Cephalonia or Kefalonia (Greek: Κεφαλονιά or Κεφαλλονιά), formerly also known as Kefallinia or Kephallenia (Κεφαλληνία), is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece. It is also a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, and the only municipality of the regional unit. The capital of Cephalonia is Argostoli. The island is about 781 km2 (300 mi2), with a population density of 55 people per km2 (140/mi2). The town of Argostoli has one-third of the island’s inhabitants. Lixouri is the second major settlement, and the two towns together account for almost two-thirds of the prefecture’s population. Cephalonia lies in the heart of an earthquake zone, and dozens of minor, unrecorded tremors occur each year. In 1953, a massive earthquake destroyed almost all of the settlements on the island, leaving only Fiskardo in the north untouched. Important natural features include Melissani Lake, the Drogarati caves, and the Koutavos Lagoon in Argostoli. The island has a rich biodiversity, with a substantial number of endemic and rare species. Some areas have been declared a site in the European Union’s Natura 2000 network.
Lixouri (Greek, Modern: Ληξούρι, Katharevousa: Ληξούριον) is the main town on the peninsula of Paliki in the island of Kefalonia, one of the Ionian Islands of western Greece. Lixouri is the second largest community in Kefalonia after Argostoli and before Sami and is the capital of the small peninsula. It is located south of Fiskardo, west of Argostoli. In the region of Paliki, whose capital is Lixouri, there are many beautiful beaches, such as Petani, Xi, Atheras, Platia Ammos etc. It is a city that impresses visitors because of its natural beauty. According to one theory, the English researchers, there are strong indications that a few kilometers from Lixouri was the palace of Homeric Ithaca Odysseus. In villages of Lixouri (Kontogennada) Monopolata, Schinias had discovered Mycenaean tombs (mainly by the archaeologist S.Marinato), but which, unfortunately, is still unknown if rescued.
One of the most unique beaches in Greece, Xi, is located in the area of Palliki , south of Lixouri . Named after the letter “Xi” of the Greek alphabet, as the bay, in which is situated looks like its shape. It is just 8 kilometers (the whole route is asphalt) from the city and is quite lively and cosmopolitan, as the beach bars are usually crowded.
The Mega Lakos beach stands out for its red sand. It is a beach with crystal clear shallow waters suitable for children very well organized with sun beds and umbrellas and taverns and cafes that you can visit after your swim.
Petani is a Homeric word that means area with abundant water throughout the year. Another famous beach of Kefalonia and even a blue flag. Petanoi beach has a white small pebbles and crystal clear turquoise waters.The path to the beach is unique. Starting from Lixouri and as you approach the beach you will be astonished by the uniqueness and beauty of the landscape.
Atheras beach is located in Atheras village. Is a quiet beach on the peninsula of Paliki which features and marina Porto Atheras for those boat. It is a sandy beach with crystal clear waters ideal for swimming. Here you can enjoy your lunch after your bathroom and to light candle in the church of St. Spyridon dating from the last century.
To get to Platia Ammos in Palliki, you will need to descend about 400. It is more than likely though that you would shout “worth it “, just dive into the blue waters. It is considered one of the best beaches of Kefalonia and to find it you should follow the detour – short dirt road – to the lighthouse Gero – Gompros, the road that connects the villages Havriata and Chavdata. Nearby, is the Monastery Kipouraion, one of the most impressive monasteries of the island.
The beach of Avithos is located close to the village of Kaligata and in a distance of 10 km from Argostoli. It is one of the most impressive and beautiful beaches of Kefalonia, with golden sand and crystal clear waters. It is divided in two parts by an imposing large rock and has a wonderful view to the small island of Dias. The beach has been awarded many times with a “Blue Flag” for the purity of its waters.
Within walking distance from the capital of Kefalonia lies the beach Makris Gialos (Long Beach). As the name states, it is truely a very long and sandy beach with no rocks or pebbles. The beach has a beach bar, restaurant and provides the opportunity for various water sport activities. As expected, Makris Gialos Beach is awarded each year with the blue flag of the National Tourist Organisation.
The natural extension of Makris Gialos is the Beach of Platis Gialos (Wide Beach).They are separated only by a few rocks. As a result it is possible to pass from one beach to another, by either walking or swimming. The characteristics are very similar to those of the Makris Gialos Beach. We surely suggest you visit them both at the same day.
The beach of Myrtos is the trademark of Kefalonia is one of the most famous beaches . It is located in the northern part of Kefalonia and belongs to the municipality of Pilaros. Myrtos Beach is 8 km from Agia Efimia, 3 km from the village Divarata and about 30 km from Argostoli.
Ammes is the closest beach to the village Svoronata of Livathos. It is sandy, with fine reddish sand and shallow turquoise waters. It is located in the center of a small creek, which protects it from the sea, is ideal for playing with the sand and the sea and therefore is preferred by families with small children. There are also umbrellas, sun beds and a canteen that will supply the necessities.
The island is famous for its wild horses found in Enos. You can enjoy unique walks on horseback and trained horses, passing through endless olive groves or galloping in the sand.
The beaches of Kefalonia is an ideal place for fishing . It is suitable for all types of fishing because of the morphology of the seabed in the area this creates “psaromeries,” a word that literally translates to “fish areas.”
