Travel info for Kefalonia

Welcome to Kefalonia!

Attractions in Argostoli. Argostoli hosts the Korgialeneios Library, which is the third richest library in Greece with 59.000 volumes. Iakovateios Library (Central Public Library / Museum of the Typaldos’ and the Iakovatos’ Families) in the preserved mansion of the family, hosts a valuable collection of old and more recent books, rare old manuscripts. During the summer, various cultural events are hosted in the garden. Petritseios Library “Damodos” is another smaller library with 1400 volumes. Laskaratos was an important personality of the island and the father of Satire in Greece. You can visit the statue and the hill of Laskaratos, while you can also see the statue of N. Kavadias and Panagis Vallianos in the main square.
The Philharmonic school is one of the oldest ones in the Ionian islands, with an important musical tradition. The Kosmetatos Residence is one of the few well preserved neoclassical mansions that survived the earthquake of 1953, while the theater Kefalos is a place of authentic cultural expression. A special lighthouse prevails in the city. The Light of Agioi Theodoroi was built by Napier, but was destroyed during the 1953earthquake. It was later restored, based to its first design. Visit the lighthouse during the sunset. Take a stroll at the Kampana Square, where libro d’ oro was burned down and in the garden of Napier, with the traditional fences and the perimetric passages. 
Archeological monuments. The Mycenaean domed tomb in Poros is the biggest and most well preserved in the island. In Lakythra there are also tombs from the Mycenaean era, where important findings (jugs, amphorae etc.) were brought to light. In Mazarakata, an area with 16 caves, 83 tombs of an ancient cemetery with exceptional findings were found. All of them are in display in the Archeological Museum of Argostoli. In Skala, there are remnants of a Roman mansion with impressive well preserved tiles. Don’t miss the Cyclopean Walls in Razata, along the ancient Krani, made of massive stones. This is where the remnants of the Doric temple of Demetra and Persephone are. 
The caves. Kefalonia has a very peculiar topogeography, which explains the existence of many remarkable caves. In Sami you will see the cave Drogkatari, one of the biggest in the island and the best in Greece. It even has a special platform for concerts, since the cave has amazing acoustics and spectacular ambiance. Impressive is the lake-cave of Melissani, where you can take a boat tour. Visit the islet of Nymphs and observe the 20.000 year old stalactites. Historic is the cave of Agios Gerasimos in Lassi. This is where the Saint spent 5 years as a hermit, before he went to Omala to found the homonymous monastery. 
Katavothres. These cracks on the ground allow the seawater to go through, creating a tunnel under the island, which follows an underground route towards the eastern part of the island. Few years ago, the power of the water was exploited through watermills. The rare geological phenomenon was inexplicable up until 1963. This is when it was finally explained by Austrian scientists, who made a simple experiment, by combining all the facts. 
Kounopetra. The island offers yet another rare phenomenon: a massive rock, in the Cape of Palliki, which is rhythmically and ceaselessly moving. After the earthquakes of 1953, the rhythmical move of the rock was decreased, but it remains a spectacular attraction.  
The museums. The Maritime and Environmental Museum in Fiskardo hosts marine fossils, ship models and pictures, while it informs visitors about the marine organisms, the natural beauties of the island, but also about the environmental pollution. Korgialeneio Historic and Folk Art Museum in Argostoli is really interesting, as it promotes the folklore and the civilization of the island from the Venetian Rule until the 1953 earthquake, which destroyed most of history’s footprints in the area. There is also a library with rare publications and an organized archive, which aims to the future implementation of educational programs. The Archeological Museum is hosted in a recently renovated (2000) building, completely earthquake-proof. The exhibits cover the following periods: Paleolithic, Neolithic, Meso-Hellenistic and finally Mycenaean (hall 1 and 2), where most of the findings come from tombs and Hall 3 with findings from the 8th and the 5th century BC, as well as of the Roman years from the ancient cemeteries, but also from the worshiping cave of Diakata.
The Museum of Natural History of Kefalonia and Ithaca in Davgata is considered the starting point for the island’s exploration. It was founded from the Nature Protection Association of Kefalonia and Ithaca and it was awarded by the Academy of Athens, since it doesn’t just promote the special elements of the local nature. It also has a Lab, a center of environmental education and a collection of flora and fauna samples, in order to provide practical information and to inspire awareness about the preservation of the ecological inheritance, which is so uniquely rich. The Ecclesiastical Byzantine Museum in the Monastery of Agios Andreas has a rich collection of treasures that cover a specter of 4 centuries of artistic religious creation. The Maritime Museum of Farson features nautical archives, ship models, gravures, maps and nautical instruments, as well as other artifacts. The Foundation of Fokas Kosmetatos’ Sons, hosted in their family mansion, displays rare works (lithographs, coins, paper currency etc.), while it also has an educational section. The private museum of Radio and Telecommunication Archive can only be visited by appointment. 
National Park of Ainos. Mount Ainos prevails over the entire island. However, beyond that, it has an important ecological value and was justifiably declared as national park in 1962, even though it’s the smallest one in the country. You will have the chance to see up close the black fir and the famous wild mountain horses that resemble the horses of the ancient sculptures. A must see is also the Museum of Natural History. We could sadly say that even though Ainos has been declared as a national park, it has severely been bruised by human intervention and natural disasters. 
The monasteries. The island boasts numerous monasteries, of special interest. The Kehrionos Monastery was built by Zakynthian marines in 1828 and it’s interconnected with the maritime history and tradition of the island. The Monastery of Virgin Mary of Sission (Lourdas bay) was founded by Saint Francisco of Assisi and its name is actually a paraphrase of his name. The Monastery of Agios Andreas was established during the Byzantine era and has rare frescoes dated back to the 16th century. The church of Evaggelistria takes us to another time, since it was built in 1580 and it’s located in Kastro. The Church of Theotokos in Ntomata is of a profound historical importance and it nests the coffin of the beheaded Patriarch Grigorios. The known church of Agios Spyridonas, patron Saint of the city, is in Argostoli and this is where every year on August 11th there is a memorial for the people who died during the 1953 earthquakes. The city’s metropolitan church, besides Fousatos’ amazing temple in the old church of Virgin Mary and the icons of hagiographer Th. Poulakis, also operates: a School of Byzantine Music, a Boarding School for boys and girls, a Nursing Home in Argostoli and a Poorhouse in Lixouri. In Lamia, the icon of Virgin Mary is considered as miraculous. Don’t forget, even if you are not a fan of religious tourism, to visit the Monastery of Kipouraion, which is built in a breathtaking location; on a steep cliff 90 meters above the sea level, enjoying a fabulous view. The Monastery Atrou is the oldest one in the island and has a medieval tower, which prevails the scenery. The Koronatou Monastery is connected to a miracle related to a shepherd, while something similar occurs with the Agriolon Monastery. The Monastery of Agios Gerasimos, patron of the island in Omala, hosts the relics of the Saint and attracts many visitors. 
The Castles. The Venetian Castle of Assos was built in a strategic location and it was once very powerful. However after the occupation of Lefkada, its importance was diminished something that led to its decadence. If you tour the ruins, you will enjoy the amazing view to the Ionian Sea and Assos, which is built in a narrow strip that connects the island with the castle. The Castle of Agios Georgios in Peratata is dated back to the 13th century and fortified the capital until 1757. It then went from the Venetian to the Turkish and Franco occupation. The castle boasts many churches and bridges, while the view is panoramic.  
The Italian war memorial. It’s located near Katavothres and is dedicated to the Italians that were executed by the German troops, since after Mussolini’s death and the capitulation of the Italians, they were left with contradictive orders: to defend the island but also to surrender it. Since the Germans were outnumbering the Italians, they gathered the latter and executed them at the point where the memorial is today.  
The tour of Kefalonia can be divided into regions: the western peninsula of Lixouri, the southern part with Mount Ainos and the northern part with Assos and Fiskardo.
Lixouri Peninsula: In order to go from Argostoli to Lixouri there is only one road, which is also very easy. We head north and make the round of the bay of Argostoli and then a left turn in Katohori. The road remains coastal, goes through the beaches of Kouramia and Livadi and ends up in Lixouri. On the northern side of Lixouri, we find the popular beach Xi. Alternatively, from Soullarous you can make a left turn towards the beach of Mega Lakos. From Mantazavinata you have the choice to continue straight to Akrotiki and the beach of Agios Nikolaos or to head right towards Havriata. From there, there are two options: to descend towards the sea to the beaches of Geropompos or head north to Havdata and the mountainous villages of Hersonissos. From Lixouri, you have the option to head towards Havdata and then to the west and visit the Monastery of Kipoureon. The road continues to the north towards Madoukata. From there we can return to Lixouri or continue further north and either go west or east in the mountainous villages of the peninsula. To return to Lixouri, you can follow the Lixouri-Skinea road, from the homonymous village. The quickest option, to visit the beaches in the northern part of the peninsula, is to take the national road from Lixouri to Livadi and then turn to Vovikes and the beaches of Agia Eleni, Petani and Halkes.  

