Places Of Interest In Kefalonia


Kefalonia's rich historical, cultural and agricultural heritage have bewitched visitors to her shores for centuries. With a diverse and verdant landscape, many traditional villages and miles of wonderful beaches, and a perfect Mediterranean climate it is easy to see why.

There is plenty to see and do on this beautiful island. To simply explore the little villages and countryside along the coast and inland is a delight in itself. There are endless beaches to try out and for the more active or for children there are more modern attractions such as bowling centres. If you have a real sense of adventure there are also other islands near by, the Greek mainland and Ithaka.

Zante Zante, also known as Zakynthos, is the most southerly of the Ionian Islands and can be visited in a day from Kefalonia. Triangular in shape Zante island has three distinct areas: the north west is mountainous with quaint traditional mountain villages, the central region is a fertile plain rich with olive groves and vineyards and the south east is characterised by beautiful beaches.

There is something for everyone with numerous sandy beaches, mountain villages, beautiful natural scenery, watersports and good quality bars and restaurants. The locals welcome tourists with open arms and offer them the hospitality which Greece is famous for.

Navagio, meaning Shipwreck, is Zante's most famous sight and one that frequently appears in travel brochures all over the world- with its magnificent white cliffs and clear turquoise waters creating a truly spectacular place. Located in the north west of the island, this splendid beach is a must see for any traveller to Zante. Accessible by boat trips from Cape Skinari and St Nikolas harbour, visiting this beach makes for a memorable experience and a chance to take some special photos.

Ithaca Probably the most legendary of all Greek islands, Ithaca is still one of the least known. Beautiful and still unspoiled by tourism, the island of Odysseus is only a short distance from Kefalonia. These islands are undoubtedly jewels in the Ionian Sea.

Ithaca is the second smallest and the most under-developed island in the Ionian. In the trees and mountains, the impossibly blue sea and in every little village with their brightly coloured blue doors and rough walls lost under countless layers of whitewash. Nestling under stunning sunsets life is unhurried and pleasure is found in the most simple of pastimes.

Melissani and Drogarati Caves Located in the area of Karavomilos near Sami, lies the Melissani cave which is undoubtedly among Kefalonia's most breathtaking attractions. Discovered in 1951 by speleologist Yiannis Petrohilos, Melissani cave also includes a beautiful lake with crystal blue waters which is 22 metres below ground level and its maximum depth is about 30 metres.

The complete tour is done by boat, first making a round trip around the first hall with the hole in the roof. Then the boat passes the island on the opposite wall, where a small channel exists. This channel is too narrow to row, but there is a rope at the wall and the gondolier pulls the boat through. The second hall is a huge cavern with an arched roof, which was also formed by a collapse, but this cave is more to the centre of the island and because of the slope of the hill, the overlying rock is still thick enough. The second chamber has numerous big stalactites and stalagmites.

Drogarati's Cave, which is also close to Sami is 60m deep and was discovered 300 years ago, when a part of it was destroyed because of a strong earthquake, and so the entrance was created. Initially the cave was developed and used by the community of Haliotata, under the supervision of the speleologist Mrs. Petrocheilos and since 1963 it has been open to the public.

Kefalonia Robola Wine The Robola wine cooperative winery is located at Kefalonia Island, Ionian Islands, and western Greece. More specific at the plateau of the Community of Omala, in an altitude of 700 metres, in the slopes of the gorgeous and green full Ainos Mountain

In Kefalonia the unique wine, Robola, is grown and produced. A harmonious white wine of high quality, it is one of the most well known wines in Greece (Hellas). Its wonderful balanced taste, strong note and unique white colour are just a few of the qualities which have established its reputation world-wide.The cultivation of this particular grape is known to be really hard work on the slopes of Mountain Ainos, where the soil is poor and stony, and vineyards can be found as high as 800 m.

The winery is open from 9am to 8.30 pm and is well worth a visit.

