Classic summer holidays in Kefalonia 2016

The island of Kefalonia is truly an island gem of Greece that charms all visitors who come to spend their holidays there.  It boasts amazing beaches, a stunning natural landscape, delectable cuisine and a large number of traditions. The largest of the Ionian Islands, it is able to satisfy every kind of traveller, from the most active or history lovers, to those who dream of a relaxing stay.

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For classic summer holidays in Kefalonia here is what you have to do, see and taste!

Kefalonia owes its name to Kephalos, the first king of the area during the Paleolithic era. Following the long line of traces left by ancient civilization only a few kilometers far from the capital of the island, stands the Castle of St George. The castle was built by the Venetians but today is ruined and only a few buildings survive.

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One of the biggest beehive-type tombs reserved for ancient Greek royalty the Tholos tomb at Tzanata is thought to be the grave of Odysseus himself. Golden jewelry, royal seals and precious stones found there, as well as Odysseus gold brooch as described in old stories and poems. As History entangles with tradition and religion the island thrives with local festivities especially during the summer.

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The patron Saint of the island, Saint Gerasimos is honored with devoutness as he has been the source of strength for the locals through the years.  Another great local festivity is the celebration dedicated in honor to the Virgin Mary which takes place in Markopoulo village, where the icon of Virgin of the Snakes celebrates in August.

A lovely mixture of Neoclassical and baroque elements, influenced by the Franks, the Venetians and the British, Kefalonia is famous for its imposing architecture.Some of the most beautiful buildings can be seen in the village of Fiscardo, one of the few villages that survived the catastrophic earthquake of 1953. Tile rooftops, light colours and traditional balconies create a unique architectural mosaic throughout the island.

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Kefalonia has always held the promise of being a haven for the beach lovers. Its golden coastline is home to pristine beaches, which are the ideal spot to relax after an exciting adventure around the island. Anything from the crystal clear turquoise waters of Myrtos with the dazzling white shingles backed by steep limestone cliffs, to the cosmopolitan and well known Makrys Gialos beach and the Costa Costa beach bar.

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A remarkable number of beaches all over the island, from the isolated yet accessible ones, to the most popular make Kefalonia a heaven in earth. Accessible by hiking paths that few locals know, footsteps guide to virgin beaches with exotic beauty.

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Magnificent and most photographed throughout the years, the Melissani cave lake is one of the most mythical places for travelers to visit not only in Kefalonia, but in Greece too. When the sun is right overhead the roof of the cave at noon, the sunlight touches the crystal clear blue waters and creates a magical mirror like water effect.

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Near Melissani Cave Lake, Drogarati cave is an impressive peace of art with remarkable formations of stalactites and stalagmites. As for the lovers of hiking the views from the summit of mountain Ainos are worth the trek up. Uniquely carpeted with black fir, the mountain also supports a variety of wildlife including wild horses.

Kefalonian wild horses at the National Park of Mount Ainos in Kefalonia. It is said that the wild horses of Kefalonia come from a small group of tame horses that was released on the mountain during the interwar period. This kind of horse is very close to the breed of horses of Pindos, which has been adapted to survive in harsh conditions. These horses have small head and short stature, strong and powerful legs and excellent stamina and flexibility. However, in order to meet them, one should climb on the mountain to an altitude higher than 900 meters. These wild horses have chosen to live in such a height because the only source of water in the region is in 1.300 metres altitude, at the monastery of the Life Giving Source.

Behind a vegetable, a good piece of meat or fresh sea food, there is culture, a breeder, a farmer, a fisherman, a story.  Authentic cuisine comes from them and Local ingredients in Kefalonia are cooked with passion and according to tradition leading to superb fine tastes. Sweets also are in the center of the gastronomic attention. Don’t forget to treat yourself with a traditional sweet Mandola.

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Discover in one glance the best things to see in Kefalonia, and let the journey begin.
Truly a classic summer holiday in Kefalonia!