People have lived on the Ionian isle of Ithaca since the second millennium BCE, but its height of importance was during the Mycenaean period between 1600 and 1100 BCE. According to Homer, that is when its most famous absentee landlord, Odysseus, wandered the ancient world while patient Penelope pined away on Ithaca. The harbor of Vathi is a lovely inlet from a beautiful bay, well protected and deep. The island has many handsome beaches, and sites of interest such as the Kathara Monastery, built on a great height above Vathi bay in 1700. From there, you have a great view including the small islet called Lazaretto, with one small church and a ruined prison on it, in the middle of the bay. Seek out the magnificent olive tree, reputed to be 1500 years old.