MENEGATOS TRAVEL KEFALONIA
Adventure in its capital city of Argostoli is much more than meets the eye! Shielded from the open sea, its waterfront stretching along the landward side of a short peninsula, Argostoli was once renowned for its elegant Venetian-era architecture. Almost all of that was destroyed by earthquake in 1953, but now Argostoli is a lively, forward-looking town. The main focus of activity is just inland, centred on charming, freshly pedestrianised Plateia Valianou, where locals come to chat and eat at the many restaurants. In summer, musicians stroll the streets singing kantades (traditional songs accompanied by guitar and mandolin). Lithostroto, the pedestrian shopping street immediately south, is lined with stylish boutiques and cafes. Do you want a perfect view of Argostoli? Walk over De-Bosset bridge which is the longest stone bridge in the world built over the sea. Head out on the bridge, which dates back to 1813, and catch the sunset over Argostoli. If you want to learn more about the past of the island, visit Argostoli Foklore museum which is Dedicated to preserving Kefallonian art and culture.Inside the museum you can see, fine museum houses icons, assorted furniture, clothes and artwork from the homes of gentry and farm workers, that takes you back in time! Also you should visit Fokas-Cosmetatos foundation which is the One of the few historic buildings in Argostoli to from the big earthquakes. Now in the foundations theres a large collection of Kefallonia’s cultural and political history, including lithographs by Edward Lear and other British artists.
This is one of the world's most astonishing geological phenomena for which there have been many discussions. Katavothres is only 3 kilometres far from Argostoli . The sea water rushes in through some cracks in the rocks on the shore and vanishes underground.The unique phenomenon of Kefalonia is that the sinkholes beneath the sea, underground cross the entire island, from west to east, a distance of about 15 km. In 1963, the geologists Maurin Viktor and Tsetl Joseph from the University of Graz, in Austria, threw 160 pounds of paint in one of the sinkholes. Two weeks later, traces of that paint in the waters of the other side of the island, in the bay of Sami, but also in Karavomilos and the lagoon lake Melissani ! Mostly are explained by the position of Kefalonia at the junction of tectonic plates of the Earth, but they do not stop to compose a scene of mystery and uniqueness of the island and worldwide!
Makrys Gialos beach
Located 3 km out of argostoli, Makrys Gialos is one of the most famous beaches not only in Kefalonia but all over Greece! In this idyllic scenery, the crystal clear waters meet the green nature and the result is just magnificent! On this highly organized beach you can do water sports, taste greek souvlaki in the Costa-Costa beach bar or you can relax on your sunbed with the sound of the waves and a wide range of foods and drinks!
Platys Gialos Beach
Located 3 km out of argostoli, right next to Makrys Gialos beach. The area is surrounded by a beautiful environment of lush green hills and thick vegetation. The beach consists of white sand and crystalline waters and has been awarded with the Blue Flag for its cleanness and fine organization. On the beach, you will find sun loungers and a snack bar.
Located 55 km north from Argostoli, Assos is a small and charming village. Today, it counts about one hundred inhabitants and is one of the most charming spots of the island. Dominated by the ruins of a 16th century Venetian castle, the village of Assos is built on a small peninsula reflecting a beautiful and warm atmosphere. The traditional architecture, the peaceful landscape and the small beach in Assos with the charming tiny fishing boats, compose the natural beauty of Assos. A walk around the narrow alleys, reveals colourful houses with pink and white blooms, lovely paths and old churches, combined with a strong influence of the venetion architecture. Little taverns are located on the quayside overlooking the bay attract most of the visitors .
Don’t miss out to visit Assos castle. The way to the castle is very interesting and the view from the top is just unique! Access to the castle is by a renovated stone path. Parts of the walls and an arched entrance gate with the Venetian Lion of Saint Mark are the mainly preserved sections. Visitors can see within the ruins the small church of St. Mark and the house of the Venetian High Commissioner. Close to the castle is the small, abandoned, church of the Prophet Elias which was built in 1888 on the ruins of another small church dating from 1500. Near the church are the ruins of a Venetian building owned by the Gentilini family.
