Ithaca has an area of 120 square kilometres (46 sq mi) and a little more than three thousand inhabitants. It is the second-smallest of seven main Ionian Islands, after Paxi. Ithaka is a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, and the only municipality of the regional unit. The capital, Vathy or Ithaki, has one of the world's largest natural harbours.
The fact that classical Greek authors often used eponymous explanations to explain away names through folk etymology makes it more likely that Ithakos derives from Ithaca rather than vice versa.
Although the name Ithaca has remained unchanged since ancient times, written documents of different periods also refer to the city by other names, such as: