has been inhabited since the 2nd millennium BC. It may
have been the capital of Cephalonia during the Mycenaean
period, and the capital-state of the kingdom ruled by
Odysseus. The Romans occupied the island in the 2nd
century BC, and later it became part of the Byzantine
Empire. The Normans ruled Ithaca in the 13th century,
and after a short Turkish rule, it fell into Venetian
hands (Ionian Islands under Venetian rule).
Ithaca was then occupied by France under the 1797 Treaty
of Campo Formio. It was liberated by a joint
Russo-Turkish force in 1798, before becoming part of the
Septinsular Republic. It became a French possession
again in 1807, until it was taken over by the United
Kingdom in 1809. Under the 1815 Treaty of Paris, Ithaca
became a state of the United States of the Ionian
Islands, an protectorate of the British Empire. In 1830
the local community requested to join with the rest of
the newly restored nation-state of Greece. Under the
1864 Treaty of London, Ithaca, along with the remaining
six Ionian islands, were ceded to Greece as a gesture of
diplomatic friendship to Greece's new Anglophile king,
George I. The U.K. kept its privileged use of the
harbour at Corfu.
The origins of the first people to inhabit the island,
which occurred during the last years of the Neolithic
Period (40003000 BC), are not clear. The traces of
buildings, walls and a road from this time period prove
that life existed and continued to do so during the
Early Hellenic era (30002000 BC). In the years
(20001500 BC) some of the population migrated to part
of the island. The buildings and walls that were
excavated showed the lifestyle of this period had rema
Vathi is the island capital and the port. It is a
preserved traditional settlement with beautiful houses
with tile roofs and picturesque alleys. The Venetian
influence is very significant. The largest part of the
town was restored or reconstructed after the disastrous
earthquake of 1953. At the entrance of the port you will
find the island of Lazaretos with the chapel of Sotiras
What to see in the town:
The cathedral of Panaghia (Virgin Mary) with wood
The church of Taxiarchis which is famous for the icon
of the Crucifixion reportedly made by El Greco.
The library of Ithaca Educational Center with a
collection of rare books.
The neoclassical residence of Drakoulis Family by the
The Archaeological Museum.
The Folklore and Maritime Museum.
The remains of a Venetian castle.
The remains of the ancient town of Alalkomenes built
on a hill in the region of Aetos. There are boats
departing from Pisaetos, the small port of Aetos bay,
The Cave of the Nymphs or Marmarospilia (3 km W of
Vathi), where according to Homer Ulysses hid the gifts
of Faiakes on his back from Troy.
Hellas Yachting's ships can take you, your children
and your friends to Ithaki Island, to see that Greece is light, that
its the smiling dolphins that will follow you, the
white houses of its 6.000 islands, a warm smile and
an even warmer welcome.