Ormos Polis (look at my page under unsorted locations in Greece) means "harbor of the city". The city is Stavros, the 750 inhabitants capital of the northern part of Ithakii, 2 km inland and at an elevation of 250 meters. Ormos Polis is in front of Fiskardo, on Cephalonia, on the other side of the Ithaki channel.
Kioni (look at my page under unsorted locations in Greece) is a little village of 250 inhabitants, 5 km east to Frikes. As the ferries arrive in Frikes, most visitors do not come to Kioni which is a dead end. Thus, the village has kept its charm and remains rather quiet. Large yachts cannot anchor along the quays and thus most visitors are coming from very small yachts like ours or small motor-boats.
Ormos Aghios Andreas (Saint Andrew’s bay) is the southernmost bay of Ithaki. It is framed west by Akra Aghios Andreas and east by Akra Plakes (Plakes cape), 2 miles SWW of Akra Aghios Ioannis (Saint John cape). The shore is steep and covered by shrubs. In the northern part of the bay, near the shore, a few small boats can anchor for a while. It is not advisable to spend the night as the bottom is a steep as the shore, anchors do not catch very well. Moreover, it is a good shelter from every northerly winds but receives land gusts that makes it uncomfortable. It is fully open southwards and thus should not be used in case of south wind expected.
Our party anchored in Ormos Aghios Andreas for a swim and to have dinner on our boats but after a while we had to leave fast as land gusts pushed our boats and made the anchors slip.
We could not land as our boats were not designed to lay on the shore. In the antiquity, boats were neither moored nor anchored but stranded. On that account, Ormos Aghios Andreas was a good place to land. This is the place where Telemachus landed.
If you enlarge the first photo, you will see that in the middle, a rocky strip, the dry bed of a torrent allows to climb rather easily to the plateau. This is the way that Telemachus might have used. When Athena convinced him to come back from Sparta to welcome his father, she told him “when sailing close to Ithaki, land near the first cape” (Akra Aghios Andreas) (Od., XV, 36).
The Ithaki channel is framed by Cephallonia, west and by Ithaki, east. It is around 2 mile wide and about 11 miles long.
There are few shelters for small boats : Ormos Polis on Ithaki, Fiskardo, Aghia Eufemia and Sami on Cephallonia. We sailed several times both ways the Ithaki channel but it is considered as dangerous for small boats : the shape of the channel, between two ranges of tall hills allows the formation of strong wind by a Venturi effect. We actually were once caught and in a matter of 10 minutes, the wind raised to 6-7 and the sea turned rough. We were lucky to escape and find shelter in Aghia Eufemia, on Cephallonia, which was not our goal ! I have no photo of that sailing as that was not a time for pictures !
Numerous archeologists have tried to identify the places mentioned in the Odysseus. Most of them now agree that Ulysses’s palace was near Stavros. Diggings have unearthed what might be its ruins. A small museum gathers the most significant artifacts found on the site.
A statue of Ulysses (my photo) stands in the main square of Stavros.
It is from Ormos Polis that Telemachus left Ithaki to search his father that had disappeared after the fall of Trojan (Od., II, 382-434). It is also from Ormos Polis that the pretenders launched a boat to intercept and possibly kill the son of Ulysses as he had become too dangerous for them (Od.,IV, 768-786 ; chapter XX).
Go to the village Stavros and then further on with direction Exogi , there up in the mountain is a secluded village , overlooking a breathtaking view, the evergreen valley with spare settlements , the rocky cliffs at the sea , unfortunately i didnt take my camera tha day . But the view is absolutely awesome , especially before the sunset. You can either walk in a small trail from the bar cafe Gefyri on the road , either you go by car .In the middle of this road there s a small archeological site , called "the Homer's scholl" . The place is full of perfumes from the sage , cypress trees and all that greenery. Then go down and replenish yourself at Gefyri Cafe-resto, owned by an Englishman , international in style and absolutely relaxing.
We were only here on a daytrip,but explored this town as much as we could!
Life seems to revolve around the harbour area, with the small cafes and shops....great to wander.
There are also a couple of museums here, the most popular is the archaeological museum and there is also a folk museum.
More me, I enjoyed looking at the huge mansions that are very Venetian in style set into the slight mountain areas.
Frikes is a tiny little village in the north of the island. It has a harbour, but not really a beach, just little creeks outside town.
But it's got a few coastal restaurants where you can have a fresh fish on a terrace.
There is a bus going there twice daily from Vathy.
At the Vathy harbour you can find a small wooden boat that makes daily daytrips around the island (stopping at Gidaki Beach for a swimm) and visiting also some other places, as Skorpios, the island where Onassis used to live.
20 euros for the whole day.