Where Was Ithaca in Ancient Greece?

Have you ever heard of the ancient Greek city-state of Ithaca? It is most famously known as the homeland of the legendary hero, Odysseus. But where exactly was Ithaca located in ancient Greece?

Historical Context

Ithaca was a small island located in the Ionian Sea, off the western coast of Greece. It was part of a group of islands known as the Ionian Islands.

The island itself is quite small, with an area of only about 45 square miles. Despite its size, it played an important role in ancient Greek history.

Geography and Location

Ithaca is located to the northeast of Kefalonia and to the west of mainland Greece. It is a mountainous island, with its highest point reaching just over 800 meters above sea level. The island’s rugged terrain made it difficult to navigate, which helped to protect it from invasion.

The Odyssey Connection

As mentioned earlier, Ithaca is most famous for being the homeland of Odysseus in Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey. In this epic tale, Odysseus spends ten years trying to return home after fighting in the Trojan War.

Throughout his journey, he faces many challenges and obstacles. When he finally returns home to Ithaca, he finds that his wife Penelope has been besieged by suitors who are attempting to win her hand in marriage and take over his kingdom.

In The Odyssey, Homer describes Ithaca as a rocky island with many coves and harbors that were well-suited for ships. This description matches well with the actual geography and location of modern-day Ithaca.


In conclusion, Ithaca was a small but important island located off the western coast of Greece. It played an important role in ancient Greek history, serving as the homeland of the legendary hero Odysseus.

While it may have been difficult to navigate due to its rugged terrain, its many coves and harbors made it well-suited for ships. Today, Ithaca is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful scenery and rich cultural history.

  • Fun Fact: The island of Ithaca is still inhabited today, with a population of around 3,000 people.
  • Did You Know? The ancient Greek historian Thucydides was also from the island of Ithaca.

So there you have it – a brief overview of where Ithaca was located in ancient Greece. Whether you’re a fan of Greek mythology or just interested in ancient history, this small island has played an important role in shaping the world we live in today.