Due to its proximity to the airport and the capital Argostoli, the Leivathos region of Kefalonia is a popular place to live. The glorious sandy beaches, beautiful churches and well-kept villages also make this area a very desirable place to visit or stay on your holiday.
The newly constructed terminal building at Kefalonia airport is the 3rd arrivals/departures structure since the airport was opened in 1971 and it is now better equipped to cope with the increasing number of visitors to the island.
As you come into land you can hardly fail to notice how close to the coast the runway is. The beaches near to the airport have lovely golden sand and a shallow incline, making them an excellent location for families.
Spasmata, Eglina and Ammes are the 3 popular beaches nearby where you can buy refreshments and hire sun loungers – their close proximity to the airport enables you to watch aircraft taking off and landing. Ammes beach is a spot favoured by the endangered caretta caretta sea turtle to lay their eggs and during the summer months teams of volunteers will cordon off nests. You are asked to respect the nests and not disturb them.
Svoronata is a sprawling village not too far from the airport, set amongst acres of olive groves. It is a quiet, relaxing place to stay with plenty of tavernas and bars to choose from.
Due to the layout of the village you may want to consider hiring a car, unless of course you enjoy walking and are able to do so.
There is a bus service throughout the summer months which we believe has become more reliable in recent years. Svoronata’s closest beaches are Ammes, Avithos and Ai Helis and on warm summer nights it is not uncommon for there to be the occasional beach party.
The pretty village of Lakithra is approximately 2.5km from the airport and 7km from the island’s capital Argostoli. It’s close proximity to both makes Lakithra a very desirable location indeed. There are a number of places to eat, a local grocery store and a bakery nearby. For some excellent accommodation why not try these apartments.
In 1823 the English poet and politician George Gordon Byron, better known as Lord Byron, lived in the nearby village of Metaxata for 4 months – writing poems about the area and its beauty. Today on the village square by the house where he once lived is a statue dedicated to the poet. In Lakithra itself, you will find Lord Byron’s Rock, said to be the spot where he got inspiration for writing his poetry. Upon the rock there is a plaque with an inscription in Greek, attributed to Byron, which translates as: ‘The poet that I am, I owe to the air of Greece’.
If you enjoy walking there are plenty of places to explore in this area but should you want to venture further afield a car is essential.
Keramies, Spartia and Pesada
Keramies is a sparsely populated sleepy little village in Leivathios and was previously the administrative centre of the area. Historically home to wealthy Greek families of shipping merchants called Lykiardopoulos and Vallianos who invested much money into the area. The nearest beaches are the small, sandy beaches of Klimatsias near Spartia, Pesada and Avithos.
Spartia is also a sleepy picturesque village and has everything you might need for a quiet, relaxing holiday. There is village stores, an excellent taverna and a couple of cafe bars. Due to its size and rural surroundings, hiring a car is recommended if you are planning to stay here. The nearest beach of Klimatsias is well served by a large taverna with stunning views – it is 2km from the village centre and downhill.
The small village of Pesada with its picturesque fishing port is the perfect location for a quiet relaxing holiday. There is a small shop to buy your essentials and it is home to Divino Wines & Vinegar. Down the road, there are a couple of coves with small, secluded beaches. There is also a twice-daily ferry which operates between the port and Agios Nikolaos in the north of Zakynthos.
This area of the island is very beautiful with crystal blue waters, sandy beaches and an array of colourful flowers.
The centrepiece of this village is the Orthodox church of Saints Constantine and Helena; it is beautifully decorated both inside and out. This village, like many in the area, is surrounded by olive and citrus groves and is a good place to base yourself. You can enjoy a leisurely walk around this quiet village but hiring a car is recommended should you wish to travel further afield. The nearest beaches are St. Thomas and Trapezaki, both of which are sandy, well serviced and popular.
Kastro village was once the capital of Kefalonia and lies high on a hill overlooking the valley of Leivathos. The village takes its name from the Greek word for castle (Kastro). The fortress was built in the 16th century and its ruins dominate the village and offer spectacular views – from here you can see for miles around. If you are interested in old ruins you will not be disappointed, there is plenty to explore and a photo beside the Greek flag at the top is a must. The quaint Kastro Café sits on the pedestrian road up to the main entrance and comes highly recommended by many. The medieval church of Evangelistria is situated at the opposite end of the village, it was built in 1420 and is very well preserved. Expect to spend a few hours exploring the castle and surrounding area, the village houses are old, small but very well kept. There are two tavernas which open on an evening, both of which serve excellent food.
The Lourdas area has Mount Ainos as its impressive backdrop and if you base yourself here you will thoroughly enjoy the views. The beach is at the bottom of a steep hill but this does not deter thousands of people every year; walk down – if you are fit enough – or catch the regular local bus. The beach at Lourdas has an excellent selection of café bars and tavernas all along its 1km flat promenade.
The village of Vlachata, which sits above Lourdas, has a fine selection of shops, tavernas, hotels, apartments and bars; there’s even a bar at the local post office – or should that be a post office in the local bar – on the main road at the top of the village.