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The Ionian island of Ithaca off the west of mainland Greece is a great spot for those who want to discover more about the myth and legend of Ancient Greece as well as sun-seekers who love a lush beach with soft sand, emerald waters and verdant surrounds! Here I’ll walk you through some of my favourite beaches on the island of Ithaca so you have plenty of destinations up your sleeve ready for when you arrive.
Map of Ithaca’s Beaches
12 Beaches to Visit in Ithaca
Gidaki Beach is a quiet, peaceful cove tucked away on the east coast of the island that is only really accessible by boat (unless you want to take a fairly strenuous hike across the countryside). Travellers can hop on a boat from the port of Vathy and be whisked away to the pristine pebble bay which is backed by white cliffs topped with verdant vegetation.
The crystal-clear waters will welcome you as you glide into the bay and invite you to take a dip. The beach does not feature sunbeds and parasols but there is a small cafe that is open throughout the peak summer months.
2. Skinos Bay Beach
Located 2km north of Vathy, Skinos Bay Beach is a long stretch of pretty pebbles and shady cypress trees that is perfect for a relaxing day out. Reached by car along a windy dirt track, Skinos Bay Beach is best for those who want to get off the beaten path, taking towels, drinks and supplies with them. There are no amenities around the beach itself so come well prepared. Skinos is wonderful for swimming and snorkelling and can be combined with trips to other bays along the way.
Tip: The best way to get to Skinos Bay is by boat or leave the car at Mnimata Beach and walk there as you won’t find parking at Skinos Beach.
Dexa is another beach located quite close to Vathy, but is this time situated to the west of the town. While still peaceful and laid-back, Dexa does offer more in the way of amenities with a few tavernas and apartments located nearby. There is also parking available to one side of the beach so it works well for both those staying in the area as well as those driving from further afield. The beach has some sunbeds and parasols available but there is also space under the shaded trees to simply pitch up with a towel.
Dexa also has some significant history in that according to The Odyssey is was the location where Odysseus stopped off after returning to the island from the Trojan War!
4. Mprosta Aetos
Located just off the roadside, Mprosta Aetos is a sweeping pebble bay that is another peaceful spot with limited local amenities but lovely natural shade. The beach features clear waters, pine trees and smooth white pebbles, and just across the road is a small cafe serving up drinks and snacks.
A little further along from the beach is the Agios Nikolaou church which is worth a visit while in the area. Mprosta Aetos is only 3km away from Vathy so again, is a fairly easy beach to reach from the main port town.
5. Agios Ioannis Beach
One of the more rural and rugged spots on Ithaka is Agios Ioannis Beach located on the western side of the island, 9km from Vathy. While there are some roads nearby, visitors will have to walk for 5 – 10 min to reach the beach. It tends to be quiet and unspoiled which is ideal for those who want some extra privacy. The beach has a combination of pebbles and sand and, unsurprisingly, there are no organised facilities.
6. Sarakiniko Bay Beach
Sarakiniko Bay is a classically beautiful Greek beach with crystalline waters and two consecutive pebble bays. The beach is surrounded by a lush landscape dotted with olive and cypress trees providing natural shade; reflecting turquoise-green hues into the water.
While Sarakiniko does has a small fisherman port for local boats to float in and out, it is a fairly tranquil cove and is a lovely spot for families.
7. Filiatro Beach
Located 3km east of Vathy Filiatro Beach is the closest beach to the main port and as such, it’s a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike. The shallow waters provide a safe space for families and the collection of sunbeds, parasols and beach bars/restaurants make it a convenient bay for a whole day out.
As with pretty much every beach on Ithaka, Filiatro Beach features clear waters, smooth pebbles and a stunning backdrop and there is plenty of parking for those arriving by car.
8. Minimata Beach
Minimata Beach is situated 2km from Vathy and can be reached by car. It’s worth noting that there are no amenities on or around Minimata Beach so you’ll have to bring all your own drinks and refreshments. This pebbled beach is great for families as it has shallow waters and natural shade from the trees.
The beach offers natural shade, pristine waters and a small stone bay and there’s sometimes a small jetty platform where you can jump into the sea.
9. Loutsa Beach
Another beach that is located within walking distance of Vathy is Loutsa Beach and this one actually has a few sunbeds and umbrellas as well as a small taverna so is great for those who don’t mind walking but don’t want to take with them everything they need for the day. The bay is sheltered and shady which is ideal for families with small children and the water is clear and shallow too.
Kourvoulia (also sometimes referred to as Skinari) is a collection of three consecutive bays in the north of the island, just down from the port village of Frikes. Each cove is picture-perfect with soft white pebbles making for a warm beach and crystal-clear water.
The bays are all peaceful and unorganised so you’ll need to bring your own towel and drinks, but as they’re all situated close to the road you can easily drive to a local taverna for lunch then pop back to a different beach later in the day.
11. Polis Beach
Last but not least is Polis Beach on the west of the island, a sheltered cove close to the village of Stavros. While there are some basic amenities (one cafe with a few sunbeds and parasols) Polis is most definitely an unspoiled bay and is ideal for those staying in one of the villas or guest houses nearby. On each side of Polis Beach is an additional attraction with the ancient Loizos Cave to the north and the Church of Agios Andreas to the south which are both worth a visit if you’re interested in Greek history and culture.
12. Kaminia Beach
Located on the Southeastern part of Ithaca close to Vathy Kaminia is an unorganized white pebbled beach. As there is no shade and facilities it is good to arrive prepared for the day.
In order to reach the beach, you have to drive on a dirt road. It can be done with a conventional car but you have to be careful.
While there are many more beaches and bays in Ithaca that I could talk about, this list of my favourites should be enough to get you started! The best thing about visiting the Greek isles is that you can easily drive around from cove to cove discovering hidden gems and new favourites along the way. Which is your favourite beach in Ithaca? Let me know in the comments.
Where to stay in Ithaca: We stayed at WineLandIthaca a holiday home located near Vathi inside a family vineyard. The holiday home features two independent apartments for 3 and 4 people respectively. All units include a well-equipped kitchen, a living room with a sofa, a bedroom and a bathroom with a shower and free toiletries. Other amenities include free wi-fi. air conditioning and an outdoor seating area. For more information and to book your stay click here.