Welcome to Kefallonia
The largest of the Ionian Islands, Kefallonia is a place where it’s easy to lose yourself, surrounded by air thick with oleander and the bells of wandering goats. Lush, mountainous and blessed with wild meadows, vineyards and secret coves lapped by water bluer than a supermodel’s iris, Kefallonia has it all. Despite the seismic earthquake of ’53 that razed much of the original architecture, a few villages with Italianate good looks still survive, namely Fiskardo and Assos. Under-explored areas like the Paliki Peninsula, excellent unique cuisine, and great wines round out a spectacular island.
Sights in Kefallonia
One of Greece’s most breathtaking picture-perfect beaches is Myrtos, 8km south of Assos along an exciting stretch of the west coast road. From a roadside viewing area, admire the white sand and shimmering blue water set between tall limestone cliffs far below. Reach the beach down a zigzagging road. The beach drops off sharply, but once you’re in the water it’s heavenly – think ‘turquoise’, then double it.
Agios Georgios Kastro
This Venetian kastro (castle) from the 1500s sits atop a hill southeast of Argostoli; it was the capital of Kefallonia for about two hundred years. Well worth a visit for its stellar views, the castle is also surrounded by a small village with Byzantine churches and restaurants (also with stunning vistas). Palatino creates home-cooked Kefallonian specialities. Astraios is a bar with live Greek music owned by venerated musician Dionysos Frangopoulos.
HOURS: 8.30am-3pm Tue-Sun
Moni Agiou Gerasimou
Dedicated to Kefallonia’s patron saint, this monastery (16km east of Argostoli) is cared for by nuns. Inside the chapel lies the famous cave where Gerasimos escaped from the rigours of monastic life to even greater self-abnegation. Descend via a steep metal ladder into a small chamber 6m below.
PRICE: adult/child €7/4
HOURS: 9am-1pm & 3.30-8pm
See displays on Kefallonia’s cultural and political history in a pre-earthquake building. Their Cephalonia Botanica, a lovely botanical garden, is about 2km from Argostoli centre.
PRICE: adult/child €3/free
HOURS: 10am-1pm Mon-Fri, by appointment in low season
CONTACT: (+30) 26710 26595
LOCATION: Valianou, Argostoli, Greece
Korgialenio History & Folklore Museum
Dedicated to preserving Kefallonian art and culture, this fine museum houses icons and pre-earthquake furniture, clothes and artwork from the homes of gentry and farmworkers.
PRICE: admission €3
HOURS: 9am-2pm Mon-Sat
Tel: (+30) 26710 28835
LOCATION: Ilia Zervou 12, Argostoli, Greece
Set 16km from Argostoli on the Argostoli–Poros road. Has an attractive expansive beach set against a mountainous green backdrop.
This lovely botanical garden is about 2km from Argostoli centre.
HOURS: 8.30am-2.30pm Mon-Fri