Find the seafarer in you by hiring a boat
Ideal for finding your own secluded cove or even crossing the narrow channel to explore the neighbouring island of Ithaca. There are countless bays and coves not accessible by car so it is possible to find your own secluded beach and relax in privacy, away from the crowds. There are plenty of small coves within easy reach of Fiscardo. The more adventurous seafarers might like to cross the channel to Ithaca, tie up in the miniature harbour of Ancient Polis and perhaps walk up to the village of Stavros for lunch or a coffee.
Climb the black mountain: Mount Ainos
More intrepid adventurers can drive to the gates of Mount Ainos national park, and then hike to the peak for a picnic. Despite being the third highest mountain in Greece at 1632 metres, this is an easy climb with a comfortable track and lots of footpaths in good condition thanks to the shepherds who walk with their flocks over the mountain. It takes about three hours to make the ascent, and you're likely to see some of the 20 or so wild horses that roam the countryside here. Keen wildlife spotters will also see raptors such as buzzards and owls, the vast rare Griffon vultures, and various types of falcon. In fact, over 50 per cent of Greek bird species favour this mountaintop, great for bird-spotters or just nature lovers you'll also be able to enjoy views over the whole island on clear days.
Visit another Island for the day - Ithaca. Ever heard of "Homer", the "Iliad" or the "Odyssey"?
Well, we would recommend that you do some swatting up before you go, as the "Iliad" is littered with references to Ithaca, it was where Odysseus was trying to return to for 10 years! Much more easily, you could visit the cave of Nymphs, or why not simply relax, have a nice lunch in one of the waterfront cafes in Vathi and then drop into one of the many delightful coves for a swim or a nap.
Visit the Mazarakata tombs
Between the villages of Lakythra and Metaxata visit the eerie Mazarakata tombs and wander among the ancient graves where wildflowers bloom in colourful abundance. Excavated mainly by Kefalonian archaeologist Panayotis Kavvadias in 1908, the burial chambers had been filled with decorative clay pots, tiles, glassware and gold plates, which are now housed in the Archaeological Museum of Argostoli. Today all that remains are the tombs themselves, where you can clamber and explore as you choose. It's a remarkably tranquil area, and the ideal place to spend a few hours with a sketchpad imagining the ancient civilisation that created it.
A bit of a mouthful in both senses!
Visit any Zaxaroplastio for a sweet pastry! This complicated word denotes popular pastry shops that have a large array of tiny, sticky, confections, using filo pastry, nuts, honey, figs and raisins, some cakes ooze chocolate - – naughty but nice. There are several on Fiscardo waterfront that also provide the fresh bread for the village - get to know it and maybe try the cheese or spinach pies for breakfast....
Try horse riding
There is an excellent established riding school located in the village of Zervata, 4km south of Sami. A truly wonderful experience, their team offer everything from 1-5 hours trips, to camping overnight with barbecue and campfire. For horse riding enthusiasts, this has to be high up on your list of things to do.
Spend the day down in Assos on the way from Fiscardo to Argostoli
What a delightful little village. It has a terrific Venetian castle to explore (be warned, it's a bit of a hike up to it, but the views are worth it), a beautiful little harbour, bay and some lovely waterfront tavernas serving freshly caught fish. Remember your camera!
To the ends of the world?
The Monastery of Kipouria (Moni Kipoureon) on the Paliki peninsula, near Lixouri has unforgettable sunsets. The magnificent position of the monastery itself is located at the western side of the island of Kefalonia, overhanging a cliff that crashes into the Ionian, and makes you feel as if the end of the world was beneath your feet. Dating from the far away times, it is also known as the "veranda of the Ionian". There is a tour given by a solitary monk who still lives there, an unforgettable experience!
Discover the beauty of the seascapes around the island on a sea-kayak, with one of the many tours available. Follow the coastline and travel through unique caves and rock formations, past limestone cliffs and remote beaches, whilst enjoying a relaxing glide in the crystal-clear waters
Take a hike!
Around the Erissos Peninsula, an undeveloped nature reserve, with meandering coastal pathways through oak forests, wheat fields and vineyards carpeted with wild strawberries and flowers.
Soak up history hight above at St Georges castle
8km south of Argostoli, the Venetian castle of St George sits high on a hillside. Though Byzantines built the bulk of the castle in the 13th century, the earliest traces of the edifice date back to 394 AD when Kefalonia was still part of the Roman Empire and its main purpose was to shelter the villagers from attacks by marauding pirates. Venetians added the finishing touches, giving the castle its clean, elegant lines. Thanks to a recent EU grant that paid for some preservation works, the edifice is safe to explore, so you can meander among the ancient rooms at will. Although there are few displays to tell you about the castle's history, the panoramic views and the castle's beauty make it worth a visit, especially at sunset as the island below turns golden in the fading light.
Try the local hooch!
Raki or Tsikoudia is distilled from the stalks and skins of grapes left over from wine pressing. It is drunk widely and you are likely to be offered a thimble-full glass of raki wherever you go. It can contain anything between 35-65% alcohol – you have been warned
Taste the local dish - Kefalonia meat pie
The Greeks love their pies, and the Kefalonians have taken it one step further in producing this nourishing dish. Everyone has their own "secret" recipe, so we are unable to tell you exactly what's in it, but it is filo pastry stuffed with minced pork meat & rice, along with the secret recipe of spices and sauce. It is delicious!
"Captain Correli's Mandolin" is a carefully written book, fascinating in explaining the complicated politics of the second world war in Greece and far outdoes the film, which did, however, show the true beauty of the island, in particular, Anti-Samos beach where much of the movie was filmed.
Drive down South
Fiscardo is famous for its pretty pebbly coves and bays, but why not take a day to drive to the south of the island and experience the long 5km long Lourdas Beach, famous Mounda beach, a protected environment for the Caretta-Caretta turtles who hatch their eggs there or splendid sandy Skala beach, miles of coastline begging to be explored!
Antisami - What a Beach!
A great beach used as a backdrop for much of "Captain Correli's Mandolin". Remarkably little has changed over the years, and is still densely packed with the endemic Kefalonia fir tree.
With 8 different wineries to choose from - Kefalonia is a wine conossieurs delight. Spend an afternoon stocking up for the holiday and then decide which ones to take home! Compare them with the other famous wineries such as Gentilini and Robola Co-operative!
Argostoli back streets - explore a little...
For retail therapy, the pedestrian Lithostrato offers a wonderful selection of shops offering everything from local produce to stylish leather shoes. Plenty of local cafes for refreshment and the Orthodox church of St. Spiridon and Catholic church always have their doors open. ( Make it Tuesday, Thursday or Fridays in the evenings when all the shops are open!)
Visit Another Island for the Day - Zakynthos
Another island, not so far away from Kefalonia, but it could be at the other end of the world, such is the contrast between these beautiful islands. Take the daily ferry over from the port of Pessada for the 90 minute crossing to Skinari, in the north of Zakynthos, and from there you could take another boat trip to the amazing ship-wreck beach, or go for a sightseeing tour before catching the evening ferry back.
Learn to love Lefkas - the white island closeby
Lefkatha means "white" and the islands' name of Lefkas reflects the towering white cliffs and beaches on the Western shores of this green and unspoilt island. Sailing from Fiscardo to Vassiliki, plenty of windsurfers consider this bay serious windsurfing territory. Apart from watching the colourful sails as they strut their stuff, exploring the rest of the island is a delight. Sivota, Nidri, Geni and Lefkas Town offer a wonderful variety of beaches, villages and towns to explore.
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