Nestled in the heart of the Ionian Archipelago, Ithaca boasts some of Greece’s most beautiful beaches. Although petite in size, the island surprises with an abundance of pristine and tranquil shores. It’s an island you must visit if you are venturing the West coast of Greece and can be easily combined with a trip to Kefalonia. Dive into our curated list and discover the top 10 beaches in Ithaca Greece, with beautiful images and highly curated tips.
If you’re planning a island hopping-itinerary across the Ionian islands, make sure to check this comprehensive guide and the itinerary suggestions within it. You should also check the complete travel guide to Ithaca, where I described the best things to do on the island.Use the index below to guide you through the post. Now, let’s get you inspired to visit Ithaca?
10 best beaches in Ithaca
Ithaca’s coastline is predominantly adorned with pebble beaches. Which is one of the reasons for the water being so crystal clear. If not all, the vast majority of beaches on the island boasts a backdrop of lush landscapes. Which contrasts harmoniously with the shimmering turquoise and emerald hues of the Ionian Sea, creating gorgeous scenarios. We beach-hopped our way around Ithaca and stumbled upon some absolute gems. Here’s a list of our favorite beaches in Ithaca Greece:
1) Rent a boat and explore pristine coves in Ithaca
It’s possible to rent a self skippered boat and explore the shores of Ithaca independently. Even if you don’t have a special license or previous boat steering experiences. This is no doubt the best way of soaking in the island’s beauty, as the best beaches in Ithaca are only accessible by boat. Most of them are nameless small coves perched on the shore, and navigating at your own pace with a spirit of adventure is the only way to visit them. It’s an experience I recommend to all visiting the island!
We rented a self-skippered boat for 2 days and had an absolute blast. There are two main boat rental companies in Vathi, the island’s capital: Odyssey Boats and Ithaca Boats. They are located very close to each other and offer the same rates for similar boats. Expect to pay between 80 to 120 euros per day depending on the season + the fuel you consume. A truly good deal if you ask me!
We chose Ithaca Boats and had a good experience. The training was included in the price, conducted by one of the company’s employees. It took no longer than 20 minutes and made us ready to explore the best beaches of Ithaca on our own. The boat comes with a sun canopy, cushion seats, and a ladder to get back to the boat after swimming. And if you find yourself in trouble, you can always call the company of your choice and they will come to help you. Great, ha?
Our initial plan was to visit the north and south areas of Ithaca in one day. However, given the distance and the fuel tank’s limitations, that was not possible. That’s all to say you’ll need to pick a coast or consider renting a boat for two or more days to explore Ithaca’s coast completely. If you have to choose, I’d recommend picking the southern part of the island. It’s where many of the island’s boat-only accessible beaches lie. They are absolutely gorgeous!
For the best experience, I’d suggest setting sail from Vathi bright and early, making Gidaki beach your first stop. Get there before the larger crowds do – usually excursion boats start pouring in around 10am. After soaking up Gidaki’s beauty, navigate to the southernmost tip of the island and gradually make your way back to Vathi. Along the way, pull into little beaches that catch your eye. Don’t tie yourself down to a strict itinerary. Instead, embrace the spontaneity of discovering hidden nooks and basking on whichever beaches feel right that day. The less crowded, the better!
Bring refreshments and food for the day, as you will most probably spend all of your time at the boat or secluded beaches with no structure in sight. We ordered extra saganakis the nights before and brought lunch boxes with us. It was delicious and our lunch spot (see pictures below) couldn’t have been more stunning!
All of the best points of interest in Ithaca are tagged on our personalized map. Get yours and have all pins listed on our guides + some secret ones seamlessly integrated to your Google Maps.
Our Provence tips in your Google Maps
Our highly curated pins seamlessly integrated to your Google Maps. 236 locations including best villages, restaurants, lavender fields, wineries and more. Elevate and simplify your travel planning. Get the map now!
2) Gidaki Beach
Gidaki might be the most famous and sought-after beach in Ithaca. It’s indeed glorious and boasts pristine crystal-clear waters set against a backdrop of majestic mountains and vibrant greenery. Given that there’s no direct road access to Gidaki, the best ways of reaching its shores is by joining a group boat tour from Vathi or navigating a rented boat, like we did. A roughly 30-minute hike can also lead you to this paradise, but be aware of the extreme heat during summer.
Since Gidaki remains a wild beach, you won’t find any facilities there. It’s a good idea to pack essentials like a beach umbrella for shade and refreshments to keep you hydrated. Don’t forget to bring snacks to keep you satiated as you enjoy a beautiful day in Gidaki!
Will you also visit Kefalonia? If so, check this comprehensive travel guide to our favorite Greek island!
3) Kaminia Beach
Nestled amidst Ithaca’s verdant landscapes, Kaminia Beach is a picture of serenity. The waters here are crystal-clear, and there’s a palpable sense of peace, as if time stood still in this idyllic nook. We absolutely loved Kaminia, it was one of our favorites and I’d strongly recommend you to visit it!
You can get there with a self-skippered rental boat or by car. Be aware that the road leading to the beach is quite rough and you should be very careful driving there. We managed fine with a conventional small car, but 4×4 vehicles are definitely more advisable for this road. Like most beaches in Ithaca, Kaminia is an unspoiled beach, so don’t expect to find amenities or tourist structures there. Natural shade is sparse, so bring a beach tent or beach umbrella as well as food and refreshments for the day!
4) Filiatro Beach
Just a stone’s throw away from Vathi, the island’s capital, lies Filiatro Beach. With its handy amenities like sunbeds and chill beach bars, it’s no wonder that this spot is a favorite for both locals and visitors alike. And given its family-friendly vibe, you’ll often find kids building sandcastles while parents lounge back with a refreshing drink in hand.
