The region of Erissos is located in the northernmost part of the island and the area is surrounded by wonderful coastline and beaches, and is without doubt my favourite region! Erissos is characterised by mountains, rolling hills covered with olive and impressive cypress trees, unusual rock formations, outstanding Venetian architecture, beautiful beaches and stunning views to other islands and to the mainland. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty offering a wide range of things to see and do and is especially attractive to walkers, hikers and nature lovers. The most important places in this region include the colourful village of Fiskardo with its many pre-earthquakes houses and the village of Assos which sits at the edge of an pennisula dominated by a Venetian Castle.
Other notable villages include Antipata, Mesovounia, Vassilikades, Vari and Komitata. The Greek government has recognised Fiskardo’s uniqueness by declaring it a region of great natural beauty and protecting it by law. Fiskardo is also an important ferry terminal and you can get connections by ferry to Lefkada (Nidri – Vasiliki) and to Astakos on the mainland, as well as take day trips by boat. It also has a variety of mini-markets, supermarkets, tavernas, cafes, restaurants, souvenir, clothes and tourist shops, a chandler, a post office, and bakeries making it an ideal stop for the many boats that moor up here to replenish supplies. There are mini-markets and places to eat dotted all over the region but mainly in Fiskardo, Maganos and Vassilikades.
For walkers and hikers Erissos is perfect! There are three beautiful signposted paths from Fiskardo, including the easy Lighthouse Walk (Faros walk to the Venetian lighthouse and Byzantine Basilica), The Cypress Trail and the Battery Trail. Also explore the possibility of walking the more strenuous Drapanitika, Assos village and Castle trail.
In Assos during the summer season some great concerts take place on the way up to the castle. The Βarcarolle (or Varkarolla) Festival is held every year on the 24th of August is one of the most impressive local customs, deriving from the Venetians, as the serenaders get into a beautiful fishing boat parading in the port and sing local songs with their guitars and mandolins surrounded by lighted torches, numerous smaller boats and hundreds of visitors and locals gathering around the coast that night to admire them.
You can rent a self-driven boat for a day from one of the hire companies, try Regina’s boats, a kayak from Fiskardo Kayaks or have a unique marine experience with Ionian Discoveries, or rent a yacht for a day and snorkel, visit the nearby beaches and get a lunch on board on a special boat tour or, if the weather permits, discover the north of Ithaca, Afales Gulf. Try some underwater exploration with the diving school. You could also rent an e-bike from Ionian Discoveries and cycle around the area with some powered help!
The beaches are huge attraction in this area; from the isolated and simply stunning Dafnoudi , Kimilia and Emblissi beaches, to the beautiful Alaties and Agia Jerousalem to the impressive Foki beach where you can relax under the olive trees. Other notable beaches include Horgota and Agia Sofia - they may bring back memories from your childhood. Assos has a pebbly beach with shallow waters ideal for children, the sea is always calm here.
Fiskardo is a vibrant and cosmopolitan harbour, surrounded by Venetian-style houses painted in pastel colours. During the summer season, the harbour is filled with vessels from small sailing boats to large yachts all nestled together a few feet from seashore restaurants, cafes and bars plus high end souvenir shops and Fiskardo at night takes on a special atmosphere, where guests and celebrities stroll along the port. The prices in Fiskardo are a little higher than the rest of the island because of its exclusivity and attraction to the rich and famous!
Assos offers extraordinary scenic beauty, rendering the village an idyllic setting for a relaxing or romantic visit. To visit Assos village it is necessary to have a vehicle as this small lovely place is relatively isolated. The village square is situated near the waterfront and around it you will find amazing views of the harbour and of the Castle on the opposite hill. Spend some time and stroll up to the unique Venetian castle as it offers some great views of the peninsula, the village and if you manage to reach the western part of it you can watch a great sunset. The church of the Prophet Elias can be found about half way up the footpath to the castle, it was built in 1888 on the ruins of another small church dating from 1500.
St. John Chrysostom a little church at Vari, hosts impressive painted wall icons, dating from 1755.
Villa Antikleia Erissos (North) Kefalonia
Villa Antikleia is in a quiet and secluded location in a pristine valley with a view that extends to the sea. The wonderful sunset and lush vegetation in total privacy can be enjoyed from the terrace surrounding the building, as well as while swimming in the private pool.