Is it possible to explore Kefalonia over the weekend? Kefalonia is the biggest island in the Ionian Sea. Was actually the last one in my bucket list in the Ionian, when my sister asked me to travel with her. I did not hesitate to say yes. My niece would perform in a festival and we would travel with bus from the mainland through Lefkada island to Kefalonia.
The seven Ionian islands became Greek in the 19th century. The islands were influenced by Normans French, Italians and their British rulers. However the islands are unique and have their own style. An earthquake hit Kefalonia 1953 that destroyed most of the islands settlements with few exceptions, one is Fiskardo on the north side. Consequently 75% of the population left the island and moved to other parts of Greece or abroad. Those who stayed have helped to rebuild what we see today.
In the Ionian Sea
The bus picked us up in Arta in Epirus, twenty kids and fefteen adults was ready for adventures. Our first stop was in Lefkadas town Nidri. After less than two hours of ferry travel we arrived to Fiskardo. However we kept the exploration of this little cute town to the end of the journey.
We arrived in Argostoli, the capital of Kefalonia after lunch. The city is built around the impressive natural harbour. In the 18th century, this was the third biggest port in the eastern part of the Mediterranean. In Argostoli all the buildings are new as they are all rebuilt after the earthquake. Beautiful stylish buildings with a special touch and frames around the windows and doors is very common.
In the capital of Kefalonia
After a wonderful breakfast on Sunday morning we went to the beach Makris Gialos near Argostoli with the girls. The beach is big and well organised and yes it was Sunday with a lot of girls who love beach parties.
After syrtaki dances and sunbathing at the beach we went to town. The main square or platia as the Greek says, happens to be the meeting pointing in this town. Here you have hotels, restaurants and cafeterias and bars for every hour of the day. We found our restaurant Ladokolla, they serve the delicious greek dishes in grease proof paper. Ladokolla means literally grease proof paper in Greek. Spent the evening with the girls performance in the festival just outside the city. Walked back to town admiring the foot bridge De Bosset and after the long walk by the port went back to the hotel tired and satisfied with my afternoon captures.
Exploring the Cave
Leaving Kefalonia without a visit at the famous cave Melissani was not ok. Its the most famous attraction in the island discovered 1951. The cave is located near the town Sami and is very unique as the roof of the cave is open and the sunlight give the most beautiful tones to the walls and the atmosphere inside the cave. The water in the cave comes from the sorounding mountains of Sami and Argostoli and can be up to 33 meters deep. According to Greek mythology the cave is named after nympf Melissani. Melissani was in love with Pan. As he didn’t pay any attention she drowned in the lake.
If you travel to Kefalonia you will be able to enjoy the best beaches in the Ionian Sea I almost dare to say. You have the famous Myrtos beach and plenty of beach options if you travel by car around the island. Apart from Kefalonia you can pop over to Ithaca for more beach adventures. We chose beach Agia Paraskevi on our way back.
Spent the afternoon strolling and capturing the colourful buildings and alleys in the harbour of Fiskardo as they are the few remaining in Kefalonia after the earthquake. The Norman general Roberto Guiscard who past away here 1085 gave the name to the city. The original name was Panormos which sounds more Greek. Our coffee brake at Melinas Patisserie infront of port was wonderful as the patisseries and the view is awesome. Delicious traditional greek desserts seems to be their specialty. Don’t miss this coffee place if you are nearby.
Did you like this blogpost? This was just a short preview of what Kefalonia has to offer. I recommend you to take look at my Instagram friend Julies blogpost with local tips if you dare to stay a week. I strongly recommend it.