This map plots the settings and references in The Odyssey
To start exploring, click a red pin
Most of The Odyssey, whether taking place in a real or mythical location, is set in or around the Mediterranean Sea, the only exception being the realms of the gods (though even Mount Olympus and the entrance to the Underworld can be said to exist partly in our world).
The British Museum website offers various maps of ancient Greece. Bear in mind that the 'Classical Greece' map shows city-state boundaries from a period much later than the one in which Homer's epics are set. Clicking on 'Myth Map' will reveal some of the mythical places mentioned in The Odyssey.
Odysseus’ home and the end goal of his journey is the island of Ithaca. This is also where any scenes involving Penelope and the Suitors, and some with Telemachus, take place. Ithaca is a Greek island in the Ionian sea, east of Cephallonia, west of mainland Greece. During the Mycenaean period, it was the capital of the Cephallonian area.
Pylos and Sparta were real places located in the Peloponnese (southern mainland Greece). Telemachus visits both in his attempt to find information about his missing father. Remains of Mycenaean palaces such as those described in The Odyssey have been uncovered at some Greek sites, including the palace of Nestor at Pylos.
Troy was a city in Asia Minor (modern Turkey), situated near the Hellespont (modern Dardanelles), a narrow strait connecting the Aegean Sea to the Black Sea. Excavations at the site have revealed the ruins of an ancient city, one layer of which (layer VIIa) has been associated with Homeric Troy, and appears to have been destroyed by war. In The Odyssey, Odysseus is returning home from the Trojan War.
Mount Olympus is the home of the gods in Greek mythology. Like the Underworld, it is on a different plane of existence, a place that only the gods can access, while being at the same time a real, physical place in our world. The real location of Mount Olympus is on the border of Thessaly, in northern Greece. It is the highest mountain range in Greece and one of the highest peaks in Europe.