Kefalonia island, Ionian Sea in Greece

Kefalonia the biggest island located at the Ionian sea (West of the mainland of Greece), one of the most picturesque and among the biggest Islands of the entire country. Some people believe that Kefalonia was the Homeric Ithaca, the home of Odysseus, rather than the smaller island located next to it bearing this name today.

During the Middle Ages, the island was the center of the Byzantine theme of Cephallenia until 1185. After that it became part of the palatine under the Kingdom of Sicily until it conquered by the Ottomans in 1479. The Turkish rule lasted until 1500 when Kefalonia was captured by the Venetians. From 16th to 18th centuries the island was one of the largest exporters of currants in the world and owned a large shipping fleet.

The island of Kefalonia has amazing beaches with turquoise color as all the Ionian islands and some picturesque villages, most of them built on top of high hilltops in order to be protected from pirate attacks that were sailing the Ionian Sea during the 1820’s.  

You can find photos of Kefalonia HERE

How to go to Kefalonia

You can go to Kefalonia either by a ferry or with a plane.

Kefalonia International Airport connects Kefalonia with both Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece and with other European destinations as well. You can find more information about flights to Kefalonia at Kefalonia’s airport website HERE.

There are ferry connections between Kefalonia and Killini. You can find more information about ferry tickets HERE.

Find some photos of Kefalonia island HERE

Argostoli Village – Directions HERE

Castle of Saint George – Directions HERE

The Venetian castle of Saint George is located 5kms South-East from Argostoli. It is said that there was a tunel that connects the castle with Argostoli, but this has not been revealed or investigated so far. The castle is built in the 12th century A.D. by the Byzantine emperors on top of a hill (300m high) above the village Perata. The castle was the capital of Kefalonia until 1757. The outside walls of the castle were built by the Enetians in 1504. At the east side of the entrance, in the main yard is located a typical example of the Ionian Baroque, the Cathedral of Evangelistria. The castle was damaged by the earthquakes in 1636, 1637 and 1953.

Photos HERE

Cyclopean Walls of Ancient Krani – Directions HERE

At the east side of Argostoli lie the extensive ruins of Ancient Krani, mainly consisting of the Cyclopean walls with huge blocks of stone that were created in the 7th and 6th century B.C. Krani was built on hills overlooking the plain of today’s Krania region, at the end of Koutavos Bay. Remains of a doric temple of Dimitra can be seen within the walls, which must date from the Mycenaean Period. On the south side of the hill that is called Riza, several chamber tombs from the pre-Mycenean period were found, which had been already plundered and damaged. Riza was used as the necropolis for Krani.

Photos HERE

Korgialenio Historic and Cultural Museum – Directions HERE

At the ground floor of the Korgialenios Library in Argostoli, is located the Museum that collects studies, ranks and keeps inventory of all the history and folklore data of Kefalonia. There are data since the Venetian period up until the 1953 earthquakes. There are two exhibitions , the permanent one that is divided into the sections urban and rural department, ecclesiastical art and the city plan and the collections of Byzantine icons of Charokopou and of Francis and Stephen Vallianou. The purpose of the museum is the view of history and folklore of the island from the 16th century up until the big earthquake of 1953.

Photos HERE

Cave Hermitage Agios Gerasimos – Directions HERE

At the South-West of Argostoli, on a hill called Lassi, is located the cave where Agios Gerasimos, the saint protector of the island lived for five years when he mooved from Zakynthos to Kefalonia. The cave of Agios Gerasimos is very narrow nad has a small hole from where you can have the view to the Ionian Sea. Right by the entrance of the cave, a small church that is dedicated to Agios Gerasimos has been built.

Agios Gerasimos was coming from a family of northern Peloponnese, and after visiting many places around Greece, he ended up in Kefalonia in 1555 where in the beginning he lived in this cave for 5 years before he went to Omala in order to rebuilt the Monastery of Panagia.

