A Green – Blue Harmony
This lush green island with breathtaking beaches and crystal clear waters of greenish-blue colours will leave you speechless. Kefalonia glows in the Ionian Sea and carries a rich history in cultural tradition. It’s the biggest Ionian Island and the green of its mountains blend with the blue of the water making it truly unique and a beloved destination. Pine, cypress and olive trees cover Mt. Ainos’ peak, while at its foot you’ll encounter vineyards where the popular Kefalonian Robola wine variety is produced.
If you happen to love snorkeling or diving then the island’s amazing seabed will definitely satisfy you. You might even get the chance to encounter the rare, caretta caretta, sea turtles that take refuge here, as well as the monk seals monachus monachus. Kefalonia’s culinary tradition, history, picturesque villages, upbeat nightlife and pristine beaches will make you fall in love with the island.
The biggest town of the island and the live capital of the island is Argostoli, a town built amphitheatrically, with intense city life and active, full of various types of entertainment: shops for every taste, coffee to relax, bars and beaches nearby. Although Argostoli was totally ruined by the earthquake dated since 1953, there are still sites that depict the old venetian architecture. You can see the old town Krani with the Cyclopean Walls, you can walk on the pedestrian street, where if you have the opportunity you may encounter the local philharmonic orchestra playing traditional ionian songs; you can complete your promenade strolling through the dock. The Archaeological Museum with findings from areas of the island and the Korgialeneios Library with a rare collection of books and manuscripts that operates as folklore museum are of great interest. If you enjoy night life, you can find clubs where you can stay until dawn.
The westernmost of the two peninsulas of Kefalonia is the one of Paliki; the peninsula of Paliki is situated there that despite the great shock since the earthquake of 1953 it was rebuilt, taking into account traditional architecture. It is the second greatest town of the island, however it is a peaceful town that is offered for relaxation.You can enjoy your coffee, your pastry sweets and the local cuisine at the port, at the square with the famous ficus plant and whatever site draws your attention. Pass by the manor of the Typaldon-Iakovaton brothers built in 1866, which use to house the Iakovateio Library, but due to the 2014 eathquake the building suffered damage and is for the moment closed. It use to be home to 25,000 books and a small museum at the 1st floor where three Christian parchments of the 10th, 14th and 15th century, old furniture, sacred vessels and vestments were on display. Visit the Kipouria Monastery where you can enjoy one of the most breathtaking sunsets on the island.
Fiscardo survived the destructive earthquake of 1953. Most of the buildings preserve their traditional local colour that travels you back in time: Grand mansions with elegant balconies, old two-storey houses, the dark red of roof tiles, the greenish of mountainsides, the blue of the sea and the overall scenery is enchanting. The Greek poet that wrote poetry about the sea, Nikos Kavvadias, comes from this picturesque residential area.
The cave lake of Melissani
The cave lake of Melissani is one of the most impressive sights of Kefalonia, a unique moment of nature, a fascinating heavenly scenery. It is situated in Karavomylos, an area close to Sami town. Melissani was discovered in 1951 and after certain constructions in order to be accessible has become one of the most famous tourist destinations. The uniqueness of the landscape is owed to a great part of the roof that has collapsed; during the day when the sun is high and the sunshine drops on the lake it makes the light blue waters shine giving a calming feeling.
At the north part of the island, picturesque Assos is built alongside of the cliffs of the same peninsula, among pine trees and cypresses. Sparsely built with traditional color, in an impressive landscape, Assos fascinates with the peace and simplicity it depicts. Apart from the wonderful waters of Assos peninsula, nearby lies Myrtos beach (awarded with the blue flag) and many small bays that wait for you to discover them.
The most passionate mention it as the most wonderful village of the Balkan area. The vilage is called Kourkoumelata and lies at the southwest part of the island. The earthquake of 1953 ruined Kourkoumelata, as it ruined most areas of the island, however, the way that this residential area was rebuilt is the feature that makes it stand out. This resettlement has occurred abiding by both to modern rules of city planning, and to the preservation of neo-classic features.
The mountain that prevails in Kefalonia is Ainos, whose peak reaches 1628 meters, and is the only national park situated on a Greek Island. In this area grows the tree fir that is native in Kefalonia with its black leaves that gives an impressive and particular black color to the mountain. In the cliffs of the mountain you will also see small wild horses. The mountain is ideal for excursions in the verdant nature and for hiking with paths of various levels of difficulty.
Kefalonian cuisine is renowned and familiar. The island produces yellow cheeses, feta cheese, olive oil, honey and processed local meats. It also holds a large number of delicious local recipes; native “recettes”, cookbooks that were given from one generation to the next. You must try the famous meat pie, the lagoto dish that is cooked with rabbit and sofigado dish with goat. You should not miss the cod pie filled with salted cod fish and skordalia (a garlic sauce) made of boiled potatoes in cod’s broth with lemon or vinegar. You must also taste strapatsada (scrambled cooked eggs with tomatoes) and tsigaridia (greens cooked with tomato sauce), and traditional sweets, such as mandoles (almonds assorted with sugar) and pastokydono (a sweet made of quince puree). You should not fail to try Robola, the famous wine of Kefalonia, a dry wine that you can easily enjoy.