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bei Áyios Ioánnis, Ionian Islands (Greece)
The island is reachable from inland Greece from Astakos (daily) or Patra (twice per day – 12:30PM and 8:30PM) with a ferry boat. We have taken the one from Patras at 12:30PM from the old port, arriving in Sami on Cephalonia at 3:00PM and in Piso Aetos on Ithaki at 4:00PM. The ticket is 18,90E (summer 2012) one way per person (bikes for free) and 20% discount on return if bought together.
Piso Aetos docks, Ithaki. NOTE: This part of the route is partaly not recorded by GPS :-/ I have noticed the problem after about 8km of ride and started recording from there. I give in the brackets the real distance including missing 8km.
The ferry had 1h delay so we arrived on Ithaki at 5:00PM and started the first ascent straight from the docks – quite steep one until 130m. From the top, the descent goes back to sea level in Mprosta Aetos, little flat section by the beach and later starts the biggest climb (up to 230m) to the north - this is where the recording started. There is a nice descent to the village of Stavros at the end of this stage.
8,2km(16,2km) / 6:45PM – Stavros. A little stop to refill water supplies and the route continues to north-east towards Frikes with a relaxing descent. From Frikes, the route turns south-east by the sae, to Kioni (with a little climb to 70m just before the village).
16,0km(24,0km) / 7:30PM – Kioni. Stop for a dinner in local taverna. After food, we continued to south-east with narrow street to exit the village and find a nice beach (passing next to cementary :-/) for free camping (about 1,2km from the center).
18,7km(26,7km) / 7:15AM – Kioni. Wake up and breakfast with coffee in local bakery (delicious!!). Around 8:30 we started a ride with a climb to Platrithias (at 100m) and later to Stavros.
28,3km(36,3km) / 9:30AM – Stavros. Again we made a stop for water refill and from Stavros we started a climb back to 230m (same as the day vefore) towards Vathi. There is one more small climb (about 40m altitude) just before entering the capital of Ithaki.
45,0km(53,0km) / 11:30AM – Vathi. We make a stop for photos and some snack. After about 1h rest, we went for “banio” in first beach outside Vathi in direction to Piso Aetos and stayed there about 2h until 2:30PM. The last part of the route from the beach to Piso Aetos has the same climb (up to 130m) as the start of the route on the first day.
55,7km(63,7km) / 3:15PM – Piso Aetos. Waiting for the ferry back to Patras :-D Back in Patras about 8:30PM to catch the train to Ag Vassilios.
The route is moderate with some demanding uphills between Mprosta Aetos and Frikes (sea level – 230m – sea level). No technical difficulties. The trip was done very slowly with many stops for rest and photos. Amazing views to Cephalonia on the west, Inland Greece on the east and all Ithaki from the highest point of the route.