Kefalonia (called also Kefallinia or Cephalonia) is the largest of the seven islands that form the “Eptanisa” sailing area in the Ionian Sea, Greece. Although Kefalonia is very touristy holiday spot, it has kept its authentic character alive offering much beauty to the visitors. Motor & sailing lovers consider Kefalonia real attractive destination for summer boat holidays in Western Greece as well.
Kefalonia’s landscape is remarkable lush and fertile. There, the green prevails by far since there are vast mountainous regions covered with a great variety of trees (oaks, orchards, vineyards), diverse bushes, streams and plains.
Argostoli, located in the Central-Southern part of Kefallinia, is the capital and the main port of the island. In fact, it is very crowded area during summertime. The capital presents extensive dining and entertainment with many restaurants, tavernas, cafes, bars and commercial shops of local products, jewels and souvenirs. Kefalonia also features numerous fishing and mountainous villages (Fiskardo, Assos, Lixouri, Skala) whose lifestyle is very attractive mostly for those who want to avoid the main town’s lively rhythms.
The island’s coastline offers stunning pebbly & sandy beaches. Secluded coves, some of them accessible only by sailing or motor yacht, are a must for yachtsmen. The most famous beaches in Kefalonia are Myrtos, Antisamos, Foki & Emblisi in Fiscardo, Lourdas, Makris & Platis Gialos, Petani, Skala, Ammes, Pessada, Paliolinos, Poros, Kaminia, Koroni, Lepeda, Legadakia and Minia. Most of them are well-organised and provide good standards of facilities and service.
Do not miss Kefalonia’s cultural events and festivals organised mostly every summer. They offer pleasurable moments and present the unique tradition and culture of the island.
The so-called Maistro wind prevails in Kefalonia Island/ Ionian Sea. It blows from North-West direction at force 2-5 beaufort scale throughout almost all the summer period.
The climate in Kefalonia island is hot & sunny during summers and mild during winters. The “Eptanisa” sailing area has also a high level of rainfalls all round the year.
Argostoli main harbour is good sheltered point for yachts that can berth stern or bows-to the South of the ferry terminal as well as on the North and West dock.
The best mooring places/ anchorages in Kefalonia island are Ag. Kyriaki, Assos, Fiscardo, Atheras and Pessada Bay, Lixouri, Sami and Poros.
Keep in mind: Lefkas marina in Lefkas island and Gouvia marina in Corfu island are Galazio Sailing charter bases for the Ionian islands.
Kefalonia was firstly named by the mythical hero Cephalus during the Palaeolithic era. The Romans were the first that occupied the island in 187 BC. They took advantage of Kefalonia as a strategic naval base for new conquests. It was then that the island suffered heavily from common invaders and pirates that continued during the Byzantine period (4th century AD).
From the 16th to 18th century, Kefalonia was one of the prime exporters in the world possessing a large shipping fleet.
Until late 1943, the predominant force on the island was Italy. The peace agreement between Kefalonia, Italy and its allies (September 1943) brought peace & quiet to the island for a short period though. Italians were hoping to return back to Italy but the Germans did not want the Italians’ munitions to be used eventually against them. The new German invasion against the Italian army brought new problems to the island. Finally the German forces prevailed taking full control of the island.
While the war ended in central Europe in 1945, Kefalonia remained in conflict due to the Greek Civil War and peace returned to Kefalonia & in general to Greece in 1949.
Kefalonia displays many archaeological and religious monuments and sights that gather a great many of sightseeing-lovers every year. Worth paying a visit: the Archaeological Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Folk Art Museum, the Castle of St. George, the Monastery & Cave of Agios Gerassimos, the Church of Virgin Mary and the Convent of Agios Andreas.
NOTE: A special event in Kefalonia island is the “Virgin Mary’s Snakes” which show up in the chapels of Markopoulo and Arginia every year.
Visitors can enjoy various watersports and outdoor activities in Kefalonia island. Well-organised beaches offer special equipment & experienced instructors that help amateurs to enjoy watersports such as waterskiing, jet skiing, banana & sausage rides, kayaking etc.
There are also three diving centres (Skala, Argostoli and Fiscardo), a water ski club (Skala) as well as a sea kayaking centre (Argostoli) that cover all needs concerning such sports.
Mountain bike, car and motorbike rentals are available in the main town and several villages as well.