ARGOSTOLI has been the capital of Kefalonia since 1757. A busy town, Argostoli offers a selection of local shops, fruit markets and boutiques. The town was completely re-built after the 1953 earthquake but still retains its traditional style architecture. The Korgialenios History and Folklore Museum features documents, photographs, relics and reconstructions depicting life in Kefalonia from the 16th century through to the earthquake of 1953.
In the mornings, the harbour area is bustling with locals going about their daily lives whilst the fishermen sell their catch of the day directly from their boats. The Koutavos Lagoon is a feeding place for the caretta-caretta turtles which are often spotted near the harbourfront, lured by the unwanted fish thrown back into the sea. Another place for turtle-spotting is the recently restored De Bosset Bridge spanning 700m, the longest stone bridge above sea level. During the summer months Argostoli is a popular port of call for many cruise ships and the shopping streets and cafes are filled with tourists.
In the evenings, Kefalonia comes to life again. The main town square, Plateia Vallianou, is lined with café-bars and restaurants which stay open until late at night especially during the summer. Many locals just enjoy an evening stroll or ‘volta’ through the square or sit and watch the world go by. There are also a few livelier bars and a couple of nightclubs nearby which are open until the early hours.
Argostoli has transport links to the rest of the island from the main bus station and there is also a regular ferry service connecting the capital with the town of Lixouri on the Pali Peninsula.
LASSI is one of the busiest tourist resorts on Kefalonia. It is less than 2km from Argostoli and very popular with both couples and families. It has 5 golden, sandy beaches – the largest of which are Makris Yialos & Platis Yialos. Lassi also offers a good selection of tavernas and has a lively nightlife. A regular bus service or a short taxi ride connects Lassi with the capital.
SVORONATA is a resort area approximately 8km from Argostoli and very close to Kefalonia International Airport. Svoronata is a quiet area with a selection of hotels and restaurants between the coast and the narrow winding road of the small village with some of Kefalonia’s best beaches including Avithos & Ammes nearby.
Situated on the south coast of Kefalonia in the Livatho area is the resort of LOURDAS which is 15km from Argostoli. The long sand and shingle beach at the bottom of the steep hill is very popular with both locals and tourists – car hire is very useful in this area! There are a couple of boutique style hotels and small apartment complexes but most of the accommodation around Lourdas consists of villas and private houses.
KATELIOS is a small fishing village which still retains its natural charm. With its mountainous backdrop and rural setting, Katelios is popular with nature lovers and those looking for a peaceful location. The seafront is lined with tavernas serving fresh fish and traditional Kefalonian dishes.
A little further up the east coast is the picturesque village of AGIA EFIMIA. The village has changed very little over the years and it still retains a lot of its natural Greek charm. The pretty harbour is filled with yachts and small fishing boats and tourists mingle with locals in the coffee shops and tavernas. There is a small beach in the village but many people prefer to swim in the crystal clear waters in one of the many rocky coves along the coastline.
LIXOURI is the second largest town on Kefalonia, connected to Argostoli by a 25 minute ferry crossing or an hour’s drive around the coast. Lixouri is situated on the Pali Peninsula and is a quiet town with narrow streets, a tree-lined harbourfront and a pretty town square. During the summer months Lixouri is buzzing in the evenings with a good selection of restaurants and a few small bars. There are also some magnificent beaches nearby including Xi Beach, Petani and Vatsa.
The only village left with traditional Venetian-style architecture is FISKARDO which was left virtually untouched by the 1953 earthquake. The small fishing village at the very top of Kefalonia has now become popular with the rich and famous especially the sailing community and the harbour is lined with yachts and cruise boats. The narrow winding streets are filled with small shops and the waterfront restaurants serve a combination of traditional Kefalonian dishes and international cuisine as well as freshly caught fish.
The largest of Kefalonia’s tourist areas is the resort of SKALA. Originally a small village, Skala has now become a lively seaside town with the main high street lined with souvenir shops, café bars and tavernas. The 3km long sand and shingle beach surrounded by pine trees is one the main reasons that Skala is so popular. There are small family run pensions and apartment blocks within the village itself with many larger hotels spread along the coastal road which leads to the town of Poros. In Skala there are the ruins of a Roman Villa dating back from the 2nd century BC with magnificent mosaic floors and nearby there are also the remains of the village of Old Skala.