Ulysses in Ithaca, a journey through time
  • Europe /
  • Greece /
  • Ithaki

We retrace the steps of Ulysses on his return from one of the world's most famous journeys: the Odyssey.

Landing in Ithaca
Odissey jurney ilustration
Odysseus in Polifemo's cave (painting by Jakob Jordaens)
Odysseus sculpture

Odissey jurney ilustration

According to the Iliad, the war began because of the abduction of Helen, Queen of Sparta, considered the most beautiful woman in the world, at the hands of Paris, son of Priam, king of Troy. Menelaus, Helen’s husband, and his brother Agamemnon gathered an army of the leading commanders of the Greek kingdoms and their subjects and waged war against Troy.

The conflict lasted ten years, with heavy losses on both sides. Among the victims was Achilles, the greatest Greek warrior, son of King Peleus and the nymph Thetis. Achilles was king of the Myrmidons of Phthia, whom he led in many battles against Troy, finally being killed by Paris who, to avenge the death of his brother Hector, shot him with an arrow at his famous heel, his only weak point. Troy finally fell thanks to the cunning Odysseus, king of the Cephallenes, and his wooden horse plan, changing the outcome of the conflict. So it was that the brave and cunning warrior, after long years of fighting, set sail with his companions to return. 

The ten years that Odysseus spent wandering before he could return to the island of Ithaca are the subject of the Odyssey, the second great poem attributed to Homer. Odysseus and his men were sent to distant lands unknown to the Greeks. On his way back, Odysseus is the protagonist of several exploits, such as the famous encounter with the Cyclops Polyphemus, an event that cost him the eternal wrath of Poseidon. He even had an audience in the afterlife with the famous soothsayer Tiresias. On the island of the Sun, Trinacria, Odysseus’ men ate oxen sacred to the god Helios. This sacrilege cost the lives of Odysseus’ companions and the destruction of the Ithachean fleet. Odysseus, the only one who did not eat the oxen of the sun, was also the only one whose life was saved. Due to a storm, he was shipwrecked on the island of Ogygia, where he lived with the nymph Calypso. After seven years, the gods decided to send him home; on a small raft, he managed to reach the land of Scheria, populated by the Phaeacians.

During his last wanderings, before reaching the homeland, Odysseus was lucky enough to meet these Phaeacians, a people of skilful navigators, who decided to help him return home. Overnight, in the middle of a deep sleep, they took him to Ithaca, landing in a hidden place. We can therefore imagine the mythological arrival here and thus retrace his return to Ulysses’ palace.


1. Landing in Ithaca

2. The Return of the king

3. A romantic farewell