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.
There are plenty of activities to keep you occupied in and around area of the capital, including many natural attractions, here are just a few:
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.
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 doing water-sports at Platis and Makris Gialos in Lassi, where you will also find a diving centre.
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 and in schools, public buildings and open areas. We will try to translate the festivals programme of the municipality when it is issued.
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 and a small exhibition are located in the Koutavos Environmental Centre in Argostoli. The personnel can offer information and organise tours in the National Park of Mt. Ainos, thus offering visitors a day full of beautiful experiences in a marvellous fir forest with many rare and endemic plant species.
Many religious and cultural festivals take place in the region including the Festival of the Grape Harvest and Moustalevria, at Agia Paraskevi church at Troianata. 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.
Food & Drink
Argostoli is great for eating out with wide a wide variety of tavernas, restaurants, cafes and bars. There are also plenty of unique stores in which to purchase gifts, treats, souvenirs and local products. These are a few we have selected that stand out from the crowd!
Try a large selection of craft beer from Greece and the rest of the world, great burgers and grilled dishes (vegetarian burger available!) at Draught Grill & Beer House just off the main square. Close by you will find Beverinos where you can stop for a drink and meze in a lively and friendly atmosphere, with indoor and outdoor seating, try to catch a live music night. Libretto is a contemporary café/bar with live music nights, good snacks and is located just off Kabana Square. If you’re looking for a modern café-bar with industrial style and live music drop into K63. For an extensive wine list with a large choice of Kefalonian and Greek wines, well-presented dishes in a lively modern bar try Oinops Wine Bar & Restaurant.
On the main road towards Saint Georges Castle pop into Kafepolio – it has unusual but funky décor, and is excellent stop for good coffee when supermarket shopping. They serve foreign and domestic beers, cakes, breakfast and snacks. At the foot of Saint George’s castle you will find Kastro Café serving freshly prepared meals in their beautiful garden its family run and has great homemade desserts. For a special night out visit Il Borgo Restaurant it has a fabulous view and beautifully presented homemade food, it’s an ideal end to a walk at St George’s Castle or Castro village.
At Peratata (the village on the main road below the castle) Maria and Andreas will give you a warm welcome to Stis Marias. A family environment with a variety of freshly prepared traditional Greek dishes, with good vegetarian choices.
Diava a family run, friendly grill house with great homemade tzatiki, grilled meats and excellent gyros. It’s popular with workers, students, and visitors and is just outside of Argostoli towards the police station.
If you fancy a change from Greek food there are a couple of options; Japanese inspired fresh noodle dishes, fish & vegetarian Sushi, are beautifully presented in Sepia’s contemporary setting or, at the edge of the main square in Argostoli you can eat Chinese food in Chinese Dragon’s Restaurant, outside on the patio or order to takeaway.
In the following shops in the heart of Argostoli you could some local specialities and unique gifts and treats:
Pop into Karen's highly unique shop Down the Rabbit Hole (in Kabana Square) and find yourself in a wonderland of unique art and jewellery.
Sesoulas Bakery, is the oldest bakery in Kefalonia (from 1890), and produces the most delicious mandolas and baked goods.
At Voskopoula pastry shop, located on the paved road, you can taste the most traditional products of Kefalonia - mandoles, sesame snacks, comfeto, almond macaroon, soft nougat and homemade local desserts.
Gulbahar are specialists in spices, herbs and tea, teapots, pepper and coffee mills, mortars and many more accessories. Has a range of dried handmade pasta, flours, dried fruits etc.
Eros shop, located at the heart of the capital of Argostoli, offers a wide variety of Greek products, such as spirits body care, cheeses and desserts.
Farm Out Shop and Vitamin Bar, located at the coastal road of Argostoli, offers a wide variety of organic vegetables and fruit. You can also find olive oil, jams, superfoods, vinegars and herbs. There are tables where you could sit and enjoy a healthy snack. Vegan and vegetarian friendly!
Car, Scooter, bicycle, boat, yacht, taxi hire
Rent a car Kefalonia is a family company and its members are always ready to welcome you with a smile and courtesy as well as to answer all your questions. You will have excellent friendly service, you will receive your car without time-consuming procedures and you will always find options depending on your needs.
Kefalonia Taxi Transfers is the oldest taxi company on the island. They have friendly drivers that can collect you on the spot or arrange an appointment for another hour or day. All taxis carry a maximum of four passengers and their luggage, mini-bus also available.
Kefalonia Taxi Service is a reliable Kefalonian taxi company with excellent service, the best executive cars, punctual and experienced drivers. They provide a reliable and good service, reasonable prices with helpful, English speaking drivers.
Kefalonia Yachts provide private yacht charter.
Viva Personal Chef; If you want to be pampered, relax and enjoy traditional Greek food without leaving your accommodation, Chef Viva is here to make your dream come true!
Beauty & Wellbeing
Oh My Spa! Hammam and other Stories, located in The Alley Hotel Argostoli, offer a variety of luxurious treatments carried out by a professional and friendly team. Pampering treatments include 8 kinds of massage therapies, traditional Turkish Bath (Hammam) treatments, Pilates, facials, pre and after sun treatments.
Take a class of Yoga with Marco and learn skills to be more peaceful, serene and to focus better on what it’s really important for you during your holidays; and after the holidays, at home, during your daily life: emotions, self love and positive attitude towards others.
Kefalonia massage Christina and her colleagues can indulge you with the complete relaxation of a professional massage! Choose from a range of styles and treatments, such as Release & Relax , Hot Stones, Deep Tissue, Thai, or Head-Back-Feet massage. Her team consists of three massage therapists who are able to provide other beauty services too.
Stamo & Nikos Hair and Nail Salon, located in Argostoli, provide exceptional services and specialise in cutting, styling and colouring hair. They also offer pedicure and manicure services and treatments as well as waxing.
Child Minding and kids activities are available with a team of enthusiastic and certified child carers and teachers with the support of a qualified psychologist are arranging a variety of creative and imaginative activities for your children. Activities include organised parties and workshops at their specially designed venue at the capital of Argostoli.
There is a rich cultural and historic heritage to be found in the region, its especially concentrated in the capital, take a look at out our Argostoli Day Tour. 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 (though the Palm trees have been recently removed because of an insect that have damaged them), 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 and historic bridge provides a pedestrian only crossing providing a pleasant flat walk and lovely views of the lagoon and city. There is also a footpath around some of the lagoon where you can stroll, watch or feed the birds.
It is worth visiting Drapano, on the far side of the bridge, a cemetery preserved by the Ministry of Culture. Here you can discover some fabulous marble and stone sculptures of artistic value by great sculptors such as: Mponanos Georgios, Filippotis Dimitrios, Malakates Iakwvos and many others. The British Cemetery is located a few meters closer to the bridge.
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.
There is a lovely walk you can take from Davgata Village to Argostoli, it's a fairly easy route and takes about 1 hour.
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.