Take a ferry to Vathi and explore this beautiful city of the island of Ithaca, also known as the homeland of Odysseus, the hero of the Homeric poem Odyssey!
Vathy is the capital of Ithaca, built on a bay, with amazing views of the tiny little island of Lazaretto which was once a prison and sanatorium and today is overgrown with pine trees and a small beautiful church. More than half of the population of the island lives in Vathy or close to it with almost 2000 permanent residents. The settlement has been inhabited since the time of the Venetians and according to Homer, this is where Odysseus landed when he returned from the land of the Phaecians.
The town has a pronounced Venetian influence and it was almost destroyed by an earthquake in 1953. Only a few buildings were left standing. However they were quickly rebuilt by the residents and in order to keep its traditional charm intact, according to a local law all new buildings and constructions in Vathy must resemble the villages’s older buildings and architecture. The colorful houses are built amphitreatrically around the bay and the port of Vathy, with tiled roofs and picturesque narrow balconies, imposing mansions and stone paved alleys.
Vathy is a busy, well developed town with many facilities, taverns, cafes and shops like supermarkets, bakeries and souvenir shops. This is why most visitors choose Vathy as their starting point for exploring the island of Ithaca.
If you are looking for a paradise island to relax and escape from the hustle and bustle, with an authentic traditional Greek character, book in advance your ferry tickets to Vathi and discover this gem of the Ionian sea.
How to reach Vathi by ferry
Ithaca has no direct connection to Athens. If you want to visit the island you will have to drive either to the port of Patras or Astakos, on the mainland. The distance between Athens and Patras is 176 km and from Athens to Astakos is 292 km. The island can also be reached from the neighboring island of Kefalonia. All of the above-mentioned routes have a connection with the port of Pisaetos in Ithaca which is located only 7km away from Vathy.
- Patras to Pisaetos: conventional ferries serve this connection all year round and the sailing duration is 4 hours
- Astakos to Pisaetos: the ferry duration from the port of Astakos to Ithaca is 3 hours and 15 minutes. During high season there are daily connections and during low season there are only a few available per week
- Sami to Pisaetos: there are two ferry operators serving this route throughout the year and the duration of the trip is only 25 minutes
Vathi, Ithaca, ferry port
The port of Vathi is located in a deep bay that looks like a lake. The houses of the town are set around the port surrounded by a beautiful scenery of green hills below the mountain Nirito. The port is also considered one of the safest natural harbors of Greece. The pier is close to the main square and the narrow streets that lead to the market center of Ithaca. Around the port there are many accommodations, facilities and restaurants. The approach to the port is a unique experience as the narrow neck of the port conceals the amazing view of the gulf and the entrance is guarded by the remains of a fort with two cannons.
You can easily move around the island using the public Ktel bus network that connects all the villages of northern Ithaca. The starting point is in Vathy, close to the main square.
For more information please visit Ktel Ithaca.
If you prefer a more convenient ride to your destination you could also book a taxi.
For more information please contact: + 30 698 005 1784, +30 694 570 0214.
Holidays in Vathi Ithaca
Vathi is not only the capital of Ithaca but the cultural and commercial center of the island. There are many interesting places and sights, museums and churches. The history of Ithaca is strongly connected to ships and prestigious captains and this legacy is still honored through the nautical schools, the maritime trade and the contribution of the locals to the struggles of the Greek nation for freedom. Vathy is the most visited tourist area of the island and it offers good entertainment and food, pleasant walks and a tranquil atmosphere for quality holidays.
For your convenience please find below some of the things that you can do and see in Vathi:
- Learn about the history of Ithaca in the Archaeological Museum. It hosts findings from excavations from all the regions of Ithaca like coins, statues, jewelry and ceramic vases
- Try some of the local dishes like codpie, savoro fish, tomato balls and as a desert the famous rovani.
- Enjoy an evening walk through the narrow streets of the settlement that lead to the picturesque natural harbor of Vathy
- Visit the house where Odysseas Androutsos, a Greek hero of the War of Independence was born
- Admire the wood carved iconostasis in the Metropolis of Ithaca and the masterpiece of El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) in Agios Nikolaos of Xenos
- Take some photos of the two legged statue of Odysseus at the square of Vathy
- Visit the Folklore museum just off the main square with exhibits of the life and culture of the people of Ithaca from the 19th century like clothes, photos, household furniture, musical instruments and cooking implements
Hotels Vathi Ithaca
Vathy is the most developed settlement of the island and people of all ages that arrive in Ithaki choose an accommodation in Vathy as it has many hotels, apartments, pensions and rooms to rent in beautiful Venetian buildings. Being the capital of Ithaca all of the hotels are close to tourist facilities and various types of shops and restaurants.
Please find below some of the best rated Vathy hotels and accommodations:
- Mentor Hotel
- Aithon Palace
- Hotel Omirikon Vathi
- Perantzada Hotel
- Villa Porto Bello Vathy Ithaca
- Adastra Luxury Suites
- Familia Rooms
- Forkis Apartments
The entire island of Ithaca is popular for its amazing beaches with turquoise waters and their green landscape. The beaches in Ithaca and around the village of Vathy are surrounded by lush vegetation and a breathtaking landscape. There are a multitude of choices for beach lovers that will satisfy all tastes and needs, from pebbles to sand and from quiet and secluded beaches to busy and organized ones.
Τhe most popular are:
- Gidaki Beach: located 5 km north east of Vathy. A white pebbled beach accessible either by boat or a 20 minute hike. It is definitely worth a visit. It is an organized beach with an unspoiled, magical scenery
- Loutsa Beach: located 5 km east of Vathi. An organized beach with sparkling blue waters
- Filiatro Beach: located 3 km east of Vathy. Filiatro is an organized beach with lush vegetation and trees that reach the level of the sea and giving the shallow crystalline waters emerald green waters
- Sarakiniko Beach: located 3 km east of Vathy. One of the most beautiful pebbled beaches of the island. Sarakiniko is a non organized beach with crystal clear waters and olive trees and cypresses providing natural shades. Ideal for snorkeling and diving
- Dexa Beach: located 2 km west of Vathy. An organized pebbled beach ideal for families with kids. Tucked in a bay, protected by strong winds and holder of a Blue Flag. ( according to mythology Dexa beach is where Odysseus arrived after the Trojan War)