The magnificent sights, amazing beaches, rich cultural heritage, great monuments, mountains, castles, remote monasteries and cheerful, hospitable people are what make Kefalonia one of the most attractive holiday destinations in Greece.
The island has great natural beauty and a diverse geology with innumerable small bays and rich vegetation.
Kefalonia became part of Greece along with the other Ionian Islands in 1864. The inhabitants’ resistance against the Italians and the Germans during the Second World War was considerable and is the backdrop for the famous book and film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
Argostoli has been the island’s capital since 1757. It is a modern town, built amphitheatrically with a view of the Koutavous Lagoon, which is a crossing area for the migratory birds. The city has many neoclassical buildings, squares, churches and remarkable cultural activity.
What to see in Argostoli
• The Archaeological Museum exhibiting important finds discovered on the whole island, mainly dating back to the Mycenaean period.
• The Korgialeneios Library, one of the biggest libraries in Greece, housing more than 55,000 volumes and a great collection of Byzantine icons.
• The Folklore and History Museum hosts exhibits associated with the history of the island (costumes, weapons, heirlooms, etc).
• The central Valianos Square with the statue of its benefactor has many cafes, restaurants and bars.
• Rizospaston Street, with palm trees and the monument to Greek patriots.
• Lithostroto, the central street of the town, with commercial stores and many meeting points for young people.
• Kampanas Square situated in the middle of the Lithostroto, with the belfry bearing the same name (recently renovated according to the plans of the original tower, which collapsed during the earthquake of 1953), offering an amazing view of the town and the Koutavous Lagoon.
• The 900m long Drapano Stone Bridge built in 1813 to connect Argostoli to the opposite coast.
• The coastal Public Market – where you will find the bust of the Kefalonian poet Nikos Kavadias, currently one of the most popular poets in Greece.
• Farao Hill offering a panoramic view of the town.
• Katavothres Caves, situated near the lighthouse of Agioi Theodoroi. These are caves, where the sea waters enter and pass through them reaching Sami at the other side of the island after a 14 day journey .
• The Agioi Theodoroi lighthouse at the end of the peninsula of Lassi, where the sunset is majestic.
Mount Ainos is 1,600m high and is well known for its dense forest of Kefalonian fir trees, which dominate at the upper altitudes. In the area three different habitats can be discerned: the fir tree forest, which can be pure or at lower altitudes mixed with elements of maquis; the rocky or pebbly slopes that are characterised by more sparse vegetation and on which one can often come across interesting floral elements; and the rocky peaks and the non-forested upper regions of Mount Ainos, on which several endemic plants of Kefalonia or the Ionian Islands can be found. The area has been designated a National Park.
• Sakkos Cave is a site of archaeological interest, found between Skala and the Temple of Apollo. It consists of two cavities linked by a small tunnel. The findings verify its usage by prehistoric people.
• Mellisanthi Cave, located not far from Karavomilo, is a cave of unique beauty, 3.5km long, 40m wide and 36m high. The cave is a unique geological phenomenon, created by a mechanical and chemical process during which water enters the rocks, erodes them and creates hollows.
The underground Melissanthi lake was discovered in 1951. A big part of its roof has fallen down revealing an amazing sight. During antiquity the lake was a place of worship dedicated to Pan and the Nymph Melissanthi, who, according to myth, committed suicide and fell in the lake because Pan was not responding to her love.
On the lake is an islet on which Pan’s sanctuary was discovered. The finds from the site, which include a clay figure of Pan, a clay disc depicting dancing nymphs, a clay plate depicting the procession of nymphs and a small plate with a woman figure relief, are displayed at the Archaeological Museum of Argostoli.
Visitors reach the lake by an underground tunnel and have the opportunity to explore it with a boat and a guide and admire this unique natural work of sculpture created by the stalactites and the crystal blue-green colour of the waters.
• Drogarari Cave is a work of art, where stalactites and stalagmites have been forming for thousands of years. The reflection of sunlight on the stalactites creates a surreal atmosphere. The cave contains a 44m long descending passageway that leads to a chamber of 30m x 40m. The latter, decorated with multi-hued stalactites and stalagmites, is renowned for its excellent acoustics and can be used for concerts.
• The church of Agios Spyridon with the ornate wood carved chancel, in Poulata.
• The church of Panagia (Virgin Mary) in Ntomata, where you can also see the coffin of one of the most distinguished patriarchs of Constantinople, Gregorios V.
• Panagia Sissiotissa (1517) on the coastal road.
• The catholic church of Agios Nikolaos.
• The church of Agia Varvara, built on a rock next to the bridge of Drapano and opposite the town.