Walking and Eating in Kefalonia


walk & eat KEFALONIA

by Brian and Eileen Anderson

This was an absolutely invaluable book… I have to be honest, I was more interested in the eating than the walking because when we last went to Kefalonia the food was pretty average… We went to a lot of the featured restaurants and they were all fantastic. We even ended up doing some of the walks. (SC, Amazon)

I spent a week on Kefalonia with this book and I have no idea what I should have done without it. The walks are easy and can be done by everyone. After the walk the selection of places to eat seemed superb to me. (HH, Amazon)

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If holidays are about new experiences, then this pocket guide solves two problems — where to enjoy walking in Kefalonia and where to find some good, traditional food. There are strolls for hot days and longer walks to work up an appetite. And if you‘re just after some recommendations for where to eat out in Kefalonia, you need look no further! For each suggested restaurant there is a photograph of the décor and one of their dishes, plus sample menu, price guide, opening times, and a recipe for one of their specialities.

Other sections include: planning your trip, logistics on arrival, shopping for self-catering (including health food shops), local markets and specialities, glossary of local food terms, etc. A special feature is the emphasis on natural local foods suitable for those with food intolerances. All recipes have been made by the authors and are known to ‘work’.

For an extremely useful source of information about the island, go to http://www.greekisland.co.uk and choose Kefalonia.

Area covered: The walks are spread all around the island and there is at least one near every major resort. There isn’t much information available for walking on the island, and this book brings together ten of Kefalonia’s best walks.

The best months for walking in Kefalonia are from early April to end May and late September till October.




Where to stay

Your choice of where to look for accommodation will be governed by several factors. For instance, if you intend to hire a car you will benefit from a much wider choice. On the other hand if you plan to rely on public transport, you will need to choose a centre offering good access to the walk routes or excursions you plan to do. There is also the factor of what type of accommodation you plan to use, for example whether you plan to stay in a hotel or in a self-catering apartment or villa. The author provides useful advice on the various options in the Where to Stay chapter which will be found in the introductory pages of the book.

Edition/contents etc

10 walks, 2 excursions, 144 pages, large-scale plan of Argostóli; area map; large-scale (1:35,000) topo maps for the walks
4th ed, Mar 2017 ISBN 978-1-85691-500-7 UK retail price £8.99 / USA retail price $15.00

Table of contents:

PLAN OF ARGOSTÓLI inside front cover

the walks 5
the excursions 5
the restaurants and tavernas 5
the recipes 7
eating greek 9
kefalonian food 11
the menu 12
kefalonian wines 19
retsina, oúzo – and beer 20
planning your visit 21
when to go 21
where to stay 22
what to take 24
planning your walks 25
on arrival 27
tourist information 27
transport 27
shopping for self-catering 28
fruit & veg market 31

EXCURSION 1 · argostóli 32
restaurants: arkondikó, patsoúras, tsívras 40
recipes: bámies, kotópoulo lemonáta me patátes 42
recipes: riganáda, arkondikó saláta, exohikó 44
recipes: arakás, fakés, garídes saganáki 46

Walk 1 · along the piccolo yiro 48
restaurants: taverna stó psitó, ouzeri/taverna thalassómilos 52
recipe: lakaniká psitá 53
recipe: kotópoulo agriliá, thalassómilos saláta 54

Walk 2 · lixoúri and lépeda beach 56
restaurants: café peros, taverna o nikós 59
recipes: biftéki, ksifías 60

Walk 3 · ag gerasímos and old valsamáta 62
restaurants: plátanos taverna, koros taverna 68
recipe: stifádo 69
recipes: tzatzíki, pastítsio 70

Walk 4 · mount aínos 72
restaurant: karavómilos taverna 76
recipes: fasolákia, bekrí mezé 76

Walk 5 · the venetian castle at ássos 78
restaurants: plátanos taverna, nirídes taverna 81
recipes: pikilía kreá, amygthalópita, karithópita 82
recipe: mousakás 84

