Kefalonia is a large island in the Ionian Sea, located in western Greece. It boasts stunning natural beauty with lush green mountains, picturesque villages, and gorgeous beaches. Its coastlines are diverse, ranging from small rocky coves to long sandy beaches with crystal-clear waters.
History of Kefalonia
Kefalonia is an island in the Ionian Sea, located in western Greece. It has a long history that dates back to antiquity.
In ancient times, Kefalonia belonged to the ancient Ithaca, the homeland of Odysseus. Later, it came under the archaeological and political influence of Corinth and Sparta. During the Peloponnesian Wars, Kefalonia served as an important military base.
In the 4th century BCE, Kefalonia had its own autonomy, and many city-states were founded, such as Krani, Sami, and Pali. Subsequently, the island came under the influence of Rome and later Byzantium. During the Middle Ages, Kefalonia passed through the hands of various conquerors, including the Normans, the English, and the Venetians. In 1479, the Turks occupied the island and held it under their rule for about four centuries. In early modern history, Kefalonia followed the course of the rest of Greek territory. It gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1864 and was incorporated into the Greek Revolution of 1821. Since then, Kefalonia has developed and become a popular tourist destination.
Kefalonia has also played a role in literature. Nobel laureate in Literature, Laoúrentis Paniýotis, the author of the book "Captain Michalis," hails from Kefalonia. Today, Kefalonia attracts many tourists due to its natural beauty, beaches, and rich history.
Beaches in Kefalonia
Kefalonia is renowned for its stunning beaches. Among the most popular beaches on the island are:
- Myrtos: One of the most famous beaches in Kefalonia, with white sandy shores, turquoise waters, and impressive cliffs.
- Antisamos: A beach with a long stretch of sand and refreshing waters. It is surrounded by lush vegetation and offers sunbeds and umbrellas.
- Makry Gialos: A secluded beach with white sand and azure waters. It is ideal for those seeking peace and tranquility.
- Platys Gialos: A beautiful beach with golden sand and crystal-clear waters. It is suitable for families and provides facilities such as taverns and beach bars.
- Petani: A small cove with turquoise waters and golden sand. It is a peaceful paradise for those who love serenity.
- Melissani: A picturesque beach with clear, azure waters. It is surrounded by pine forests and offers taverns and umbrellas.
These are just a few of the beaches that Kefalonia has to offer. Each one has its unique charm and provides unforgettable experiences for visitors.
Sights in Corfu
- Saint George's Castle: Located above the village of Peratata in Kefalonia. When the Venetians became rulers of the island, they took on the task of fortifying the castle. In 1504, a new outer wall was constructed, which remains intact to this day. The devastating earthquakes of 1953 caused significant damage. The castle served as the capital of Kefalonia until 1757 when the capital was moved to Argostoli.
- Monastery of Saint Gerasimos: The monastery is dedicated to the patron saint of the island. It is situated in the Omala region and preserves the sacred relics of Saint Gerasimos. Initially, before 1554, the monastery was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. However, after 1560, the monk Gerasimos Notaras from Trikala Corinthias elevated the monastery to an important women's monastery. Two major celebrations are held annually to honor Saint Gerasimos. The first takes place on August 16th, the day of his death, and the second on October 20th, the day of the relocation of his relics. Pilgrims from all over Greece come to pay tribute to the miraculous relics of the saint. The relics are carried in a procession about 500 meters from the church to a large plane tree, where a well is located, believed to have been dug by Saint Gerasimos himself. Despite the presence of a newer monastery, the old church still stands, housing the hermitage of Saint Gerasimos and various objects he used. Saint Gerasimos passed away on August 15th, 1579, and was declared a saint by the Patriarchate in 1622. During the relocation of his relics on October 20th, 1581, his body was found intact and emitted a pleasant fragrance.
- Archaeological Museum of Kefalonia: The museum exhibits ancient artifacts from the island after the destruction of the old museum during the earthquakes of 1953. It presents findings from prehistoric, Roman, and primarily Mycenaean periods of Kefalonia. Visitors can see ancient gold coins, bronze swords, seals, precious beads, Paleolithic tools, and creations of geometric and archaic pottery. A separate exhibition dedicated to the early collection of George Kavvadias stands out.
- Saint Theodoron Lighthouse: Located near Argostoli. It was built in 1820 based on an English architectural design. It was completely destroyed during the earthquake of 1953 but was recovered and reconstructed to its original form.
- Melissani Cave: The cave is located near Sami and is one of the most significant attractions in Kefalonia. It is named after the Nymph "Melissanthi." Excavations in 1963 revealed important findings related to the worship of the Nymph. The interior of the cave is covered by underground waters. Visitors can take a boat tour and enjoy the unique view of stalactites and colorful waters. Additionally, an artificial balcony on the roof offers a panoramic view of the cave.
How to travel to / from Kefalonia?
The ferry connections to Kefalonia include the following routes:
- Kyllini - Poros Kefalonia: This route is frequently served throughout the year, and the duration is approximately 1.5 hours and the cost ticket is 13.5€
- Patras - Sami Kefalonia: The ferry connection between Patras and Sami is available daily during the summer months. The duration of journey is about 3.5 hours and the ticket cost is 15.4€.
How can I book ferry tickets to Kefalonia?
Book online your ferry tickets quickly and affordably at booktickets! Here, you will find all the available information about prices and ferry routes to organize your trip!