So often when travel writers and travel companies describe the delights of Kefalonia ……….. the beaches, clear waters, friendly Kefalonians, food and wine made with local ingredients, sailing, diving, lazing and the rest ……….. the extraordinary wild spaces that are the central spine of this mountainous island are largely ignored. I am glad to say that this is at last changing, helped by several companies set up over the last few years specialising in outdoor activities: hiking and walking, climbing, mountain biking, four-wheel safaris and the like and ……. word of mouth: the best advertisement!
Up in the high mountainous areas of Kefalonia, you will find the rhythm of life and farming unchanged – probably from Odysseus’s time. High pastures with sheep, goats and sometimes cows, rough shelters unchanged from Mycenean times, ancient tracks leading to ancient settlements, a biodiversity to stun the senses with many varieties of plants only found in these areas ……. tortoises, small animals, many varieties of birds, wild horses – it goes on and on. The best bit is that if you meet anyone else you are genuinely pleased – you probably haven’t seen another human being for a few hours! That is quite something in our busy, hurried, over-filled lives.
Below you will find a description of one of our favourite walks with a small gallery. I shall add walks from time to time, so if you like walking in quiet and beautiful places, please look out for a notice of a further blog on Facebook. I will always grade the walks from Easy to Difficult which may be helpful as regards footwear, sticks, etc. Some of the walks are particularly suitable for children so I have included that information as well.
Assos – round trip from the town, across the ithsmus to the end of the island via the chapel of Panagia Plakoula, along the cliff path (watch out for the signs on the left at the bend after the chapel) and through the ‘back gate’; explore the weird ‘prison’, the extensive old irrigation system and then back to Assos town through the main castle and down the paved road. Very little re-traced steps, fascinating 16th century Venetian castle and fortifications, ruins of old farms, olive groves, restored small Church of Profitis Ilias and graveyard where the last inhabitants of the ‘island’ of Assos are buried. There are fabulous views across the sea to the Lixouri peninsular and north towards Fiskardo.
Medium difficulty. Sensible footwear (not flipflops). Shade in places. Suitable for older children.
Directions from The Walnut Tree villa: Turn left on the coast road to (Sami to Aghia Efimia) and from there take signs to Myrtos, Assos and onward to Fiskardo. The left turn to Assos is a few kilometers after the Myrtos Beach turn.
When you get back to Assos town, make sure you visit Nefeli-Anait (www.nefeli-anait.com) taverna our absolute favourite to refresh the inner man – you have definitely deserved it …. and do try their great ‘fish dish’ to share or the mixed Mezze. Yum yum!