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Worldwide known as the legendary home place of Ulysses, Ithaki island is a paradise into itself, suited for total relaxation. The island lies off the northeast coast of Kefallonia and to the west and within sight of continental Greece. The capital, Vathy or Ithaki, has one of the world's largest natural harbours, increasing the island’s significance. The village is constructed around a large bay and has a lovely port promenade with fish taverns and cafeterias, while a small islet is found at the entrance of the port.
The modern island of Ithaki is generally identified with Homer's Ithaca, the home of Odysseus, whose delayed return to the island is one of the elements of the Odyssey's plot. The island is blessed with lush greenery, gem villages and beaches with blue green waters.
The scenic traditional settlement of Kioni lies in the southeast of Ithaca, 24 km from Vathy, in a verdant setting with one-of-a-kind attractions. It is built amphitheatrically on the slopes of a mountain, with little tiled roofed houses overlooking the picturesque port where small fishing boats are quietly mooring. Over the past years, the little paradise has morphed into a modern, busy tourist resort, blooming with cafes and taverns which line the lovely port, while it provides mooring accommodations to yachts, rooms for rent, boat rentals and supply stores.
Filiatro is another must-see destination upon visiting Ithaki Island. Found closest to Vathy, the capital of Ithaca, the beach has warm, shallow crystalline waters, which are ideal mostly for families with children, as they can safely play in the waters of the Ionian Sea. There is a line of trees that come down to the sea shore, to offer guests natural shade and an inviting atmosphere, while protecting them from the sun. Furthermore, the beach is highly recommended for a rejuvenating sunbathing and a refreshing dip into the water. For those eager to get back to nature, there are some camping facilities available at the back of Filiatro beach.
While here, one ought not miss a trip to The Monastery of Panagia, which is found at an altitude of 600m in the center of the island. This breathtaking monastery is the home of the protector saint of Ithaki, Kathariotissa. Due to its location, it provides amazing views of the island and the capital town, Vathi, leaving you virtually dazzled. The inhabitants of Ithaki believe that the icon of Virgin Mary in this monastery has been painted by Saint Luke and that it is miraculous. Furthermore, modest dressing is required when entering the monastery, which remains open to visit from dawn till the late hours. Pay your respects to this magnificent place of worship, for moments of peace and inner tranquility.
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