Mount Ainos National Park In 1962 Mount Ainos was declared a National Park by the Greek state. The forested area of the range now covers an area of 2826 hectares. The larger part of Mount Ainos is given over exclusively to the unique Kefalonia pine (Abies cephalonica), with its straight trunk, its rich pyramid-shaped foliage and its characteristic pine needles. The species retains its purity on Kefalonia since it is protected by the isolation of the island.

The highest mountain on Kefalonia, Ainos, extends like a spinal cord through the southern part of island. It has a total length of 10 km and its highest peak is Mount Soros, at 1628m. Mount Roudi is an extension of this range to the north-west, the highest peak being Yioutari, which rises to 1125m.

Agios Giorgios Castle The medieval castle of Agios Georgios is situated near the village of Peratata, on a 320m hill. The castle was built in the 13th century to fortify the island's old capital which was housed here until 1757 AD. The castle owes its name to the large church of Agios Georgios, which is situated in the region.

The castle, along with the island, fell in succession into the hands of the Byzantines, the Franks, the Turks and the Venetians. On 24 December 1500, after a persistent battle with the Venetians, the Spanish and the people of Kefalonia, the castle was liberated from the Turks.

The severe damage to the buildings led to a restoration supervised by the mechanic Tsimaras, which lasted for four years. Until the earthquake in 1636, the castle thrived and housed storage rooms, a hospital, barracks, private residencies and a prison in which the more liberal people of Kefalonia were kept, whom the current conquerors considered dangerous.

The Castle's entire surface area is 16,000 square metres, and the walls are 600 m. long and 1,015 m. high. The three ramparts face Argostoli, the East and Peratata, respectively and includes loopholes, observatories and cannon positions. Inside the Castle, its possible to gaze at the tower called "Old Fortress" as well as part of the walls and underground arche. There is, in addition the throne of the Venetian Lord and a catholic church, where the nobles of Kefalonia were buried.

Agios Gerasimos Monastery Agios Gerasimos is the patron saint of the island. On its feast day, the monastery is swarming with pilgrims. According to tradition, he was born in Trikala of Korinthia and was a member of the famous Notaras family. He became a monk and spent twelve years in the Holy Land and five years in Zakynthos. He came to Kefalonia in 1560 and stayed in the cave of the same name, south of Argostoli.

Later, he founded the monastery and took residence there until his death on 15 August, 1579. Two years later, on 20 October, 1581, his relics were placed inside the monastery. He was canonized in 1622. At the courtyard, there is a big plane tree and a well, which is said to have been dug by the saint himself. Inside, there is a trap-door where he is said to have spent the greater part of his life. On the 15th of August and the 20th of October, big festivals and processions take place. Many miracles are connected to the saint's relics and icon.

Assos Castle The castle (Kastro) of Assos, the focal point of Assos's peninsula, was built by the Venetians in the late 16th century in order to protect the city from pirate raids. Today, one can still admire part of the walls and the arched entrance gate. In the Castle, one can see the ruins of the Venetian High Commissioner's house, the barracks and the church of Agios Markos.

From here, the view of the sea and the lovely bay of Myrtos is so unique it attracts many tourists.

Argostoli Argostoli is the main town of this Greek Ionian Island where a large proportion of Kefalonia’s inhabitants live today. Argostoli has been the capital of Kefalonia since 1757 when the political centre was moved here after the former fortified capital, the castle of St George, was damaged by an earthquake.

This harbour town is very much a modern town with most of the former grandeur of the town lost with its buildings in the great earthquake of 1953. Livostroto is the main shopping street of the town, where you can pick up gifts and clothes. The fruit and vegetable market, bakeries and other food shops are found mainly along the harbour front road.

Argostoli has many tavernas in the centre of town, by Valiano Square as well as along the waterfront road. There are several musuems to visit on your villa holiday including the Korgialenio Folklore museum which has traditional Greek clothes and embroidery, as well as many pre-earthquake photographs of Kefalonia (Cephalonia).


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