ITHAKA ….no I didn’t just sneeze, Ithaka (the 2nd smallest of the Ionian group of Greek islands) is my hot new holiday destination selected with the discerning clientele of Muswell Hill and the surrounds in mind. Just a short but stunning 25 minute sea crossing over from Kefalonia, Ithaka has generally escaped the notice of the package tourist industry and so is perfect for a relaxing, mostly adult orientated – no hotels with kids clubs or karaoke – break in June or September. It is a sleepy, rocky, little island (Homer called it ‘good for goats’ – DOH!) where time, when not standing still, tends to wander about rather aimlessly.
The picturesque main port of Vathy, the island’s capital and one of the world’s largest natural harbours is home to plenty of self-catering options and a handful of interesting hotels not least of which is a little gem of a small and unique hotel – The Hotel Familia where we were lucky enough to stay for 3 beautifully relaxing nights. Originally an old olive press back in the 1890’s, the hotel has been lovingly and
sympathetically restored (with no expense spared) by Christina the wonderfully formidable owner and the creator of all things yummy on offer. Handy tip – get Christina in a good mood then the next day you get a veritable feast of home baked goodies for brekky. The 7 rooms are all uniquely decorated with special care and offer all modern facilities.
For the more energetic there’s free bicycles for guests use but be warned the landscape is very hilly, those of you used to cycling up Muswell Hill will have no problems, but for most it may a good idea to hire a car (ideally a jeep) to explore this naturally beautiful island with its crystal clear sea, pebbly beaches and plenty of goats with bells on! OK, it’s not the easiest destination in the world to get to but the best ones always aren’t, that’s what keeps them exclusive but Ithaka can work perfectly as a 2 centre with Kefalonia.
Come along and visit Travelwise at 51 Fortis Green Road, Muswell Hill for other great ideas on destinations or visit our web site www.travelwiseuk.com or call 020 8444 4444