Ionian Islands - Kefalonia

Kefalonia is the largest and most mountainous of the Ionian Islands - a jewel in the deep blue Ionian Sea. It’s positioned between Lefkas and Zante. It is 781 km2 in size and app. 35.000 residents live here.

The island is dominated by the bulk of Mount Ainos which reaches a height of 1627 meters above sea level and its ranges form the backbone of the island. The coastline has a number of harbors, safe sandy beaches and dramatic cliffs.

According to Greek mythology, Kefalonia was named after the King Kefalos, although there have been occasionally other theories regarding the origin of the name.

Kefalonia is known for its wonderful beaches with the turquoise waters and the impressive surroundings. Myrtos and Antisamos are the most famous beaches on the island. Throughout Kefalonia, there are lovely resorts with all tourist facilities. Assos, Fiscardo, Lixouri and Skala are the most developed resorts.

Many other beautiful villages dot the landscape, both in the coast and the country side. Argostoli, the capital town, is distinguished for its elegant Venetian architecture. In the centre of the island, the natural reserve of Mount Ainos dominates, creating a charming environment to explore.

Visitors to Kefalonia are able to enjoy a wealth of superb and often secluded beaches; busy beach resorts; quiet, laid back villages; a thriving capital in Argostoli; fantastic scenery and a rich sense of history everywhere.

The Capital of Kefalonia with a population of approximately 13,000 is built on the peninsular of Phanari on the deep water sheltered bay of Agostoli. It is the main administrative, commercial and cultural centre for the island. Argostoli has a wide range of facilities including Banks (with ATM machines) supermarkets, restaurants a wide selection of shops, butchers, bakers, fruit markets and a fish market.

The modern town was rebuilt after the disaster of the earthquake of 1953 which destroyed the town. It is well laid out with attractive squares wide streets and tree lined avenues. It has a busy harbor with a frequently used by cruise Liners. The rebuilt town does not lack interesting buildings, most of which are public buildings such as the Town Hall, Government House, The Law Courts, The Cathedral and the Theatre.

Buses to all parts of the island leave from the new bus station and a frequent ferry services operate from the harbor to Lixouri across the bay.

Places to visit

Lithostro

Lithostro is a traffic free shopping street with a selection of shops, bars and restaurants. Shops generally open 9am - 2pm and then 6pm- 8pm approx. Closed on Sunday.

Plateia Vallianos

The Main Square is lined with bars and restaurants. This is the place to go for night life.

Archaeological Museum

Housed here are Pre historic and Roman artifacts and artifacts from the Mycenaean period. Opening times 9am- 3pm Tuesday to Saturday

Folklore & Cultural Museum

The museum concentrates on the period of Kefalonia’s history up to the time of the Great Earthquake of 1953. Opening times 9am- 2pm Monday to Friday.

Koryalenios Library

This is one of the largest libraries in Greece and houses a collection of Byzantine icons. Opening times 9am - 2pm then 6pm - 8pm Monday to Friday.

Kefalos Theatre

Located opposite the Archaeological Museum. Open 9am- 2pm Monday - Friday.

Napier Gardens

Located just off the Main Square. A pleasant shady garden named after a former British Governor of the Island.

Botanical Gardens

On the outskirts of Agostoli, a large interesting collection of plants in a natural setting with a stream running through the centre.

The impressive ruin of St George's Castle is near Argostoli.

A few kilometers outside Agostoli situated in a commanding position is the fortress of AGIOS GEORGIOS (St Georges Castle). It is believed that it was built by Byzantine emperors over 1000 years ago. During the period that the island was ruled by the Venetians, it is said that over 15,000 people lived within the fortress walls. The walls are over 20 feet thick. The fortress lies above the village of Peratata where can be found the THE ECCLESIASTICAL MUSEUM OF the APOSTLE ANDREW of MILAPEDIA which displays frescoes from the church of the Archangel, Milapedia and other rare items from the 13 century onwards.

The Obelisk at Argostoli was built to commemorate the building of the bridge that crosses the bay.

The Bridge of Drapano crosses the head of the bay of Agostoli. It was initially constructed of wood in 1813 by Charles de Bosset and rebuilt in stone 1839.

An obelisk commemorating the building of the bridge was built about half way across. The bridge carried motor traffic until fairly recently but is now supposed to be for pedestrians only.



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