Length: 2,000 m.
Difficulty Level: Medium
Suggested Hours: Afternoon
This is a wonderful route that leads to one of the most exceptional destinations in all of Ithaca. Follow the paved road from Vathy toward Marathia. On the Marathia plateau the information signs will inform you of the place where the path starts.
Follow the signs on the path and walk for about 40 minutes from the plateau toward the side of the mountain where the area starts to become more difficult to walk through until you reach the small church of Panagia (Virgin Mary).
You are now above “Antri”, the southernmost bay of Ithaca where you can enjoy the endless view of the Ionian from the coast of Lefkada to the bay of Patras. Here the old inhabitants of Ithaca, with simplicity and piety, closed the opening of a small cave by building the front wall of the church. The bell tower is built on the rock and in front of the church there is its yard and stone cistern.
The church is called “Panagia at the Caves” or “Panagia Spiliotissa” and is commemorated to the Virgin Mary of Vlachernae. Every year on her feast day (2 July), at dawn, the people carry the icon of the Virgin Mary which is kept at the church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Perahori over the whole path to this church so that the Holy Liturgy can begin. After the Holy Liturgy, the icon is returned to Perahori in the same way.