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Travel Guide to Argostoli Region (Central)

Koutavos Lagoon

The region of Argostoli, named after the capital of the island, offers the visitor varied and interesting sights. Located on the west of the main body of Kefalonia, the region is home to the biggest shipping port on the island.
Argostoli has a population of 12,500 and its largest villages are Razata, Farsa, Dilinata, Faraklata and Kombothekrata. The resort of Lassi is also located here.

Since 1757, following a move from Saint George’s Castle (Kastro), Argostoli has been the capital city of Kefalonia and is the biggest city on the island. It is also the administrative and commercial centre and is strategically located at approx. 45 km from the north, as well as the west and eastern sides of the island.

The devastating earthquake of 1953, destroyed houses, warehouses, quays of unique architecture, only a few of these buildings preserved reminding the architecture of the beautiful old city with the typical Venetian mansions. and dating further back, the Cyclopean walls near Razata. There is a rich cultural and historic heritage to be found throughout the region and the city with several museums, a library, monuments and historic squares.

The capital Argostoli and has many shops and services, supermarkets, banks, a hospital, tavernas, snack bars, coffee shops and sea-side eateries. The city centre offers open cinema, a variety of cultural and religious festivals, boat tours and yacht rental, and there two tourist trains that tour around the city during high season.

Argostoli is connected with opposite town of Lixouri with a car and passenger ferry (approx departures are every half an hour), the journey takes around 20 minutes each way. Lassi is a holiday resort offering touristic services with many places to eat, drink and shop and two great beaches - Platis and Makris Gialos. All of the main villages of the region have tavernas and mini markets.

If you'd like to explore the city in more detail you can take one or more of our proposed Argostoli city walking tours.

 

The English Cemetery

It’s easy to explore the region by bicycle or scooter, Ainos Bikes & Scooters provide a wide variety of bicycles to choose from, including children’s bicycles. You can explore the lagoon more fully by renting a pedal boat from Argostoli Lagoon Activities. You could take a wine and gastronomy tour.

From the harbour you can take the ferry to Lixouri or a day trip aboard one of the vessels leaving the harbour such as Enalios Cruises . They offer various day trips, including a naturist cruise, and leave from Argostoli. Or you could charter a private tour with Kefalonia Yachts.

Have some fun in the sea at Lassi diving or doing water-sports, or go kayaking at several locations.

Around the small traditional fishing boats in Argostoli you can often find turtles swimming, playing and feeding in the sea. It’s an amazing sight to see such magnificent creatures in the wild. During the warmer months Cine Anny shows recent movies in its open air cinema, and shows, concerts, plays and movies are on throughout the year at Kefalos Theatre.

The Management Body of  Mt. Ainos National Park is responsible for the protection and conservation of the National Park. The offices of the management body are located in the Koutavos Environmental Centre in Argostoli. The personnel of the management body can organize tours in the National Park of Mt. Ainos, thus offering visitors a day full of beautiful experiences in a marvelous Fir forest with many rare and endemic plant species and in a unique Kefalonian natural environment.

Many religious and cultural festivals take place in the region including the Festival of the grape harvest and moustalevria, Agia Paraskevi church at Troianata, and the International Music Festival in August. On May 21st the Anniversary of the Union of the Ionian Islands with mainland Greece takes place, it's a lovely way to spend a day in Argostoli listening to the music and looking at the traditional costumes but bear in mind some offices, banks and shops may be closed. There are also many sporting events including the Gym Festival “Anna Pollatou” and road races. Check our calendar of events for more information. 

Debosset Bridge

There is a rich cultural and historic heritage to be found in the region, its especially concentrated in the captial, take a look at out our Travel Guide to Argostoli city. Opposite the Archaeological Museum of Argostoli (now closed after the damage caused by the 2014 earthquake) are the Law Courts, originally constructed by the British with stone from the Cyclopean site at nearby Krani (see below) and Kefalos which is the main theatre of the town.

The Lithostroto is a wonderful pedestrian street, which incorporates the major shopping pulse of the capital town and the only Catholic Church of Saint Nicholas. A little further along you reach Kabana Square - home to the Bell Tower which was rebuilt in 1985 to house the original clock mechanism. The main “Vallianos” square has been recently renovated, there are plenty of places to sit to watch the world pass by, let the kids blow off some steam in the spacious flat area, or find the public exercise park just on the edge of the square. Stay a bit later as the square really comes alive in the evening when the surrounding restaurants, coffee shops and bars fill up and the atmosphere buzzes. In the square there is a statue of Panagis Vallianos, a merchant and ship owner thought to be the father of modern shipping. Close to the square is the Town Hall and the Focas-Cosmetatos Library and Museum which is worth visiting for their permanent collections, as well as for the earthquake exhibition in the outdoor courtyard.

Enjoy a walk along the great Rizospaston Avenue, also known as the palm road, resulting in a small park full of pine trees or visit the Napier Garden with its great variety of trees or venture a little bit further out to the Botanical Gardens. Another important site in Argostoli is the ancient city of Krani (located about 3km from Argostoli near Razata) among the ruins are parts of the walls of the ancient city which are known as the Cyclopean Walls because of their size.

To the east of Argostoli town sits the Koutavos Lagoon, a feeding ground for the Loggerhead turtles (Caretta Caretta). Now a nature reserve an historic bridge provides a pedestrian only crossing providing a pleasant flat walk and lovely views of the lagoon and city. The British Cemetery is located on the far side of the bridge. There is also a footpath around some of the lagoon where you can stroll, watch or feed the birds.

If you are visiting, or staying in, Argostoli town and are looking for somewhere to relax, swim or picnic there are three idyllic beaches called Fanari, Kalamia and Gradakia. It you want to visit the three beaches in the same day you could incorporate a visit to the unique phenomena and watermills at Katavothres, Agion Theodoron lighthouse (Fanari), named after the small adjacent church and the Monumento Ai Caduti Divisione Acqui (the memorial to the Italian Acqui Division). Kefalonia’s Greco-Italian Society maintains an exhibition called “The Mediterraneo Exhibition” in memory of the Acqui Division, next to the Catholic church in Argostoli.

Further afield in the region Dilinata has an interesting olive museum (check opening hours) and nice square where you can watch the sunset and eat a souvlaki. The village of Farsa, 11km from Argostoli is worth exploring especially the old village which stands on the opposite side of the Paliki peninsula and has amazing sea views and is an atmospheric place to visit to watch the sunset through the ruins. Exploring the paths in and around the village gives us a great insight into the life of a traditional Kefalonian village.

On the south coast of the Argostoli region you will find the tourist resort of Lassi, and the popular sandy beaches of Makris and Platis Gialos and Gradakia. Lassi is an attractive tourist resort, and visitors can find many bars, tavernas, supermarkets and shops lining the main road. A couple of kilometers on a hillside above the resort of Lassi is the Cave of Agios Gerasimos where Saint Gerasimos lived for five years, leading a strict frugal life.

The small chapel of Agia Varvara can be found underneath a metal bridge just outside of Argostoli town on the road to Prokopata. The chapel is built into the stone and is an interesting place to visit as the bridge spans a small ravine.

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Camping Argostoli Argostoli (Central) Kefalonia

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Camping Argostoli is situated just 1,5 km from the capital of Kefalonia, Argostoli, in the area called Fanari.

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