A GOOD CENTRAL POSITION ON KEFALONIA
The Walnut Tree villa has a great advantage. Access to all areas of the island is EASY!
The journey from the airport (clearly marked on Google Maps – just key in ‘The Walnut Tree’) is via main roads apart from the very last bit.
The Walnut Tree villa is four kilometres from the Port of Sami and a journey of about thirty minutes from the Port of Poros. Both ports have ferry connections to the mainland of Greece.
Regular ferries go to the island of Ithaca – a great day trip for a taste and a very special place to visit for a few days.
TOURING ROUND KEFALONIA
Getting around the island, both to the south and the north, you will find that the roads are well signed and generally in good condition. Not many journeys are more than around an hour away; we really are in a central position. Ease of access to the main residential and commercial areas round the capital of Argostoli is quick and easy for residents and tourists alike.
For our visitors, there are markets, good shopping and museums. Attractions including a wide variety of restaurants, theatres, the Sea Mills, the Lighthouse and the Italian War Memorial are all worth visiting if the beach has temporarily lost its appeal.
NORTH TO AGHIA EFIMIA AND FISKARDO
Up the coast towards the harbour towns of Aghia Efimia and Fiskardo there are charming villages, unspoilt countryside, hidden coves and beautiful beaches to explore. Both Efimia and Fiskardo have marinas, welcoming yachts and their crews from all over the world.
SOUTH TO THE MONASTERY OF ST GERASIMOS, POROS AND KEFALONIA’S NATIONAL PARKS
Exploring the high wilderness of the Kefalonian National Parks of Aenos and Roudi is a magical experience. The views, the flora and fauna, the peace and quiet – a visit to Kefalonia should really include a taste of these mountainous areas; it will not be enough. You will want to return!
Nearby Sami comes alive in the summer months as a busy tourist centre with restaurants, bars and shops. The nearby attractions of Sami Acropolis, Melissani Cave Lake, Drogarati Cave and the beautiful beach of Antisamos are all within an easy drive.
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 the efforts of the people of Sami, the town was over run. 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’s ferry port has 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 a particular pleasure in Kefalonia and of course in Sami. The quality of the local produce is impressive:
- meat (pork, goat and lamb)
- fish, eggs free-range!)
- cheese (the local Feta cheese is very well regarded, mizithra – a ricotta-like cheese and kefalotiri – a hard full-fat cheese)
- vegetables, fruit and herbs
- honey (Kefalonia is famous for its honey)
All these fabulous ingredients make buying, cooking and eating in Kefalonia a real pleasure.
- Supermarkets: 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: there are three in Sami and two in Aghia Efimia
- Greengrocer: behind the church …. near the
- Newspaper Shop
- Jewellers, Sweets, Clothes Boutiques …. the list grows year by year.
Also available in Sami:
- 24 hr MEDICAL CENTRE
- on the Sami/Argostoli road on the edge of the town
- Several ATMs
- POST OFFICE
- TOURIST OFFICE
- Ferry Offices, Car and Bike Hire, Travel Agents, Computer Specialists, Dry Cleaners, Dentist
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
…. 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!
Look for our Visitor’s Book. It is a great place to find recommendations from past guests. We hope you find it useful and if so, please add your own names, comments and ‘good finds’ to The Walnut Tree Visitor’s Book.