Kefalonia

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The Island of Mysteries

Extraordinary Mosaics of Nature, Mysterious Natural Phenomena and Divine Beauties Blessed from the Kourlamara Madness of the Kefalonians
Rarely one has the opportunity to discover a harmonic natural collage of pristine beaches with imposing mountains, beautiful villages with traditional character and medieval trails with archaeological sites of historical significance blessed with rich cultural and spiritual heritage. Blessed with the true spirit of philoxenia, the genuine Kefalonians, all of them, share their excessive love for their island. Kefalonia has an undeniable personality with dramatic contrasts of indescribable beauty. Adventurous, just like its local people, with an exclusive ability to be distinguished on every single edge of the world, Kefalonia is a divine paradise. Kefalonia is the beginning of yourjourney, a place where the dream is just in front of you. So, don’t close your eyes, and start dreaming with your eyes wide open for the first time! Immersed in the whirlwinds of colours and scents with mountainous and seaside sceneries, reminiscent of the palette of Botticelli, Kefalonia will show you all the shades of blue and green that will intoxicate you. The emerald, sapphire and turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea surrounded from olive groves and vineyards emit scents that arouse even the most dormant human senses. A divine inspiration! Your journey might have ended in the mysterious world of Kefalonia; however, you will never say aurevoire to this island, as you will keep Kefalonia always deep in your heart!

Discover Kefalonia

Best of Kefalonia

The Capital of Kefalonia

The City of Argostoli is the capital of Kefalonia located on the west side of the island. The charming city nestles at the end of the natural bay surrounded from beautiful verdant mountainous sceneries. Although there were beautiful buildings of great architectural value, they were destroyed following the devastating earthquake in 1953. The cobblestone seaside promenade with the palm trees is one of the most beautiful spots of Argostoli while Lithostroto Street is the main street of the capital filled with numerous shops. Worth visiting sights include the Archaeological Museum of Kefalonia, the Korgialenios Historical and Folklore Museum, the Lighthouse of Agioi Theodoroi and the Napier Gardens.

The Beach of Antisamos

The Beach of Antisamos is a sandy and pebbled beach with blue waters located on the east side of the island. Characterized as one of the most beautiful beaches of Greece, Antisamos distinguishes for its verdant vegetation and its turquoise waters. The beach gained worldwide recognition, as some scenes from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin were filmed here. It is highly recommended to visit the monastery of Agrilion to enjoy breathtaking views of Antisamos beach.

The Beach of Myrtos

The Beach of Myrtos is a sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the north side of the island. Characterized as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Myrtos stands out for its exotic sceneries and its wild beauty. Surrounded from white rocky cliffs and verdant vegetation, the beach has spectacular sceneries. Keep in mind, however, that Myrtos suffers from strong winds. Watching the sunset from the western coast of Myrtos is a unique spectacle.

The Cave of Drogarati

The Cave of Drogarati is one of the most impressive caves of Greece with rich stalactite and stalagmite formations that was discovered three hundred years ago. According to speleologists, the cave is 150 million years old with a depth of sixty meters. The humidity of the cave reaches ninety percent. Only a part of the cave complex is open for visitors, while it is believed that it is connected to other caves in the region. Due to its large entrance chamber, the cave has exceptional acoustics and has even hosted a number of concerts. Drogarati cave is located three kilometers away from Sami.

The Cave of Melissani

The Cave of Melissani is a spectacular geological phenomenon located two kilometers from Sami. The natural entrance of the cave was created from the collapse of a section of the roof. The lake is located twenty meters below the surface with a length of 160 meters and a depth that ranges from 10 to 40 meters. Melissani cave was discovered from the speleologist John Petrohilos in 1951. There is also an artificial entrance that allows visitors to enter the lake cave. Today, visitors can take a guided tour to Melissani cave in order to admire the rich stalactite formations and the turquoise waters.

The Church of Panagia Lagouvarda

The Church of Panagia Lagouvarda, else known as Fidiotissa, is one of the most important religious monuments of Kefalonia located in the village of Markopoulos. A strange phenomenon occurs from 6 to 15 of August, as the area is filled with small harmless snakes. Tradition has it that these snakes is a miracle of Virgin Mary since the medieval times when Virgin Mary Fidiotissa that helped the nuns and monks from dangerous conflicts by ‘sending’ snakes to the monastery. Since then, snakes appear every August. In fact, it is a bad sign if the snakes do not appear. The snakes of Virgin Mary are a unique spectacle you should not miss if you find yourself in Kefalonia.

The Castle of Agios Georgios

The Castle of Agios Georgios was built from the Byzantine during the 12th century AD on the hillside above the village of Peratata. It is an imposing castle that served as the capital of Kefalonia until 1757 and fell in succession into the domination of the Franks, the Ottomans and the Venetians. The outer walls of the castle have been still preserved along with numerous churches and public buildings. One of the most outstanding churches is the church of Evangelistria that stands out for its Ionian Baroque style and its byzantine wall paintings. The castle of Agios Georgios is open for visitors in the summer months.

The Village of Assos

The Village of Assos is a seaside village located on the northwest side of the island. Characterized as one of the most beautiful villages of Kefalonia, the lovely settlement distinguishes for its romantic atmosphere and its traditional character. A promenade around the picturesque alleys of the village reveal charming images filled with colorful houses, blooming flowers and charming chapels. The most important monument of the village is the Fortress of Assos, which is considered to be one of the largest castles of Greece. If you desire to explore the beautiful beaches of the surrounding area, you can rent a boat from Assos.

The Village of Fiskardo

The Village of Fiskardo is a seaside village located on the northern side of the island. Nestling at the narrowest point of the strait between Kefalonia and Ithaca, Fiskardo is one of the most beautiful villages of Kefalonia that has been characterized as a preserved settlement. In fact, it is one of the few villages of the island that was not destroyed from the devastating earthquake of 1953. Colorful houses with red tiled roofs and narrow balconies blend with the beautiful sceneries of the mountain and the sea creating a spectacular atmosphere. It is worth visiting the Maritime Museum of Kefalonia for its interesting exhibition dedicated to the naval history of the island.

Archaeological Sites

The Acropolis of Krani was an ancient fortified town of the tetrapolis of Kefalonia located one kilometer away from the city of Argostoli. It was an independent state inhabited from the Paleolithic times. The ancient town of Krani lost its autonomy from the Romans in the 2nd century BC. Archaeological excavations have brought to light traces of the citadel on the hill of Pezoules and Kasteli, remnants of ancient fortifications and ruins of the church of Agia Triada that was built on an ancient temple dedicated to Goddesses of Demeter and Persephone. Findings from the site are displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Argostoli.

The Acropolis of Pali was an ancient fortified town of the tetrapolis of Kefalonia located on the northern side from the city of Lixouri. According to archaeologists, Ancient Pali was a colony of Corinth. Archaeological excavations have brought to light traces of the walls of the acropolis.

The Acropolis of Proni was an ancient fortified town of the tetrapolis of Kefalonia located on the southeast side of the island. Archaeological excavations have brought to light traces on several areas of the municipality with the most important being the Mycenaean tomb in the village of Tzanata.

The Acropolis of Sami was an ancient fortified town of the tetrapolis of Kefalonia located above the harbour of Sami. It was an independent state inhabited from the Paleolithic times. Although Sami was one of the most powerful city states of the island and fought in the Trojan War, it lost its autonomy from the Romans in 188 BC. Excavations have brought to light traces of the Hellenistic citadel and remnants of the Cyclopean walls in Paleokastro. From the Acropolis of Sami, one can admire panoramic views to the hinterland of the island. Findings from the site are displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Argostoli.

The Mycenaean Tombs of Kefalonia are located in the villages of Lakithra, Mazarakata and Tzanata. The burial grounds of Mazarakata and Lakithra and the imposing vaulted tomb of Tzanata attest the inhabitants of the island in the Mycenaean period. The first grave complex is the largest of its kind consisting from sixteen tomb chambers and eighty three tombs while the second burial monument was discovered in the early 20th century. Findings from the excavations are displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Argostoli.

The Roman Baths of Fiskardo are located in the area of Agios Andreas in the village of Fiskardo. According to archaeologists, the Roman baths served as the urban center of the period consisting from three hypocaust areas used for chambers and heating water.

