There are good seafood and lamb dishes in the cafes and tavernas of both Vathi, and Frikes and Kioni.
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Ithika, much like Arcadia has become a universal symbol for all that is good about "home or journey's end " (and much that isn't come to think of it). If you've read your Homer you'll know what I mean. For those of you who haven't read Homer's Odyssey recently; scholars agree that much of what he wrote coincides with present day Ithika. It is "narrow and rocky and unfit for horses." Certain caves and springs exist that he wrote about. It really doesn't make too much difference as to your enjoyment of the Odyssey but this island is the likely spot. Ancient inscriptions testify to the worship of Odysseus as a divine hero. Coins bearing his image and pottery decorated with his sigil the cockerel have been discovered. Visit the Archeology Museum in Vathy (open 8:30-2:30, closed Mon) and decide for yourselves.
Archeologists have unearthed items dating from 4000 BC and remains of buildings and walls from the early Hellenic era as well. In the Cave of Loizos early relics of pagan worship have been discovered. During Mycenaean times, because of its central location, Ithika was the capital of the Kingdom of Arikious encompassing parts of the Peloponnese, Kefallonia, Zakynthos and Lefkada. Under Odysseus the island sent 12 ships to the Trojan Wars.
Shortly after his great discovery at Troy, Henrich Schliemann, the father of modern archeology, visited the island and almost immediately discovered a large structure dating from 700 BC. Even though it was from the wrong period, he dubbed the Palace of Odysseus. Homer describes the Palace of Odysseus as "above 3 seas" and the description fits. The palace is just north of Pisso Aelos.
After the Mycenaean's the island lost all importance and remained under the Venetians, French, and then the British until 1864 when it was unified with Greece. This unification resulted in many islanders immigrating to other countries such as Australia and South Africa.
Reread Homer before you come to remind yourself of what all the sites and references are about. See more photos of Ithika.