Walk 6 · circuit from fiskárdo 86
restaurants: captain’s cabin, lord falcon 91
restaurant: to péfko 92
recipes: pandzária, tonnos 93
recipes: kefalonítiki kreatópita, fasóli mavromátiko 94
recipes: spetsofáï, kotópoulo me káru 96
recipes: kléftiko, péfko saláta, eleólatho psomí 98

Walk 7 · above sámi 100
restaurants: dolphins, o faros 105
recipes: kalámari tiganitó, kolokithákia tiganitá 107

EXCURSION 2 · over the sea to itháca 108


Walk 8 · from ag geórgios to póros port 116
restaurants: remetzo café/bar, sunset taverna 120
recipes: melizanosaláta, tirosaláta, kounéli lemonáto 122

Walk 9 · the tholos tomb above póros 124
restaurant: taverna tsívas 127
recipes: keftédes, skordaliá, fasolátha 128

Walk 10 · old skála 130
restaurants:ta pitharia, kalíva 134
recipes: giouvétsi 135
recipes: kolokithokeftédes, stamnáki 137

GREEK (language) 138
GLOSSARY (menu items, shopping terms) 140

IN the restaurant (pocket vocabulary) inside back cover

Guidebook index

The following is the index of places; the book also contains an index of recipes (which is not shown here). Page numbers shown in bold are where photographs appear; those shown in italics are where maps appear.

Ag Efimía 23
Ag Fanéntes 100, 101, 102, 103
Ag Geórgios 116-7
Ag Gerasímos 62, 63, 64, 65, 67
Ag Nikólaos 102, 103, 104
Ag Paraskeví 118, 119, 123
Ag Theódori lighthouse 49, 50, 55 Alalkamenós 109
Anogí 111
Andipáta 88, 90, 92
Anináta 118, 119
Argostóli 22, 31, 32, 33-5, 36, 37, 38, 40-1, 48, 50, 57; plan inside front cover
Asprogérakas 116, 117, 118
Ássos 24, 78, 79, 80, cover

Dexá Beach 113
Drogaráti Cave 106

Fársa, old 67
Fiskárdo 24, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 109
Frangáta 63, 64, 68
Fríkes 113

Gradákia Beach 49, 50

Itháca/Itháki 108, 109-14

Karavómilos 74, 76
Katavóthres 48, 50, 51
Kateliós 23
Kióni 112
Kymiliá Beach 86, 89

Lássi 22, 48, 50-2
Lépeda Beach 56, 57, 58, 59
Lixoúri 56, 57, 58, 58, 59
Lourdáta 23

Melissána Cave 76, 106
Mount Aínos 72, 73, 74-75

Omalá Valley 19, 62, 65

Perahóri 114
Píso Aetós 109, 114
Póros 23, 109, 116, 118, 119, 120, 121, 124, 127
Psilithriás 87, 88, 90

St George’s Castle 33, 39
Sámi 23, 100, 101, 102, 105, 109, 117
Skála 23, 131, 132, 133, 134
old Skála 130, 131, 132, 133 Stavrós 111, 113

Thalassómilos 50, 52
Tzanáta 118, 124, 125, 126

Valsamáta 64, 66-8
old Valsamáta 62, 63, 64, 67
Vathí 112, 114

Current update

KEFALONIA, 4th edition (2017); updated 17/03/2017

Updates given below supplement the information provided in the guidebook. It is vital that this Update is read in conjunction with the text of the book, but note that the Update applies only to the edition stated and not to any earlier editions. (If you have an older edition of this book you can “upgrade” to the latest edition at half price.)

Information has been forwarded to us by users of the book, and Sunflower Books offers the data in good faith but cannot be held responsible for any misleading or inaccurate content in the Update. Unless indicated otherwise, what appears here has not been verified by the author or publisher, so please allow due caution when new or amended routes are suggested. Each piece of information is dated; bear in mind that some of the older observations may have since been overtaken by events or further changes. If, during your holiday, you are using the current edition of the guide and are able to provide any additional updating to add to this page, we will be pleased to hear from you. Please send information, preferably by e-mail, to info@sunflowerbooks.co.uk.

General: The email address given in the current Kefalonia guide on page 144 is incorrect. It reads mail@sunflowerbooks.co.uk but should be info@sunflowerbooks.co.uk.

