Ithaki Island  

The island 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.[1]

First settlers.
The origins of the first people to inhabit the island, which occurred during the last years of the Neolithic Period (4000–3000 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 (3000–2000 BC). In the years (2000–1500 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
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 (1668).

What to see in the town:
• The cathedral of Panaghia (Virgin Mary) with wood carved chancel.
• 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 sea.
• 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, for Kefalonia.
• 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 it’s the smiling dolphins that will follow you, the white houses of its 6.000 islands, a warm smile and an even warmer welcome.


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