The Roman Villa of Skala is located at the edge of the village of Skala. According to archaeologists, the village belonged to a wealthy Roman man in the 3rd century BC. The roman villa distinguishes for its well preserved mosaics with their geometrical motifs. Although a church was built on its foundations, parts of the villa can still be seen today.

Castles & Fortresses

The Castle of Agios Georgios was built from the Byzantine during the 12th century AD on the hillside above the village of Peratata. It is an imposing castle that served as the capital of Kefalonia until 1757 and fell in succession into the domination of the Franks, the Ottomans and the Venetians. The outer walls of the castle have been still preserved along with numerous churches and public buildings. One of the most outstanding churches is the church of Evangelistria that stands out for its Ionian Baroque style and its byzantine wall paintings. The castle of Agios Georgios is open for visitors in the summer months.

The Fortress of Assos was built from the Venetians during the 16th century on the hillside above the village of Assos. Although fortifications used to cover the entire village, traces of the walls and the arched entrance gate are the sole preserved parts. Two of the original four gates of the castle are still standing. Within the premises of the castle, one will have the opportunity to admire the church of Agios Markos, the church of Prophet Elias with its wooden carved iconostasis and the house of the Venetian Commissioner. Until 1953, Assos castle was used as a prison for political prisoners. The castle of Assos is considered to be one of the largest castles of Greece.

Churches and Monasteries

The Church of Agios Spyridon is the cathedral of Kefalonia located at the center of the city of Argostoli. The church distinguishes for its clock tower and its gilded wooden carved iconostasis. A religious procession commemorating the devastating earthquake of 1953 starts out from the church of August 11.

The Church of Evangelistria of the Castle is located within the Castle of Agios Georgios in the village of Peratata. According to the marble inscription, the church was built in 1580. The church of Evangelistria stands out for its Ionian Baroque style, its impressive wooden carved iconostasis and its beautiful old belfry.

The Church of Panagia Lagouvarda, else known as Fidiotissa, is one of the most important religious monuments of Kefalonia located in the village of Markopoulos. A strange phenomenon occurs from 6 to 15 of August, as the area is filled with small harmless snakes. Tradition has it that these snakes is a miracle of Virgin Mary since the medieval times when Virgin Mary Fidiotissa that helped the nuns and monks from dangerous conflicts by ‘sending’ snakes to the monastery. Since then, snakes appear every August. In fact, it is a bad sign if the snakes do not appear. The snakes of Virgin Mary are a unique spectacle you should not miss if you find yourself in Kefalonia.

The Monastery of Agios Andreas is one of the most significant pilgrimage sites of Kefonia located in the village of Peratata. The monastery was established from Apostle Andreas during the Byzantine years. Although it was destroyed from the earthquake of 1953, the monastery was fully restored. Inside the monastery, one can visit the Ecclesiastical and Byzantine Museum with important exhibits including the shroud of the national martyr Patriarch of Constantinople, the vestment of Agios Nektarios and handwritten letters of Agios Kosmas of Aetolia. On November 30, the traditional celebration in honor of the saint takes place in the monastery.

The Monastery of Agios Gerasimos is the protector saint of Kefalonia who was ordained as a monk at Mount Athos, then travelled to Jerusalem for twelve years, went to Crete and Zakynthos and finally arrived in Kefalonia. The monastery is located under the mountain slopes of Aenos close to the village of Valsamata. The cave beneath the monastery used to be the home of the saint. Agios Gerasimos is known for its miraculous abilities to cure mental illnesses. On August 16, the litany for the commemoration of the death of Agios Gerasimos is held in the monastery. The ceremony is followed from a big festival with dancing, food, music and wine.

The Monastery of Kipouria is one of the most impressive monasteries of Kefalonia located on the western coast of Lixouri. The monastery was founded from the Archibishop of Paxi Islands in 1750, and was named Kipouria due to the verdant vegetation of the surrounding area. From the monastery, one can admire breathtaking views to the rugged coastline and the steep white rocks while the sunset is a unique spectacle. Today, one monk lives in the monastery. Dedicated to the Holy Cross and the Annunciation of Virgin Mary, the monastery celebrates in honor of the saints on March 25 and September 14.

The Monastery of Panagia Atros is the oldest monastery of Kefalonia on the mountain slopes of Atros close to the harbour of Poros. The monastery was destroyed seventeen times, and it was always rebuilt from the monks. Today, the monastery of Atros is dedicated to the birth of Virgin Mary and distinguishes for its medieval tower bad its welcome hall. On September 8, the traditional celebration in honor of the saint is held in the monastery. Of special beauty is the sunrise view from the monastery.

Monuments

The Bridge of De Bosset was erected from Charles Philip De Bosset in 1813 with the intention of bypassing the swampland of Koutavos, which was synonymous with malaria in those years. The original wooden bridge was rebuild with stone quarried from Metela hill. At the middle of the bridge, there is the Kolona monument commemorating those who erected the bridge. As of 2005, the bridge has been closed to traffic.

The Garden of Napier was named in honor of Sir Charles Napier, a British Commander of the 19th century, who offered a lot in infrastructure to Kefalonia. Napier Gardens is one of the most beautiful spots of Argostoli, a densely wooded park with various species of trees.

The Italian War Memorial was constructed in honor of thousands of Italian soldiers of the Acqui Division who died or executed in the battles with the Germans in 1943 after their refusal to surrender. It is a reminder of one of the most horrific events of the Second World War. The memorial can be found outside Argostoli on the hill above Katavothres.

The Katavothres of Kefalonia constitutes one of the most outstanding geological phenomena in the world. Seawaters enter the cracks close to the shore and instantly disappear. In fact, the water follows a long path across the ground in almost the entire island flowing into the Lake of Melissani and the area of Karavomylos. In 1963, this was discovered from the Austrian geologists Viktor Maurin and Josef Zötl, who threw pigments in one of these inputs and verified the path of the ‘disappearing’ waters. Katavothres are located three kilometers away from Argostoli.

The Lighthouse of Agioi Theodoroi, else known as Lantern, stands on a manmade peninsula close to the village of Argostoli. The lighthouse was originally built in 1928, and was rebuilt with the original architectural design from the local architect Takis Pavlatos in 1960 as it was ruined from the devastating earthquake of 1953.

The Mansion of Kosmetatos stands on Rizospaston Avenue in Argostoli. It is one of the most outstanding buildings of Kefalonia distinguished for its Venetian architecture, and one of the few buildings that were not destroyed from the earthquake of 1953.

The Municipal Theatre of Kefalonia is one of the largest theatres of Greece located in the city of Argostoli. Inaugurated in 1958, the first performance that was held was the renowned opera La Traviata from Giuseppe Verdi. The theatre distinguishes for its neoclassical architecture. Today, numerous cultural events including theatre performances and artistic exhibitions are held in the theatre.

The Square of Kambana is the historic town center of the city of Argostoli. The Venetian Libro d’Oro, else known as the Golden Book, was burned at the square from Napoleon Bonaparte ushering a new age without distinctions. The present name of the square derives from the imposing bell tower. It is worth climbing to the tower for the astonishing views to the countryside.

Museums

The Archaeological Museum of Kefalonia is located in the city of Argostoli. The museum exhibits archaeological findings from the Paleolithic period until the Roman era. Exhibits include an extensive collection of artifacts from the Mycenaean civilization and pottery objects and jewelry found in the cave of Melissani.

The Ecclesiastical Museum of Kefalonia is housed within the premises of the Monastery of Agios Andreas. The museum displays masterpieces of the byzantine ecclesiastical art. Some of the most important exhibits include the shroud of the national martyr Patriarch of Constantinople, the vestment of Agios Nektarios and handwritten letters of Agios Kosmas of Aetolia.

The Korgialenios Historical and Folklore Museum is housed on the ground floor of the Korgialenios Library. The museum keeps inventory of the history and folklore tradition of Kefalonia from the Venetian period up until 1953. The permanent exhibition is divided into the section of ecclesiastical art, city plan, urban development and rural development.

The Maritime Museum of Fiskardo is one of the most interesting museums of Kefalonia located in the village of Fiskardo. The museum is dedicated to the naval history of the island. Exhibits include images of Caretta- Caretta turtles, Monachus-Monachus monk seals, whales, insects and plankton.

The Natural History Museum of Kefalonia and Ithaca is located in the village of Davgata. The museum was established with the intention of presenting and preserving the environmental history of Kefalonia and Ithaca. The majority of the exhibits come from Mount Aenos, which is one of ten protected natural parks of Greece.

