Ithaki, or Ithaka, is a municipality and an island in the Greek prefecture of Kefallonia. The capital city of Ithaki, called Vathy, is one of the most interesting spots in the Ionian archipelago as well as it is considered to be among the largest natural harbours of the entire world. The municipality of Ithaki is composed by several islands and communities which include Oxeia, Atokos, Drakonero, Oetallades and Echinades.
According to historians and experts, Ithaki has been inhabited since as long ago as the 2nd millennium BC. Besides this, it is interesting to know that during the Mycenaean Period, this town was the capital of Kefallonia, and was one of the most important cities of this region of Greece.
The island of Ithaki is said to be where the mythological Odysseus would live. This belief is based on Homer’s Odyssey where the description of an island that seems to match Ithaki is provided as where Odysseus would inhabit. Despite of this, some experts disagree on this and state that the description given in Homer’s Odyssey does not match the actual Ithaki.
The history of Ithaki is very interesting due to the fact that has been controlled by several different rulers. During the first half of the 2nd century BC, this island was ruled by the Romans, and after them, it became part of the Byzantine Empire. Towards the 12th century, Ithaki became ruled by the Normans, a century later by the Turkish, and then by the Venetians. During the 18th century, the island became again occupied, this time by the French, after whom it became part of the Septinsular Republic.
Ithaki has an important number of attractive communities and towns, among which we can name, for example, Exogi, Agios Ioannis, Perachori, Lefki, Aetos, Anogi, Kioni, Vathy, Stavros, and Platithria. Of these communities and cities, the most popular is, of course, Vathy, the capital of the island. In the past, Vathy used to be a province to which the island of Kalamos used to belong. Nowadays, that province is called Kalamos and Vathy is part of Ithaki.