Kefalonia, also known as Cephallenia or Cephallonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands in Ionian sea in western Greece with an area of 350 sq. miles and a population of 45,000.
The island is named after the mythological figure Cephalus (Ciphalis).
The capital of Kefalonia is the town of Argostoli. Lixouri is the second major town. Almost two thirds of Kefalonia’s population live in these two towns.
The island is covered by dense vegetation and offers plentiful natural beauty including beaches and spectacular caves, for example the Melissani cave. Mirtos, the most famous of the Kefalonia beaches, is a major tourist attraction, and has been ranked fifth worldwide for its scenic view. Mount Ainos is the tallest mountain in Kefalonia with an elevation of 1628m. Kefalonia is a mountainous island with small fertile valleys.
Kefalonia is located in the heart of an earthquake zone. Dozens of minor tremors occur each year. In 1953, a massive earthquake almost destroyed the island, leaving only the town of Fiscardo untouched in the north part of the island.
A large number of tourists visit Kefalonia during the summer months. Most tourists stay in or around Lassi, a serene resort a few kilometres from Argostoli, and their numbers have increased since the best-seller, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, became a movie (2001) shot on Kefalonia itself.
How to get to Kefalonia
Kefalonia has one airport, Kephallinia Airport, about 10 km south of Argostoli. It is an international airport with summer charter flights to many european countries. There are also frequent domestic flights to Athens, Corfu, Zante and Lefkas.
You can also get to Kefalonia by ferry from the nearby Ithaca island or from Patras and Kyllini in Peloponnese.