The Olive Oil Museum of Kefalonia is located in the village of Makriotika. The museum is dedicated to the olive making tradition of Kefalonia presenting original machinery used in the production of olive oil.

The Radio and Telecommunication Museum of Kefalonia is a private museum located in the city of Argostoli. The museum was established from a private collector of radio, Charalambos Makris. Exhibits include gramophones, tape recorders, radio, telephones and record players. If you want to visit the museum, you should make an appointment.

Natural Beauties

The Cave of Aggalaki is one of the largest caves of Kefalonia located in the area of Poulata. It belongs to a large cave system with underground lakes and narrow passages. The cave is accessible through the hiking trail that starts from the Monastery of Themata in Agia Dynati Mountain.

The Cave of Drogarati is one of the most impressive caves of Greece with rich stalactite and stalagmite formations that was discovered three hundred years ago. According to speleologists, the cave is 150 million years old with a depth of sixty meters. The humidity of the cave reaches ninety percent. Only a part of the cave complex is open for visitors, while it is believed that it is connected to other caves in the region. Due to its large entrance chamber, the cave has exceptional acoustics and has even hosted a number of concerts. Drogarati cave is located three kilometers away from Sami.

The Cave of Melissani is a spectacular geological phenomenon located two kilometers from Sami. The natural entrance of the cave was created from the collapse of a section of the roof. The lake is located twenty meters below the surface with a length of 160 meters and a depth that ranges from 10 to 40 meters. Melissani cave was discovered from the speleologist John Petrohilos in 1951. There is also an artificial entrance that allows visitors to enter the lake cave. Today, visitors can take a guided tour to Melissani cave in order to admire the rich stalactite formations and the turquoise waters.

The Lagoon of Koutavos is an attractive natural reserve for wildlife located at the bay of the bay of Argostoli. From the harbour front, one can cycle and walk along the wide path around the lagoon to the shady forest full of cypress and pine trees. Koutavos lagoon serves as a breeding site for the Caretta-Caretta turtles.

The Natural Park of Aenos is the highest mountain in the Ionian Sea located on the south part of Kefalonia. The highest point stands at Mount Soros with an elevation of 1.628 meters above the sea level. In 1962, Mount Aenos was declared as a national park from the State of Greece. Extending over 120 square kilometers, Aenos Natural Park is a paradise for lovers of nature. One can admire a wide variety of flowers and trees, among them the rare black pine of Kefalonia. The east side of the park is also ideal for lovers of hiking and trekking. If you are adventurous enough, you can climb to the summit by driving along the mountain from the northwest side to the transmitter station, and then follow the dirt road on foot. You will be rewarded from breathtaking views to the islands of Ithaca, Kefalonia and Zakynthos!

The Rock of Kounopetra, else known as the moving stone, is a unique natural phenomenon in the world. It consists of a gigantic monolithic rock that emerges from the sea, which has never stopped at the same position because of its continuous and rhythm movement.

Promenades and Villages

Agia Euphemia is a seaside village located on the east side of the island. The charming settlement has a traditional character with red tiled roof houses spreading around the natural bay. Agia Euphemia is also known for its delicious fish taverns. On July 11, the traditional celebration in honor of Agia Euphemia is held in the village. Worth visiting sights include the monastery of Themata and the roman villa of Agia Euphemia. It is highly recommended to follow the asphalted road from Makriotika in order to admire the views along the way to the monastery. Agia Euphemia was one of the main movie settings of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

Agia Irini is a mountainous village located on the southwest side of the island. The lovely settlement distinguishes for its beautiful sceneries filled with verdant vegetation and flowing rivers and springs. The surrounding area is dotted with beautiful beaches including the beaches of Skala and Poros. On August 10, one of the largest traditional festivals of Kefalonia is held in the village in honor of the saint. The festival is accompanied with traditional music and dance till the morning hours.

Argostoli is the capital of Kefalonia located on the west side of the island. The charming city nestles at the end of the natural bay surrounded from beautiful verdant mountainous sceneries. Although there were beautiful buildings of great architectural value, they were destroyed following the devastating earthquake in 1953. The cobblestone seaside promenade with the palm trees is one of the most beautiful spots of Argostoli while Lithostroto Street is the main street of the capital filled with numerous shops. Worth visiting sights include the Archaeological Museum of Kefalonia, the Korgialenios Historical and Folklore Museum, the Lighthouse of Agioi Theodoroi and the Napier Gardens.

Assos is a seaside village located on the northwest side of the island. Characterized as one of the most beautiful villages of Kefalonia, the lovely settlement distinguishes for its romantic atmosphere and its traditional character. A promenade around the picturesque alleys of the village reveal charming images filled with colorful houses, blooming flowers and charming chapels. The most important monument of the village is the Fortress of Assos, which is considered to be one of the largest castles of Greece. If you desire to explore the beautiful beaches of the surrounding area, you can rent a boat from Assos.

Atheras is a mountainous village located on the northwest side of the island. It is one of the smallest villages of Kefalonia renowned for its dance and musical tradition. From Atheras, one can enjoy panoramic views to the Ionian Sea. On July 26, one of the biggest festivals is held in the village followed from traditional music and dance till the morning hours. Porto Atheras is the haven of the settlement with a charming bay ideal for swimming. In a close proximity from the village, one can also visit one of the most impressive beaches of Kefalonia namely Petani.

Davgata is a mountainous village located on the central part of the island. Nestling on the slopes of a mountain, the lovely settlement offers beautiful views to the endless blue of the Ionian Sea. Red tiled roof houses with whitewashed courtyards and colorful flowers and charming chapels adorn the entire village. Worth visiting sights include the Natural History Museum of Kefalonia and Ithaca and the church of Agios Dimitrios for its wall paintings. One can also visit the village of Dilinata for its imposing sunset views.

Dilinata is a mountainous village located on the central part of the island. Built on the mountain slopes of Evmorfia, the village stands for its amazing views to the city of Argostoli and the Ionian Sea. Some of the most interesting monuments of Dilinata include the church of Panagia Lamia, the Venetian bridge of Marinos, the old olive mill and the mansion of Emperor Anninos. On August 17 and September 8, two of the biggest traditional festivals of Dilinata are held in the village.

Faraklata is a mountainous village located on the central part of the island. Nestling at an altitude of 260 meters, the lovely settlement distinguishes for its traditional architecture and its verdant sceneries. Some of the most interesting sights of interest include the church of Agios Dimitrios with its huge bell tower that reaches 42 meters in height and the museum of electricity, as Faraklata was one of the first villages of Greece acquired electricity network.

Fiskardo is a seaside village located on the northern side of the island. Nestling at the narrowest point of the strait between Kefalonia and Ithaca, Fiskardo is one of the most beautiful villages of Kefalonia that has been characterized as a preserved settlement. In fact, it is one of the few villages of the island that was not destroyed from the devastating earthquake of 1953. Colorful houses with red tiled roofs and narrow balconies blend with the beautiful sceneries of the mountain and the sea creating a spectacular atmosphere. It is worth visiting the Maritime Museum of Kefalonia for its interesting exhibition dedicated to the naval history of the island.

Katelios is a seaside village located on the southeast side of the island. The settlement comprises from the traditional district of Pano Katelios and the seaside district of Kato Katelios. The entire village has a calm and peaceful atmosphere with beautiful verdurous sceneries ideal for lovers of hiking. Kato Katelios is known for its delicious fish taverns. It is highly recommended to visit the beach of the turtles in Ratzakli situated just two kilometers away. In fact, the local people have founded a non-profit organization for the protection of the Caretta-Caretta turtles, as the beach serves as a reproduction site for the turtles.

Komitata is a mountainous village located on the northwest side of the island. The lovely settlement is one of the smallest villages of Kefalonia built at an altitude of 564 meters above the sea level. Komitata became famous around the world as numerous scenes from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin movie were filmed at the beautiful beach of Horgotas. The village is very picturesque with verdant sceneries and beautiful views to the western coast of Ithaca.

Kourkoumelata is a mountainous village located on the southern side of the island. It is one of the most impressive villages of Kefalonia distinguished for its diverse architecture and its remarkable views to the Ionian Sea. Following the devastating earthquake of 1953, the settlement was completely rebuilt with the financial aid of the ship owner Giorgos Vergotis according to the neoclassical architectural style. Kourkoumelata has a traditional character with beautiful buildings and verdant gardens. Indeed, the village is a must see!