If you’re after a beach experience that combines relaxation with a touch of local liveliness, Filiatro is the place to go. You can get there by boat or by car as the way to the beach is paved and there are plenty of parking spots.
5) Sarakiniko Beach
Not so far from Filiatro you will find Sarakiniko Beach with amazing crystal clear emerald waters and a beautiful landscape. The beach is surrounded by mountains, cypress, and olive trees and comprised of two small bays, which makes it a very safe bet for some cozy hours at the beach!
There is also a small port there, but no amenities or tourist structure. Thus, make sure to bring a beach tent or beach umbrella as well as food and refreshments for the day!
6) Mprostas Aetos
Mprostas Aetos beach is tucked away in the Aetos Isthmus, a natural bridge that connects the southern and northern parts of Ithaca. As you’re cruising around the island, keep an eye our for this spot with crystal clear and calm waters. That’s how we found it, totally spontaneously.
Positioned just alongside the road, it might not have the same “hidden paradise” feel as some of Ithaca’s other beaches. So, I wouldn’t necessarily plan for a full day here. Bu I’d say pulling over for a quick glimpse from a roadside viewpoint is absolutely a must. Maybe even a quick dip in its pristine waters. And the vista from above the road? Perfection!
7) Aspros Gaialos Beach
Aspros Gaialos Beach, also known as Agios Ioannis Beach, is located in west coast of Ithaca. Situated near the Moni Katharon Monastery and offering vistas of Kefalonia island, this beach is unlike any other on the island. Its unique shape and crystal clear waters are what stands out the most. The spot also gets some of the best breezes on the island, which makes of the beach an ideal retreat on warm days.
Bring your snorkel to explore the vibrant marine life that thrives here. And remember, like many of Ithaca’s gems, this beach remains untouched by commercialization. There aren’t any standard amenities or tourist spots around, so pack a beach tent, umbrella, and some snacks and drinks for a day under the sun.
A word of caution to those driving from Vathi: skip the bumpy route Google Maps suggests. Instead, take the smoother, paved road via Lefki. It might add a few minutes to your journey, but it’ll be a far more comfortable drive.
8) Kourvoulia Beach or Skikari
Nestled between Frikes and Kioni lies a discreet cove that might’ve easily escaped my radar if it wasn’t for a recommendation received minutes earlier. While lunching in Ageris restaurant in Frikes, I asked the friendly waiter about her favorite beach on the island. Without hesitation, she guided us to Kourvoulia—specifically highlighting the second bay. Not the first, nor the third, but the middle one she said. And oh, what a gem it turned out to be! This unassuming spot swiftly ranked among my most cherished beach experiences in Greece.
We drove through the road paying the ultimate attention and finally found this absolute gem. Stepping out, I instantly understood the reasons for her excitement and precision. This is indeed a perfect cove with one of the most beautiful water tone on the whole island. Locals always know it better, right?
We spent some quality time at the beach, soaking in the beauty of it and the relaxed vibe. We also checked the two other Kourvoulia bays and loved them as well, so would definitely recommend doing a “bay hopping” there. Looking back, I shudder at the thought of missing out on what became one of our top beach experiences in Greece!
As they are all unspoiled coves, you should not expect to find amenities or touristic structures. Thus, make sure to bring a beach tent or beach umbrella as well as food and refreshments for the day. It is also worth mentioning that there are no parking spaces at the beach, but you can park the car on the side of the road as long as you do it well and leave enough space for the road drivers.
Curious about the best beaches in Kefalonia? Check this ultimate list of best places in the island!
9) Afales Beach
Afales Beach is the only beach accessible by car in Afales Bay, a gorgeous bay comprised of picturesque small coves and protected by imponent rocky walls. That makes of it a hotspot among visitors, specially considering it is a sandy beach, unlike most in Ithaca.
To get there you will need to drive through a rough road that starts in Platrithia village and leads all the way to the beach. Alternatively, you can also join a group boat tour or rent your own boat and explore the bay at your own pace. I’d lean towards the latter for a more personalized experience. As you step onto Afales Beach, its untouched beauty becomes evident. But don’t expect the usual tourist facilities or amenities here. It’s a wild beach and you should come prepared with shelter, refreshments and food!
10) Polis Beach
Polis Beach is located in the northwest of the island and has a wonderful landscape and crystal clear emerald waters. It is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, but still, is surprisingly calm and mostly attended by locals and guests from Stravos. A perfect Ionian hidden gem!
On the sides of Polis Beach, you will find Loizou Cave and the small church Agios Andreas which are worth visiting if you are interested in Greek history and culture. And above Polis, on the main road, you can check the wonderful sights of the beach from the viewpoint. There is some structure on this beach and you can rely on the café to provide you fresh refreshments and snacks. They also have sunbeds and sun umbrellas to rent for a small fee if you are interested.
11) Other beaches in Ithaca
The beaches you saw above are perfect in their own way. But they are not the only ones worth a visit in Ithaca. There are a few other traditional and well-known beaches as well as hidden gems on the island waiting for you.
Here are other beautiful beaches to visit in Ithaca Greece:
- Skinos Bay Beach
- Dexa Beach
- Minimata Beach
- Loutsa Beach
- Marmakas Beach
- Mavrona Beach
- Rachi Beach
I recommend checking the website Grekka to obtain further information about the above-mentioned beaches. They are constantly updating the platform with the latest information and have quite comprehensive content about the beaches on the island!
I hope this post inspired you to enjoy the best Ithaca has to offer. Make sure to read:
- our complete Ithaca travel guide, filled with curated and fresh tips & recommendations
- If you’re planning an island-hopping itinerary across the Ionian Islands, you’ll definitely want to check this post
- Let me know if you have questions or comments in the box below. Safe travels!