Othoni is a small island to the north west of Corfu in Greece. Here, you will find one of the most unique beaches in Greece! Here’s how to get there on a day trip, and what to do.
Othoni Island – The westernmost point of Greece
Have you ever heard of Othoni island in Greece? If not, you are definitely not alone!
Othoni is a small Greek island to the north-west of Corfu. It is located in the Ionian Sea, to the west of mainland Greece, and not too far from the coast of Albania.
In fact, Othoni is the largest of three islands collectively known as Diapontia islands. The other two are Ereikoussa and Mathraki.
The island is also known as Othonoi. It’s the westernmost point of Greece and it’s really quite remote. According to legend, Othoni may have been the homeplace of the mythical nymph Calypso, who seduced Odysseus, the king of Ithaca.
Unless you are on a sailing boat, getting to Othoni can be a bit tricky. Here is all the info you need!
I am Vanessa from Athens. I recently took a day trip to Othoni from Corfu island, and it was a fantastic day out! Here is everything you need to know about the small Ionian island, and how to get there.
How to get from Corfu to Othoni
After a quick search on Ferryscanner, a search engine for ferries in Greece, I found that there are a few ferries a week going from Corfu Town port to Othonoi.
The ferry ride takes over 3 hours, which is a very long trip between islands that are so close on the map.
I did some more research, and I came up with a company called Aspiotis Lines. They depart from a tiny port in north Corfu, Agios Stefanos.
These guys organize day trips to the three Diapontia islands, going to different islands on different days of the week. The Othoni trip happens every Friday.
I gave them a call and spoke to a lovely lady called Venetia. She gave me an outline of the trip, and it sounded great. We arranged to meet them at the port on the day of the trip, a half hour before departure.
Port of Agios Stefanos in Corfu
I should explain here that, confusingly, there are two ports named Agios Stefanos in Corfu.
The one where ferries to Othoni depart from is at the north-west end of Corfu. Here it is on Google Maps.
We got to the little harbour in our own car. We easily found a parking spot, picked up our stuff for the day, and went straight to the boat.
There were a few other passengers on board. Apparently, most of them were staying close to Agios Stefanos, so access to the port was quite easy for them.
Note: Although there are a few public buses per day running from Corfu Town to Agios Stefanos, the routes wouldn’t really work out to time it with the ferry. Hopefully this will change in the future – you can check on the Corfu bus website.
Our day trip from Corfu to Othonoi
We were lucky to have great weather, with almost zero wind and lots of sunshine! We departed promptly at 10 am, and were on our way.
Very soon, we came across the uninhabited islets of Diaplo and Diakopo, where the sea was an incredible dark blue.
We then sailed past Mathraki, one of the smallest inhabited Greek islands, and continued on to Othoni.
First, there was a quick stop at the port town to drop some people off. We had the chance to pick up a coffee and walk around the tiny settlement.
There were a handful of houses and shops, a small police station and a building where the port authorities were based. And that was pretty much it!
Aspri Ammos beach in Othoni
After about 30-40 minutes, we set sail to the island’s most stunning beach, known as Aspri Ammos.
Literally meaning “white sand”, Aspri Ammos beach is surrounded by tall cliffs and has incredible white sand and small pebbles.
The water was super clear, and snorkeling was fab, even with the low sea temperature. A few of the passengers seemed to be able to swim forever – I wasn’t one of them.
In fact, Corfu and the Diapontia islands are known for their cool water temperatures. Still, I absolutely enjoyed swimming at this remote beach!
No photos or videos would do justice to this place. Especially those with annoying water splashes!
Tip: As with anywhere in Greece, the sea is warmer in September than in early June. So, if you like beaches, September is the best time to come to Greece!
Calypso’s Cave in Othoni
Our next stop was a beautiful sea cave known as Calypso’s Cave. Another stunning landscape with incredible crystal clear waters!
According to the local legend, this is the cave where Odysseus, the Greek hero, spent seven years with the nymph Calypso before his return to Ithaca.