Photos HERE

De Bosset Bridge – Directions HERE

The De Bosset Bridge is the largest stone bridge on a seawater body that was constructed in two weeks in 1813 by Charles Philippe De Bosset who was appointed as Governor of Kefalonia from 1810-1814. The bridge was constructed in order to make it sorter for someone who wanted to travel from the east side of Argostoli Gulf and in order to avoid the 5km perimeter of walking. At the side of the bridge a four-faced symmetrical obelisk made up of carved rocks, a monument called kolona rises from the sea and was the Kefalonian Parliament’s symbol of gratitude to Great Britain.

Photos HERE

Lighthouse of Saint Theodora – Directions HERE

At the North side of the Argostoli village, at a man-made peninsula is located one of the main attractions of the village, the Lighthouse of Saint Theodora. The 8m high Lighthouse is a unique circular structure based on 20 white Doric architectural style columns and is one of the most romantic spots in Kefalonia.

Photos HERE

Katavothres – Directions HERE

At the north side of Argostoli village to the path that goes to the lighthouse someone can stop at the Katavothres a unique geological phenomenon. At this point the sea water enters the sinkholes and it seems to magically disappear underground. The water travels in underground rivers mixes with rainwater and finally reached the Melissani Lake, almost fifteen kms on the side of the island. From there the water flows into the sea t the village Karavomylos.

Photos HERE

Assos Village – Directions HERE

Castle of Assos – Directions HERE

One of the largest castles in Greece and the largest of the two castles in Kefalonia, the Castle of Assos, is located at the North-West side of the island next to Assos village. The building started in 1953 because in order to support the castle of Saint George against the Turkish threat and the pirate raids. The 2000m walls extend around the naturally impregnable peninsula and create an irregular rectangle of 44,000 sq.m. reinforced at five points by bastions. Within the ruins is located the house of the Venetian High Commissioner.

The castle was used as a political prison until 1956. The latest inhabitants living within the castle were known as Kastrini people and were group of families who mainly were cultivate olives and grapes.

Photos HERE

Sami & Karavomylos villages – Direction HERE

Drogorati Cave – Directions HERE

At the center of the Island and at the west side of Karavomylos village is located the Drogorati Cave, a 150 million old cave with remarkable formations of stalactites and stalagmites that discovered 300 years ago. The cave was discovered after a strong earthquake that caused a collapse and reveled the entrance of the cave.

The cave conists of two part, one of them is accessible to tourists. This part conists of a long corridor that leads to the Royal Balcony, a natural platform of stalactites that beautifully reflects the light, from which point the Chamber of Exaltation with the great acoustics can be seen.

Photos HERE

Acropolis of Ancient Sami – Directions HERE

On top of the village Sami, at the Mountain of Lapitha are located the ruins of the Acropolis of Ancient Sami. Ancient Sami was a powerful fortified town that was an autonomous and independent state with its own coin from the Paleolithic Times.

The citadel occupies the hills of Palaiokastro and Agioi Fanetes, whilst evidence of all types of defensive architecture and masonry construction can be found due to the extensive fortification of the ancient city, dated back to the Classical and Hellenistic era between the 5th  and 2nd centuries B.C.

Photos HERE

Melissani Cave – Directions HERE

An extraordinary beauty, a unique geological phenomenon, a natural paradise, the Melissani Cave is located next to the village Karavomylos. The cave was created by a mechanical and chemical process during which water enters the calcareous rocks, erodes them and creates hollows.

A big part of the cave’s roof has fallen down revealing an amazing sight. The Melissani Cave was founded in 1951 nad has a unique natural work of sculpture created by the stalactites and the crystal blue-green color of the water.

Photos HERE

Fiscardo Village – Directions HERE

Roman Cemetery of Fiscardo – Directions HERE

At the north side of the island, at the picturesque Fiscardo village is located the Roman cemetery that is built right by the sea and dates from the 2nd century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. It contains two rectangular sections and a total of 27 tombs. The tombs had different architecture and inside them there were found pottery, glass vases, jewellery, metal objects and coins.