Located 70 km from Argostoli, Fiskardo is one of the few parts of Kefalonia that retains much of its original Venetian architecture, making it a really special place on the island to visit. A lot of the island’s buildings were destroyed in the earthquake of 1953, as featured in the film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Of course, this makes Fiskardo is a very popular spot for tourists where guests and Celebrities stroll along the port with the colourful anchored boats. Fiskardo is one of the most popular places in the Ionian sea for visiting yachts thanks to its natural harbour. Consisting of many restaurants with Greek and international cousine.
Visit Kefalonia hidden gem! Melissani lake is one of the most famous underground lakes all over the world and is located 35 km east from Argostoli, in the small village of Karavomilos. In antiquity the lake was a place of worship for the god Pan and the nymph Melissanthi. Melissani Lake opened to the public in 1963.The cavern caved in several thousand years ago creating an amazing sight. Scientists have discovered by dye tracing experiments in 1959 that the water travels from Katavothres, on the other side of the island, and comes out here. The best time to visit the lake is when the sun is right overhead around noon (depending on the season) when the sunlight rays strike the water, creating a magical blue light atmosphere. Explore the lake with a small rowing boat .
Located 30 km east from Argostoli and only 6 km far from Melissani lake, Drogarati cave with remarkable formations of stalactites and stalagmites constitutes a rare geological phenomenon and it’s the oldest cave on the island and one of the oldest all over Greece, with an age over 150 million years.It opened to the public in 1963 and It was discovered when a strong earthquake caused a collapse that revealed the cave's entrance. Drogarati Cave consists of two parts. The part accessible to tourists consists of a long corridor that leads to the Royal Balcony, which is beautifully reflected by the light. From there, the visitor can see the Chamber of Exaltation, which has great acoustics. Because of that , the Chamber of Exaltation is used to host concerts and has over 500 people. The cave is about 60m deep and has a constant temperature of 18 degrees temperature and the humidity in the cave reaches 90%.
Agia Efimia village
The picturesque harbour village of Agia Efimia is located at the northeastern part of the island,35 km south of Argostoli. It is surrounded by mountains to the north, west and south, which form the Pylaros Valley.Over the years it has become one of the island's major attractions and every summer the streets of the village throb with activity. Marvellous taverns and restaurants line the waterfront overlooking the wonderful bay.
Myrtos is 35 km far from Argostoli. It is the gem of the beaches of Kefalonia! Known worldwide Myrtos, mostly awarded, vindicates the most expectations of visitors, some come in Kefalonia just to see it by close. The landscape in Myrtos is unique, as lush vegetation, wild rocks and cliffs surround huge pure white sand with very fine white pebble. The waters here are crystal clear, blue-green in shallow, clear and transparent where is combined with the green nature and the result is unique! Myrtos is one of the most famous Greek beaches and it’s also the island’s trademark. Myrtos is international every year awarded with GNTO’s blue flag. Certainly it will take your breath away with its wonderful combination of azure and green.
Is locating 40 klm east of Argostoli. The beach is ideal for snorkelling while excursion boats depart to the nearby islets and isolated coves. On the main street of the settlement, right above the beach are plenty of restaurants and cafes, mini markets and other modern amenities. It is known for its beautiful 3km long sandy beach and its crystal clear waters. It has developed into an important and lively tourist area over recent years offering something for everyone!
Saint Gerasimos Monastery
Saint Gerasimos is believed by natives of Kefalonia to protect them and to also heal them of illness. The body of Saint Gerasimos is at the monastery, made available for veneration as it has never decomposed. After his death, his body was buried twice and exhumed intact, thus leading the church to ordain him as a saint. Kefalonians throughout the world still revere and pray to him. In 1953, immediately after a powerful earthquake on the island of Kefalonia destroyed 90% of the island, there were many claimed sightings of Saint Gerasimos throughout the island who is believed to have comforted and tended to the injured trapped inside homes and buildings. During the feasts of Saint Gerasimos – August 16th and 20 October (translation of relics) – his body is passed over ill and sick persons for the purpose of healing them. His body is also displayed by the church during liturgy at the monastery on many occasions. A church named after Saint Gerasimos was established in New York City by Kefalonians who emigrated to New York in the early 20th century.
