with Ioanna's eyes
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  • Cephalonia: decorates the Ionian Sea!
  • Cephalonia: it has its own sweetness ...

 

Generously endowed by nature and with a rich cultural heritage, Cephalonia is in the Ionian Sea, and to discover it, is to love it. Find its hidden beauties as you walk  the verdant trails, stroll through the Botanical Garden of Cephalonia, visit FARM OUT to get a taste of the pure local products of the Cephalonian land, and visit the estate Gentilini to see up closely how its finest wines are produced...

 

Text - Photos: Ioanna Paravalou

 

The enchanting beaches with exotic colors, the lush remote landscape and the impressive caves enchant even the most skeptical traveler. Untamed nature, with its interesting geological characteristics, dense fir forests on Mount  Aenos, its highest mountain, rocky coastlines, beaches with white sand or white pebbles and emerald waters, in all shades of blue and green, its sheltered harbors and picturesque villages, smothered in lush green and  next to the waves of the sea ... Cephalonia steals your heart, before you realize.

Whichever beach you choose, it is certain that you will enjoy your bathing in crystal-clear waters, in colors to envy the exotic islands ... The island’s capital is the beautiful Argostoli with the spacious harbor and the lagoon Koutavos, streets of palm trees, interesting museums, imposing mansions that proudly resist in time, the lovely squares, the good restaurants, shops, and the liveliness throughout the day. Worth seeing is the Archaeological Museum, the Foundation Fokas – Cosmetatos, the Korgialenio Historic and Folklore Museum, the impressive Lighthouse and the important Fortress of Agios Georgios on the top of the hill.

Opposite lies Lixouri and its surrounding villages of this region, hiding picturesque fishing harbors and enchanting beaches with crystal clear waters with amazing colors...

Just a few kilometers from Argostoli is Lassi, with nice accommodations and many taverns, while very close are two beautiful beaches with turquoise waters, Makris and Platis Gialos.

Among the many beautiful villages of Cephalonia, Kourkoumelata, stands out with its impressive mansions and blooming gardens. Descending from the village, you can swim at the sandy beach of Avythos, with turquoise crystal clear waters.

 

Excursions on the island…

In Cephalonia you should not miss a visit to Drogaratis Cave with stalactites and stalagmites, near Sami. Not far from there lies the gorgeous Melissani Lake Cave, a beautiful cave tour of cockle shell marine life seen by day light entering through the opening in the roof which fully illuminates the waters to a fantastic blue. (Best for light hours: 11.00 - 13.00).

One of the most picturesque and cosmopolitan places of Cephalonia is Fiskardo, with its tavernas, one next to the other, on the waterfront where you will find the sailboats and yachts anchored. Walk the streets of bougainvillea climbing on the white or colored walls is an experience...

Other attractions are also other places such as Skala, Agia Effimia, Poros

In Lixouri hidden beauties … 

Beautiful corners, unknown to many, hides the area of Lixouri, with picturesque fishing harbors, beaches with white sand and turquoise waters that deepens slowly, but also picturesque taverns with flowery courtyards with geraniums, bougainvillea and vines, such as Porto Atheras, which looks like a painting, as in its small harbor the church of Agios Spyridonas painted in sea-blue and the colorful fishing boats are reflected in its calm, green waters... in the two taverns ("Gialos" with magnificent sea views and "Drosos" on the beach with nice yard) you will enjoy traditional flavors of the place, such as meat pie and cod pie, but also fresh fish and seafood from local fishermen ...

 

The most famous beaches of Lixouri area are Petanioi and Xi, each one with its own color. To the south of Lixouri is Vatsa, a beautiful sandy beach that is joined with a river where ducks swim in its waters. Here you can eat at «Spiaggia», on the beach, with rare flavors, and at «Captain Nicolas», a tavern with nice view, flowery courtyard and delicious flavors, now in the hands of his daughter Gianna.  Try the fantastic meat pie in clay, lobster-spaghetti, and fish and well cooked dishes with fresh vegetables from their garden.

 

Discovering the fertile land of Cephalonia…

If we want to see how horticultural products are grown produce delicious fruit, thanks to the love and the passion of the people who decided to take care of the earth, you can walk in the beautiful village Kourkoumelata. Here you can visit, upon request, the estates FARM OUT where Stephania and Stavros cultivate their crops.  In recent years, the estates with juicy strawberries in exceptional varieties and flavors, potatoes, vines from which are produced two kinds of wine (white and red) , olive trees for fine olive oil and various vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, kale, melons, watermelons, fresh green beans, broccoli, raspberry etc.). In the gardens there are also many kinds of aromatic herbs (ginger, rosemary, lavender, sage, thyme, oregano, marjoram, mint ...). Try the most delicious strawberries and buy any of the fine products of  FARM OUT, such as strawberry, orange jam, olive oil, wines, kale and broccoli.   (Information, tel.: 26710-26.513, e-mail: info@farmout.gr).

