Introduction & General Information

Kefalonia is a member of the Ionian Islands. It is the largest island of the group and is also known as the island of the seafarers, like the famous seafarer Juan de Fuca. The prefecture of Kefalonia also includes the islands of Ithaca, Kastos and Kalamos.

The island is located between Lefkada and Zakynthos and has a population of almost 45.000 inhabitants who are mostly gathered in the island's capital and main port, Argostoli. Their main occupations and source of income are agriculture, fishing, and tourism.

The island of Kefalonia is mountainous: the highest mountain, Mount Ainos, rises at an altitude of 1520 meters and is the only mountain in the whole Mediterranean to possess a unique fir forest species called Abies Kefallia. Those are protected species and the area where they grow has therefore been declared a National Park.

Many fruitful plains, amazing lakes and rivers, caves, thick and verdant forests and wonderful beaches with golden sand and crystalline waters embellish the island. Because of its natural wealth, Kefalonia was, like all Ionian Islands, dominated by various civilizations such as the Byzantine, the Frankish, the Ottoman and the Venetian, but also the Napoleonic and the British Empires. These cultures left visible signs on the architecture of Kefalonia with great works, such as the bridge of Argostoli.

During World War II, Kefalonia was under Italian and German domination and the capitulation of Italy led to the massacre of 5,000 Italian soldiers. This event inspired the writer Louis de Bernieres to write his famous book, entitled Captain Corelli's Mandolin, which became later a movie.

Apart from the capital, Argostoli, the island of Kefalonia has a multitude of picturesque villages and small towns scattered all around it. The most renowned is the particularly picturesque Fiscardo, the only village that wasn't destroyed by the disastrous earthquake of 1953, and has maintained its beautiful neoclassical buildings until today.

Because of its innumerable beauties and charms and for having everything to offer even to the most demanding visitor, Kefalonia is one of the most popular destinations not only of the Ionian but of Greece overall.

More about Kefalonia