There are no updates to this edition at present; below are some readers’ suggestions for other walks.

Walk 4: Best walk on the island? To obtain the absolute Kefalonian feeling, we climbed over the mountain starting close to Digaleto and finishing in Atsoupades. This is an over 10 hours long walk (with an ascent of about 1200m) but it’s the most beautiful walk on the island. It’s difficult because it’s long and you will need to carry at least 2 liters of water per person in summer. The path is very well maintained. Steep sections are maintained with stairs. There are plenty of signs. We started the walk at 6:15 AM. The start is at the quarry 2km south of Digaléto [shown on our map]. On the map page 75, it’s on the yellow road close to Ag Nikóaos, precisely where there is the intersection with a small white road. You can park your car under an olive tree. There is an information board with track info and all kind of info about animals, plants… etc. Follow first the yellow square waymarks. After 3km (1h), the difficult steep section starts which is signed with blue waymarks. After 6,4 km (3h), you will reach the top. At the top, you can choose to go retrace steps to go back down to Digaléto. First leave a message in the guest book in the metal container. Continue to Atsoupades (still blue square waymarks) and you will see more breathtaking views of the west side of Kefalonia. The track to Atsoupades [not shown on our map] is signed with the same blue waymarks that will change to yellow triangles and then green triangles. You can do a small detour to fill up with water. Follow the sign to the monasterio at km15 (8h). At the left behind the monasterio, you will see a huge concrete water tank. This is a water reservoir for the animals. Just at the right side of the concrete container, you will find a metal lid. Lift up the lid and you will see a water pipe. Fill your bottles with water. A guard from the park confirmed this is fresh drinking water. The last 5 km are boring. You will often walk on concrete and the road zigzags a lot. No way to shortcut a section. But you can now admire the view over the south side of Kefalonia. You will arrive on the national road at Atsoupades at the Kollaitis junction. This is important if you want to call a taxi! There is also a KTEL bus stop served by the Argostoli-Poros bus. The line is not frequently served: something like 2 or 3 times a day each direction. At the bus stop, the GSM coverage is very poor. So if you want to call a cab from Skala, try to do it in advance. The taxi charged us 60€ to do the 24,6 km back to Digaléto. (User, 8/14)


