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12 OF THE BEST BEACHES IN ITHACA

READING TIME
As long as it takes to eat a Greek salad

Ithaca is forever associated with Homer’s epic tales of Odysseus and the place you read about in school (or not) is just as legendary as you’d imagine. It’s one of the harder Greek islands to reach, without an airport and with ferry connections only from Astakos, in the Peloponnese, and the neighbouring islands of Lefkada or Kefalonia. Alternatively, you could join the yacht brigade and include it in an island-hopping itinerary in the Ionian Sea. But once there, it unfolds like a fairytale, revealing enchanting mountain greenery, seaside villages and beaches that will leave you open-mouthed. The beaches of Ithaca are famed for their turquoise waters and wild and remote character. You’ll need to hire a boat to get to some but worry not. We’ve compiled a list of 12 of the best beaches in Ithaca, to help you build that bucket list.

 

Filiatro beach

Squint your eyes and you may just think you’ve landed in the Caribbean. Filiatro is one of the most exotic beaches in Ithaca, as well as being one of the most cosmopolitan. It comes with emerald-coloured waters (ideal for snorkelling), white pebbles and a background of greenery that merges into the sea. It is located within a verdant, oblong bay, with some olive groves for shade and just enough amenities. Filiatro beach’s modest size and popularity mean you should try to get there early or in the late afternoon.  

  • Amenities: A few sunbeds & umbrellas, beach bar, water sports 
  • Access: By road 

Find the certified water sports centers of Ithaca 

Skinos beach

To get to Skinos (or Schinos) beach, you have to drive by Mnimata (or Minimata) beach and walk. It is located within a tranquil bay lined by cypress trees, with emerald-green water (have your mask ready). You’ll have to make do with the supplies you’ve brought with you, but the lack of any amenities assures discretion and solitude. And if you feel like staying in Mnimata, you’ll find a similar beach (pebbly) but with shallow water making it ideal for families.  

  • Amenities: None 
  • Access: By road & walk 

Gidaki beach

As you stand, flanked by an avalanche of green that touches the white-pebbled beach of Gidaki, you may have to pinch yourself. This slice of tropical paradise is one of Ithaca’s premier beaches. You’ll need to catch a boat from Vathy or hike 30 minutes from Skinos beach to get there. It is lapped by turquoise waters of the clearest kind, with white limestone rocks extending to the edges of the tranquil bay. There’s the bonus of a snack bar at Gidaki beach and if you feel like exploring (and you will), you can even go on a kayak excursion. Perfection and we’ve barely begun with Ithaca’s best beaches! 

  • Amenities: A few sunbeds & umbrellas, snack bar 
  • Access: By boat from Vathy or by road & hike 

Sarakiniko beach

Comprised of two separate coves, heart-shaped Sarakiniko bay is favoured by many for incredible green-blue waters and family-orientated facilities. The whole area is carpeted in rolling pine trees, with the eastern side of the beach being home to fishermen’s boats and even a small dock you can dive from. There are some amenities but if you want seclusion, head to the (nudist-friendly) western side. Both beaches have fine pebbles, making them ideal for snorkelling. Note that Vathy is not too far away.   

  • Amenities: A few sunbeds & umbrellas, snack bar 
  • Access: By road 

Sarakiniko beach in Ithaca

Platia Ammos beach

Located in northern Ithaca, within Afales bay, Platia Ammos is widely regarded to be one of the most exotic beaches in Ithaca (which is saying something!). Framed by a tall limestone cliff, it boasts fine white sand (it’s the only sandy beach on Ithaca) as well as the clearest turquoise waters. There’s nothing by way of amenities and no land access. Instead, this beach requires a boat trip to get there – which is half the charm. There are some shade-giving tamarisk trees on the beach. Otherwise, you’re on your own.  

