The Walnut Tree villa has a great advantage in having easy access to all areas of the island.
Nearby Sami comes alive in the summer months – a busy tourist centre with restaurants, bars and shops and the nearby attractions of Sami Acropolis, Melissani Cave Lake, Drogarati Cave and the beautiful beach of Antisamos. Up the coast towards the harbour towns of Aghia Efimia and Fiskardo, are villages, beautiful unspoilt country, little coves and beautiful beaches to explore. Both Efimia and Fiskardo have marinas, welcoming yachts and their crews from all over the world. The island’s wildernesses, the Kefalonian National Parks of Aenos and Roudi and the capital, Argostoli with markets, museums and shops are all within easy reach.
SAMI is truly a town where Kefalonian families live today – and have lived for generations. There are well established businesses in the town run by three generations of the family as well as new businesses set up in the last few years.
The history of the town goes back to Mycenaean times; some people think that Odysseus’s kingdom was Kefalonia and perhaps even the Sami area. In 187 BC Sami held off a Roman siege for six weeks; despite their efforts, the town was over run and the Romans occupied Kefalonia for around four hundred years. Just above our villa (below the yellow unfinished house), a Roman farm was unearthed and excavated a few years ago. There are photos of the excavation in a blog on this website.
Sami is also a ferry port with daily sailings to the island of Ithaca and the city of Patras on the mainland (onward for Athens and the Italian ports of Ancona, Venice, Bari and Brindisi) plus twice weekly sailings to the port of Vasiliki on Lefkada (onward for Corfu and central and northern Greece).
http://www.kephalonia-walnuttree.co.uk/island/kefalonian-festivals-feastdays/ – click for local dance music
WHERE TO SHOP
Food shopping is particularly a pleasure in this town – the quality of the local produce: meat (pork, goat and lamb), fish, very (!) free-range eggs, cheese (local Feta cheese is very well regarded, mizithra – a ricotta-like cheese and kefalotiri – a hard full-fat cheese, vegetables, fruit, herbs, honey (Kefalonia is famous for its honey) makes buying, cooking and eating in Kefalonia a great pleasure.
Supermarkets in Sami: Sami Supermarket, Demoulis and My Supermarket and Cash and Carry. Carrefour, Lidl, AB and Demoulis are all well distributed throughout the island with all of these in and around Argostoli, the capital.
Chemist on the waterfront left of square looking out to sea
Butchers (George is our favourite – in the street behind waterfront on right after square)
The most traditional bakery is on the corner of the square facing the sea. They offer a variety of breads including wholemeal, sour dough and traditional Greek breads as well as a good selection of savoury and sweet pies and sweet breads.
Spathis Bakeries (in Sami, Karavomilos, Aghia Efimia, Argostoli, etc) are a local business offering a wide range of bread and patisserie, an ice cream palour and cafe. The ice cream is to die for ….. well it all is really. Do not expect to eat sensibly in Kefalonia.
Greengrocer (behind the Church)
Newspapers (left of Greengrocer and Butcher – see above)
Hardware, Chandlery, Clothes, Shoes, Fishing and Sports equipment ….. all in Sami and also in Aghia Efimia and the capital, Argostoli.
WHERE TO EAT
The cuisine of Kefalonia is largely Greek with some Italian influence from the years of Venetian occupation. Each restaurant and taverna has its own version of the traditional dishes of the island, Kefalonian Meat Pie perhaps being one of the most famous. Of course fish is always on the menu!
- Gorgonas (The Mermaid) Restaurant family owned: Effie, George, Toula, – always a friendly welcome from this family restaurant. Will deliver food to the villa by arrangement.
- Melissani Taverna, (first on right as you come into the town) Elias – we love this place! (Greek traditional, grills, vegetarian)
- Dolphins Restaurant, owners Demetrius and Kiki – open all year. Good food. live music is part of the deal.
- Il Famillia – a less traditional restaurant with a modern slant on Greek food
- Soulatso Grill House (Maria’s family are in are hearts – she helped us buy The Walnut Tree … and their hearts are in their cooking and service!) – simple menu: meat, salad, bread, potatoes and always a treat! Home delivery available – order by telephone
- Contessina Restaurant – good cooking – great fried courgettes and squid. Nice to sit here and while away an afternoon looking at the boats, yacht and ferries manoevring round the harbour.
- Zervati Fish Restaurant (Maikis, Sophia and Georgie – owned and run by our agent, Spyros’s family in law. This restaurant is like visiting family) Fish caught by Maikis every day – such a treat!
- Karavomolis Taverna If it is atmosphere you want this is the one for you – right on the beach just beyond the lake
- Robilis Taverna A very Greek experience for MEAT LOVERS and sooooooooo delicious. Not to be missed! Meat, potatoes, cheese, salad to be savoured and gently washed down by wine and beer – water available! Home delivery available – order by phone or by arrangement.
- Kalithea Restaurant As its name suggests, a fabulous view and family run – above Sami on the road out of the valley towards Argostoli
Also available in Sami:
24 hr MEDICAL CENTRE
on the Sami/Argostoli road on the edge of the town
Ferry Offices, Car and Bike Hire, Travel Agents, Computer Specialists, Dry Cleaners, Dentist
…. and a short drive from The Walnut Tree villa
To Perasma Sea Front, Aghia Efimia Tel: 26740 61990 (Angelo and Barbis)
Pergola Taverna Aghia Efimia Tel: 26740 61424 (Ilias & Stella)
Paradise Taverna Aghia Efimia – out of the town above a little beach
Maklithari Taverna Makriotika (first left in Aghia Efimia and continue for about 6 kms) Worth it!
To Kastro St Georges Castle Tel: 26710 66367 (Spyros and Nicki) – Best daytime cafe on the island with views!
Our Visitor’s Book is a great place to find recommendations from past guests. Please add your names, comments and ‘good finds’ to The Walnut Tree Visitor’s Book.