We booked this through our tour operators (Manos). Can't re-call the cost but it was reasonable. The day is long but in our opinions more than worth it. The places to visit and the views during the trip outweigh the time spent on the coach. I would reccommend this either independantly (probably cheaper) or with your tour operator.
We made a tour of Ithaca with Panem (using their office on the main street in Skala) for 29 euros each. We had already made the Discover Kefalonia tour with Thomson. If only we'd known at the time: Thomson and its rivals offer exactly the same tours, but Thomson is twice as expensive. There is no other difference between the tours (air conditioned coaches on both tours).
Just Back July 2005!
A great island to visit if you are located near in Kefalonia. Historical, peaceful and beautiful. And those are big plus points.
Not an ideal place to go to if you are staying in Skala as we went by tour coach and had to be at the meeting point 7.15am and did not get back until around 7pm. Shopping around there was dear. Skala had better prices for the same gifts. Maybe i should've haggled!
The best way to visit Ithaka is to book with your tour operator but make sure they use the boat the Ikarus, it is the best boat in the Ionian Sea, the captain and crew are wonderful and the tour guides really know what they are doing, the trip conisists of a slow cruise to Vathi and a short stop there, two swim stops in beautiful locations and a lunch stop in Kioni (peace on earth, no mobile phone signal reaches here)it is the best trip that any of the tour operators offer and highly enjoyable.
Why do more than half of you fools fail to mention which company you used for the trip? Isn't that the whole point of reviewing it?
Dunno about net site for Ithaca ferries, but they go from Sami harbour daily if that helps.
Does anyone have a 'net site for the ferries, where they run and hoe frequently etc?
It was ok. Stopped in village for semolina type cake(speciality) two cakes with small scoop of ice cream plus two fresh orange juices 16 euros - it was recommmmended by courier- everyone thought it was a rip off except the courier !!
We liked seeing the different places on the island but there wasn't enough time in each of the 3 places. We had a total of 2 and a half hours actually on the island. The travelling is too long for a day trip. We left the resort at 7.30am and arrived back at 7pm! Dare I say more? this cost us 40 Euro's each!
We went to Ithaca with Etam tours which we thouroughly enjoyed! The coach picked us up in the morning and we got the ferry from Sami. Ithica is a beautiful island with very steep hills for the bus to climb (not for the faint hearted!!) We recommend that you take the opportunity to go for a swim at the beautiful secluded cove area of Kioni which has amazing clear waters. We found etam tours to be very informative of the island and the tour guide to be very friendly!
We very much enjoyed our trip to Ithaca.We went from Scala with Panem tours.We were picked up in a minibus and met the main coach at Sami.Our rep Karen was friendly and informative.The coach was nicknamed heinaken because it could go where larger coaches couldn't.
Ithaka is fantastic and worth a visit, but whatever happens, AVOID "ETAM TOURS" to get there! Their trip, led by the worst tour guide I've ever encountered, took us around Kefalonia picking people up for a total of FIVE HOURS before we'd even got to the ferry. I am not exagerrating. We absolutely couldn't believe it. Despite this, Ithaka was a wonderful place to experience, a must-see, but unless you love sitting on a cramped coach on Kefalonia for half a day, go with a different company!
Visited Ithaca on an Island coach tour (same Rep as the Keffalonia trip!!! see comment on Island tour)Beautiful island, can certainly see why the rich and famous visit there.
I would recommend visiting a FANTASTIC jewellers in Kioni, the jewellers has 2 massive Olive Oils Jars outside, go up the steps and soak in the atmosphere, admire the creativity and craftmanship.
We have just got back from Kefalonia (End May 2003.) Thoroughly enjoyed day trip to Ithaca which is relatively undeveloped and, in May at least, was very quiet . Took ferry from Sami. This can be booked either through tour operator or direct but you should check return times with Crew or booking office as apparently this changes. Wonderful 'Greek' atmosphere - like going back in time. Loved Vathi. If you like stunning scenery and relaxing I recommend it.
P.S. This rating applies to my previous comments! Sorry!!
We went to Scala last year and are repeating the trip this year so as you can see we enjoyed it. We didn't do Ithaca last year but plan to this year. My advice is to shop around for a trip. Don't automatically book with your tour operator there are trips with local agents/operators that may be cheaper.Alternatively if you hire a car you may be able to take on the ferry to Ithaca from Sami but check with the car hire operator first!
I would advise you to also take the trip to Olympia on the mainland. This again will be an organised excursion and again I would say shop around. Check when booking that you will get a guide at olympia as it will make more sense to you. Check out the town restaurants in Olympia for lunch. Do not necessarily use the one "advised" by your coach guide as it may not be the best value.
Finally hire a car and dare to get out and about - (stick to tarmac roads) its well worth it.
Going to Skala 2May. How can we do the Ithaca trip from Skala? Or, any of the boat trips? Are there buses, arranged trips, available? Also, will it be warm that first week? Dread the idea of grey skies and rain!
I am going to Kefalonia next week. Is it possible to get a boat from Argostoli to Ithaka, to save driving to the opposite side of the island. Also, any info on day trips to Lefkas?
Shop around for a good deal. We went with Kavvadas which was only 30 euros and the boat was nearly empty which made for a blisful day. They cruise from Poros to Kioni and then to Vathi for lunch and then stop at this beautiful inlet for swimming on the way back. If you want to see more of the island book with Etam but they are more expensive
Ithaca beautiful. The cruise was lovely. Don't book this excursion through Kosmar - you have to spend 3 hours on the coach getting to Agia Effimia and back - very tiring.
I have visited Ithaca many times over the years, on day trips from Kefalonia. You can sometimes get a trip by boat, which I enjoyed as it sailed all around Ithaca and the small harbours are beautiful approaching from the sea. Kioni is a superb place to chill out on the waterfront and have lunch. Most organised trips seem to be by coach and small ferry and this allows you a bit more time on the island. Vathi the capital is good for shopping, on our last visit we went to a Monastery at the top of the island which was really superb. Like Kefalonia Ithaca has very steep winding roads, so if you suffer from vertigo don't look down.