Below Stavros, to the southwest, is beautiful Polis Bay, the only harbour of any size on the West Coast of Ithaca. Many of the islands fishing boats are moored here.

Located on the north side of Polis Bay, there is a cave, thought to have been a centre of worship for the early Greek civilization. Some archaeologists believe that the Loizos Cave, rather than the Marble Cave to the south, was the actual "cave of the nymphs" mentioned in the Odyssey; certainly this cave was a site of cult worship to Hera, Artemis, Athena, and possibly also Odysseus, something demonstrated by archaeological finds, including 12 tripods from the Geometric period.

During this period Christian religion was instituted churches and monasteries were erected in different areas of Ithaca including a town named Jerusalem, which was built above the Bay of Polis. Unfortunately this town due to the powerful earthquake of 967 AD, fell to ruins and dropped into the sea and now lies submerged on the seabed. It has been reported that a few decades ago the ruins could be seen from a height over the bay.

On my drive along the very scenic coast road from Stavros to Piso Aetos, I caught a glimpse of the bay of Polis. Unfortunately I was running out of time for the ferry back to Kefalonia, but none the less I stopped briefly to admire the magnificent view of the bay below me. It's clear blue/green water reflecting in the sunlight was breathtaking.

. . . I certainly will want to return some time in the future and explore this beautiful area.


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