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? If you are dreaming to elope with your love here in Kefalonia check out my tips how to elope in Greece. Kalispera!
Thank you friends, followers and my big Greek family without you, the place in the finals of Apollos contest for travel bloggers, would not be possible. The final vote was really exiting until the last minutes!
The winner of the contest is the blog New York – My Bite of the Big Apple congrats Anna!
So here I am in this photo captured by my daughter Kyriaki when we went to a photo trip to Meteora in the region of Thessaly. You will find my photos of this divine place here. I love to explore new places. My first trip abroad I already did as one year old, when I accompanied my father and aunt to Stockholm in the 60’s. Since my first trip by train to Stockholm, there were many trips and stays in Greece during my childhood. When I went to high school I dreamed of traveling to other countries. But in recent years, I dream of of places in Greece that I have not been to.
Living today in Stockholm with my hubby. My girls are the young ladies who encouraged me to develop the blog and I am now looking forward to write more stories as I want to inspire you to dream about places you have not been to in Greece. I hope to snap new photos real soon and publish them here together with my stories and traveltips.
Welcome to Ioannina in the northwest of Greece. Here I have spent at least a few weeks every summer the last 30 years. Ioannina is our family’s home base in Greece. The city is visited by Greeks and foreigners who love nature experiences of all kinds. In other words there are mountains, exciting landscapes, high mountain peaks, rapids, ravines and many trails to wander in. My 11 photos of Ioannina gives you a small preview of what this city has to offer.
So finely last year Ioannina got its first charter travellers from Sweden. As an example you can check the charter flights from Sweden to Zagori region and Papigo at allacharterresor.se . Its only 45 minutes drive to the 46 stone villages of Zagori from the city. In addition its one hour to Albania if you want to take your first day trip there.
Stories from Ioannina
The most famous family is probably Averoff. Evangelos in the Averoff family were foreign minister and defense minister in Greece. He founded Metsovo’s art museum, vineyard and other cultural activities for the area. Secondly the most famous woman is Kyra Frosini, a woman from the upper class by the end of the 1700s. Probably immersed in the lake Pamvotida along with 16 other women by Ali Pasha. He was Albanian ruler who ruled over region where Ioannina was the capital. If it was because of political reasons or of jealousy there are different opinions about that. Thirdly the city’s most famous sport is the canoe. You may get a glimpse of the canoeists as you walk by the lakeside.
What to do & see
Walk down the main street Averoff towards the lake and explore the history of the city. This is the meeting point in town with a lot of cafes, restaurants and bars. Take a walk by the lakeside or Molos as it called by the locals. And why not capture 11 beautiful photos or more of Ioannina for your Instagram stories.
To Nisi means The Island in Greek. After 15 minutes boat trip from Molos you will be able to explore the little village of the families living with fishing and tourism on the island. There are charming houses and alleys to stroll in, shops with handwork from the neighborhood and silver jewelry to see as Ioannina is famous for its many silver smiths. Seven monasteries was built here and was once an excellent place to live as a monk. Most important The Island is known for the murder of the powerful ruler Ali Pasha. His home and house on the island is now a museum and attracts many visitors.
Ioannina’s old castle was built during the Byzantine era, its the oldest Byzantine fortress in Greece. Besides the culture sights in old town you will find charming houses and alleys here. Most importantly is Its Kale where you find nicely preserved buildings from the Ottoman Empire. The area used to be Ali Pasha’s palace. For example you have the minaret, a large kitchen that is now a charming café. Likewise the Byzantine Museum, and a Silversmiths museum are located in the park. I addition concerts and other cultural events might be on the agenda while you strolling or sit at the café.
Another impressive building is Aslan Pasha Mosque building, which today houses the Ethnographic Museum of Ioannina. Below you find my 11 best photos of Ioannina in the top locations of the city.
Where to eat
Every autumn, new students come from all over Greece and Cyprus and are looking for accommodation, Ioannina is a university city. Here, it is bursting with life in the city’s cafes, bars and restaurants. Below you find a few examples of restaurants I have visited more than once.
- Seirioskouzina - Patriarhi Evangelidou 1. Located near the lakeside serves greek dishes with a meditarrenian touch.
- Parko Naftikou Omilou - Kanari 10 Limnopoula . Trendy restaurant by the lake with greek food and a lot of vegetarian dishes.
- Mpoukia Mpoukia - Akadimias 4. Cozy restaurant resided in a two-storied neoclassical house with a lovely garden.
- Frontzu Politia - Agia Triados Hill. If you want to have the best view of Ioannina in a classy restaurant this is your choice.
- Rakoumel - Kallari 30. Located just outside one of the entrances of the old castle. Here you will find mezedes in a cozy atmosphere, a meeting point for all ages.
Do you have a question about Ioannina or weddings in Greece? Let me know if you plan a destination wedding in this area. I will be more than happy to help you photograph your dream day here. Read more about Epirus and my 5 reasons to getting married in Greece.