cantina - Church ruin - fishermen - Louzos Cave - Marina - October fish festival - Sunken city In Winter life at Polis is basically non-existent. It's a summer venue for boats and sunworshipers with a family atmosphere. Louzos cave has caved in and the sunken city is unfortunately just that, sunken, but that doesn't detract from the picturesque fishing village and beach.
Pilikata - Accommodation - Archaeological site - Place of early Ithacan civilization. Don't expect too much at Pilikata. The ruin is interesting and the views beautiful, but for those seeking heavy archaeological finds, it may be disappointing.
Kalivia - Drinking Well. The irony in Kalivias drinking Well is, that it is said "to drink from it will cause insanity". Apparently the locals have proof of this.
Exoghi - Cemetary - Church with tower - Pyramid - Spectacular views - Village Square. This mountain village has the most spectacular views down to Aphales Bay and the northern villages. It's cemetery holds a world of history in its' headstones and graves and the dwindling community is one of the friendliest you'll encounter. On the far side of the top village, a Pyramid overlooks Cypress trees and a supposed secret tomb with coded messages written upon it.
Platrithias - Accommodation - 2 Carpenters - Cemetery - Church - Health Clinic Day - Furniture Store - 1 Restaurant / Café - Village Square. The province of Platrithias is the heart of the northern island. Here, farmers and goat herders make their living. The silver glow of Olive groves shimmers in the dusk between the mountains and valleys and mild breezes cool the Summer heat.
Kolieri - Accommodation - Beautiful views of Aphales - Kalamos Mountain Spring - Orchards - Statue of Poet Stathis Raftopoulos - Track to Perivoli and Exoghi. Picturesque village with nice views.
Aghios Sarantas - Accommodation - Aphales Beach - General Store. A really picturesque village with lots of great old buildings and some ruins from the earthquakes of '53.
Lahos - Accommodation - Electrical Engineer (specializing in auto) - Mechanic - Pilates Training - Taxi. Lahos' residents are the salt of the earth. Up until recently it was mostly made up of an aged population which has now been injected with new blood as more and more people begin to love the Mesavouno life style.
Frikes - Accommodation - 2 Bar / Nighclub - Cafés / Restaurants - Marina - Park - Petrol Station – Port - 3 Showers - 1 Supermarkets - 1 Gift / Cigarette Store - 2 Gift Shops - Windmills. This Port village has taken off since the new jetty was established to take on more yachts in 2000. It has a character all its' own which attracts tourists from all over to come back again and again.
Raxi / Mavrona - Accommodation - Church - General Store - Mavrona Beach. The village just above Kioni still has donkeys doing the carrying. The roads and tracks are narrow and are thus still the most sensible choice. Olive Groves are hidden in the deceptive hills above the village, which seem to hide the plateaus within the dense forested areas.
Facts about the island of Ithaca, Ithaki, in Greece. Ionian Island of Greece. Eptanisa.