We took the ferry from the village of Nydri in Lefkada to Fiskardo in Kefalonia. Everything was perfect while exiting the island! We saw small gulfs with turquoise water and many sailboats around us. When we arrived at the open sea between Lefkada and Kefalonia there was a wind of 4-5 Beaufort. It was not so comfortable to sit outside of the main cafe of the ferry as it was pretty windy and we were moving a lot by the many big waves. I was sitting inside reading my book and realized that we were actually moving pretty intensely and we could see the sea while the ferry was leaning right and left. Pretty impressive!
Exiting the ferry on the north side of the island, we had to cross all the west coast to reach our apartment in the south. As we were for the first time there, we didn’t actually know how the street is going to be. The main street which connects the north with the south is driving up on a mountain and down again meeting many villages on the way there. As we were high enough, we were actually driving through the clouds and it was a totally astonishing atmosphere. From the top of the mountain, we could see the sea and the clouds were covering the sun, but its rays could find their way to shine on the sea. We found the perfect place to stop and take some amazing pictures of the view and the village of Assos, which is very famous but we didn’t plan to drive all the way back again to visit it.
We arrived at the house we rented passing the capital of the island Argostoli, and we were excited to stay there. It was located some kilometers outside Argostoli, close to the beach and in front of us, we could see the island of Zakynthos.
The first night we explored the area close to us and the next day we visited Argostoli and the small city of Lixouri on the other side. The earthquake in 1953 caused widespread damage through the island and Argostoli was destroyed. They had to build the city again and therefore the old traditional architecture was replaced with a modern one.
Lixouri is located opposite of Argostoli and you can reach it either by car or by a ferry which makes the route pretty often during the day. There are many places to see and beaches to swim, but we preferred to drink something on the piazza and then return to Argostoli.
As we had only 3 days to explore the island, we decided not to spend many hours driving around. We wanted to simply lie down on a sunbed, drink a coffee, read a book and swim.
We found out about an organized beach close to Argostoli with the pine trees reaching the water and mirroring their color on the sea. “Makris Gialos” is a beautiful beach with many beach bars to choose and wonderful waters to swim! We actually went there every day as it was exactly the place we needed.
Another very famous beach is “Myrto” but it is located on the northwest side of the island. On our drive to the south, at a narrow turn of the road, we encountered many cars, actually, stopping the traffic, because the people wanted to simply take a picture of the beautiful place. I did not take a picture on my own (no we didn’t want to annoy the other drivers!!) you can take a look at this website for the beach and other information of course.
Another place we wanted to visit was the castle of Agios Georgios. It was built 800 years ago and was the place where the nobles and the officials were living as well as the capital of the island for many years. This city had tanks with water and boiling oil to dump on unwanted visitors. In 1757 the capital was relocated to Argostoli and after that, life in the castle faded. Through the years, due to the damage because of wars and time, but also due to the severe earthquake of 1953, the castle is ruined and only a few buildings are standing there.
After that, we visited the Saint Gerasimos Monastery. He is the protector of the island and the monastery, which he built, is a sacred place for every citizen of the island. Saint Gerasimos was ordained a Monk at Mount Athos, stayed in Jerusalem for 12 years and later spent some time in Crete and Zakynthos, finally arriving in Kefalonia in 1555. His body is guarded and protected in a glass casement at the monastery as it has never decomposed. After his death, his body was buried twice and exhumed intact, thus leading the church to ordain him as a saint. It is believed to protect the citizens and heal them from illnesses.
Melissani cave is a very famous lake and the best sightseeing of the island for me! I had seen pictures and was something I wanted to visit, as I expected it to be really great. But in reality was even more impressive! The cave was researched in 1951 and several artifacts from the 4th and 3rd century BC suggest that it was a place of worshipping the god Pan and the nymphs. It is said that the nymph Melissanthi (or Melissani) drowned there after being rejected by the god and so the cave took its name.
The natural entrance of the cave is from the roof, where a part of it felt into the lake. To enter the cave you don’t have to climb, but take the stairs they build through the mountain and reach the point where small boats are waiting to take the people and bring them into the cave while they explain its history. A truly amazing experience, worths waiting a little longer for your turn. A tip they gave us and totally worthed it is to visit the lake between 11:00 am – 14:00 pm in order to catch the sun at the perfect time to have the right angle to shine in the lake and create a very mystical and special atmosphere.
After the lake, we made a short stop at the village Karavomilos where there is a very old watermill and we walked for a while next to the circular lake and to the watermill. At a close distance is the beach Antisamos which is a small gulf with beautiful turquoise water and really amazing to swim!
Those were the last things we visited on the island. In the beginning, we were planning to make a day trip to the island of Ithaca, but the weird timetables of the ferries and the fact that we didn’t want to take the car with us, made us decide not to spend the last day there. Ithaca is also an island that we would like to explore and spend more time there, so we hope that we will visit it sometime in the future.
Next stop Delfoi!