Kioni is a little village of 250 inhabitants, 5 km east to Frikes. As the ferries arrive in Frikes, most visitors do not come to Kioni which is a dead end. Thus, the village has kept its charm and remains rather quiet. Large yachts cannot anchor along the quays and thus most visitors are coming from very small yachts like ours or small motor-boats.
For more on Kioni, click on the link
On one of our sailings in the Ionian islands, we moored in Ormos Polis, on Ithaki. You will not find Ormos Polis in « land » maps. It shows only on marine charts as actually it is not really a village. Ormos Polis means « harbor of the city ». The city is Stavros, the 750 inhabitants capital of the northern part of Ithaki. Stavros is 2 km inland and at an elevation of 250 meters.
It is from Ormos Polis that Telemachus left Ithaki to search his father that had disappeared after the fall of Trojan (Od., II, 382-434). It is also from Ormos Polis that the pretenders launched a boat t intercept and possibly kill the son of Ulysses has he became too dangerous fro them (Od.,IV, 768-786 ; chapter XX).
For more on Stavros, click on the link.
The name of Ithaki is lined with memories of the Odysseus. Plenty has been written to establish the matching of places mentioned in the Odysseus in nowadays Ithaki.
Ithaki is an amazing island. It is made of two mountain ridges linked by a low and narrow isthmus.
In the south, Mount Niion has an elevation of 669 meters. In the north, Mount Nirito has an elevation of 800 meters. Between them, a narrow isthmus and the Gulf of Molos or bay of Aetos.
For more on Ithaki Island, the legendary home of Ulysses, click on the link.
As Poros means harbor in Greek, there are plenty of Poros allover Greece! This Poros is a small village and harbor in the very south of the eastern coast of Cefalonia, 45 km south-east to Argostoli and 20 km south to Sami. It is a pleasant little fishermen village. From Poros, you can make day trips to Zakinthos.
Actually, we moored in Poros on our way to sail to Zakinthos and a second time on the way back. The sailing from Poros to Zakinthos chora is about 20 miles. It is about the longest we can do with such small boats as ours.
For more, visit my Poros page.
Nothing can quite prepares you for your first glimpse of Myrtos Beach from the steep and winding road down to it. Make sure you stop off at one of the vantage points to take pictures.
Myrtos consists of white limestone pebbles and sand and there isn't any shade so it becomes very hot.
It famously featured in the Captain Corelli's Mandolin film where a bomb washed up on the shoreline!
We hired car from a company in Skala called Greekstones. We found them to be the most price competitive and their insurance was good (make sure you check this out when hiring a car).
From Skala we drove the coastal road to Poros and then took the mountain road to Sami, after visiting the Drogarati Caves and Melissani Lake, we headed onto Agia Efimia and finally Myrtos Beach before heading back to Skala.
The roads are quite scary to drive and at times you are virtually driving along the edge of a cliff, however it is also exhilarating. Personally I wouldn't want to drive at night given the road conditions so we made sure we gave ourselves plenty of time to get back to the hotel before darkness.
Sami is the second largest city of Cefalonia. It has been entirely destroyed by the 1953 earthquake. It has since then been rebuilt and it is not a surprise if the village lack of much charm. If you walk towards the north for about 15 minutes, you will reach a rocky beach. If you swim perpendicular to the coast, you will see underwater the ruins of a part of the old Sami that collapsed in 1953.
You will most of the time land on Cefalonia at Sami. Do not be deceived by the first sight, Cefalonia has a lot more and better to offer to the visitor. However, as most ferries to the island land in Sami, the city remains busy all along the evening and if you are looking for drink late in the evening, Sami is the place!
For more see my Sami page
Argostolion is both the chora (capital) of the island of Cefalonia and the capital of the Prefecture of Cefalonia.. It is a busy little town of 13,000. As well as Sami, was entirely destroyed during the 1953 earthquake and nothing was rebuilt in the previous Venetian style. When staying on Cefalonia, this may be the place where you come for shopping but not the place to spend much time.
For more, visit my Argostolion page.
Fiskardo is a picturesque little village at the far north end of Cefalonia, on the east coast.
The name of the village may not sound very “Greek” and it is not. During the Crusades, Cefalonia was conquered by Normans. Robert de Hauteville, nicknamed Robert Guiscard l’Avisé (the Resourceful), took power on Cefalonia at the end of the XIth. He died from “fevers” (paludism) and dysenteric (typhoid) in 1085 in the village of Panormos that changed its name to honor him (Guiscard -> Fiskardo)
For more, see my Fiskardhon page
Ayia Evfimia is a pleasant little village at the northern end of Sami’s bay, on the eastern coast of Cefalonia.
Aghia Efimia is a small village nicely spread on the slopes of the mountain, in the northern ear of the Sami bay. It is facing south and the morning sun, which makes it a very pleasant location. It has several nice restaurants. The harbor is mostly visited by small and very small (like ours!) yachts.
For more, see my Ayia Evfimia page
The name of Cefalonia means "the head" because of its shape, looking like the head of a goat. Cefalonia (in Greek Kefallinia) is the largest of the Ionian Islands. It is also the most mountainous. The summit of the island is Mount Ainos, elevation 1626 m. That might not seem very high, but you must consider that it is only 3.5 km away from the sea, as the crow flies! That is pretty steep!
Most ferries land at Sami, on the east coast, but the capital is Argostoli, standing on the west coast. There is always one of the ferries named Ayos Hierasimos as it is the name of the Saint patron of the island.
I visited Cefalonia several times, both by land, with our Land-Rover and by boat on a small sailing boat. By land, I visited the whole island, from north to south and from east to west. When that was on the occasion of self-steered cruises, we remained on the east coast. Our boats were too small to cruise safely on the west coast.
For more, see my Cefalonia Island page
Quite steeply shelving and shingle rather than sand.There were quite big waves when we were there on most days. In October the water was amazingly warm. Pleasant to walk along the beach in both directions. The further you walked, the wilder it beame.
Very much undeveloped in the 1980's. There was only one taverna above the beach. I would imagine most of this beach has now been developed behind, from what I have seen in the holiday brochures.
This is a very good way to see the islands on a luxury boat,it leaves about 9am and returns approx 6pm and motors around Ithaka to Meganissi cave, which was used to hide a U boat in the war.
then stops at Meganssi harbour for 30mins time for a drink, then on to Scorpious island where Jackie Onassis used to live,stopping in one of the bays for a swim or snorkel.
Then on to Nidri Lefkas harbour for a 2hr shopping trip,before returning looking for dolphins on the way.
A fantastic day out.
You can hire a motor boat. I think the cheapest place is the one near Nicolas Taverna. We hired one for euros 50 for the day..to be brought back by 6 pm. I didn't enjoy it and we returned the boat in 2 hours. But I think that was more to do with me being scared and not being too confident of our driving skills. They give you a quick lesson on how to ride it but do ask lots of questions if you don't understand. Better to take your time and learn it rather than get confused in the middle of nowhere. Careful of rocks..stay away from them! You can also hire a yatch with a skipper for a day but of course that depends on your budget
Nautilus Travels (right next to the ice cream place on the Fiscardo waterfront) does a series of excursions. It cost us 30 Euros each to go to Ithaca (or Ithaki as the locals call it). The trip started at Fiscardo at 10.30 and we came back to Fiscardo about 6.30 pm. We went to Vathy and Kioni in Ithaca and it was definitely good value for money.