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Ithaca: perhaps the mythical island of Ulysses?

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The island of Ithaca or Ithaki (96 sq km; 3,000 inhabitants), the famous island of Ulysses, is part of the Ionian archipelago, and is located in the Ionian Sea between the northeastern coast of Kefalonia and Greece. The coast of Ithaca is quite indented with many bays, and high cliffs. While its interior is mountainous, very green and rich in vegetation.

Ithaca is a mountainous island formed by two land masses connected together by a narrow isthmus, the Isthmus of Aetos, where the great bay of Molos is located. The capital of the island is the town of Itháki (Vathý), which is located in the central-southern part of the island in a secondary bay of the large bay of Molos, the bay of Vathý.

In the northern section there is the highest peak of the island, Mount Nirito, whose top exceeds 800 meters (806 meters). While the southern part of the island is lower and its highest point does not reach 670 meters in height.


The vegetation of the island is characterized by the presence of olive and cypress trees. Tourism has not upset the island which has remained relatively out of the large tourist flows which have sometimes changed the appearance of many Greek islands. The most beautiful beaches are located along the northwest coast and some can only be reached by boat. To visit the ancient capital of the island, that is the village of Anogi located in the central-northern part of Ithaca, there is a beautiful Byzantine church with beautiful frescoes.

The island of Ithaca is linked to the legendary myth of Ulysses and the Odyssey. Ithaca was the island from which Ulysses came, but it is currently not certain that the island we now call Ithaca is really the Ithaca of Ulysses. Several inhabited centers from the Mycenaean era have been found on the island but none has been identified with certainty as being the residence of Ulysses. The remains of a fortified acropolis dating back to the 7th century BC are located on Mount Aethos, are the remains of Alalkomenes. In the south of the island there is what has been identified as the Fountain of Artusa. In the north of the island near Stavros there is another archaeological area that of Pelikata.


FERRIES: The island of Ithaca has three ports where ferries connect it with the other Ionian islands and mainland Greece. The port of Vathy which is located within the large Gulf of Molos which divides the island in two has ferry connections to Kefalonia (Sami) and Patras. The village of Piso Aetos also has ferry connections to Kefalonia (Sami) and Patras. The port of Frikes has ferry connections to Fiskardo (Kefalonia) and Nydri (Lefkada).



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