Lixouri is the second biggest town of Kefalonia located on the east side of the island. It is a seaside town traversed from a raging torrent that divides the city in two parts. In fact, the locals call their city Little Paris due to the division of the city in two, just like Seine divides Paris. Although Lixouri was destroyed from the devastating earthquake of 1953, the city was rebuilt based on modern town planning. The city stands out for its rich cultural and musical tradition, hosting of the oldest philharmonic schools of Greece. Some of the most interesting sights of Lixouri include the church of Agios Spyridon and the Iakovatios Library. On a close proximity, one can also visit the monastery of Kipouria and the beaches of Myrtos, Petani and Xi.

Peratata is a mountainous village located on the eastern side of the island. Built on the mountain slopes of Aenos, the settlement distinguishes for its charming houses and its verdant sceneries. One should definitely visit the castle of Agios Georgios for the impressive views and the church of Evangelistria of the castle and the monastery of Agios Andreas with its ecclesiastical museum. On a close proximity from the village, one can also visit the beaches of Avythos, Spartia and Trapezaki.

Poros is a seaside town located on the southeast side of the island. The town serves as one of the main ports of Kefalonia with daily connections with Killini and Patra in Peloponnese. The charming houses of Poros spread around the natural harbour to the blue waters of the Ionian with the verdant mountain slopes on the backdrop creating beautiful sceneries. Worth visiting sights include the monastery of Panagia Atros for its spectacular sunrise views.

Sami is one of the largest towns of Kefalonia located on the eastern side of the island. The town serves as one of the main ports of Kefalonia with daily connections with Ithaca Island, Astakos in Etoloakarnania and Patra in Peloponnese. Some of the most interesting sights of interest include the caves of Drogarati and Melissani, the acropolis of Sami and the church of Panagia Agrilia for its views. Close to Sami, one can enjoy the beach of Antisamos, which is one of the most beautiful beaches of Kefalonia.

Skala is a seaside village located on the southern side of the island. It is one of the most popular resorts of Kefalonia with all kinds of amenities. Famous for its long sandy beach, Skala hosts one of the most beautiful beaches of Kefalonia. The settlement distinguishes for its lively atmosphere and its vibrant nightlife.

Valsamata is a mountainous village located on the central part of the island. The lovely settlement is surrounded from the imposing sceneries of Mount Aenos and the vineyards of Robola making it an ideal destination for hiking and trekking lovers. Valsamata is famous for the Robola Festival held at the square of Frangata on August. Robola is the Kefallinian wine grape variety that is grown primarily in Kefalonia, and has been classified as a product with protected designation of origin.

Vasilikades is a mountainous village located on the northern side of the island. The lovely settlement stands out for its traditional architecture and its verdant sceneries. The sunset from Vasilikades is a unique spectacle. Certain vantage points of the village offer beautiful views to the forested west coast of Kefalonia. One can also visit the village of Fiskardo and the beach of Myrtos.

Sunset Spots

Spot: Beach of Ammes, South Kefalonia

Spot: Beach of Petani, West Side of Paliki Peninsula in Kefalonia

Spot: Beach of Platys Gialos, West Kefalonia

Spot: Castle of Agios Georgios, South Kefalonia

Spot: Lighthouse of Agioi Theodoroi, West Kefalonia

Spot: Monastery of Kipouria, West Side of Paliki Peninsula in Kefalonia

Spot: Village of Damoulianata, West Kefalonia

Spot: Village of Karya, North Kefalonia

Spot: Village of Svoronata, South Kefalonia

Spot: Village of Vasilikades, North Kefalonia

Excursions

Boat Trip: The Island of Ithaca is the island of Odysseus. Calm and wild, simple and genuine, romantic and poetic, mysterious and legendary, Ithaca awaits you to find your own ‘Ithaca’. Immersed in immorality through the legendary wanderings of Odysseus from Homer and highlighted as the timeless symbol of adventure and travel from Cavafy, Ithaca is a one-of-a-kind island. Verdant hills and rocky mountains surrounded from the sea in all the shades of blue, white, gray and orange rocks slate the seawaters like swords, colourful villages with elegant graciousness and aristocratic nobility, will definetely stimulate your imagination. This is Ithaca. Behind the legendary stories of Odysseus and the epics of Homer, Ithaca is the eternal symbol of love and nostalgia, synonymous to the value of ‘motherland’, worldwide known as the place of the return journey in the history of mankind. Once you travel to Ithaca, your soul will be tied forever with the eternal value of this island touched from the magic of the legendary myths.

Boat Trip: The Island of Lefkada will acquire your admiration instantly. Although you might cherish the Aegean, you will not resist to the allure of the Ionian. Gentle and temper with a feminine temperament, Lefkada has it all.Endowed with cerulean, sapphire and turquoise waters and verdurous sceneries, Lefkada betrays the whitewashed origin of her name. From spectacular beaches in all the shades of blue to verdant sceneries with flowing streams and peaceful villages, Lefkada enjoys magnificent alternations of landscapes, reserved for the ones eager to discover them. Lefkada conceals millions of faces that will inspire you to explore them each and every single of them. One thing is certain; Lefkada will give you unforgettable memories. Maybe Sappho was glorified from the unimaginable views of the Ionian Sea and leaped from the barren cliffs of Cape Lefkada for the sake of love, to seal her last memories of this divine paradise. Breathtaking views to the deep blue below the whitish cliffs with pine trees hanging over the beaches will make you promise to Lefkada that you will always return to her magical beauty. Nonetheless, the emerald island of the Ionian hides another mysterious world, absolutely authentic and genuine. Although Lefkada distinguishes for some of the finest beaches in the Mediterranean, the mountainous hinterland competes with the heavenly magnificence of its coastline. Traditional Lefkadian houses perched on the verdant mountain slopes, monuments of distinctive natural beauty with towering gorges and imposing waterfalls and colorful valley trails will definitely catch your attention. On top of that, the singing voice of Branelli, the local Lefkadians, will make you fall in love again and again with Lefkada.   Distinguished for their courtesy and generosity, the local people will show you their true spirit of philoxenia! When you travel to Lefkada, you will appreciate that reality is better that fantasy. Where the richness of the blue waters meets the evergreen forests, Lefkada is a paradise on earth dominated from imposing mountainous, divine waterfalls and authentic villages. Will you promise to Lefkada that your vow to return will be eternal?

Boat Trip: The Island of Zakynthos distinguishes for its natural beauty and its hospitable atmosphere. Homeland of Dionisios Solomos with intense vegetation and incomparable beauty, it is impossible this island to be left unnoticed. You will either love it or hate it. The beauty of this island is inexhaustible. Beyond the light blue waters of the Shipwreck, the Fioro di Levante hides millions of mysteries. From castles and fortresses to blooming hills and sheltered bays, you will be overwhelmed from the astonishing sunsets over the vertical cliffs of Zakynthos. The Italian temperament left a legacy to the flower of the east in all forms of art; particularly, the music tradition flows in the veins of Zakynthos since ancient times, worshiped from the god of music, Apollo, up to the Venetian times and the famous Zakynthian serenades. Zakynthos holds a perpetual roller coaster of pictures, landscapes and experiences; it will show you millions of faces, reserved only for the ones who are eager to discover them. Imposing views from the verdant hill of Strani, natural adventures on the king of the easternmost cape, glorious sunsets from the village of Keri and discovery dives into the crystalline waters of the Shipwreck beach will definitely captivate your eyes. Especially the hinterland, full of olive groves, vegetable gardens and vineyards, will try to show you the genuine traditional spirit of Zakynthos. Known as the Flower of the East from the Venetians, this island will find the way to enchant you, especially in spring. Every spring, Zakynthos is at its best; verdant landscapes with pine covered mountains and fertile plains, crystalline seashores, pleasant walks in the footsteps of history and festive customs of Easter will give a distinctive color to your journey. Alloy of wild beauty and sea saltiness, with a background mosaic of culture, Zakynthos is ready to unveil its mysteries to you! It is no coincidence that Homer used to call her Ylyessa, aka full of trees, as nature paints the sea and the mountains with breathtaking colours. Zakynthos ignites the imagination of the travellers since the prehistoric times; however, no one managed to conquer her! Are you ready, at least, to get to know her?

