Getting around in Ithaca public transport and car hire

itaca Ithaca or Ithaka is located the Ionian Sea off the west coast of mainland Greece and four kilometres east of Kefalonia.

The smallest of the Ionian islands after Paxos, Ithaka has an area of 96 sq km, a coastline of 100 kilometres and around 3,500 permanent inhabitants.

Ithaca is hilly with peaks at Mount. Neritos, at 800 metres, and at Mount Petaleiko.

Two land masses are joined at the isthmus of Aetos which is only 620 metres wide. The steep and straight 16 kilometres long west coast contrasts sharply with the jigsaw of inlets in the east.

The port capital of Vathy is the south-east, while the second largest village at Stavros in the north. There is little fertile land on rocky Ithaca but olive oiland currants are produced. Many of its old houses were destroyed in the 1953 earthquake.

The main method of transport for getting around on Ithaka is a hire car or taxi. Taxis are about but not plentiful, although there are always some on hand to meet ferry arrivals.

Some visitors hire cars in Kefalonia and bring them over on the ferry but there is car, motorcyle, scooter and mountain bike hire in the main port of Vathy and the mini-market in Frikes also hires out cars.

There is a twice daily island bus from Vathy to Stavros, Frikes and Kioni that leaves Vathi at 6.15am and 11am and leaves Kioni at 7.15am and 2.30pm.

There is no bus service on Sunday or Bank Holidays. Many find it a hair-raising ride through the mountains and it doubles as the island’s school bus.

There is plentyof boat hire on ithaka too, in Kioni (594090), Vathy (33311 and 33312) at at Polis Bay (+30 69795 81205).

Although small, Ithaka is a mountainous and wild island. Many old mountain tracks fell into disuse over the years but have been cleared by the island council and volunteers.

There are maps of local walking trails in many island souvenir shops. The main routes are waymarked and many paths have been cleared by islanders. Some online walks can be found here