Argostoli is the island’s largest city, the commercial and administrative center of Kefalonia. A single ride is not enough to get to know Argostoli, as the city has many places that deserve your attention and an important commercial center that will whet your appetite for shopping.
The heart of the city beats around the main square and between the pedestrian street and Sitemporon street where you will find many shops, cafés and bars. It is worth taking a walk along the coastal road Antonis Tritsis, which is covered with pebbles that create wonderful designs. It is a walk to enjoy at any time of day but it is even more beautiful in the evenings. Argostoli bay is one of the safest natural harbors in the world. In Argostoli you will also find the Town Hall, the Archaeological Museum, the Municipal Theatre, the city’s rich public library and many neoclassical buildings. On the coastal road, you come across the city market with greengrocers and fishermen. In the central square, you can find bakeries, restaurants, cafés, bars and hotels. In the pedestrian street you will find shops for every need. Finally, the nightlife is intense and satisfying all tastes. A holiday in wonderful Argostoli will be unforgettable.
The region started to be populated back in 1600. The new town was developed at a later stage when in 1757 they decided to transfer the capital from St. George’s Castle nearby Koutavos, where there was a settlement of mostly by fishermen and the seaport of the Castle called Tener della Scala di Cefalonia. From that time onwards, Argostoli began gradually to grow. When the Ionian Islands passed to the British around 1810, Kefalonia and other Ionian Islands had their own English governor. One of them was De Bosset, who developed many projects in Argostoli and he was the creator of Argostoli Bridge. This bridge is one kilometer long, linking Argostoli to the opposite side of Argostoli bay. The picturesque old town of Argostoli has many large buildings with Italian architectural influences. The seismic city was characterized by several impressive mansions and palaces, with Italian influences in the architecture of the houses with Renaissance and Baroque elements. Argostoli was the second city in Greece that acquired electricity supply. One of the mysteries of Argostoli is the water sinks called Katavothres, a rare geological phenomenon.
The peninsula of Lassi is located 1 km southwest of Argostoli and is one of the most popular areas of the island. It boasts for its natural beauty, intense nightlife and tourist infrastructure that meet every requirement. Here will find restaurants and taverns where you can try the unique flavors of Kefalonian cuisine as well as recipes from around the world. In Lassi you can visit the Lighthouse of Saint Theodore, but you will also find two of the most popular and well-organized beaches, Makris Gialos & Platis Gialos.
Skala is the southernmost village of Kefalonia, located 30 kilometers from Argostoli and it is one of the most well-organized tourist resorts. The area is of naturalistic and archaeological interest. Near the picturesque village, you may see the excavated ruins of a Roman villa with impressive mosaics. Also, just two kilometers from the village you will see the ruins of the Apollo temple. In the area of Skala you can find the famous cave Sakkos, in which you can see objects dating back to prehistoric times. At the port area you will find the stunning long beach that attracts a large number of bathers and is one of the busiest on the island where you have also the opportunity to do water sports.
If you prefer to avoid the crowded beaches, the small secluded beaches of the region are ideal for you.
Sami is the first town one encounters when traveling to Kefalonia by ferry from Patras and it is also the island’s main harbor which is surrounded by lush mountains. This safe harbor is an important stop for many destinations, not only from Greece (Patras, Igoumenitsa, Astakos, Corfu), but also from Italy (Bari & Brindisi).
All the necessary infrastructure is there to accommodate also yachts.
Excavations at the hill above the city are ongoing and continue to bring to light many important discoveries. Ruins of an ancient castle (Paleokastro) and Kyatis ancient Acropolis are just a few of the findings. In the area of Sami 17 caves sites have been recorded. The most remarkable and widely known sights are the Melissani cave in Karavomylos and Drogarati cave near the village Haliotata.
Sami became more known worldwide, from the filming of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin from both the shots in town and the beautiful beaches (Sami beach, Dihalia and Antisamos).
From Sami you can visit Ithaca, either to spend some days there or just for a day trip. Sami has daily connections to Patras, Ithaca, Lefkada, Astakos - from May to October-, as well as with ports in Italy during the summer period.
Sami existed since the prehistoric era. The history of Sami starts by Homer, who mentions it as part of the kingdom of the leader of Kefalonia, Ulysses. This is the period during which Kefalonia participated in the Trojan War and traces of organized habitation from this period, have been found. The Vigla hill may have been a Mycenaean citadel. The 5th century BC. Kefalonia was divided in four cities - states : Krani, Sami, Pronnon and Pallis. These cities followed an independent policy. The frequent, hostile relations between them are proved by the powerful classic - Hellenistic Acropolis, testified by the surviving parts of the bimodal important citadel of Sami. The remains of this period show a very well organized and prosperous city. During the second century B.C. Sami attracts the attention of the Romans, due to its strategic position and thus in 189 B.C. they campaigned against them in order to occupy the island. From the cities of Kefalonia only Sami decides to change its stance and resist vigorously.
The siege lasted for 4 months and the city was handed over 188 BC, following the transfer of the siege artillery from Amvrakeia! After the looting that followed, the Romans decided to reorganize and use it as a stopover when travelling between Greece and Italy. Several archaeological findings indicate intense building activity. The raids in the 5th and 6th century AD and destructive earthquakes, in combination with other factors, contributed to a gradual decline and final abandonment of the city.
St. Efimia is one of the most beautiful seaside villages of Kefalonia and it is only 9 km away from Sami and 34 km from the capital, Argostoli. On the way from Sami to Agia Efimia you will see a small rocky hill from one side and on the other side you will be enjoying the beautiful turquoise colors of the sea with countless small bays, where you can leave your car or your bike and take a swim. Pebbles, rocks and white plaques at the edge of the sea create magnificent small private beaches, with clear water and blue color dominates in all its shades.
St. Efimia has a relatively good layout, quiet streets and lush vegetation - almost all the yards of the houses are full of flowers and colors. Every summer the small port of Saint Euphemia is full of yachts and sailboats from around the globe. The region is considered to be a cosmopolitan resort. In St. Efimia, you will find everything to make your stay or your passing through more enjoyable. From supermarkets, butchers with fresh local meat, pharmacy, gift shops -souvenirs, traditional bread bakeries as well as several taverns - fish taverns at reasonable prices. There are several cafés and bars overlooking the dozens of moored boats that when lighted up at night give a festive atmosphere in the small harbor. Here you will also find a scuba diving center!