Ithaca is a tiny island in the Ionian Sea with a big history. In Greek mythology, the island is home to one of the most famous myths of ancient Greece – the Odyssey. The main hero of the story, Odysseus, lived on Ithaca and was its rightful ruler. Ithaca island isn’t just famous for its mythical stories – it’s also just as well known for its spectacular scenery, including this secluded beach.
I’m not sure if this beach is actually called ‘Pirates Bay’ – we stumbled across this deserted beach one day while out on our little boat. We thought it was totally undiscovered until a huge day cruise boat pulled up next to us and hundreds of tourists jumped into the ocean surrounding our boat. The captain was making the most of his loudspeaker and announced that this was ‘Pirates Bay’ and that it was two for one happy hour at the bar!
The Ionian Islands hold a special place in my heart. I’m actually half Greek – my maternal grandparents are both from Ithaca and my great grandparents on my grandfather’s side was from an even smaller neighbouring island called Meganisi. This trip was my first time to Greece – I just couldn’t go another year without seeing my family’s home island. I’ve spent my whole life hearing about Ithaca, so to be there jumping into the salty sea for the first time off its coast was a moment I won’t forget.
How to get there:
Ithaca Island: There are international airports on Corfu, Kefalonia and Zakythos with some limited flights in summer on Lefkada. We flew in and out of the airport on Kefalonia and hired our own little boat from Fiscado (a town on the north of Kefalonia) and cruised over to Ithaca for the day.
Pirates Bay: This beach is only accessible from the sea by boat. You can rent your own like we did, or you can head out on the Makedonian Palace for a day cruise.
Bring a waterproof camera as you’ll need to swim into this beach from the boat.