  • Amenities: None 
  • Access: By boat from Frikes or Kioni 

Kourvoulia beach

The odds are stacked in your favour in Kourvoulia, which is actually three separate beaches located inside their own calm bays near Frikes harbour. All three are bathed in greenery, with emerald waters and fine white pebbles. The first beach is small, with pine trees and seclusion in spades, while the middle beach is similarly wild. You’ll need to walk down some steps to get to both. The last beach is the biggest but make sure you arrive early as it loses sunlight quicker than the other two. Round out your day with a seafood meal at one of the seaside tavernas in Frikes. As beaches in Ithaca go, Kourvoulia is thrice as nice.  

  • Amenities: None 
  • Access: By road & steps 

Polis beach

The ancient city that once stood here may have submerged in an earthquake in 967 BC, but there’s nothing shaky about Polis. It’s one of the most famous beaches in Ithaca, not to mention one of the most fun, as you can rent canoes, boats or SUPs here and Cousteau it around the hidden coves. Polis is home to a fishermen’s harbour, while the rest of the beach is covered in pebbles. The water is turquoise and clear, ideal for snorkelling. If you feel like exploring, the village of Stavros is nearby.  

  • Amenities: A few sunbeds & umbrellas, snack bar, water sports 
  • Access: By road 

Aerial drone photo of bay and beach of Polis in Norther part of Ithaki

Aspros Gialos beach

Aspros Gialos (aka Agios Giannis, the name of the nearby settlement) is found on the western part of the island, and it’s one of the prettiest beaches in Ithaca. It’s made up of fine white pebbles and turquoise waters. There are pine, olive, and cypress trees all around, with rock formations sticking out near the edges and just the slightest hint of natural shade. There are some amenities but you should come fully prepared, and note that you’ll have to walk for 5-10mins down a cobbled path to get there.  

  • Amenities: A few sunbeds & umbrellas 
  • Access: By road & steps 

 

Marmakas beach

Marmakas is a romantic little spot with views towards an islet housing the chapel of Agios Nikolaos within the bay. There are eucalyptus trees along the moderately sized white-pebble beach and clear, blue water (snorkelling alert!). In fact, if you venture a little further you’ll be rewarded with a second beach. The road here ends at the more accessible first beach, but there’s a dirt road that continues to another section of the beach with a small lake behind it. 

  • Amenities: None 
  • Access: By boat from Frikes & Kioni or by (dirt) road 

Marmakas beach in Ithaca

Dexa beach

Dexa (or Drexia) beach is within walking distance of Vathy and is one of the most chilled beaches in Ithaca. It’s great for kids as it has shallow water and (aside from some umbrellas) has natural shade provided by olives trees. It’s a small beach and is located within a cosy windless cove that rarely gets crowded.  

  • Amenities: A few sunbeds & umbrellas, snack bar 
  • Access: By road 

 

Kaminia beach

Kaminia is one of the prettier beaches in Ithaca. It is found on the southeastern part of the island and is nestled inside a small bay, with rolling hills to either side. The green-blue waters are snorkelling heaven, while the chilled demeanour and tricky access (you’ll have to negotiate a 1.5km dirt road) ensure total relaxation. Kaminia is wild and remote, so come prepared. 

  • Amenities: None 
  • Access: By road 

Kioni beach

While not strictly speaking a beach, Kioni is a swimming spot you won’t want to miss. This enchanting seaside village, wedged inside a small bay, has multicoloured houses that descend amphitheatrically to the sea. It’s one of Ithaca’s most Instagrammable locations, with emerald-green water and a backdrop of pine trees you can admire from the water, along with views of beautiful Kioni. There’s also the bonus of being able to explore the village before or afterwards.  

  • Amenities: In Kioni village  
  • Access: By road / By foot from Kioni 

Tiny little beach next to Kioni village in Ithaca

12 of the best beaches in Ithaca

It may have taken Odysseus 10 years to get back to Ithaca, but that doesn’t mean you should, too. If you want quiet beach holidays surrounded by pristine beauty, you’ve found your Ithaca.  

Discover the best of Ithaca now 

 

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