Places to visit
There are hundreds of things to do on Kefalonia and even those that live here still have many places to discover. Here are a handful of things that you may wish to see and do whilst on your holiday.
A picturesque village approximately thirty minutes drive from Fiskardo. The village sits on a horseshoe bay and there are a handful of harbour side tavernas with views over the pebble beach and the bay. On the hill above the village you will find the ruins of the 16th century fortress which is accessible only by foot up a winding, paved and for the most part shaded path. There are no facilities up in the fortress so remember to take plenty of water with you.
Also known as Agios Georgios (Saint George) this ruined castle is about 8km south of Argostoli. You can drive to the top of the hill and park in the village and it is then a walk into the castle. The castle was the seat of the administration for the island up until 1757 and all the islands nobility from the Frankish and Venetian times lived within the walls. The emergence of Argostoli as the economic centre of the Island was its main down fall and now the ruins sit empty.
This wonderful cave system is situated just off the Argostoli to Sami road to the south of Sami and close to the village of Chaliotata. The cave has been open to tourists since 1963. It is reputedly 40km deep but you cannot explore all of it. There is one large cavern that is about 1,000 square feet and has often hosted concerts and operas due to its fantastic acoustics.
Located near the village of Karavomylos (north of Sami) is another cave system but this one is unique as it is partially submerged. To explore it you need to hire one of the boat men who will happily row you around the stunning water. The sun’s rays through the collapsed roof make for some amazing colours and being partially underground the cool temperature is a welcome change in the very hot months of the year.
The Monastery of Agios Gerasimos
This monastery is the resting place of the casket that contains the body of Saint Gerasimos. It is the epicentre of the Orthodox Church in Kefalonia and has been an important centre for pilgrims from all over Greece for generations.
There are big festivals twice a year at the Monastery on the 16th August (the date of the saint’s death) and on the 20th October (the removal of his relics) when people from all over Greece with incurable illnesses arrive hoping that Agios Gerasimos, the miracle worker, will cure them.
The respect on the Island for the Saint is huge and in nearly every household one child is named after the Saint. The Church and Monastery are both open to the public and the cave under the church that Gerasimos lived in during his period of contemplation can be visited albeit down a steep, narrow ladder.
Please note, there is a dress code and clothes are available to borrow if you arrive under-dressed.
The winery is right next to the Monastery of Agios Gerasimos and is open daily. Robola is a large co-operative for the vineyards on the plain and it produces one of the better Greek wines.
Mount Ainos National Park
Simply a beautiful place for walking. The Abies Cefalonica firs, which grew here in abundance, were unique to Kefalonia until 1824 when High Commissioner Napier had some specimens planted off the Island. The summit of the mountain is 1,626m and on a clear day gives the most beautiful views south over the Ionian to the neighbouring island of Zakinthos. If you are really lucky you may see native wild horses. There is a herd of about thirty of these shy creatures but they do try to keep away from human activity so tread lightly.