DISTRICT OF VATHI
The first image one sees as the ship approaches the port is the traditional one-storey and two-storey village houses with lush vegetation Also, the small islet of Lazaretto at the entrance of the harbor At the top of the hill overlooking Vathi is the castle built by the French in 1807. The view from the castle is breathtaking, and neighboring islands such as Lefkada can be seen. Historical stories claim that Vathi is the Homeric port of Forkynos. It is a natural port of outstanding beauty and according to tradition the sleeping Odysseus was left here by the Faiakes. The city’s attractions worth visiting are the archaeological museum, folklore and nautical museum and the Cathedral. Most of the city was destroyed in the 1953 earthquake and rebuilt without losing its traditional architecture. Also, in Vathi, the house of Ulysses Androutsou was saved.
DISTRICT OF PERACHORI
Perachori is the largest district of the island of Ithaki and the only village in the south of the island with a population of 354 inhabitants. It is built like an amphitheater overlooking Vathi, at an altitude of 300 meters on the northeast side of Mt. Petaliatiko. It is located southwest of Vathi and is 3 km from it. Near the village you will see the ruins of the earlier medieval village of Paleochora which was the old capital city of Ithaki. The medieval architecture and Byzantine churches with frescoes impress every visitor. The village belongs to the plateau Marathia where archaeological excavations have revealed ancient ruins at Arethousa Fountain and Crow’s Stone. Above the village lies a dense forest of native trees. Also, the area produces olive oil and fine wine. It is worth visiting the monastery of the Archangels, dating from the 17th century and located in the southwest of the village.
DISTRICT OF STAVROS
Stavros is the largest village in the north of Ithaki, with a population of 325 inhabitants located 16 km from Vathi. It is one of the major tourist attractions. The village was built in the 16th century and since then it is one of the most important commercial centers of the island. In the village square you will see the portrait of Ulysses. The area has historic and archaeological interest as it is likely that here was built the palace of Odysseus. In Pilikata, archaeological excavations uncovered the remains of an ancient settlement and important finds of the Mycenaean and Hellenistic period are exhibited in the archaeological museum of Stavros. One of the most important findings is the clay tablet dating from the second century BC which has the words “Wish from Odysseus” engraved on it. Other area attractions include the Cave of Loizou, within which they found traces of an ancient temple and the churches of St. Barbara, Zoodoochou Source and the Saviour.
DISTRICT OF LEFKI
Lefki is the first village on the road to northern Ithaki. It lies 13 km from Vathi and is built on the mountainside. Its population stands at 56 people. It is characteristic that the houses are built right and left of the road and the typical traditional architecture create an authentic island picture.
DISTRICT OF ANOGI
Anogi is a mountain village located 16 km northwest of Vathi. It is the oldest village in Ithaki, with a current population of 50 inhabitants. Particularly impressive are the prehistoric megalithic monuments, known as Menir, with the highest rock Araklis at 8 meters. In the area there are remains of the medieval era, with historical and mystical significance. In the village you will see an imposing Venetian tower, while at the traditional coffee shop you can enjoy delicacies of local cuisine and admire the magnificent views of the Ionian Sea. From the village begins a wonderful path that leads to Kioni. In Anogi you will find the helipad of the island. Also, from Anogi you can reach Mt. Niritos, the highest mountain in Ithaki. In the village is the Church of the Assumption and the historic Monastery of Kathara.
DISTRICT OF EXOGI
Exogi is the northernmost village of Ithaki dating from the 16th century. The population is 42 inhabitants and is located 22 km from Vathi. Exogi, due to its strategic position, offered security against pirate attacks. Here you can now visit the monument of the pyramids and the churches of St. Nicholas and St. Marina.
DISTRICT OF PLATRITHIAS
The District of Platrithia consists of the villages Platrithis and Frikes, with a population of 210 residents and 50 respectively. Platrithias is a picturesque village situated in the most fertile area of Ithaki with traditional houses. It is 17 km from Vathi. It is here where excavations have been conducted to locate the Odysseiakou palace based on studies of the Homeric texts. Frikes is a picturesque fishing village located in the northeastern part of the island, situated 13 km from Vathi. In the small harbor, you will see the two traditional, well-preserved windmills that add to the area their own beauty. The small idyllic beaches attract many bathers. Frikes archaeological interest includes the Homeric port of Reithrou.
DISTRICT OF KIONI
Kioni is built on a deep bay and the village has been classified as preserved. The population amounts to 171 inhabitants. In the sheltered harbor, many summer visitors to Ithaki dock their yachts. The entrance of the bay is dominated by three ruined windmills. This very old village is especially impressive with its well kept homes. Built in the 16th century, many of its houses have survived since then. Its traditional characteristic architecture has survived over the years and through the devastating earthquake that shook the Ionian Islands in 1953. Kioni is located 24 km from Vathi. It offers breathtaking views and beautiful beaches.