The Ionian Island of Kefalonia, also known as Cephalonia, is strikingly beautiful, with jagged limestone cliffs and terraced slopes dotted with olive groves. The highest point on the island is Mount Ainos, rising to 5,914 feet (1774m). Large areas are covered by luxuriant subtropical vegetation, and all around the island, the scenery offers magnificent views of the mountains and the sea.
Many sites on Kefalonia reflect its tumultuous history of ever-changing kings and rulers. The Norman Kings of Sicily ruled the island during medieval times, followed by Italian overlords who ruled for three centuries under the principality of the Morea. In 1478, the Turks conquered the island only to be defeated twenty years later by the Venetians. And, for a short time, the British ruled here as well. Finally, in 1864, Kefalonia was returned to Greece. In 1823, Lord Byron spent several months on the island, captivated by the enduring spirit of the people, the natural beauty of the land and its rich history.
Visitors to Kefalonia look to spend time in such places as the serene fishing village of Assos and the scenic town of Argostoli. Other highlights on the island include a Venetian Fortress, a 13th century castle, and spectacular caves.
Argostoli, Kefalonia’s capital, lies on a peninsula projecting into the Gulf of Argostoli. Almost completely destroyed in a 1953 earthquake, Argostoli has been rebuilt in modern style. There is a small archaeological museum containing Mycenaean and Roman finds. North of town are the famous sea-mills, now partly buried as a result of the earthquake. While this busy town with usual traffic jams may not be the most picturesque town in Kefalonia it serves as an ideal starting point to discover the islands highlights.
The ship is scheduled to anchor off Argostoli Pier. Guests will be taken ashore via ship’s tenders. The landing site is just in the centre of town. A few taxis are generally available on the pier.
There are a number of shops located at Lithostroto and Sitemporon area. Look for souvenirs and Robola, the local wine. Local currency is the Euro.
The specialty of the area is Kreatopitta (meat pies) and fried cod with garlic sauce. A number of good quality restaurants line the waterfront and the main square serving more often than not Greek food and fresh seafood.
Tiny Fiscardo on the northeastern tip of the island boasts a picturesque harbour full of sailboats and fishing vessels and lined by whitewashed houses. During wintertime, Fiscardo numbers only about 100 inhabitants, but in summer the influx of visitors often overwhelms this off-the-beaten-path spot.
In Kastro stand the 13th century castle of Ayios Yeoryios, and a 17th century monastery noted for its fine frescoes and icons. Lord Byron stayed at nearby Metaxata in 1823. In this same area can also be found three Mycenaean rock-cut tombs.
Sami, the island’s principal harbour, is 15 miles east of Argostoli. Ancient Sami, the island’s former capital, lay to the south of the modern town. Remains of the old town walls and a 2nd century Roman villa can still be seen.
For those guests who are interested in touring at your leisure, we are pleased to offer Silver Shore Privato - both half-day and full-day private arrangements by private car or van. You may book this in advance at Silversea.com or it may be purchased on board, subject to availability. Other private arrangements for independent sightseeing may be arranged by emailing Concierge@silversea.com.