Photos HERE

Venetian Lighthouse Fiscardo & Byzantine Basilika – Directions HERE

The Byzantine Basilica in Fiscardo dates back in the 6th century A.D. An impressive Venetian Lighthouse is located next to the ruins of a Byzantine Basilica and there is a path of total 850m that you can take and explore all these monuments. Part of the path is covered in the rich coastal cypress forest, perennial pines, oaks and arbutus of the Erissos peninsula of FIscardo.

Photos HERE

Lixouri Village – Directions HERE

Monastery of Kipoureon – Directions HERE

At the west of Lixouri village, on a cliff 90 m above the sea is located one of the most impressive landscapes of Kefalonia, the Monastery of Kipoureon. The monastery was built in the 17th century and its name origins from the gardens which maintained from the fathers to ensure the necessary livelihood. In the beginning it was built only ne church dedicated to the Annunciation of Virgin Mary. Later on, a male monastery was built with 80 members. The view from the monastery is absolutely unique and deserves the admiration of the visitors, especially during the sunset hours.

Photos HERE

The Gerogompos Lighthouse – Directions HERE

The historical well-designed lighthouse of international value, the Gerogompos Lighthouse is located near the Cape Gerogompos. It is a 13m high with 58m radius of light lighthouse with an amazing view on a country lane that looks a lot like tundra with no trees, only stones, shrub and a constant wind. The lighthouse was manufactured in 1907 by British engineers. The lighthouse was destroyed and was rebuilt again in 1947. It used to belong to the Greek Navy but now the access there is free and it operates automatically.

Photos HERE

Mount Ainos – Directions HERE

Mount Ainos is located at the South side of Kefalonia island and was known as Monte Nero (Mmening Black Mountain) due to the Venetian period due to thick forestation of the dark Kefalonian Fir tree. Mount Ainos is the tallest of the Ionian islands at at elevation of 1,628 m (5,341 ft). The mountain has plenty of hiking routes and amazing view to the North West part of the Peloponnese region and to the islands of Zakynthos, Lefkada and Ithaca.

Photos HERE

Beaches in Kefalonia

Small Rocky Beach, Directions HERE

Gradakia Beach, Directions HERE

Paliostafida Beach, Directions HERE

Makris Gialos Beach, Highly Recommended, Directions HERE

Platis Gialos Beach, Directions HERE

Ammos Beach, Highly Recommended, Directions HERE

Eglina Beach, Directions HERE

Avithos Beach, Highly Recommended, Directions HERE

Amandakis Beach, Directions HERE

Pessada Beach, Directions HERE

Agios Thomas Beach, Directions HERE

Kanali Beach, Directions HERE

Lourdas Beach, Highly Recommended, Directions HERE

Lefka Beach, Highly Recommended, Directions HERE

Mounda Beach, Directions HERE

Spithi Beach, Directions HERE

Kato Lagadi Beach, Directions HERE

Limenia Beach, Directions HERE

Karavomylos Beach, Directions HERE

Chorgota Beach, Directions HERE

Emlisi Beach, Directions HERE

Myrtos Beach, Highly Recommended, Directions HERE

Platia Ammos Beach, Directions HERE

Xi Beach, Red Sand, Highly Recommended, Directions HERE

Mega Lakos Beach, Red Sand, Highly Recommended, Directions HERE

Restaurants in Kefalonia

The Olive Lounge – Greek Cuisine – Directions HERE

Ladokolla Tavern – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

Captain Nicholas – Seafood – Directions HERE

Sepia – Sushi Japanese – Directions HERE

Veramente Grill House – Steakhouse – Directions HERE

Anemos – Seafood – Directions HERE

O Makis Tavern – Greek Cuisine – Directions HERE

Deco Restaurant – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

Old Times – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

Galera Restaurant Bar – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

Oskars Creative Cuisine – Greek Contemporary – Directions HERE

Gefiri Restaurant – Pizza – Directions HERE

Steki Grill – Seafood- Directions HERE

Lord Falcon Thai Restaurant- Thai Cuisine – Directions HERE

Paralos Restaurant – Italian Cuisine – Directions HERE

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