Antisamos beach is on the top of the list of the most beautiful beaches of Kefalonia. It is awarded with a blue flag, and it is only a few kilometers southeast of the port Sami. It is hidden at the foothill of lush greenery and is one of the most arranged beaches on the island. It is wide and spacious with several large parking spaces, one of which is partially in a natural shade..On the beach itself there are several bars offering drinks, food, sunbeds and umbrellas. This beach is specific for several reasons. It is quiet urbanized, unlike most beaches in Kefalonia. It is covered with pearly white pebbles giving it an unusual shine and brightness, and the great and sudden depth is very close to the entrance to the water. This is why this is one of the few beaches on the island that is not suitable for inexperienced swimmers and young children. In the shallow part of the water there are also white pebbles, which is why there is a remarkable contrast in colour and water, which is quite unrealistic. This beach is one of the best places on the island for snorkelling. In the shallow waters, flocks of large fishes that are not afraid of swimmers, so it is easy to observe them. Antisamos beach is also known for being one of the locations where the movie Mandolin of Captain Correli was filmed.
Saint George Castle
The castle of St George is one of the most well known and historic sites in the region of Livatho. The fortification of the hilltop was begun by the Byzantines but it was the Venetians who gave the castle its final form in the 16th century. The castle served as the island’s capital until 1757 when it was damaged in a major earthquake.Recent renovations have restored some of the castle’s former glory, while the views from this strategic vantage point are magnificent and encompass a large part of the island, including Argostoli and Karavado. Within its wall are the remains of various churches and dwellings, while beneath the castle gates lies the ‘Kastro’ quarter with the metropolitan church of Evangelistria, a typical example of Ionian baroque, in which notable post-Byzantine icons from the ruined churches of the Castle have been preserved. One of the most important preservation works on the castle was the restoration of the main gate. However, other than regular maintenance, cleaning and restoration no excavations have been carried out to date. It is well known that a tunnel connecting the castle with Argostoli once existed but it has yet to be discovered or explored and has most likely collapsed in subsequent earthquakes.
Having fallen in succession into the hands of the Byzantines, the Franks and the Turks, at the end of the year 1500 the Venetians liberated the castle from the Turks with the help of the Spanish armada and the people of Kefalonia. For the following four years the Venetians proceeded to restore and fortify the castle walls with the work being supervised in 1504 by the engineer Nicolo della Cimara.
A 'borgo' or suburb was built in the front of the castle and this is the area called Kastro. The work was carried out by 40 Venetian craftsmen and local forced labour.The road leading to Argostoli from the castle was named Strata Communa and runs behind the hill which was planned to ensure that it would not be seen by passing ships.The two devastating earthquakes of the 17th century and the one of 1953 caused extensive damage to the castle’s fortifications and buildings.vangelistria which was built on the other side of the hill.
Structure, Fortification & Buildings
The polygonal walls of the castle are 600 metres in length. It covers an area of 16,000 square metres and is 320 metres above sea level. The castle is divided into two parts with a horseshoe shaped interior courtyard with a rocky rise at its centre.There are three main bastions with one facing Argostoli, one facing the sea and the third facing the village at the entrance. The coats of arms of various ruling Venetian families can be found on the walls within the castle.
Saint Andreas church & museum
South of Saint Andreas castle, lies the historic convent of Saint Andreas Milapidias,located at Milapedia area, in Peratata Village. Saint Andreas old church has been converted into an ecclesiastical museum with notable post-Byzantine icons. The monastery named after Apostle Andrew was founded during the Byzantine era but was reestablished in 1579 when Apostle Andrew started a small nunnery at this place. It was then privately owned by three spiritual sisters, Benedict, Leondia, and Magdalen. The monastery received a large amount of money in 1630 from the Greek Romanian princess, Roxanne, who later was renamed Romila, to live the life of a nun. If Roxanne's treasure contributed to the reconstruction of the monastery, the spiritual treasure of Mount Athos further glorified the place.
Lassi is a small and charming tourist village placed just behind the capital of Kefalonia island, located 3 km out of Argostoli. The village of Lassi is developed in front of the sea, is surround by a couple of hills and has never had a massive development, keeping the tourist building hidden in the Mediterranean nature. On Kefalonia island, we realized that Lassi is one of the best developed tourist center as it can offers a great combination of a clean beautiful sea and tourist attractions. Lassi with its amazing sunsets represents the ideal choice for couples, group of friends and families with children.Lassi area is really stunning as you can find several bays and small coves that give you the opportunity to have your privacy and to swim in a very clear sea. The main beaches of this tourist village are two: Makris Yalos and Platis Yalos. Both beaches are very large and equipped for tourists with sunbeds and umbrellas as well as showers, beach bars and water sports.