 

Perfume of Cephalonian wine...

Within walking distance from here you can enjoy visit the Estate Gentilini a fine winery for a guided tour by George Koukouvinos and see the vineyards and winery. Walking the estates of ripe grapes, can learn how the exquisite Cephalonian Gentilini wines produced. Of course, at the end of the tour you can taste the fine wines of the estate, to choose the wine that suits your taste. (Information, tel.: 6942 677962, George Koukouvinos). 

 

Closer to the nature of the Ionian Islands…

If yon love nature you can walk all the trees and plants found in nature in the Ionian Islands.  Your stroll through the lush paths of the Botanical Garden of Cephalonia, is within walking distance from Argostoli (2 klm.). The trees, wildflowers, herbs, evergreen shrubs, are native, rare and endemic plants of the Ionian Islands and are shown with streams, wooden bridges and a beautiful pond with water lilies and goldfish ... A beautiful Botanical Garden created in 1998, at the initiative of the Foundation Fokas - Cosmetatos. In some places there are metal sculptures. Thus, the Art  “marries” with nature. The Botanical Garden is open to the public. (Information, tel.: 26710-26595 & 6, www.focas-cosmetatos.gr e-mail: ipfc@otenet.gr  Monday - Saturday:  09.00 - 14.0009.00 - 14.00. Also, Wednesday and Thursday: 19.00 - 20.30).

 

Activities in nature and tours…

 

Hiking in the forests of Cephalonia is its own "paradise", as here you will find a large network of trails on the verdant slopes of Aenos, which is flooded by all sorts of trees, the Cephalonian fir and many wildflowers. Some hiking trails leading to pristine beaches with crystal clear waters, ideal for relaxation and diving ..

If on other hand the magic of the seabed and scuba diving is out of the question, you could consider a diving school to enjoy the best diving on the island which will provide you a unique opportunity with all the safely.

Of course, there are organized excursions and tours around the island by car, to spend unforgettable day discovering Cephaloinia’s many beauties ... On the island you will find agencies that organize everything perfect, depending upon your time.

 

Info:

  • For hiking in the forests: Cephalonia Alpine Club, tel.: 6974 640632, Mr. Vasilis Spiratos
  • For organized excursions and tours: Katsouris Travel: tel.: 26711-00817 και 6989 469877 Mr Spyros Katsouris.
  • For Scuba Diving: Fiskardo - Divers: tel.: 6970 206172, 6949 393501.

 

Swimming of dreamy beaches…

Cephalonia is endowed with enchanting beaches for every taste.

Some good suggestions are:

Antisamos: close to Sami, with its trees that reach all the way to the sea, with pebbles or a sand beach and emerald blue waters. Here scenes from the movie "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" were filmed. Relax, after swimming, with a drink in the sophisticated beach-bar «Mojito» (tel.: 26740-23101).

Mirtos: The most famous beach of the island, with white sand or pebbles and emerald blue waters.

Avithos: is a white sand beach ideal for children with beautiful turquoise waters. Here you will find the tavern - cafe «Enetiko» (tel.: 26710-42108), with nice terrace and amazing sea food!

Makris and Platis Gialos: Two enchanting beaches, organized activities and turquoise waters, near Lassi.

Assos: The beach that lies in the shadow of the Castle, with white pebbles. You can enjoy a swim in the turquoise waters and relax with a glass of ouzo with seafood at the beach cafes - ouzeri.

Trapezaki Beach: Beautiful sand beaches, near the villages Moussata and Vlahata. In the tavern «Denis» (tel. 26710-31454), with the beautiful terrace on the beach you will enjoy inspired Mediterranean flavors.

Porto Atheras: In the northern part of Lixouri, is a magnificent bay with sandy beach and shallow turquoise waters. Here you can eat at two good tavernas with fresh fish and traditional flavors «Gialos» (tel.: 26710-93819, 6948 040499) and «Drosos» (tel.: 26710-93821).

Petanioi: With pure white pebbles and emerald waters (10 klm from Lixouri), has organized activities.

Xi: One of the most famous beaches of the island, with its special character (8 klm from Lixouri).

Spiatza - Vatsa: At Lixouri there is a beautiful sandy beach that is joined with a river where ducks swim in its waters. For food or drink in «Spiaggia», on the beach.

There are also beautiful beaches at Kateleios and Kaminia (in the road from Argostoli to Skala, after the village Ratzakli), Skala Beach, Platia Ammos (in peninsula of Palikis), Emplysi (1,5 klm from Fiskardo), Foki (nearby Fiskardo), Dafnoudi (north of the island), Minies (4 klm from Argostoli), Ammes (10 klm from Argostoli), Agia Ierousalim (5 klm from Fiskardo) and Lourdas (in the village Lourdata).