Activities

Bicycling: The countryside of Kefalonia is an ideal place for cycling lovers. There are numerous bicycle rentals on the island where you can rent a bicycle and discover the beaches and villages of Kefalonia. (1) One of the most beautiful routes is the tour of Lassi. It has a length of three kilometers and gives the opportunity to the cyclists to discover the geological phenomenon of Katavothres and to enjoy the sunset from the beach of Fanari with the lighthouse of Agioi Theodoroi. (2) Another interesting bicycling route runs around the Lagoon of Koutavos. The attractive natural reserve for wildlife located at the bay of the bay of Argostoli. From the harbour front, one can cycle and walk along the wide path around the lagoon to the shady forest full of cypress and pine trees.(3) Livathos region on the southwest side of Kefalonia is an also ideal location for bicycling due to its flat geomorphology. Livathos is considered to be one of the most verdant areas of the island with lots of olive groves. The area has a network of quiet roads with numerous charming villages.

Diving: The varied coastline of Kefalonia offers numerous exciting explorations for diving enthusiasts. The Lobster Wall, the shipwrecks of Ardena and F495, the isles of Asteris and Vardiani, the reef of Emblisi, the cavern of Xeropunda, the shipwrecks of Dolixa bay, the underwater caves of Catacombs and the Blue Canyon of Lassi are some of the most interesting diving spots. One will find diving centers at the beaches of Agia Euphemia, Fiskardo, Lassi and Lixouri.

Hiking: Kefalonia hosts numerous paths ideal for lovers of hiking. (1) One of the most beautiful routes is located at Mount Aenos, the highest mountain of the Ionian Islands. Drive up to the transmitter station and walk to Megas Soros. The route gives the opportunity to the hikers to explore the pristine beauty and the rich fauna of Aenos. The top of Aenos provides panoramic views to every single part of the Ionian Sea! (2) Another interesting trail starts from the village of Drapanatika towards the beautiful village of Assos continuing to the peninsula of the Venetian Castle. It is a very beautiful route adorned with cypress and pine trees and astonishing views to the sea. (3) It is also worth following the route that starts from the old church of Sami harbour towards the acropolis of Sami and the beach of Antisamos. The walk is of great natural and historical interest. (4) The trail from the village of Fiskardo to the lighthouse of Fiskardo is also quite interesting. (5) Another beautiful route starts from the village of Koulourata towards the old villages of Mouzakata, Grizata and Zervata. The route offers panoramic views to the mountains of Kefalonia and the gulfs of Agia Euphemia and Sami. Discover more information from the Mountaineering Club of Kefalonia.

Horse Riding: Kefalonia offers invigorating experiences for lovers of horseback riding. You can find riding schools in Lixouri, Koulourata, Sami and Skala.

Kayaking: The opportunity to practice kayak in Ithaca is definitely an unforgettable experience. You will have the chance to admire spectacular rocky formations and the beautiful beaches of the Ionian Sea. One will find a sea kayak center in Argostoli.

Kitesurfing: Kefalonia is known for its ideal conditions for lovers of kitesurfing, as the island gets really windy especially in the summer. The channel between Ithaca and Kefalonia is ideal for downwind kitesurfing. Other favorite spots include the wide beach of Kaminia for wave kitesurfing and the beach of Skala with good frequencies of eastern and northeastern winds in the morning hours.

Mountain Biking: The rich natural diversity of Kefalonia is highly suitable for mountain and road biking. Exciting trails from rural roads to specially designed cycling routes are available in various parts of the island. (1) One of the most beautiful routes leads to the highest peak of Kefalonia at an altitude of 1.628 meters. What’s most exciting, though, is the downhill ride from the trail that catches crazy speeds. (2) Another interesting route starts from the monastery of Themata at Agia Dynati Mount towards the villages of Vlahata and Poulata. The trail gives to bikers the change to discover the natural beauty of Kefalonia. (3) It is also worth following the route that starts from Monodedri village towards the village of Haliotata. Nestling on the mountainous core of the island, the deserted scenery of Monodedri changes to verdant mountains with panoramic views. The whole route is on a dirt road.

Off Road: Lovers of off road driving can follow the dirt roads leading to the mountains of Aenos National Park in order to explore the mysterious beauties of Kefalonia. Aenos is one of the ten protected national parks of Greece that distinguishes for its wild sceneries, its rich flora and its panoramic views. Make sure you always check the maps of Kefalonia before you get into your car!

Sailing: Kefalonia is a paradise for sailing enthusiasts. On the east, Kefalonia is separated from Ithaca from a narrow channel while it borders with Zakynthos on the north and Lefkada on the south. With a total land area of 688 square kilometers, Kefalonia boats abundant lovely bays, beaches and coves. The eastern coast of the island is amongst the most popular for sailing enthusiasts with numerous sheltered harbour including Agia Euphemia, Fiskardo, Poros and Sami. Prevailing winds are mostly from northwest or west direction, making the east side completely safe. In Argostoli and Lixouri, shelter can be found in all weather conditions.

Beaches

Agia Kyriaki is a sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the north side of bay of Myrtos. The beach is ideal for those looking for tranquility and relaxation. Close to Agia Kyriaki beach, you will find taverns and canteens.

Agios Thomas consists from two sandy beaches with emerald waters located on the south side of the island. The surrounding scenery is blessed with verdant vegetation. Agios Thomas beaches are ideal for those looking for tranquility and relaxation.

Alaties is a sandy beach with crystalline waters located on the north side of the island. The tiny cove is ideal for seclusion and isolation while the seabed is quite fascinating. Make sure you bring all the necessary precautions, as the beach has no amenities.

Ammes is a sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the south side of the island. Due to its close proximity of Argostoli, it is one of the most popular beaches of Kefalonia with numerous amenities including sunbeds, umbrellas, and taverns.

Antisamos is a sandy and pebbled beach with blue waters located on the east side of the island. Characterized as one of the most beautiful beaches of Greece, Antisamos distinguishes for its verdant vegetation and its turquoise waters. The beach gained worldwide recognition, as some scenes from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin were filmed here. It is highly recommended to visit the monastery of Agrilion to enjoy breathtaking views of Antisamos beach.

Avithos is a sandy beach with crystalline waters located on the south side of the island. It is a beautiful beach that stands out for its reddish sand, its mountainous verdant backdrop. Avithos is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds, umbrellas, and taverns.

Dafnoudi Fiskardo is a pebbled beach with emerald waters located on the northern side of the island. The beach stands out for its verdant vegetation and its emerald waters. Dafnoudi is ideal for lovers of nature and isolation.

Emblisi Fiskardo is a white pebbled beach with turquoise waters located on the northern side of the island. The virgin sceneries of Emblisi are ideal for lovers of nature who are looking for relaxation and tranquility.

Foki Fiskardo is a pebbled beach with blue waters located on the northern side of the island. It is one of the most beautiful spots of Kefalonia distinguishes for its verdant vegetation and its pristine environment. Foki is also an ideal spot for sailing enthusiasts.

Horgota is a pebbled beach with blue waters located on the east side of the island. The beach distinguishes for its wild beauty and its pristine nature. Horgota became famous as some scenes from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin were filmed at the beach.

Kaminia is a sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the south side of the island. The beach is ideal for nature lovers. Kaminia is partially organized with sunbeds, umbrellas and taverns. Kaminia provides shelter to the Mediterranean Turtles Caretta0 Caretta in May and August. So, make sure you do not disturb them due to the fact that they are one of the endangered marine species of the Mediterranean.

Katelios is a sandy beach with blue water located on the southern side of the island. The beach has a peaceful atmosphere ideal for those looking for tranquility. As Katelios beach is a protected area, there are not facilities at the beach.

Koroni is a sandy cove with crystalline waters located on the south side of the island. The beach distinguishes for its lush vegetation and its steep cliffs. Koroni beach serves as an important shelter for to the Mediterranean Turtles Caretta0 Caretta in May and August. At the beach, one will find numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas. Watching the sunset from Koroni is a unique spectacle.

Limenia is a sandy and pebbled beach with blue waters located on the southeast side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for tranquility. The verdant vegetation of Limenia provides natural shade to the sunbathers.

Lourdas is a sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the south side of the island. It is one of the most popular beaches of Kefalonia with numerous amenities including sunbeds, umbrellas, water sport facilities and beach bars.