Other walks from Skala: Here are a few walk suggestions: Walk from Skala to Poros 15k allow 3-4 hours. Recommended in May for flowers and butterflies. Follow walk 10 to Old Skala church and continue on the road to skirt the valley on your left. The road bends around the head of the valley and at a staggered junction turn right and right again. Follow signs to the delightfully named Fanies and Asprogerakas. There is also a handwritten sign to Poros. Keep ahead ignoring all turns off to the right through Fanies where the road turns to a track. As you approach Asprogerakas (no signage) the track bends left then right and at a junction of tracks take the right fork towards the large new Church. Note, if you head left uphill and around a small holding the track will join up with walk 8 from Ag Georgios at a ‘v’ junction. Carry on straight ahead for 10mins if you want a view over the valley, Tzanata and towards walk 9. Return the same way and take the left fork at the v junction which brings you to Asprogerakas and the Church. Which ever you choose, at the church you are on walk 08 with the junction of the track to Aninata behind it (waymarked). Follow contour track or divert via Ananata, the tracks join up at Ag Paraskevi. To descend take right fork downhill, about 1k out of Poros there is a drinking water fountain on the left. If you cannot make the extra 50m in Poros to the Sunset tavern, the Agropidas tavern just before it is traditional and friendly. To return either walk along main road (11k) the road is not too busy and wide enough but it is a bit of a slog, or taxi, or bus or boat taxi if either are running. + To Mounda Bay and back: Follow walk to Old Skala past water tanks and left t the junction. Ascend a couple of hairpins. On a straight uphill stretch fork left on a concrete track. There is a green sign to Turtle Beach put up by a villa company. Follow this track straight on ignoring where the track turns right and continue on a rough track through fields. Cross a stream bed and when you come to T junction turn right and behind a large modern building and come out on the main road directly opposite the road down to Mounda Beach. There is a hotel bar, restaurant and shop on the beach and a tavern further round. There is about 4k of beach to walk if you want and with a bit of scrabbling you can walk to Katelios but annoyingly the headland to get back to Skala is not quite accessible. To return, either reverse your outbound route or at the main road turn right and walk along the main road for 600metres. Turn left at a track on the apex of a right hand bend. At a right fork carry straight on, then ignore track to left as the track bends to the right. Follow the track and at a junction where there is a tarmac road going right either turn up to join road or carry straight on (under the water tanks) to join your route out just after the junction on walk 10. + Skala Loop: Follow walk to Old Skala and turn right uphill past the Taverna, (lots of villa signs) follow contouring track past amphitheatre for 4k to where it descends to join the main road about 3k north of Skala. + Walk across Island from Ag Efimia to Myrtos Bay 7.5k or 15k there and back allow 4-5 hours. This is a waymarked track with which runs alongside the main road but beware it is rough and stony underfoot. There are information boards at both ends.. Waymarking is by yellow signs and red squares. Start at Ag Efimia in the harbour by the bus/taxi rank and follow yellow sign behind a no entry sign. At 28th October Square fork right onto a track (sign hidden in a large olive tree on right). Follow the obvious track, at a sign to main road fork slightly left to keep off the road. After about 30 minutes by a derelict tavern the sign appears to point off the track down though undergrowth. You can go this way as it leads to some steps, or carry on the track (red triangle marker) and then in 100 yds turn right. Either way, cross the main road and pick up the track on the other side (yellow sign). The track crosses a couple of tarmac roads and at about 1hr 30 mins it bends right uphill to the Well of Strifti. Turn sharp left up a steep concrete drive to a road. Turn left and follow the road as it bends right, in a few minutes at a T junction turn left downhill between houses. You come out at the village square in Divarata, turn left and downhill to Myrtos. There is a kiosk and tavernas in Divarata. The walk down to Myrtos takes about 25 minutes and about 35 coming back, it is not quite as bad as it seems. There is a tavern on the beach in high season. An option would be to drive to Divarata so you can use the car to go up and down to Myrtos and then walk the route in reverse to Ag Efimia where there are a number of tavernas, supermarkets and gelateria/patisseria and then back – just over 3 hour round trip not including drive to Myrtos.

A few walk suggestions: Katelios/Mounda beach: There is a good long beach walk eastwards from Katelios along Katelios beach and Mounda beach. There is a headland between the 2 beaches which may require a bit of scrambling. It may be possible to go along the shore beyond Cape Mounda as far as Skala, but if not, there are several tracks leading down to Mounda beach, from which Skala would be accessible. Alternatively, return to Katelios. St George’s castle: A half-day trip to by bus St George’s Castle is perfectly feasible. We took the Skala bus, got off by the castle and walked up – about 1/2 mile climb on the approach road. Entrance was free! Check opening times – it closes mid-afternoon. Fantastic views! Refreshment is available just below the castle. A number of buses pass near the castle for the return. We took the one from Ag Gerasimos (see note on buses above). Descending from the castle, turn right (towards Argostoli) on reaching the main road. In about 1/4 mile, reach a minor road on the right, signposted to Ag Gerasimos. The bus leaves Ag Gerasimos at 13.00 (but check) and joins the main road at this junction. Best to be there by 13.10, though the bus is more likely to arrive about 13.30. Argostoli lagoon: It is possible to spend a pleasant hour walking beside the water here. Facing the Drapano Bridge in Argostoli, go right and a path, initially paved, follows the water to the end of the lagoon. There is a little bird sanctuary here as well as picnic tables. There is also a heritage centre, though it was closed when we were there. Remember to take some bread for the ducks! Unfortunately, it is not convenient to walk right round the lagoon and return via the Drapano Bridge because it is necessary to walk along the main road which is both busy and narrow. Other walks: The tourist office in Argostoli may have leaflets for walks from Sami to Antisamos beach and from Agia Efimia to Divarata. (User, 1/09) There are a number of quiet lanes and white roads that can be walked if you are staying in Skala and I would recommend walking to Poros via Old Skala and Asprogerakas. (User, 4/14)