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Kefalonia or Cephalonia - Cefalonia
Kefalonia Nederlands

Kefalonia is and island in the northwest of Greece, and a part of the Ionian archipel (to which amongst other islands also Corfu and Zakynthos are a part of). The small island of Ithaka is in the notheast close to Kefalonia. The capitol of Kefalonia is situated in the west and it is called Argostoli. Here there are several museums that you can visit amongst which the Archeological Museum of Kefalonia. Relatively seen Kefalonia is rather a quiet island, compared to for instance Corfu, that attracts more tourists.

Kefalonia is also a large and green island, and the largest island in the group of the Ionian islands. It is also and island with a large quantity of long and beautiful sandbeaches, with the most famous of them all being the beach of Myrthos. This beach can be seen on many postcards. On Kefalonia you can make beautiful walks through the nature, visit caves or just lay down at the beach and relax. It is called the island of contrasts: Roman, Venetian and Byzantyne ruīnes go hand in hand with long and wide sand and pebble beaches at the turqoise sea, and next to the large mansions are simple farmhouses. Nice to take a look at is for instance the village of Fiscardo where there are still many traditional and Venetian buildings. The mountain Ainos is the highest mountain on the island with its 1628 meters.

Large parts of the island consist of forest, and on other parts there are valleys with olive trees or orangetrees and grapes. The most impressive sights Cephalonia has to offer, in addition to its beaches, are the various caves, like the Drongarati Cave with its red walls (4 kilometers southwest of Sami) and the 100 meters long Melissani Cave with an underground lake (along the Sami - Agia Efimia road). In Katavrothes (just north of Argostoli) sea water flows into a hole and comes back up after two weeks 20 kilemeters away on the other side of the island in Karavomilos and the Melissani Cave. There are also excursions possible to Zakynthos (via Pessada), the ruins of ancient Olympia and the Temple of Zeus (through Poros and Kilini) and there are day trips to Ithaca and Lefkada.

The capital Argostoli

In Argostoli there is a small Archeological Museum. On the outskirts of the city a Mycenaean tomb in the shape of a beehive from the 14th century BC has been found, which led to the rumour that Cephalonia, and not Ithaca, was the residence of Odysseus. Popular are the day trips by bus from the capital, which go to, amongst other things, the Venetian Kastro of Saint George which is situated 9 kilometers south and the monastery of Agios Gerasimos. Above Argostoli on the hill lie the ruins of the ancient village Farsa. Many of the tourists who stay in Argostoli spend the days on the nearby beaches of Platis Gialos, Makris Gialos and Spartia.

Kefalonia, Kamninia Beach Kefalonia, Myrtos Bay Kefalonia, S Eufemia Bay Kefalonia, Mount Enos Kefalonia, Skala Beach
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A little bit more about the island Kefalonia

Kefalonia is the largest island in size in the group of the Ionian islands and it is a mountainous island with quiet beaches. In 1956 the island was hit by an earthquake and most buildings were destroyed. The island is an island of visual contrasts. On the one hand are the spectacular mountains and coasts with the pine trees on the hills and the beautiful sandy beaches just like a postcard, and on the other hand many of the old buildings have been lost and much has been rebuilt in a hurry. Yet even without old buildings Kefalonia is an attractive island. Kefalonia is a large island and the attractions and places worth seeing are rather scattered.

The capital Argostoli lies on the western side of the island but almost the ferries stop of the other side of the island. The eastern part of the island lies opposite the mainland. So there are as many as seven ports on the island where ferries make a stop while connections on the island by bus are not really good and you often have to rely on a taxi. Argostoli lies photogenicly in its bay at the bottom of the mountains and is the center of the island, despite the fact that it does not receive many ferries. There are many new concrete buildings and it will not win a prize for most beautiful capital of a Greek island. On the western side of the bay is Lixouri, another port and almost as large, and this town is more attractive. Between these two towns a small ferry goes an up and down.

Gerry's Apartments Kefalonia Gerry's Apartments Kefalonia Kefalonia Kefalonia Kefalonia
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On the east side of the island is the main port: Sami. Here most international ferries make a stop. It is a nice tourist town with a pretty harbour with tavernas. To the north of this town lies a pebble beach and there are a number of supermarkets and hotels. There is also some nightlife, but on a limited scale because most people do not to Kefalonia in order to party deep into the night. The other small harbours on the island have much less frequent connections but they are nice places to stay if you are on an island-hopping adventure. The village of Poros in the south-east of the island is after Sami the easiest reached by ferry. It is a fairly large village that extends along the coast and there is a beach. It is connected by a road to the capital Argostoli and in the south the road leads to the villages of Skala, where some of the best beaches on the island are located, and the village of Catelio.

Fiskardo, a village that lies in the extreme north of Cephalonia, is the only village where most beautiful Venetian houses have survived the earthquake of 1956. They lie around small bay with pines. This village is without a doubt the most photogenic village on the island. Fiskardo attracts many day trippers from the rest of the island and also from the island of Lefkada, which lies just north of Kefalonia, and so it can get crowded. The village of Agia Efimia, which is situated at around 10 kilometres north of Sami, is also an attractive village and there are a small pebble beach and the remnants of a Roman villa. In the southwest is another nice village: Pessada.