Northern part:
 From Argostoli head north towards Katohori, where you can follow the main road towards Divarata or from Drepano you can ascend further to the north from the ring road of Mount Agia Dynati, which ends up in Drakata, just outside of Divarata. From Divarata, you can head north to Assos and from there you can begin exploring the inland villages towards the east and end up on the eastern beaches, which overlook Ithaca. Alternatively, you can further continue to the north from the main road and end up in Fiskardo, since the route offers the choice of shorter deviations, towards the east as well as to the west, to all the villages and the beaches located there.
Around Mount Ainos: This part is probably the bigger and more interesting. From Argostoli you can head northeast towards Sami, so you can visit Lake Melissani, Karavomylos, Lake Zervati and the beaches of the bay. From Sami you can go south and stumble across numerous villages on the national road (Tzanetata, Katapodata, Zervata, Mouzakata, Koulourata and Vrysi). From there you have the choice to head to Poros, via the national road, or to turn right and tour Mount Ainos, as well as its villages on the northern slopes. If you choose to go to Poros and then to Agios Nikolaos you can get off the national road and explore the southern slopes of the mountain. From Poros you can head over to the south towards Skala from the national road and explore the settlements, on the east, west or the north side. After reaching Skala and the southernmost point of the island (Katelios), we can continue north, exclusively via the national road and head over to the eastern side of the region, through Platies, Simotata and Vlahata. After Vlahata, there are many alternatives towards the southwestern part (seaside), as well as the mountainous regions. After Peratata, the national road is divided in 2 routes. The shortest one is towards Argostoli. However, if you turn to the left, you can explore the lovely beaches of the area and the beautiful mountainous villages.  

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