Today, I decided to take you away from Santorini, and offer a to a trip to Kefalonia instead! Kefalonia, or Cephalonia, as you can otherwise spell it, is the largest island of the Ionian sea. It is an extremely beautiful, green island, the views of each are equally breathtaking, as the views of Santorini. The island has beautiful landscapes and mesmerizing natural formations, such as the Melissani lake cave.
|Wild horse of Kefalonia on Mount Ainos|
The highest mountain of Kefalonia is the Mount Ainos, which is at 1.628 meters high (5.341 feet). The mountain is covered in Greek Fir and in Black Pine (pinus negra), which is a protected tree species. Mount Ainos is also home to the wild horses of Kefalonia. They are short, sturdy horses, living in large herds. The legend goes, that during the Venetian rule of the island, due to the high taxation, people left their horses free in the mountain. The domesticated horses survived, evolved to better fit the conditions of the island, and are still roaming the mountain after 400 years of freedom.
Beside the mountain, Kefalonia has amazing beaches with white sand and turquoise waters. It has shallow beaches, perfect for families with children, such as the Xi beach, and deep water beaches, such as the Myrtos beach. By the way, Myrtos Beach has been voted as the best beach of Europe, and is one of the top 10 beaches of the world! For those of you, who prefer less crowded beaches, you can find a number of those in Kefalonia, and enjoy a quite day in the sun combined with amazing scenery.
The capital of Kefalonia is Argostoli, and the second biggest town is Lixouri. Both are beautiful small towns, prefect for walks, food, shopping and night life. You certainly shouldn’t miss visiting the countless traditional villages of Kefalonia. The architecture of the island is something worth noting. It is a mixture of Italian influenced architecture, due to its past occupation from the Venetians, and the Ionian style traditional houses, which were build after the catastrophic earthquake of 1953.
Kefalonia has been occupied by the Franks, the Venetians and the British in the past, and has been part of Greece only for the past 140 years. This has resulted in Kefalonia's culture being a combination of the cultures from the countries mentioned above, which greatly shows in the islands' food and traditions. For example, foxtrot is considered a traditional Kefalonian dance, so don't get confused if after a Zorba, you see them doing the three step figure.
|Melissani Lake Cave|
As if the landscapes, the beautiful towns and villages, and the culture is not enough reason to visit Kefalonia, the local food is incredibly delicious! All the local products of the island are fresh: fresh fish, fresh meat, fresh vegetables! Everything that Kefalonia produces is indescribably tasty. One of the best traditional dishes, you should definitely try when visiting the island, is the Kefalonian meat pie! Yum!!
The people of Kefalonia are fun and welcoming, open-minded and open-hearted. They are also really loud. You, probably, already know that Greeks are considered to be loud people… well Kefalonians took it to a whole new level! The locals have an amazing cultural education, and almost everyone has a love for music. Prepare yourself for a lot of music and dancing, when going there. Interestingly, the patron of the island is St. Gerasimos, the protector of the crazy… which isn't a coincidence…
To summaries, Kefalonia is an island absolutely worth visiting, and you should definitely put this location on your map, the next time you come to Greece. I personally adore this place, and can't wait
next vacation there.
To close, I would like to note, that Kefalonia is also a great place to host weddings and events, but we will talk about it in more detail in the near future!
Thank you very much for reading, and if you have visited Kefalonia, I'd be happy to learn about your experience from the island.