Kefalonia Car Rental

For the people that would like to rent a car and have the freedom to go anywhere they want you can pick up a car at the airport at Auto Europe car rental. It's much cheaper than booking a car afterwards with the hostess of your travel agency.

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The beaches of Kefalonia

On Kefalonia are many beaches and most beaches are quite large. Here is a summary of some of these beaches. There are many more.

Kefalonia beaches: Myrtos. Myrtos beach is the calling card of the island of Kefalonia and is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in all Ionian islands. It is located north of the capital Argostoli. This beautiful beach has fine goldcolored sand and the water's beautiful turqoise (as if someone had thrown bleach into the blue sea). The beach is surrounded by impressive steep rocks. This beach is one of the most photographed spots in Greece and attracts thousands of visitors every summer. You can have a drink on the beach and a little something to eat, and there are sunbeds and umbrellas for rent.

Kefalonia beaches: Antisamos. The beach of Antisamos is one of the best beaches of Kefalonia and is located near the village Sami, 22 kilometres from the capital set in the east of the island. It is an attractive pebble beach surrounded by the hills. Above the beach is a monastery where you have a nice view over the beach and the Sami village.

Kefalonia beaches: Emblisi and Foki. The beaches of Emblisi and Foki lie near the village of Fiskardo (in the north of the island of Kefalonia). They are small pebble beaches with beautiful rocks and it can be quite crowded. On the beach of Foki there are many trees for shade.

Kefalonia beaches: Lourdas. Beach of Lourdas is a long beach with sand and pebbles and one of the beautiful beaches of the island of Kefalonia. There are sunbeds and umbrellas for rent, and there are tavernas and shops. In the background is Mount Ainos. In this areathere are many hotels, apartments and studios. On this beach often blows a very hard wind.

Kefalonia beaches: Makris Gialos. Makris Gialos is a beach near the capital Argostoli and it is one of the better known beaches of the island. It is a great beach and it is busy.

Kefalonia beaches: Platis Gialos. Platis Gialos is also not far from the capital Argostoli, in the west of the island. It is significantly smaller than Markris Gialos and less developed (in terms sunbeds / parasols ed). In the sandstone rocks at the beach there are some caves. This beach is quieter than Makris Gialos.

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Kefalonia, Cavo Liakas Taverna in Spartia Taverna in Ieurosalim beach, Kefalonia. Kefalonia, Residence Poseidon Hotel in Spartia Kefalonia Kefalonia
Kefalonia sights

Melisani The underground lake of Melissani in the socalled "blue cave". This lake is situated close to the coastal village of Karavomilos. From here you can take a boat into the caves where the lake is. Once this lake was totally covered but an earthquake in 1953 made part of the roof collapse. There are a couple of chambers that you can take a look at. In the water of the caves many objects from antiquity have been found and probably it was once a shrine to the god Pan. In Katavothres daily thousands of liters of water disappear into a crack in the earth and then travel 17 kilometer under the island, and rise again into the lake of Melissani.

The Ainos National Park / nature reserve. Here at the Ainos Park on the mountain with the same name you can make spectacular walks through the nature. The eastern part of the park is a bit more rough and there are several rare plants. One of the trees growing there, a kind of ceder tree, cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

The Venetian castle of St. George in Livathos (not far from the capitol). The castle dates from the 16th century and is positioned on a hill. It is build on top of a chucrh from the Byzantine times, from which the name of the castle derives. Once the venatian capitol of the island was to be found here. During the earhquake of 1953 parts of the castle were destroyed.

The cave of Drogarati. You have to descend into thid cave (about 45 meter down) in order to see this special cave.On the level of almos 100 meters below the ground you can see the largest and most beautiful chamber of the cave.

The fortess of Assos. This castle was build in the beginning of the 17th century and the total length of the walls is about 2000 meters. It was build as a defence against pirates.

Roman villa in Skala. Near the village of Skala there are the ruins of a Roman villa with beautiful floormosaics.

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How to get to Kefalonia?

Check your local travel agency or the internet to find direct flights to Kefalonia. if you are coming from the mainland of Greece: from the town of Patras on the mainland of Greece there is a daily ferry to the island of Kefalonia. The trip takes about two and a half hour.
Check the ferries.

Book hotels, apartments and studios in Kefalonia online - click here.

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Kefalonia hotels: Sami Beach Hotel - very good reviews

Surrounded by green mountains, the seafront Sami Beach Hotel offers a swimming pool, a hot tub and poolside bar. Sun beds and umbrellas are free. Standard rooms at the Sami Beach are air-conditioned and come with bathroom with hairdryer and private balcony offering view of the garden or the mountain. A rich continental buffet breakfast is served in the dining area between 07:00 and 10:00. The spacious lounge area has a TV with satellite channels. Guests have free access to the library and the internet corner.

Check availabilities & prices and book Sami Beach Hotel in Kefalonia - click here.

Book hotels, apartments and studios in Kefalonia online - click here.

Š Hans Huisman, Hanne Engels, Sasha, 2014
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