Kefalonia, Greece

Kefalonia is the largest island in the Ionian Island group in western Greece. Kefalonia was named for the mythological figure Cephalus, although some believe that the name refers to the shape of the island, and insist that it means “island with a head”.

Kefalonia’s capital is Argostoli. Argostoli was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1953, with only a few houses remaining, as well as the arched bridge that reaches across the lagoon and the obelisk at its center, which now commemorates the date of its construction. The earthquake in 1953 actually destroyed practically the entire island of Kefalonia, leaving only Fiscardo in the north unscathed.

The next largest town on Kefalonia is Lixouri. There you will find a lovely 19th century mansion turned museum and traces of the ancient city of Pali. The beaches to the south of Lixouri are among the very finest in Greece. On the east side of the island are the pebbled beaches of Poros, Sami, and Agia Efimia.

The tallest mountain on Kefalonia is Mount Ainos, which stands at 1628meters. There are two monasteries located on Kefalonia, the first is the monastery of Haghia Panagia, which is in the southeast section of the island in Markopoulo. The other is the monastery of Agios Gerasimos, patron saint of Kefalonia, and is found on the road between Argostoli and Michata, on a small plain which is surrounded by mountains. The latter features a tree lined avenue with a circle in the middle.

Just recently a Roman era tomb containing gold, jewelry, pottery, and bronze pieces was discovered on Kefalonia. The tomb itself is a house shaped structure with a door that was still in working order. There was also a theater and seat rows found. These structures are said to date back from the 2nd century BC to the 4th century AD.