In Kefalonia, there is a great site for visitors - the Ancient Cyclopean Walls, located near the former Doric temple of Demeter and some compare it to the Great Wall of China. They are called Cyclopean because people indeed thought they were built by one-eyed giants (Cyclops).
The walls are over 2 kilometers long and were most likely built in the 7th century BC. They are claimed to be some of the best examples of the engineering of walls coming from that time. While walking along them, you can see examples of the wildlife of the island. People wonder how can the walls be so perfectly aligned.
They were meant to protect the ancient town of Krani. You can find remains of buildings from this town near them. The town used to be at the end of Koutavos Bay and overlooked the whole region. The Krania Plain was the main location of this city.
Krani was one of the cities of Kefalonia that constituted a kingdom called Ancient Sami, which dominated Kelafonia for over three thousand years. The famous archeologist N. Kyparissis believes that the history of Kefalonia is depicted in the Cyclopean walls. You can glimpse the ancient times right up to the years when the Roman Empire ruled this island. This time period was about three thousand years. The golden age of this island was during the Mycenean period.
Near the walls, on a hill called Riza, many chamber tombs existed before the Mycenaean period. Unfortunately, these tombs have been plundered and damaged. This hill was used as a necropolis for the ancient city of Krani. These cyclopean walls bear testimony to the fact that there was indeed ancient inhabitation on this island.
Unfortunately, the walls are in poor shape. Some parts have been destroyed and some others have been damaged by the elements of nature. Acid rain has had a detrimental effect on the walls over the years, but (fortunately) many parts are still standing in good condition. Despite their ruined state, the Cyclopean Walls of Kefalonia is a good example of ancient Greek engineering.
The way to reach the sight is simple. They lie near the main road that goes from Argostoli to Sami. When you get close to a town called Razata, you will see a sign that says "Cyclopean Walls". This sign points you to an asphalt road that eventually becomes a dirt road. There happens to be a large open area to park your vehicle. You will have to walk the last remaining meters to these walls. When you visit, you'd better wear walking boots, strong sneakers or trainers as well as long pants or trousers to protect your legs from the prickly shrubs.
How to get there
The Cyclopean Walls of Ancient Krani are located in Argostoli Village, just a 15-minute drive away from the central bus station.
Private transfers: We recommend using an online pre-booked Kefalonia transfer service, which provides transfer by taxi, minibus, or private VIP car and arranging a pickup directly from the airport, port, or your hotel. Alternatively, there's the option of arranging a pickup by a local driver directly at the following numbers: 0030 694 511 8866, 0030 694 530 6145, 0030 699 561 9605, or booking your taxi online.
Public transport: The central bus station of the island is located in Argostoli. There are bus connections between this bus station and most areas of the island. Consider that time schedules might change according to the season. Check the official timetables here. Tip: Since buses don't always stop at every scheduled stop of their itinerary, our advice to visitors is to inform the driver about their final destination, so that he makes a stop there.