The former municipal area of Argostoli is the most populated part of Kefalonia with about one third of the islands population calling it home. There is plenty here to see and do all year round, but in the summer, it truly comes alive.
The best way to get into Argostoli from the north or east of the island is to follow the lagoon road into town. If you come in by bus, the bus station is the ideal location to start exploring – if you arrive by car, it is wise to park at the side of the lagoon road just after the running track or in the quite well hidden, car park just before the bus station. Some of the places I will list here may need a car to get to, especially if you don’t fancy walking too far in the summer temperatures. If you are coming in from Lassi, it is possible to walk down – although walking back uphill in the summer heat may not be advisable – or take the local bus that passes through on its way to and from the airport.
The first thing you will probably notice as you walk towards Argostoli from the bus station is the bridge across the lagoon, which can go by different names depending on who you speak to: it is sometimes called Drapano Bridge whilst some people know it better as the De Bosset Bridge. Although once open to road traffic, for structural reasons it is now strictly pedestrians and bicycles only. About half way across the bridge is an obelisk made of stone, built onto a man-made island – this obelisk is a monument to the British patronage. At the other end of the bridge is the village of Drapano where there is a marina, a cafe and the British Cemetery. It is an open bridge with no shelter and the 800m length would normally take about 10 minutes to walk and it is quite possible that you will spot turtles in the water as you cross.
As you continue along the coast road into Argostoli, you will notice that it gets considerably busier with traffic and it is not uncommon to see cars double parked on both sides of the road. On your right you will pass a fish mongers, butchers and a veg market; on your left, you will see an assortment of supermarkets, cafes and patisseries. It is also along the seafront here that you will have the best chance to see turtles close up – they follow the fishing boats to the dock in the morning hoping to get fed from the catch; the best time is usually between 10 – 11.30 am, although you may be lucky and see them at other times of day.
About 2km walk from the bus station is the Kefalonia Museum of Ancient Greek Technology which is open daily during the summer and has a good display of the technology used by the ancient Greeks, many reconstructed from original plans.
Round the northern end of the Argostoli peninsula is the Katavothres mill wheel and sink holes. There is nothing spectacular about the wheel itself, it’s a replica constructed after previous ones were destroyed by the earthquake in 1953. The site itself however, is an area of particular interest to geologists: there is water that seems to mysteriously disappear into sinkholes and go underground. Experiments were carried out using a special dye and it was discovered that the water emerged some 2 weeks later at the east coast village of Karavomylos, having first passed through the Melissani Lake.
Further round the coast is the lighthouse of Agios Theodoron, more commonly known as the Fanari lighthouse. The original lighthouse which was present since 1829 was destroyed in the earthquake of 1953; what stands today is a replica which was constructed from the original plans.
Also in the area is the memorial to the Acqui Division; an Italian infantry unit which was stationed on the island during the 2nd world war and allies of the German army. They were brutally massacred by their former allies after their surrender to Allied forces in 1943. These events are most famously captured in the novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, written in 1994 by Louis de Bernières which was later turned into a movie.
The main pedestrian shopping street in Argostoli is called Lithostroto. Along Lithostroto, you can see the catholic church of St Nicholas, the earthquake museum which is staffed entirely by volunteers, and many different shops and cafes. The main square is called Platia Vallianou and is at the the north end of Lithostroto; it is a popular location for local events – there are also many hotels and tavernas which overlook the square. In the spring of 2019, the pedestrian area around the square was refurbished and extended.
There are other places that are worth seeing in the town of Argostoli, but these are the most noteworthy, if you would like to know more please ask.
Lassi is probably best known in Kefalonia for its glorious sandy beaches and its excellent choice of bars and tavernas. Two of the best-known beaches are Makris Gialos & Platis Gialos where you can rent sunbeds, get refreshments from one of the snack bars, partake in water sports or just have a dip in the crystal blue waters. Just look out in summer, their popularity means that they get very busy. The Cave Hermitage Saint Gerasimos is also located in Lassi. The hermitage has been built onto the front of the cave where it is said that Agios Gerasimos stayed for 5 years upon his arrival on Kefalonia in 1555. Be prepared for an uphill walk to see this beautiful piece of Kefalonian history.
Lassi has everything you need for a great summer holiday and its proximity to the airport and Argostoli, as well as great transport and road links, make this a great location for getting out and exploring more of the island.