Makris Gialos is a sandy beach with blue waters located on the west side of the island in the natural gulf of the Paliki peninsula. Due to its close proximity to Argostoli, it is one of the most popular beaches of Kefalonia with numerous amenities including sunbeds, umbrellas, water sport facilities and beach bars.

Megas Lakos is a sandy beach with crystalline waters located on the south side of the Paliki peninsula on the west side of the island. It is a very beautiful beach that stands out for its reddish sand and its shallow waters. Megas Lakos is an ideal beach for those looking for tranquility and isolation.

Myrtos is a sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the north side of the island. Characterized as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Myrtos stands out for its exotic sceneries and its wild beauty. Surrounded from white rocky cliffs and verdant vegetation, the beach has spectacular sceneries. Keep in mind, however, that Myrtos suffers from strong winds. Watching the sunset from the western coast of Myrtos is a unique spectacle.

Paliouras is a sandy and pebbled beach with blue waters located on the east side of the island. The beautiful cove is adorned with verdant vegetation and turquoise waters. Paliouras bay is ideal for those looking for emerald and relaxation.

Paradisi is a sandy beach with blue waters located on the southern side of the island. It is one of the most isolated beaches of Kefalonia ideal for nature lovers. Paradisi distinguishes for its verdant vegetation and its tranquil atmosphere.

Petani is a sandy and pebbled beach with turquoise waters located on the west side of the island. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of Kefalonia that stands out for its wild sceneries. Petani is partially organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas. Keep in mind, however, that occasionally Petani suffers from strong winds.

Platia Ammos is a sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the west side of the island. Characterized as one of the most beautiful beaches of Kefalonia, Platia Ammos distinguishes for its peaceful atmosphere, its huge cliffs and its turquoise waters. The beach is accessible only by boat.

Poros is a pebbled beach with blue waters located on the southeast side of the island. The beach is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds, umbrellas and taverns. The natural surroundings of Poros beach create beautiful sceneries.

Xi is a sandy beach with crystalline waters located on the south side of Paliki peninsula on the west side of the island. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of Kefalonia distinguished for its reddish sand and its aluminate boulders. In fact, you can cover your whole body with the mud of ski and enjoy a natural mud bath!

Coffee Corners, Gastronomic Delights and Cocktail Inspirations

Coffee Corners 

Acqua Marina: Coffee, Sami

Antico: Coffee, Argostoli

Castle Cafe: Coffee, Peratata

Classic: Coffee, Argostoli

Costa Costa Beach Bar: Coffee, Makris Gialos

Gialos: Cafeteria, Agia Euphemia

Glikonostimies Melinas: Pastries, Fiskardo

Le Chapin Noir: Coffee, Argostoli

Gastronomic Delights

Ambelaki: Mediterranean Cuisine, Argostoli

Gorgona: Greek Cuisine, Sami

Kalafatis: Seafood, Argostoli

Kalyva Tou Psara: Greek Cuisine, Zola

Katavothres: Greek Cuisine, Argostoli

Makis: Greek Cuisine, Fiskardo

Palia Plaka: Kefalonian Cuisine, Argostoli

Paradisenia Akti Dendrinos: Cuisine, Agia Euphemia

Platanos: Greek Cuisine, Assos

Syrtaki: Greek Cuisine, Lassi

Tassia: Seafood, Fiskardo

Taverna Makriotika: Greek Cuisine, Makriotika

Taverna Tis Persas: Seafood, Katelios

Vasso: Seafood, Fiskardo

Zorbas: Greek Cuisine, Lixouri

Cocktail Inspirations

Bass Club: Cocktails and Drinks, Argostoli

Cavo Verde: Cocktails and Drinks, Fiskardo

Le Chapin Noir: Cocktails and Drinks, Argostoli

Space Club: Cocktails and Drinks, Lixouri

Spileo Club: Cocktails and Drinks, Poros

Local Products & Specialties

The local products of the island include an excellent variety of agricultural products. The most well known include cheese, olives and wine. Kefalonia is very popular for its fine wine varieties of Mavrodafni, Muscat and Robola.

The local specialties of the island include aliada, a dish made with potatoes, garlic and the broth from an octopus, bourbourelia, a soup made with peas, salt and olive oil, bourgeto, a dish made with two kinds of local fish and pasta, kakavia, a fish soup, rabbit cooked with Mavrodafni wine, riganada, a dish of baked bread slices with olive oil and oregano, strapatsada, a dish made with eggs and tomatoes fried in local olive oil and feta cheese, tsigari, a dish made with spinach cooked in rice and lemon, galaktoboureko, a sweet made with dough and cream, mandolato, a sweet made with sugar and almonds, and pasteli, a caramelized sweet bar with sesame and honey.

Events & Festivals

One of the main cultural celebrations of Kefalonia is the carnival. Influenced from various conquerors, the Kefalonian Carnival hosts numerous festive carnivals mainly in the cities of Argostoli and Lixouri. At the squares, the Cavallieri with their white shirts and the Dames with the colorful costumes dance the traditional dances of Kefalonia. The most outstanding event is the parade of the carnival held in the city of Lixouri.

Every 21st of May, the Unification of the Ionian Islands with Greece is celebrated in Kefalonia.

Every June, the Naval Week of Kefalonia takes place in the harbour of Argostoli. The naval week hosts numerous celebrations and parades in the end of June and the beginning of July.

Every 11th of July, the traditional celebration in honor of Agia Euphemia takes place in the village of Agia Euphemia.

Every 15th of July, the Theatrical Festival of Kefalonia takes place in the city of Argostoli. The festival hosts numerous theatrical performances.

Every August, the Snake Festival takes place in the village of Markopoulo. A strange phenomenon occurs from 6 to 15 of August, as the area of the monastery of Panagia Lagouvarda is filled with small harmless snakes. Tradition has it that these snakes is a miracle of Virgin Mary since the medieval times when Virgin Mary Fidiotissa that helped the nuns and monks from dangerous conflicts by ‘sending’ snakes to the monastery. Since then, snakes appear every August. In fact, it is a bad sign if the snakes do not appear. The snakes of Virgin Mary are a unique spectacle you should not miss if you find yourself in Kefalonia.

Every 15th of August, the traditional celebration in honor of Virgin Mary takes place in the village of Markopoulos.

Every 16th of August, the traditional celebration in honor of Agios Gerasimos takes place at the Monastery of Agios Gerasimos. Agios Gerasimos is the saint protector of Kefalonia.

Every 23rd of August, the traditional celebration in honor of Virgin Mary takes place at the Monastery of Panagia Agrilion in the village of Sami. The liturgy is followed from a great festival with traditional dancing, music, food and wine.

Every August, the Robola Wine Festival takes place in the village of Fragata followed from traditional music, dancing and food till the morning hours. The festival is organized from the Agricultural Cooperation of Robola Producers usually on the first Saturday after August 15.

Every August, the Saristra Music Festival takes place in the village of Sami.

Every August, the International Music Festival of Kefalonia takes place in the city of Argostoli. The festival is usually held in the end of August.

Every year, the Barcarole Custom is held at the harbors of Assos and Lixouri. It is one of the most impressive traditional events where the musicians and singers of the island hop into boats and light candles in order to sing and dance. The celebration of Barcarole is usually completed with impressive fireworks.

History & Mythology

Mythology

According to mythology, the island was named in honor of King Kefalos, who helped Amphitryon of Mycenae in a war against the Teleboans and the Taphians. In the 5th century BC, Kefalonia was divided into four autonomous states, the Kefalonian Tetrapolis, which were named after the four sons of King Kefalos. As Homer has described Kefalonia in his glorious epic Odyssey, the island has been also suggested to be the homeland of Odysseus.

