TOWNS AND VILLAGES
There are more than 150 villages in Kefalonia! As it is the case with the beaches in Kefalonia (did you have the time to check our beautiful beaches in the relevant section) some very beautiful areas will be omitted but that’s only because some other areas and sights will have to be included in the most feasibly inclusive way.
Argostoli is the capital of Kefalonia since the mid of 18th century and the main port of the island. 14.000 people live in Argostoli, by far the largest town in Kefalonia. It is located in the south-central part of the island, at the far end of the bay of the same name, surrounded by mountains and forests. The famous earthquake of 1953 devastated Argostoli as was the case with the majority of the towns and villages of the island, causing the loss of many of the town’s Venetian buildings as well. Argostoli is a working town and a port where cruise ships occasionally stop off on their itinery. To reach the town, you must cross a stone bridge 650 meters long called “Drapano bridge”. In the bridge’s middle way, there is a small pyramid called the “Colona”, a monument dedicated to the man who built the bridge, Charles de Bosset.
Argostoli has an attractive coastal road promenade lined with palm trees and paved with sea pebbles. The modern retail district is Lithostroto Street, a pedestrian road lined by many shops leading to the church of Saint Spyridon and the clock tower of Campana square. The town has a nice and large square called “Platia Valianou” which is surrounded by many restaurants, patisseries, café and bars. The square gets quickly crowded in the summer evenings and nights though, not excessively so, allowing at the same time for a relaxed evening-night out. Another trademark of Argostoli is the “Fanari” a small round building with white Dorian style columns the Lighthouse of Saint Theodore which is located around two kilometres away from the city center.
Lixouri is the second largest village of Kefalonia with a population of 3.000 people. Situated in the huge bay across Argostoli in the southern part of the island, the two towns are 33 kilometres away from each other through land –about 45 minutes driving. The land route between them is very scenic with some very panoramic views of the whole region, definitely worth every minute of travelling it.
The main square of the village is “Plateia Petritsi” which is surrounded by many cafes and bars filled with people during the summer months. Also, some of the nicest music festivals of the island are hosted on this lively square. The people of Lixouri are famous for their musical tradition –and inclination- and the village has one of the oldest and most important orchestras of Greece.
Skala is a coastal village on the south-eastern edge of Kefalonia, 37 kilometers from Argostoli. The village as it is today it was built in 1956, replacing the original village which was destroyed in the great Earthquake of 1953. The ruins of “Old Skala” are still visible. Skala is the largest resort of the southern part of Kefalonia. Its trademark is its sandy beach and its crystal clear waters boarded by pine trees; Many restaurants, taverns, cafes, shops and accommodation, gathered conveniently on the main street of the village.
Poros is located 41 kilometres south-west of the island’s capital. It has a population of a little over 1.000 people. The road leading to Poros from Argostoli passes through a particularly beautiful and impressive gorge that was made by the mythical Hercules. Poros is divided into the port area, the beachfront and the village square. During the summer months a variety of artistic and intellectual events are organized, including painting and sculpture, but the main attraction is the Philharmonic orchestras festival. The famous monastery of “Atros” should not be missed if you are in Poros.
Sami is located in the middle of the eastern coast of Kefalonia, 22 km away from Argostoli. Its population is about 1.000 people. It is the island’s most significant harbor with a daily boat service to Patras, Ithaki and Italy. The town is located in an area of great natural beauty, inspiring those passing through to wanting to relax after the boat trip at one of the very nice taverns and cafes lined by the seaside road.
Sami was the town hardest hit by the 1953 earthquake and it is the town where most of the filming for Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was made. Several cultural events like concerts and theatrical performances are organized in Sami during summer.
There are a few very good attractions near Sami, including the Drogarati Cave, the Lake of Melissani and the small lake of Karavomylos where some of the subterranean waters of Katavothres in Argostoli finally ends up.
Agia Efimia is located in the northeast part of the island, 31 km from the capital. The village of Agia Efimia has become, during the last years, a famous beach resort with thousands of visitors every summer due to its nice beach with the clear water as well as the graphic buildings and its wide streets. The town is ideal for an evening walk after swim around the various shops, taverns and bars.
Assos, a small village on the west side of the island, very near the famous Myrtos beach and it is 36 kilometers far from the capital of Kefalonia. One of the most picturesque and beautiful villages, Assos is dominated by the ruins of a 16th century Venetian castle.
The 5 kilometers long snake-like descending road that follows when exiting the main road to get to Assos, makes the journey tough enough to seek some kind of reimbursement. And you ‘ll be getting it! A charming and relaxing atmosphere permeates through your mind when walking in the village that’s taken out of another era. You simply forget anything else.
Fiscardo is 50 km far from the island’s capital. Home to about 250 people, it is the northernmost harbor of Kefalonia, situated right across and very close to the island of Ithaki (Ithaca) with its port serving ferry routes to it.
A beautiful and picturesque fishing village, Fiscardo is the only Kefalonian village that was not destroyed by the great earthquake of 1953. Not only that, but all the buildings have been kept in their original way and are today under a special preservation order. And the harbor has also kept its traditional beauty and has therefore become one of the most significant resorts of the island, attracting thousands of visitors every summer, many of them celebrities.
The pebble beaches of the nearby area are offering some very clear and calm waters.