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About Kefalonia

Kefalonia is considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in the whole of Greece. It is blessed with some of the tallest mountains in Greece, some very interesting geological phenomena, beautiful villages, friendly locals, delicious food and wine, and amazing beaches.

With an area of 688.8 km2, Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands and the 6th largest of all the greek islands. Kefalonia is located off the west coast of mainland Greece, with Lefkas to the north, and Zakynthos to the south.

Kefalonia is a green but at the same time mountainous island. The highest peak in the Ainos range is Megas Soros at 1.628m. The mountain is surrounded by a national park with trees unique to the island. It is also inhabited by wild horses. The steep western slopes falls rapidly down to sea levels and are met with many stunning sand or pebble beaches on the shore.

Map of Kefalonia

(Click to enlarge)

Ainos mountain

Argostoli

The capital, Argostoli, was destroyed by the terrible earthquakes in 1953 and rebuilt from virtually nothing. One of the few monuments that was saved form the earthquake is the arched Drapano bridge across the lagoon. Argostoli is rich in historical features and it is worth visiting Korgialenios museum and library as well as the Archeological museum. The town square is filled with restaurants and bars and is the perfect place for watching the world go by. When the fishing boats return to the harbour front in the mornings you may be lucky to see one of the rare loggerhead turtles following close behind.

Turtle

When visiting the island there are many places to explore. At the north of the island, Fiskardo and Assos are two picturesque harbour villages, surrounded by thick cypress forests. Driving down from Fiskardo you meet Myrtos, the most photographed beach of Kefalonia and perhaps of all Greece. This beach has white sand, pebbles, turquoise water and the biggest waves you will find in Kefalonia! The under currents are very strong here and it is only safe for strong swimmers.

The seaside settlement of Agia Efimia is situated 31 km northeast of Argostoli. It has a population of 400 inhabitants. The town's wide streets and beautiful buildings are of unique beauty.

Fiskardo

Myrtos

Assos

Close by is the 3rd largest town on the island, Sami. This is an important port for the island. Modern film production techniques transformed this quiet port into a substitute pre-war Argostoli for the famous movie “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”. From here Antisamos Beach is only a 5 minute drive around the headland. The beach is a pebble stone beach. It has calm waters and is a great place for a relaxing day out. It is one of the most scenic places in Kefalonia. You will see many large yachts anchored farther out enjoying the view.

Antisamos Beach

A few natural wonders can also be seen on this island, more specifically the caves of Melissani and Drogorati near Sami and the sea mills at Katavothres just outside Argostoli. Melissani is actually a subterranean lake with an unusual phenomenon. When the sun shines overhead and its rays hit the crystal clear waters of this lake, the light is broken up into a myriad of colours. Drogorati is a cave with amazing stalactites. Katavothres offers a rare geological sight. Sea water enters openings in the rock where it disappears. Scientists have found that this water flows north-eastwards underground, emerging at Melissani. Formerly this water used to travel at such a rate that it was used to power the 2 sea mills.

Melissani Lake

Drogorati Cave

Skala

At the south-eastern end of Kefalonia, Skala is a tourist resort with a magnificent long white sand beach. There are many restaurants and bars which attract a younger crowd. When visiting Skala it is worth seeing the excavations of a roman villa close to the beach and exploring Old Skala up in the hills.

The small fishing village of Katelios is located between the busier resorts of Skala and Lourdas on the south east coast. It consists of a small harbour, a beach, and several restaurants by the sea, gift shops, mini markets and some apartments.

Katelios

Lixouri is the second largest town on the island with a population of 4,000 inhabitants. Argostoli and Lixouri are connected by ferry, which crosses the bay of Argostoli. On the present site of Palaiokastro (old castle), the ancient city of Pali, named after Kephalos's son Pileus or Paleus, once stood. Later, it was renamed Lixouri, according to a letter of 1534 to the Venetians. From Lixouri, one can visit the site of Kounopetra (another of the islands strange geological phenomena) near the village of Mantzavinata, and the monasteries of Panagia Kehrionos and Tafia. To the north-west of Lixouri is the beautiful Petani beach which can get very busy in high season.

Lixouri

Petani

Monastery of Agios Gerasimos

The islands largest monastery is the Monastery of Agios Gerassimos. The island’s patron saint, Gerassimos (1506–1579) was well known as a teacher and a healer. Many believe that he performs miracles on August 15th (the day he died) and on his feast day October 20th when his remains are carried in procession. Many people lie on the ground allowing the sarcophagus to pass over them in the belief that they will be healed.

The Old Church

The Livathos area is home to some of the best sandy beaches on the island. Worth mentioning are Makris Gialos and Platis Gialos in Lassi, Avithos, Ammes, Lourdas, Trapezaki, Spartia, Agia Thomas and Agia Helis.

Lassi

Avithos

Wild Orchids

The combination of the wonderful climate and the very fertile soil is the reason Kefalonia is so green and lush for a large part of the year. From March to June the island is covered in beautiful colours. There are over 1.000 species of flowers and plants and quite a few of them are either endemic or rare. After a rain shower the air is filled with different scents from the many herbs growing in the countryside.

Wild Flowers

There is a great choice of restaurants and tavernas all over the island. Holidaymakers as well as locals enjoy the great taste of the local produce including honey, fruit, olives, vegetables and seafood. Last but not least it is worth mentioning that Kefalonia produces some great tasting wines. The best known is the Robola wine which has won prices all over the world for its outstanding quality.