History

Archaeological excavations show that the island has been inhabited since the Paleolithic period. In the ancient times, the island participated in the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars on the sides of both Athens and Sparta. In 218 BC, Philip of Macedonia tried to dominate Kefalonia but he was defeated from the Athenians and the Kefalonians. However, the island was conquered from the Roman Empire in 187 BC due to its strategic geographical location, so that Romans could to also dominate mainland Greece. During the Byzantine period, Kefalonia suffered from numerous pirate invasions with the most severe being the ones from the Saracen pirates. In 1084, Roberto il Guiscardo tried to conquer Kefalonia and his attempt was unsuccessful. His name was given to the small town of Fiskardo, as he died there on June of 1085. In 1103, the island was ravaged from the Crusaders followed from the Genoese and the Normans. Kefalonia fell under the Venetian Empire for a period of three centuries up until 1797, when the French invaded Kefalonia who formed a temporary democratic government and burned the Libro D’Oro book with the privileges and the titles of the Venetian nobility. Later, the French were defeated from the allied fleet of the Russians, the Ottomans and the British. In May of 1864, the Unification of the Ionian Islands with the rest of Greece was recognized from the Treaty of Paris 1809 under the British protectorate. However, Kefalonia was conquered from the Italians and the Germans during the Second World War. Following the tragic event of the slaughter of the Italians from the Germans, the island was demolished from the devastating earthquakes of 1953 that lasted two months.

Travel & Transport

By Air: Kefalonia has an international airport with scheduled flights on an annual basis. From April to October, there are charter flights from numerous countries of Europe. The journey from Athens usually lasts forty five minutes to one hour. Book your tickets with AirTickets.com!

By Boat: Poros in Kefalonia is accessible by boat from the harbor of Killini in Peloponnese and Sami in Kefalonia is accessible by boat from the harbor of Patra in Peloponnese. The journey usually lasts three to four hours. The port of Fiskardo is connected with the harbour of Vassiliki in Lefkada and Ithaca Island and the port of Pessada is connected with the harbour of Shinari in Zakynthos. During the summer, the port of Sami receives ferries from Brindisi in Italy. Book your tickets with FerriesinGreece.com !

By Bus: KTEL Buses operate routes from the Kiffisos Station in the city of Athens to the cities of Killini and Patra in Peloponnese on a daily basis. The journey usually lasts three hours. From Killini and Patra, there are daily boat routes to Kefalonia.

By Car (216 kilometers): In order to get to Patra, you will have to follow the National Road of Athens to Patra. After crossing the Isthmus of Corinth, you keep driving on the right side in order to get to the National Road of Corinth to Patra. Following the toll station of Rio, continue straight until you reach the first exit to Patra. The journey usually lasts three to four hours. In order to reach Killini, follow the signs towards the Highway of Patra to Pyrgos shortly before entering Patra. Then, follow the signs to Killini.

Mysterious Greece Tips

An Excursion to Ithaca Island

Calm and wild, simple and genuine, romantic and poetic, mysterious and legendary, Ithaca awaits you to find your own ‘Ithaca’. Immersed in immorality through the legendary wanderings of Odysseus from Homer and highlighted as the timeless symbol of adventure and travel from Cavafy, Ithaca is a one-of-a-kind island. Verdant hills and rocky mountains surrounded from the sea in all the shades of blue, white, gray and orange rocks slate the seawaters like swords, colourful villages with elegant graciousness and aristocratic nobility, will definetely stimulate your imagination. This is Ithaca. Behind the legendary stories of Odysseus and the epics of Homer, Ithaca is the eternal symbol of love and nostalgia, synonymous to the value of ‘motherland’, worldwide known as the place of the return journey in the history of mankind. Once you travel to Ithaca, your soul will be tied forever with the eternal value of this island touched from the magic of the legendary myths.

Discover the Scene Locations from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, one of the greatest movies with Penelope Cruz and Nicolas Cage, was filmed in Kefalonia. The harbour of Sami was one of the main settings of the movie while the campsite of the Italians was built on the beach of Antisamos. The bomb explosion took place on the beach of Myrtos and the kissing scene was filmed at the beach of Horgota. Various scenes took place at the village of Domata while the houses of the movie are located in the village of Dihalia.

Driving Explorations

One of the most beautiful driving routes of Kefalonia starts from the city of Argostoli towards the seaside village of Fiskardo, the peninsula of Assos and the bay of Myrtos on the northern part of the island. Another interesting driving route runs on the northeast side of the island to the harbors of Agia Euphemia and Sami with panoramic views over the neighboring island of Ithaca.

Emerald, Sapphire and Turquoise Waters

Choose one of the numerous beaches of Kefalonia and get ready for a dream getaway! Organized and secluded, isolated and deserted, the beaches of Kefalonia promise endless hours under the sun! The northwest side beaches of the island from Emblisi to Agia Kyriaki distinguish for their tiny sizes and their pebbles, the beaches of Fiskardo are some of the most beautiful renowned for their verdant vegetation and their crystalline waters, the beaches of Lixouri and Pali Peninsula share the dramatic coastline of the island sand and soft clay rocks, the beach from Sami to Poros on the southeast side tend to be pebbled with turquoise waters mostly inaccessible by road, the southwest beaches are fringed with verdant vegetation of cypress and pine trees while the southern beaches stand out for their sandy terrain and their crystalline waters. Some of the most beautiful beaches of Kefalonia include the beaches of Antisamos, Myrtos, Petani, Platia Ammos and Xi.

Exclusively for Photographers

The natural diversity and the hidden hinterland of Kefalonia offer numerous astonishing sceneries to capture with your eyes! But it would be a shame not to remember those beautiful landscapes, wouldn’t it? So, make sure you bring your camera with you!

Explore the Black Mountain of Kefalonia

If you are nature lovers, then you will definitely fall in love with the National Park of Aenos! Aenos Mount is also known as Black Mountain due to the presence of the rare type of fir tree of Kefalonia, one of the most rare trees of Europe. Since 1961, Aenos Mount has been declared as one of the ten national parks of Greece. Extending over 120 square kilometers, Aenos Natural Park is a paradise for lovers of explorations. One can admire a wide variety of flowers and trees, among them the rare black pine of Kefalonia. The east side of the park is also ideal for lovers of hiking and trekking. You might even hear horses galloping, the wild horses of Kefalonia that reside around the Monastery of Zoodohos Pigi at an altitude of 1.300 to 1.500 meters. If you are adventurous enough, you can climb to the summit by driving along the mountain from the northwest side to the transmitter station, and then follow the dirt road on foot. You will be rewarded from breathtaking views to the islands of Ithaca, Kefalonia and Zakynthos!

Explore the Unexplored: Mysterious Kefalonia

Famed for its outstanding beauty and its striking flora and fauna, the opportunity to discover the unexplored places of Kefalonia is definitely an experience of a lifetime. Starting from the village of Fiskardo, one can return to the harbour of Agia Euphemia from the eastern road in order to discover the forgotten villages of Kefalonia and enjoy the magnificent views to Ithaca Island. The Paliki Peninsula is considered to be one of the less explored destinations of Kefalonia that distinguishes for its distinct natural beauty and its rich cultural heritage. The peninsula is divided into the verdant south part of Katogi and the mountainous north part of Anogi. In Katogi, one will have the opportunity to discover the beautiful beaches of Megas Lakos, Lepedas and Xi. Also, you can visit the church of Agia Marina that has been declared as a preserved monument due to the blend of numerous architectural styles and its impressive temple. West of Xi beach, one can explore the geological mystery of Kounopetra; it is a rock that was moving rhythmically before the earthquake of 1953, but since then it has reduced the regressions. Vatsa beach, else known as the Amazon of Kefalonia, stands out for its dense vegetation and its small river. In the same region, you can visit the ancient temple of Poseidon. On the western side, one can also visit the Lighthouse of Gerogombos that stands defend less to the winds. The area of Livathos can be found on the southern part of the island that stands out for its stunning beaches and its verdant mountains and meadows. Ano Livathos is dominated from imposing mountains and dreamy seashores while Kato Livathos distinguishes for its natural environment that co exist peacefully with the locals. Worth visiting village include Vlahata for its beautiful views, Dorizata for its verdant vegetation, Karavados for the church of Agios Konstantinos and Eleni, Kourkoumelata for its neoclassical architectural style and Mousata for its honey tradition. One of the top attractions of Livathos area is the castle of Agios Georgios. The Lake of Avythos, aka the lake without bottom, is one of the natural monuments of Kefalonia one has to visit`! According to scientists, the lake waters communicate underground with the waters that comes from Katovothres of Argostoli and Melissani Cave. If you want to experience the religious tradition of Kefalonia, then visit the area of Omala where the Monastery of Agios Gerasimos, the patron saint of the island, is found. Furthermore, Omala is famous for the production of robola, the local wine of Kefalonia. In fact, a celebration dedicated to robola is organized at the central square of Frangata village every August. The northern part of Kefalonia, the Erissos area, stands out for its isolation and its wild beauty. Assos and Fiskardo are two of the most beautiful villages of the island found on this part. However, the beaches of Erissos distinguish for their verdant vegetation and their crystalline waters. Some of the most beautiful include Alaties, Dafnoudi, Emblisi, Horgota and Foki. Grab a map and explore the unexplored side of Kefalonia!