The Greek poet Homer mentions that Calypso lived on an island named Ogygia, which some researchers believe to be Othonoi. But, to be fair, many places have claimed to be Calypso’s homeplace.
Among others, this includes a small island south of Crete called Gavdos, and the Greek island of Lipsi in the Dodecanese. I’ve been to both, and I could see Calypso being based on either of those, as the sea is wonderful.
Other places that have been suggested are an island off the coast of Malta, an island somewhere close to the north coast of Africa, and even the Azores!
If you ask my opinion, even if Calypso’s cave was somewhere else, I am sure that she spent some time in Othoni throughout the year. I know I would!!!
Ammos port town in Othoni
After we had seen the cave, it was time for lunch! We promptly returned to the port town, Ammos, where we had a couple of free hours.
It was time for a meal at one of the few tavernas on the island. There were also a few cafes and rooms to let here, so next time I visit I’ll hopefully stay for a couple of nights!
High season in Othoni is the last few days of July and August. This is when many sailing boats dock around the island, and it’s a lot more lively. It was nice to chat to the people who live and work there in June, which is considered to be the shoulder season.
Before departure, we had enough time for another swim at the local sandy beach. The color of the sand was as close to pink as it gets!
Our day trip with Aspiotis Lines
2023 is actually the first year that Aspiotis Lines run those day trips to Othoni and the other Diapontia.
In fact, they were the regular carrier between Corfu and the small islands for over two decades, until another company was commissioned to run these ferry routes. So, they decided to start these day trips, which I believe is a fantastic idea.
The crew are Dimitris, Spyros and Venetia (which, incidentally, is the Greek word for “Venice”). They are all lovely, warm people who know everything about these little islands and Corfu itself. Plus, they absolutely love swimming!
For the time being, they have three trips per week, each of them going to a different island. The trip to Othoni cost us 25 euro per person, which I thought was more than reasonable.
A few facts about Othoni
Othoni occupies an area of 10.8 sq km. To put this into perspective, Corfu is 585.3 sq km, and the famous Santorini is 90.6 sq km.
The island’s official population is 386 people (2021 census). As mentioned earlier, there are only a few dozen residents living there year-round.
Apparently, there are also many Greek-Americans who hail from Othoni and spend their summers there.
Like all of the Ionian islands, Othoni is quite verdant, with many olive trees. There are a few hiking paths that we, unfortunately, didn’t get to do as we had limited time.
But, as someone famous said… I’ll be back!
FAQs about Othoni island
Here are some questions I had myself before going to Othoni:
How can you get to Othoni island in Greece?
Unless you have your own sailing boat, the only way to get to Othoni island in Greece is on a ferry from Corfu. There are bigger ferries from Corfu Town, and passenger ferries from the small harbour of Agios Stefanos.
What is there to do in Othoni island?
Othoni is a fantastic place to go if you want to get away from it all and get closer to nature. You can swim, snorkel, hike, and relax. There are a few tavernas and rooms to let.
Is it easy to get to Othoni island from Corfu?
There are a few ferries per week from Corfu Town to Othoni. In addition, there are small passenger boats that take day trips from Agios Stefanos harbour to Othoni once a week.
Where did the nymph Calypso live?
According to Homer, the nymph Calypso lived on the mythical island known as Ogygia. Several places claim to be the ancient Ogygia, including a few Greek islands, Malta, and even an island close to Gibraltar.
Where is the ancient Ogygia?
There is no real consensus about which island Ancient Ogygia corresponds to. A few islands that have been suggested are Othoni, Lipsi and Gavdos in Greece, Malta, and even an island close to Gibraltar.
Hi! I’m Vanessa from Athens and my goal is to visit all the inhabited Greek islands. I really enjoyed this trip to Othoni, as the beaches were superb, and the island was quiet and laid-back. If you want a break from busy Corfu, you should definitely visit. Follow me on FB for news and photos of Greece!