Kefalonia is full of picturesque alleys and quiet countryside roads ideal for cycling. Wander around in the lush paths of mount Enos and end up at one of the many isolated beaches for a refreshing dive.
Windsurf, Kitesurf, Wakeboard, Barefoot, Knee boarding, Combo Ski, Wakesurf, Monoski, Jet Ski: The list of water sports is constantly updated and the Ionian islands are for years one of the most popular places in Greece for lovers of the board, wind and water!
WALKING & HIKING
The natural landscape, the history, the villages and the people of Kefalonia are revealed during a walk. Dozens of tracks (long or short, easy or difficult) exist in the shadow of Enos.
Aquatic Scuba Diving Club intends to guide you to another world a different world than the one you are used to the wonderful world of the bottom of Kefalonia.
An ideal way to visit traditional villages and secluded beaches of Kefalonia and other Ionian islands such as Ithaka, Lefkada and Meganisi is to go sailing and explore the beautiful secluded beaches.
Sea kayaking in Kefalonia is a unique experience and allows discovering the separate coastline and caves of the island.
Boats leave every morning from the port of Agia Efimia and Sami and returning late afternoon. You’ll be amazed how much you can see and do in one day.
The 16th centurey remains of the old lighthouse of Fiscardo, built by the Venetians is one of its famous land marks. It has been inactive since 1892. The lighthouse measures approximately 6 metres (20 ft) round the masonry tower. Adjacent to the lighthouse is a single storey lighthouse-keeper’s house which dates from the 19th century. It is actually possible (but not advisable) to climb the tower. It is likely that the British refurbished the lighthouse during their administration of the Ionian Islands between 1809 and 1864. The site is open for visitors but explore with care.
BRIDGE OF DEVOSETO
The great stone bridge which dominates on the bay of Argostoli is the project of the Swiss Charles-Philippe De Bosset or in greek Devosseto. It was constructed in 1813 by the engineer and military governor of Kefalonia and officer of the English army. It has a length of one kilometer and was originally wooden. In the middle of the bridge you will encounter a pyramidal monument dedicated to manufacturers. In 2005 the passage of wheeled was prohibited and it is now closed to visitors waiting for the authorities to maintain it as it is necessary for a monument.
The grandiosity of nature has created here a unique work of art. Once inside the cave, the visitor is instantly captivated by this remarkable workshop of the earth, where stalactites and stalagmites have been forming for thousands of years. The reflection of sunlight on the stalactites creates an unrealistic atmosphere. The cave contains a 44-m-long descending passageway that leads to a chamber of 30 x 40 m. The latter, decorated with multi-hued stalactites and stalagmites, is renowned for its excellent acoustics and is prearranged for concerts on a special platform which is along the back wall of the cave. Its domed roof is intact and is of a unique, magical formation.
LANTERN OF ST. THEODORE
The Beacon of St. Theodoroi is the Lighthouse of Argostoli and was named after the small church located nearby. It is located about 3 km away from Argostoli and you should visit it to admire the architecture, the magical sunset and the view of the island Vardianoi which is located on the opposite side of the bay.
ARCHEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF ARGOSTOLI
In the three halls of the Archaeological Museum of Argostoli, the visitor can admire the exhibits from the paleolithic period to the after roman period. They come from excavations across the island of Kefalonia: Sami, Fiskardo, the “cave Drakaina” Poros, Skala, cemeteries in Kokolata and Metaxata, the cave of Diakata and elsewhere. Among other things, visitors have the opportunity to admire here flint tools of Paleolithic period, pottery of the Middle Helladic period, gold coins of the Mycenaean era, bronze swords, an Egyptian scarab, and artefacts that testify the blossom of c Tetrapolis of Kefalonia in the 5th century BC C., which consisted of four cities -states, Pali, Krani, Pronnoi and Sami.
KORGALENIO HISTORICAL AND FOLKLORE MUSEUM OF ARGOSTOLI
Everyday objects of people of Kefalonia, furniture, tools, appliances, artwork, religious artifacts and historical documents are the objects housed in the halls of Korgialenio Historical and Folklore Museum of Argostoli. It was created in 1963 on the ground floor of Korgalenios Library and covers the entire modern history of Kefalonia: the Venetian conquest until the destruction of the earthquake in 1953.
MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY OF KEFALONIA AND ITHACA
The plants and animals of Kefalonia and Ithaca , from the smallest to the tallest tree, insects, unique wild horses of Enos, the natural park of the mountain, the unique spruce, fish and aquatic organisms composing the flora and fauna of the two islands. You will learn a lot of information about all these with a visit to the Museum of Natural History of Kefalonia and Ithaca in Davgata.
The library was established in Argostoli in 1925 and until today is a reference point for the city and the entire island.
The fund and the first books were found by the legacy of a man from Kefalonia in London: Marinos Korgialenios was born in Kefalonia in 1829 and because of poverty he was forced to become immigrant from very small age. After various adventures in life, he came in London where he worked with financial business. Soon he was among the richest Greeks. He died in 1911 in London and he was in the family grave in Drepano, Argostoli.
NAUTICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MUSEUM IN FISKARDO
You will be able to admire the skeletons of various marine mammals, turtles, seals and the whole skeleton of a whale that was washed up dead on the beach Emplisi in 1995, in the rooms of the nautical museum in Fiskardo. A recording of the marine fauna of Kefalonia and a photo gallery with the history of the area during the centuries will complete your tour.