Exquisite Kefalonian Gastronomic Experiences

Recipes, else known as retsetes, passed from generation to generation and cover all the tastes of the Kefalonian cuisine accompanied from the delicious Kefalonian wines, promising an exquisite gastronomic experience! The Kefalonian pies are exceptional, especially the cheese, cod, meat, octopus and vegetable pies. You should also try the Kefalonian rabbit cooked with Mavrodafni wine, bourgeto made with two kinds of local fish, and the renowned aliada dip made with potatoes, garlic and the broth from an octopus. Your palate will be sweetened from the delicious galaktoboureko made with dough and cream and the mouth watering mandolato made with almonds and sugars.

Full Moon Nights at the Lighthouse of Agioi Theodoroi

If you happen to be in Kefalonia on a full moon night, head to the lighthouse of Agioi Theodoroi to admire the beautiful moon!

Hiking Higher than Highest

Drive up to the transmitter station at the top of Aenos Mountain. From there, follow the dirt road to reach the beginning of the path that leads to Megas Soros. You will be rewarded from breathtaking views to the islands of Ithaca, Kefalonia and Zakynthos!

Hire a Motorboat to Discover the Mysteries of Kefalonia

Hiring a boat can offer a unique opportunity to explore the magnificent coastline of Kefalonia. As the most beautiful beaches of the island are inaccessible from land, you will require a boat to visit them. One will find boat rental facilities in every coastal village including Agia Euphemia, Assos, Argostoli, Agia Kyriaki, Fiskardo, Katelios, Lassi, Poros and Skala.

In the Rhythms of the Music Tradition of Kefalonia

Kefalonia has a great music tradition that has been strongly influenced from the Italians with its own distinctive features. The serenades of Kefalonia stand out for their great melody and lyrics. The mandolins and the guitars accompany the musical serenades of Kefalonia and have mainly a romantic content and erotic lyrics. Dionysus Lavragas is one of the most important composers of the serenades of Kefalonia. Although all the Ionian Islands have maintained their own serenades, Kefalonia and Zakynthos have managed to keep them alive and continue their tradition up until today!

Just for Speleology Lovers

Kefalonia is an ideal destination for speleology lovers. The island boasts many caves with the most important being the Lake Cavern of Melissani and the Cave of Drogarati. Melissani is a spectacular geological phenomenon that was discovered from the speleologist John Petrohilos in 1951 while Drogarati is one of the most impressive caves of Greece distinguished for its exceptional acoustics. Numerous operators offer guided tours to the caves of Kefalonia.

Kefalonia Mysteries

Kefalonia distinguishes for its weird geological phenomena. From the rock of Kounopetra that used to be moving on its own until recently and the Katovothres of Argostoli where the sea disappears to the dead lilies of Pastra that bloom again and the snakes of Panagia that appear every August, Kefalonia is definitely a mysterious island!

Meet the Kefalonians

Kefalonians distinguish for their kourlamara, a peculiar madness that is famous throughout Greece! The designation kourlos has no negative connotation, as it is considered to be an honor for the carriers and an integral part of their special temperament!

Natural Explorations

Blessed with the finest of nature, Kefalonia stands out for its divine sceneries. Just two kilometers away from Argostoli, one will have the opportunity to discover the verdant sceneries of the Botanical Garden of Kefalonia, an initiative of the Institute of Fokas Kosmetatos. The national park of Aenos is yet another natural wonder of Kefalonia ideal for hiking enthusiasts. In fact, the Mountaineering Club of Kefalonia organizes many excursions to Aenos! One of the most beautiful parts of the island is the narrow gorge of Vohinas located outside of Poros town. River Vohinas runs through the gorge and emanates from Avythos Lake to the sea. The cave of Drakena is situated on the south side of the gorge.

Natural Mud Spa at Xi Beach

Xi beach distinguishes for its soil that is said to have therapeutic properties. Head to Xi to cover your body with this distinctive mud! You should at least try it once!

Observing Like an Olympian God

Are you wondering where you will enjoy the most beautiful views of Kefalonia? Head to the archaeological site of Ancient Sami and the Castle of Agios Georgios in order to admire the views to the Ionian Sea or drive to the monastery of Agrilia to enjoy the breathtaking sunset views to Pali peninsula. Ratzakli village stands out for its amazing views to Zakynthos Island, Kobothekrata village distinguishes for its views to the city of Argostoli and Poulata village is famous for its views towards the harbour of Sami and the south side of Ithaca Island.

Romantic Promenades in the Village of Fiskardo

Characterized as a preserved settlement, Fiskardo is one of the most beautiful villages of Kefalonia. In fact, it is one of the few villages of the island that was not destroyed from the devastating earthquake of 1953. Colorful houses with red tiled roofs and narrow balconies blend with the beautiful sceneries of the mountain and the sea creating a spectacular atmosphere. Fiskardo is one of the best places to enjoy a romantic promenade with your other half!

Sailing in Kefalonia

Kefalonia is a paradise for sailing enthusiasts. On the east, Kefalonia is separated from Ithaca from a narrow channel while it borders with Zakynthos on the north and Lefkada on the south. With a total land area of 688 square kilometers, Kefalonia boats abundant lovely bays, beaches and coves. The eastern coast of the island is amongst the most popular for sailing enthusiasts with numerous sheltered harbour including Agia Euphemia, Fiskardo, Poros and Sami. Prevailing winds are mostly from northwest or west direction, making the east side completely safe. In Argostoli and Lixouri, shelter can be found in all weather conditions.

Traditional Festivals

Rich in local customs, Kefalonia will give you the opportunity to explore the rich cultural heritage of the island. Local festivals play an integral part in the local culture of Kefalonia with the most famous being the festival of Panagia Lagouvarda, else known as Fidiotissa. A strange phenomenon occurs from 6 to 15 of August, as the area is filled with small harmless snakes. Tradition has it that these snakes is a miracle of Virgin Mary since the medieval times when Virgin Mary Fidiotissa that helped the nuns and monks from dangerous conflicts by ‘sending’ snakes to the monastery. Since then, snakes appear every August. In fact, it is a bad sign if the snakes do not appear. The snakes of Virgin Mary are a unique spectacle you should not miss if you find yourself in Kefalonia. Another traditional festival is held in honor of the robola wine at the central square of Frangata village during August. The traditional celebration in honor of Agios Gerasimos, the patron saint of Kefalonia, is yet another important festival that is accompanied from traditional dance, music and wine.

Wine Experiences

Kefalonia has a long winemaking tradition that dates back to the Neolithic times. There are approximately 48 grape varieties grown in the island, with the most famous being the Robola of Kefalonia. It is a white wine with a Protected Designation of Origin produced exclusively in Kefalonia! The most significant cultivation area of Robola covers a large area on the plateau of Omalos near the Monastery of Agios Gerasimos, where the Agricultural Cooperative of Robola Producers can be found. One can actually visit the winery of the cooperative in order to learn about the way of production and bottling of Robola wines! Other grape varieties include the White Muscat of Kefalonia and Mavrodafni of Kefalonia that have been granted with appellation of Vin de Liqueur. There are many wineries in Kefalonia where you can discover the production methods of winemaking!

Photo Credits

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Note: All the images are copyrighted from their owners. Please see Terms & Conditions. You can find the original images at the following links:

Aenos Mountain: Tony Hisgett by Flickr

Agia Euphemia Village: PapaPiper by Flickr

Antisamos Beach: Shutterstock

Assos Peninsula: Shutterstock

Assos Village: Shutterstock

Atheras Beach: PapaPiper by Flickr

Fiskardo Village: Shutterstock

Fortress of Agios Georgios: Shutterstock

Katavothres Sunset: Claire Rowland by Flickr

Landscape: Berit Watkin by Flickr

Lighthouse of Agioi Theodoroi: Risastla by Flickr

Melissani Cave: Shutterstock

Myrtos Beach: Shutterstock

Platia Ammos beach: Shutterstock

View from Mount Aenos: PapaPiper by Flickr

Xi Beach: Chris Barnes by Flickr