 

INFO

How to get there:
You can travel to Cephalonia by air with Aegean - Olympic Air from Athens Airport El. Venizelos. Also, you can travel by car or by KTEL buses up to Killini (287 klm.) and from there to get to the island by ferry boat. (Prices for transition Killini - Poros: Eur 8,80 per person and Eur 38,90 the car. Other so for return). From Kifisos KTEL buses leave daily to Cephalonia. (100 Kifisou Ave, tel.: 210-5150785, 210-5157427. Price: Eur 80 per person round trip, along with the ship).

Where to stay:

«Lassi Hotel» (in lassi, near Argostoli): tel.: 26710-23126, 23415, www.lassihotel.gr  Located in a quiet area, just before Lassi, which is just 1,5 klm. away from Argostoli, the hospitable «Lassi Hotel» is an ideal choice for accommodation in Cephalonia. It offers comfortable rooms and studios with beautiful views of the sea or the swimming pool, indoor bar and comfortable terraces, where you can relax enjoying a coffee or a drink. The breakfast is rich (homemade cakes, croissants, omelets, freshly squeezed orange juice, fresh fruit, etc.) and is served in a buffet. The nearest beach is 3-minute walk from the hotel, and a short drive away is the beautiful beaches of Platis and Makris Gialos.

«White Rocks» (at the beach of Platis Gialos): tel.: 26710-28332-5, 210-3614892, www.whiterocks.gr  Built in a prime location, among the pines and over the magnificent beach of Platis Gialos, is an elegant 4 star hotel that masterfully combines comfort with luxury. An ideal place for relaxation and renewal.

«Emelisse Hotel» (in Fiskardo): tel.: 26740-41200, www.emelissehotel.com . An extremely elegant 5 star hotel, with rooms and suites, available semi private swimming pools, bars and restaurants, and Spa with full exercise facilities. Staying in is experience!

«Spiaggia» - Vatsa (Lixouri): tel.: 6977 631053. Elegant maisonettes and villas with private pool, prepared by Spyros Antonellos to his estate on the beach and next to the river with the ducks.

 

«Olive Mare» (Kateleios): tel.: 26710-81011, www.olivemare.gr  This boutique hotel, with sea view, in the village Kateleios, just 5 minutes walk from the beach, in an olive grove. It is 6 klm from the  beach Skala. In its restaurant you will taste traditional organic dishes, homemade bread and salads with vegetables from their garden.

 

«Mouikis Hotel» (Argostoli): tel.: 26710-23032, www.mouikis.com.gr  A modern 3 star hotel in Argostoli. The most rooms face towards the sea.

 

«Hotel Aggelos» (Argostoli): tel.: 26710-28001, www.hotelaggelos.com 

 

«Hotel Olga» (Argostoli): tel.: 26710-24981, www.olgahotel.gr 

 

For economic solutions for accommodation and rooms to let: Katsouris Travel: tel.: 26711-00817.

 

 

Where to eat:

In Argostoli: «Kiani Akti» (tel.: 26710-26680), on the beach, for linguini with clams, smoked eel, risotto with wild asparagus, fresh shellfish, sea urchin with vodka and fresh grilled fish.

«Palia Plaka» (tel.: 26710-24849), for a variety of well cooked food and terrace with sea view.

In Fiskardo: Restaurant «Vasso’s» (tel.: 26740-41276), for goat “lagoto”,”sofigado”  (braised beef with spices), meat pie, chickpeas salad, cod pie, special cheese pies and for desert traditional almond cake, oven crème caramel and orange pie with homemade strawberry liqueur.

Tavern «Tassia’s» (tel.: 26740-41205), for special seafood and traditional flavors.

In Avithos beach: Tavern - cafe «Enetiko» (tel.: 26710-42108), with a nice terrace and great seafood flavors!

In Trapezaki beach: «Denis» (tel.: 26710-31454), with its beautiful terrace on the wave, for inspired Mediterranean and traditional flavors. Try cod pie, meat pie, fried seafood, special lamb chops, beef bacon, “pikania” (meat) etc.

In Port Atheras (Lixouri area): Tavern «Gialos» (tel.: 26710-93819, 6948 040499), with a nice terrace and sea view, for fresh grilled fish, shrimps,   marinated anchovies, grilled mackerel, special burgers and grilled eggplant. Tavern «Drosos» (tel.: 26710-93821), for fresh fish and seafood, on the beach.

In Vatsa (Lixouri area): Fish-tavern «Spiaggia» (tel.:26710-93991, 6977 631053), rare flavors like petalochortaro, armyricha, aliada, athoulia, fried komintora (fired tomatoes) cod with garlic sauce. «Captain Nicolas» (tel.: 26710-92722), a tavern with nice view and a flowery courtyard. Try meat pie in clay, lobster spaghetti, fried tomatoes with garlic and homemade cooked food with vegetables from their garden.

 

 

 

 




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