An August 2004 trip
to Kefalonia by Greek Kat
Quote: My parents were born on this island in the Ionian Sea in Greece. I want to share with you the beauty of this island and people.
Near the villages of Frangata and Valsamata lies the most sacred monastery and church of St Gerasimos where his relics of this saint are kept. On any given day, you will see pilgrims make the journey to the church to venerate St Gerasimos’ body to heal their illnesses. It’s an impressive sight to see. Under the monastery lies a two-room cave he built. He used to live, sleep and pray there. To go from one room to the next, one must crawl through an approximately 15-inch square hole. It is said that all true believers (large or small) can fit through trough this hole. St. Gerasimos is a healer for the possessed and mentally disturbed. Many believe that he performs miracles on the day of his death on August 16th and on the 20th of October (which is the removal and granting of the Holy Relics). His body is carried in a procession out of the chapel to an old plane tree which was planted by the saint himself.
Kefallonia has some gorgeous beaches - I think they are the best in the world. I'll dig up some old photos when I get a chance and show you why. MAKRIS AND PLATIS YIALOS are two of the more popular beaches. MAKRIS YIALOS has snack bars, music, restaurants, and water sports facilities and is the favorite beach for the younger people and families. PLATIS YIALOS is right next door, and is another popular spot. MYRTOS is one of the most photographed beaches in Europe. Looking at the beach from the road above, you will see a stunning view of this white, pebbly beach with its beautiful shades of blue. But be careful if you can't swim, because the moment you step into the water, the underwater currents are very strong. Other gorgeous beaches are TRAPEZAKI, AGIOS THOMAS, SKALA, and TRAPEZAKI.
Check out the village of Castor and visit the castle that was used during the war to protect the island. Drogarati Cave in Sami is another must, with its unusual stalagmites and stalactites.
Hotel | "Karavados Beach Hotel"
If you are looking for a place to stay that is away from the hustle or the main city, this is your place to go. It's a nice litle village with friendly people. It's about a half hour ride to Argostoli. Very peaceful and beautiful village. Highly recommended.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 25, 2004
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 25, 2004
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 11, 2005
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Traditional sweets of the island include mantoles (a red sugary candy that has an almond in the middle), honey mantoles, honey pie, a yummy nougat treat and many fruit treats that have a syrupy consistency. Along with these goodies you can also find traditional treats like baklava, melamocarona, almond cookies, bougatsa and many many more – I’m getting hungry just thinking about them all!
You will literally be like a kid in a candy store when you visit this place – there are so many treats that you won’t know which to get. Be like me and try something new each time you go by, and of course get the 1 item that you can’t live without. As a child they knew me by name and would always suggest something new for me to try. They got to know what I liked and disliked. Now that’s customer service!
Voskopoulas has been around since 1910, so you know they are doing something right if they are still going strong after all these years.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 15, 2005
Throughout the island
After a late night out partying, be sure to go to Fagoto's and get a crepe as your late-night/ early morning snack.
Don't plan on getting home until the am hours after your visit to Rumours.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 12, 2005
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2005
Attraction | "St Gerasimos Feast Day Celebrations"
The castle is an impressive sight built on top of the hill in the small village of Kastro, right above the villages of Peratata and Travliata on the main road. The views from the top of the mountain are endless. My favorite, of course, is the view of Peratata, where I can see the home my mother grew up in. The other views aren’t that bad, either – you can see the capital of Argostoli from one side and the eastern side of the island from another looking point. My uncle once told me that there are numerous underground passageways that extend miles throughout the underground of the island. These were used as escape routes during the war, when the islanders fought both the Italian and German troops.
The last time I went up to the castle, it was under renovation. I’ve heard they are planning on putting in an amphitheater and one day hope to hold concerts here. What an incredible sight for a concert!
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 13, 2005
Castle of Saint George
Attraction | "Argostoli Main Sqaure"
As with much of the island, the town of Argostoli was completely rebuilt after the earthquake of 1953 – this is why you won’t see an older style of architecture. My parents lived on the island during this time and tell of the horrible devastation throughout the island. The port of Argostoli is a main hub for ferryboats and small sail and fishing boats. During the morning hours, the town is buzzing with activity. Many of the locals come into the capital to do their daily shopping early on before the sun comes out. In the evening, this is the place to be, whether you want a nice meal, want to people-watch, or want to go out on the town for fun into the early hours of the next day. There are a few museums and libraries that are worth visiting to learn more about the history of the island.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 13, 2005
Argostoli Town and Main Sqaure
Argostoli Main Square
* Be sure to check out the following villages:
** Fiskardo - The most picturesque village by the sea, highly preferred by yachts and sailing boats. Madonna, Nicolas Cage, Bruse Springstein, Tom Hanks and many more have visited this village.
** Karavados - My father was born here. Agio Thomas beach is a beautiful, peaceful beach you won't want to miss.
** Myrtos - The best beach of the island and one of the best in the world. Green-blue waters; white sand and pebbles; white, rocky terrain on the sides; and clear waters make this beach unique.
** Agia Efimia - A nice sea village with a panoramic view and many places to stay. It is situated on the way to Sami, and it is a quiet village to stay and travel around the island.
The homes are built in the 18th-century Venetian style and painted in pastel colors. This area reminds me a lot like Corfu Town on the island of Corfu, but I think Fiskardo is more beautiful. In the summertime, Fiskardo is one of the busiest areas on the island. You’ll find numerous yachts docked in the harbor. Some of the famous people who have docked their yachts in this harbour are Madonna, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Bruce Springstein, and Nicholas Cage, to name a few. A stroll around the harbour will take you on a tour of some of the most luxurious yachts you’ve ever seen.
Fiscardo at night takes on an entirely different perspective. The lights, the old buildings, cafés, bars, and restaurants all combine to provide a magical Mediterranean atmosphere. A fun place to hit at night is the Kastro Club. It’s a fun outdoor nightclub that is easy to find – just follow the signs around the harbour, and you can’t miss it.
Fiscardo is a small village with no hotels, but you can find small villas, rooms, studios, and apartments. This adds to the charm of this village, since it’s not overly crowded at any one time. Rooms can be found by checking on the Internet through travel agencies – a great sight to check is greeka.com. Of all the villages on Kefallonia, Fiscardo stands out as having a unique ambience, especially on a summer evening. Despite the crowds and gift shops, Fiskardo retains its charm. Asos is an unspoiled village on Kefallonia's west coast. The surrounding hilly terrain is noted for its stone terracing, which once covered the island.
What I have done in the past is head towards Lixouri from Argostoli and just make a day of it. The beches on this side of the island are gorgeous. They are clean and not as crowded as the beaches in Lassi – be sure to visit Lepada beach.
The main square in Lixouri is surrounded by cafes and tavernas, along with little shops. This is where the ferry will drop you off so you can take a nice little stroll and grab something to eat while you wait for the next ferry to come. That’s the beauty of taking the ferry – you can stay as long or as little as you like. There are great little tavernas that you can head to for a bite to eat. While in the square, you’ll notice many statues. The people of Lixouri have honored many of their distinguished villagers with statues for all to see and remember.
Lixouri is still considered a farming village so the pace here is slow and relaxed. Lixouri also houses Greece's second oldest Philharmonic school, so they village has a nice mix of old and new.
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