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An Ionian Odyssey (without car)

Cephalonia & Ithaca
 
Walking routes combining history and coastal scenery, stylish accommodation, and the chance to visit sites from Homer’s epic poems, make for a wonderful two-centre, self-guided walking holiday.
An Ionian Odyssey (without car). 7 nights
An Ionian Odyssey (without car). 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday on Cephalonia & Ithaca

The heady scent of wild sage and mint, romantic ruins recalling an intriguing and multi-layered history, and views across green slopes and an azure sea all make walking on Cephalonia and Odysseus’ island of Ithaca a bewitching experience.

Varied and dramatic, Cephalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands, while neighbouring Ithaca is much smaller, but possesses an air of mystery that is enhanced by its links to Odysseus. 
Our routes convey the variety and palpable sense of history, revealing ancient sites, Venetian fortifications, picturesque fishing villages, inviting white-sand beaches and spots evoking Homeric legend, all against a vivid green backdrop. There’s time to explore the places of interest that you pass, as well as to relax by the sea and over leisurely meals accompanied by Cephalonia’s excellent wines, some of the best in Greece.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 12 13 15 18 23 27 30 30 27 22 17 14
    mm 145 122 91 62 37 16 11 15 47 131 167 186
  • Arrival in Tselentata
    Night 1: at Agnantia Bed & Breakfast (the first of four nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Choice of routes on Cephalonia: 10km to 19km 
    We suggest three walks which start from the guesthouse, all of which combine history and coastal scenery.

    The Cypress Trail: grade 1-2; 10km, 3.5hrs (310m ascent/445m descent); longer option 12.5km, 4.5hrs
    Serving as a good introduction to the beaches of the north of the island, this walk starts off along peaceful woodland trails. It's not far to beautiful Foki Bay, beyond which you reach the fishing village of Fiskardo, whose harbour and row of smart seafood restaurants are guarded by two lighthouses, one of which dates back to the 16th century. Continue past a crumbling 6th-century basilica and Eblysi Bay before wandering along a cypress-lined path to secluded Kimilia Beach. You loop back to Fiskardo on an inland route. From Fiskardo you can take a taxi back to Tselentata (approx 8€), or, for a longer walk, continue on foot.

    To the Northern Tip: grade 1-2; 11km, 4.5hrs (290m ascent/430m descent); longer option 13.5km, 5.5hrs
    This walk heads inland along quiet tracks over low rolling hills coated in woodland of holm oak and cypresses to reach the island’s tranquil northern tip. Here, the remnants of a German World War II bunker offer a reminder of more turbulent times. You return via a traditional hamlet to Fiskardo. From here, you can walk the last 2.5km or take a taxi back to your guesthouse (approx 8€).

    Across the Peninsula to Assos: grade 2; 19km, 6hrs; 570m ascent/700m descent
    Shorter option to Vasilikades: grade 1-2; 12km, 4hrs

    To walk the whole of this rewarding route would take most of the day, however, as it divides into two distinct parts, you can choose to curtail your walk at Vasilikades.
    The first half of the route leads from Tselentata to beautiful Kamini Bay, before a long ascent up the peninsula’s panoramic pine- and cypress-clad spine to Vasilikades. With its choice of eateries, the village makes a good lunch stop, and you can then return to your guesthouse by taxi (approx 15€). For those who continue, the second half descends along a winding, centuries-old path to Assos, which nestles in a picturesque bay beneath the ruins of a late 16th-century Venetian fort. You return from Assos by taxi (approx 25€ to your guesthouse).
    Looking down to Assos
    The Cypress Trail: grade 1-2; 10km
    To the Northern Tip: grade 1-2; 11km
    Peaceful countryside routes on the northern tip of Cephalonia
    Across the Peninsula to Assos: grade 2; 19km
  • Travel to Ithaca
    The beautiful landscapes of Cephalonia may have captivated you, but you will no doubt be curious to see Ithaca up close since this somewhat mysterious island has featured so often in the views during the first part of your holiday. A taxi will take you to the port for the ferry crossing to Ithaca (pay locally), where another taxi will be waiting to transport you to the Perantzada Art Hotel in Vathy, a natural harbour in the southern part of the island. You spend three nights here. 
  • Choice of routes on Ithaca: 8km to 13km
    Once again, we provide a choice of walking routes to help you get a feel for the island. The first two leave from the hotel door, while the final two are accessed by taxi. 

    Vathy & its Predecessor: grade 1-2; 8km, 3hrs (390m ascent/descent)
    Full of cultural interest, this panoramic circular walk rises to the Cave of Nymphs from where it follows a flower-strewn footpath across the hillside to the ruins of Palaiochora, the island's medieval capital which was abandoned in the 16th century. You return to Vathy via several interesting churches.

    Gidaki Bay: grade 1-2; 9km (4.5km each way), 3.5hrs (300m ascent/descent); with detour 13km, 5hrs
    Passing the inviting beach of Minimata along the way, this walk leads you to beautiful Gidaki Beach, only accessible on foot or by sea. Keep your eyes peeled for turtles, which in recent years have chosen to lay their eggs along this quiet section of coast. Once you are ready to leave, you retrace your steps back to the hotel. (For a longer walk, it is well worth detouring along the cape to the chapel of Agios Andreas chapel. The path sticks close to the shoreline, and you can look down into the crystal-clear sea.)