The Cephalonia Robola Wine Cooperative (established in 1982) collects and processes almost 85% of the total produce of Robola wine grapes. The island of Cephalonia is the most mountainous Ionian island and without any doubt, it hosts some of the most important vineyards in Greece. The mountainous morphology, the sunshine, the altitude, the variety of the mesoclimates and the marine aura favour viniculture, which is characterized by low yield per stremma and high quality. Day by day, the Cephalonia Robola Wine Cooperative wins over the trust and recognition of the consumers, as well as the specialists in the field of wine production and trading, offering wines at affordable prices. One of the main factors contributing to this steady upward course is the island itself, and specifically its vineyard. The most important centre of viticulture in Cephalonia is the wider area of Omala in the centre of the island, including the "Robola zone". This zone mainly embraces semi-mountainous vineyards on the slopes of mount Aenos. High inclination, respective altitudes, and poor, gravelly limestone soils ensure the freshness, finesse and exquisite balance of the island’s wines. Indigenous varieties, such as Vostilidi, Muscat, Mavrodaphne, Zakinthino and mainly Robola –a dynamic white variety, and one of the best and most prominent of the Greek varieties- are cultivated in an area of 2,000 stremmas within the "Robola zone" to produce the wine PDO Robola. In 2005 the Cephalonia Robola Wine Cooperative renewed the mechanical equipment of its winery that extends in an area of 2,400 m2, and installed a biological treatment unit for the management of its waste, thus becoming a high-end winemaking unit.
Lourdas beach is located 16 km southeast of Argstoli. It is quite popular for its well-organized beach, awarded with a blue flag, where many visitors enjoy a refreshing swim, right after their arrival to the village. The combination of the crystalline waters and stunning mountain backdrop of Mount Aenos provides a dream scenery that captivates all visitors. The beach is covered with white sand and two rows of sunbeds and colorful umbrellas.
Foki beach is located just 1,5 km out of Fiskardo village, as it is accessible even by foot. It is one of the most picturesque spots in Kefalonia known for its dreamy landscape with olive tree forests that come down to the beach and offer natural shade. Foki got its name from the seals Monachus – Monachus , which often choose the turquoise waters of the bay for a brief “visit”. On the right side of the beach, a beautiful path leads to uncountable caves and coves that captivates all visitors. There are no tourist facilities but the natural landscape offers relaxing and peaceful moments. Right above the beach is a little fish tavern. The beach is a much preferred destination for private yachts.
Emplissi beach is located 2 km out of Fiskardo Village.It is the most famous beach on the area . A bay with a closed shape, white pebbles and turquoise waters, lush green trees which reach to the sea compose a magical and exotic landscape. Above the beach, there is a canteen that offers the essentials, while near to Emplisi there are taverns and restaurants with traditional Kefalonian Cousine.
Xi Beach is located 10 km out of Lixouri and is definitely one of the most famous beaches in Kefalonia and all over Greece, characterized by its white rocky hills that surround the beach and the reddish brown sand . The shallow waters and the gentle waves create the ideal environment for the children .The beach is well-organized with straw umbrellas and sunbeds. Right on the beach is a bar and a water sports center for the most adventurous types.
The Monastery is located 15 km out of Lixouri and was built in 1759. It is overhanging a cliff that crashes into the Ionian, 100 meters above the sea level, in a beautiful landscape. It surrounded by green and it has view to the west with a courtyard for guests to attend one of the most spectacular sunsets of Kefalonia. There, the mother nature is combined with the breath-taking view and the resault is just unique! Inside the Monastery you can worship the miraculous icon of the Annunciation as well as the skulls of the founders of the Monastery, Chrisanthos, Konstantios and Efronios. A piece of the Holy Cross offered to the Monastery by the Russian Prince Vladimiros Dolgoroukis in 1862 is also kept in the Monastery. An elegant glass jar holds St Dimitrios’ Myrovlytis holy myron from the 7th AC century. The Monastery celebrates on March 25th and September 14th.
Petani beach is located 15 km out of Lixouri. It is definitely one of the best beaches of Kefalonia,even compared with Myrtos ! Its name comes from the Homeric word “epietanoi” that means the area with plenty of water throughout the year. The beach is organized, where you can find taverns and cafes. Make sure that you don’t leave the beach without enjoying the sunset!