Among the most popular islands of Greece, Kefalonia is a fantastic destination for summer or spring vacations. Apart from wonderful beaches and nice seaside villages, Kefalonia island also offers many things to see. Its long and interesting history has left many monuments, spread all around the island. Here are the top 5 things to see in Kefalonia.
# Melissani Lake Cave
The lake cave of Melissani is probably the most impressive among all things to see in Kefalonia. Located just a couple of km from Sami town, on the eastern side of the island, this lake cave was actually discovered in 1951 when an earthquake made the roof to collapse. Many archaeological excavations followed and ancient statuettes were discovered. In fact, in the antiquity, this lake cave was known and people believed that it was the residence of nymph Melissani, which is how the cave took its name today.
The most interesting part of this lake cave is that the water comes from the region of Katavothres in Argostoli. Katavothres is a natural phenomenon close to Argostoli town, where sea water enters the underground, crosses Kefalonia for 30 km until the other side of the island, passes the Cave Lake of Melissani and reaches again the sea at the fishing port of Karavomylos, close to Melissani. This is why the water of the cave is actually sea water.
When visitors enter the cave, they walk few steps down until they reach the shore the lake and there are boats waiting to take them on a tour around the cave. This is a very interesting and impressive experience overall.
# Drogarati Cave
Another fantastic cave close to Sami town is Drogarati Cave. This large cave is a miracle of nature, with stalactites and stalagmites of impressive size and shape. Although it was discovered in the 18th century, it only opened to the public in 1963. Speleologists estimate that this is a 150 million years old cave, while the humidity reaches 90% inside. Due to its wonderful acoustics, concerts of classical music have taken place inside Drogarati Cave, which has the capacity of host 500 people.
# Lighthouse of Saint Theodore
The Lighthouse of Saint Theodore is located 2 km from Argostoli town, overlooking the bay between Argostoli and Lixouri. This lighthouse distinguishes for its architecture and is a popular wedding spot in Kefalonia, particularly in sunset time. This circular structure of 20 columns and an 8-meter tall tower was originally built in 1828, when Kefalonia and all the Ionian islands were under British rule.
The severe earthquake of 1953 caused large damages to the lighthouse but it was later reconstructed and works until today. Just few meters from the Lighthouse of Saint Theodore, visitors can see the Katavothres, the geological phenomenon where the sea water enters the underground of Kefalonia.
# Castle of Saint George
The Medieval Castle of Saint George is located 7 km from Argostoli, just above the village of Peratata. This castle was originally constructed by the Byzantines in the 12th century but got its present form during the Medieval era, when the Venetians ruled the island. Today the largest part of the Castle of Saint George is ruined, except for the remains of some buildings and the external walls that still survive.
In the Medieval times, this castle used to host the first capital of Kefalonia, an entire town with public buildings, storehouses, churches, private residences, mansions of noble families, hospitals, prisons and more. In 1757, this organized capital town was gradually moved to Argostoli to be closer to the port. The Castle of Saint George is open for visit in morning hours, until the early afternoon.
# Monastery of Kipoureon
The Monastery of Kipoureon is located on the western coasts of Kefalonia, in the peninsula of Paliki. At a distance of 15 km from Lixouri, this monastery is famous for its fantastic location that offers breathtaking view to the sea and the sunset. In fact, although this monastery is not among the most famous things to see in Kefalonia, watching the romantic sunset and the rocky cliffs reaching the sea from there is a wonderful experience. Today only one old monk lives there and you will probably see him sweeping the yard and lighting the candles during your visit.