    Homer's School: grade 2; 10km, 4.5hrs (495m ascent/descent)
    To reach this walk, which begins in Stavros in the northern half of the island, you’ll need to take a taxi (approx 25€ each way) or catch a bus there and back. Although it is more demanding than our other routes on Ithaca, you are rewarded with views across spectacular Afales Bay as you follow cobbled trails to the ruins of Homer’s School, the rumoured site of Odysseus's palace. So glorious is the setting that, if you haven’t already, you’ll understand Odysseus’s desire to return to his homeland. Continue on ancient trails, descending past the Cave of Loizos to the tranquil bay of Polis, before returning to Stavros along quiet lanes.

    Of Homeric Legend: grade 1-2; 8km, 2.5hrs (250m ascent/510m descent)
    This walk is ideal for enthusiasts of Homeric legend. You start with a taxi transfer (approx 10€) and then walk to the site of Arethousa’s spring, enjoying good coastal views along the way. The final leg descends to Vathy along quiet country lanes, giving you the chance to contemplate Homeric romance of long, long ago.
    Gidaki Bay
    Vathy & its Predecessor: grade 1-2; 8km
    Homer's School: grade 2; 10km
    Views back down to Vathy
    Gidaki Bay: grade 1-2; 4.5km each way
    Of Homeric Legend: grade 1-2; 8km
 

Accommodation

Since eating out is part of the experience of any Greek holiday, we do not include dinner except on your first night. During the rest of your stay on Cephalonia, transfers can be arranged (pay locally) to any of several tavernas in nearby Fiskardo, and in Vathy on Ithaca you are well placed to take your pick of the harbour town’s eateries.
 

Prices for 2020

We are in the process of updating our prices for 2020. If you’d like to book now, please contact us – we’ll be happy to provide a quotation.
Get in touch >
 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter.
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  • 7 nights: 03 May 2019 - 30 June 2019 & 01 September 2019 - 10 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    3 - 31 May 2019 £895 £320
    1 - 23 Jun 2019 £940 £345
    1 - 30 Sep 2019 £985 £375
    1 - 3 Oct 2019 £895 £320
    3rd & 4th person discount -£35
    Single traveller supplement £35

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Pay locally for ferries between Cephalonia and Ithaca (0h30) and transfers to/from some of the walks

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Agnantia Bed & Breakfast, Tselentata, Cephalonia
    Junior suite with balcony & sea view: 03 May - 30 Jun 2019 £15
    Junior suite with balcony & sea view: 01 Sep - 30 Sep 2019 £18
    Junior suite with balcony & sea view: 01 Oct - 10 Oct 2019 £15
    Perantzada Art Hotel, Vathy, Ithaca
    Junior suite with pool & sea view: 03 May - 31 May 2019 £30
    Junior suite with pool & sea view: 01 Jun - 30 Jun 2019 £45
    Junior suite with pool & sea view: 01 Sep - 30 Sep 2019 £50
    Junior suite with pool & sea view: 01 Oct - 10 Oct 2019 £30
    Private balcony & sea view: 03 May - 31 May 2019 £11
    Private balcony & sea view: 01 Jun - 30 Jun 2019 £25
    Private balcony & sea view: 01 Sep - 30 Sep 2019 £25
    Private balcony & sea view: 01 Oct - 10 Oct 2019 £11

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Perantzada Art Hotel, Vathy, Ithaca (B&B) Double room Single room
    03 May - 31 May 2019 £62 £90
    01 Jun - 30 Jun 2019 £75 £110
    01 Sep - 30 Sep 2019 £75 £110
    01 Oct - 10 Oct 2019 £62 £90
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Cephalonia

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to an airport not listed. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Cephalonia jet2,  Thomas Cook,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Bournemouth - Cephalonia TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Cephalonia easyJet,  Thomas Cook,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Cardiff - Cephalonia TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Doncaster Sheffield - Cephalonia TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Nottingham East Midlands - Cephalonia jet2,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Cephalonia jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Cephalonia jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Cephalonia easyJet,  Norwegian,  Thomas Cook,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Cephalonia British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Cephalonia jet2,  Ryanair,  Thomas Cook,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Cephalonia easyJet,  jet2,  Thomas Cook,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Cephalonia Thomas Cook,  TUI 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to an airport not listed. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Cephalonia

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    direct taxi Cephalonia airport to hotel (1h30) £30 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    hotel transfer to Pisaetos port (0h15 + 0h30 check in time), ferry Pisaetos to Sami (0h30, pay locally), taxi Sami to Cephalonia airport (0h45) £30 1300
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 1 dinner
    7 breakfasts
  • route notes and maps
  • transfers to/from ports on Day 4
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Greece, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The most commonly spoken language is Greek. The currency is the Euro. Greek time is GMT/UTC + 2. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 2.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 9/20/2019 9:15:31 PM