Greek Islands Guide

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Ithaca  lies off the North East coast of Kefallinia and is the Sixth largest island in the Ionian group. The island is made up from two mountains joined by a narrow land bridge.

Located in the southern part of the island, stands the capital, Vathy, also known as Ithaca Town. life here revolves around one of Greece's largest natural harbours, and the town square area, this is where the majority of the banks, shops and tavernas on the island are situated.

As boats enter and leave the port of Vathy, they pass a small islet named Lazaretto. during a period when the British occupied the island, the islet was created and was used for sometime as a quarantine area, then later on as a prison. A small church was built on the islet after the original buildings collapsed during an earthquake in 1953.

Stavros is the largest settlement in the northern part of the island, but it is still very quiet, with a population of around 250. The red domed church of the Saviour located in the centre of the village was built in 1922 in the Neo-Byzantine style. Opposite is a park that contains a bust of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, and hero of the Trojan war. also in the village is a small but interesting museum, and a few bars and tavernas.

The small fishing village and tourist resort of Frikes has a few hotels and rooms to let plus a handful of bars and tavernas that line the harbour side. A large marina has been built to attract some of the many yachts that sail around this part of the Ionian Sea.

Kioni is a popular tourist destination and the most picturesque village on the island. The village mostly survived the earthquake of 1953, and so has retained some good examples of 19th century Greek architecture. During the day day-trippers, mostly from Kefalonia, throng the harbour area for an hour or so, then disappear as fast as they seem to arrive, then peace prevails until the next boat arrives. During the evenings, this is a popular stopping off place for yachts with the harbour being full to capacity most evenings during the high season. The atmosphere here like the rest of the island is very quiet and laid back. There are no banks and few shops, with this exclusivity comes higher prices than those found on the rest of the island.

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