The Ionian island of Cephalonia, Kefalonia is the largest of Ionian Islands and one of the most scenic. The island’s capital city Argostoli stands like an amphitheater overlooking the Koutavous lagoon, a nature reserve that is both a stopping point for migratory birds and Loggerhead turtles. Argostoli offers travelers the chance to participate in any number of diversions from water-based activities to hiking through the cypress and olive tree-covered mountains. In the center of town there are lots of restaurants serving authentic local cuisine, shops, museums and cultural and historic landmarks.
The Melissani Lake cavern near the island’s main port, Sami, is a must-see natural attraction. Once a place of worship for the god Pan, the lake is fed by seawater flowing in underground from the opposite side of the island. Encircled by mountains, Sami Beach is worth a visit as well. The pretty white-stone beach is also less crowded than the more popular Myrtos Beach on the island’s west coast.
Argostoli is much more than meets the eye. This small town comes full of friendly locals and visitors quickly fall for its traditional Greek lifestyle and spectacular natural attractions, like the Koutavos Lagoon’s nature preserve. Stroll along De Bosset Bridge, where endangered sea turtles swim out to sea. Admire Vallianos Square’s grand bell tower and taste Robola wine in a local vineyard.
The disabled cruiser visiting Argostoli itself will find an attractive cobbled promenade fringed with palm trees along the harbor. You must assume you will encounter stairs everywhere throughout the Greek Islands. Even where there are not stairs, the inclines can be quite steep to the point you wish there were stairs.
Where You’re Docked
Cruise ships to Argostoli dock (anchor) at the pier near the center of town. It’s around a 15 minute walk from here. Occasionally, ships may have to anchor and tender passengers into the Old Harbor.
At the end there is a vegetable market of local produce and a selection of cafes and small taverns. The main square is lined with cafes, bars and restaurants and a choice of shops selling jewelry, local crafts and thyme honey.
Taxis, buses, and ferries are available to navigate the city. Organized shore excursions are available for sightseeing.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money
The euro is the official currency.
Greek is the official language, although English is widely spoken, to say “do you speak English?” in Greek: “milte anglik?”
Lithostroto, in the heart of Argostoli, is lined with stylish boutiques and kitschy souvenir shops. Garbis and Tzannatos are both family-owned jewelry stores, while several local retailers sell one-of-a-kind ceramics. For tasty souvenirs, buy local golden honey, olive oil, white Robola wine or red Calliga cava.
Many recipes in Argostoli have been passed down through generations via family cookbooks. The rich Cephalonian meat pie is a must-try, or savor classics like stifado (beef stew), moussaka (eggplant casserole) and exohiko (lamb-stuffed phyllo pockets). Fresh octopus and squid are abundant in the surrounding waters, while wineries outside of town are known for their dry white Robola and sweet Mavrodaphne dessert wine.
Points of Interest
- Koutavos Lagoon – a shallow-water salt marsh and breeding site for loggerhead sea turtles. Take a stroll/ride around the lagoon’s paved pathways. Rent an electric boat or splash along in a pedal boat. See the feeding grounds of aquatic birds, and keep your eyes peeled for swimming turtles.
- Melissani Cave – get a first-hand look at Cephalonia’s swallow holes, where seawater flows under the island. Row a boat into underground Melissani Lake to see its magnificent shafts of sunlight. Then enter nearby Drogarati Cave, a large network of underground chambers known for its breathtaking stalactites and stalagmites.
- Myrtos beach – bask in the postcard perfect beaches of Cephalonia, complete with warm, impossibly blue waters and shimmering golden sands. Sunbathe beside Myrtos’ sky-high limestone cliffs.
Argostoli Accessible Excursions
Panoramic Argostoli Accessible Shore Excursion
With the Panoramic Argostoli Accessible Shore Excursion you will visits rustic towns and seaside villages, enjoy a traditional Greek meal, walk/roll along the seaside, and see the beauty of the Ionian Islands on this 8-hour accessible shore excursion in an accessible van.
To begin your accessible Argostoli shore excursion, your guide and driver will pick you up from the cruise terminal in a wheelchair accessible van. From there you will visit the small villages of Myrtos and Assos. In Assos, you will see the national heritage castle and the famous Platanos Tree restaurant that serves up delicious, authentic Greek cuisine.
After leaving Assos, you drive to the small fishing village of Fiskardo to walk/roll along the quaint seaside walkways to enjoy the scenery, waterside cafes, and shops. At the end of your Argostoli accessible shore excursion, your guide and driver will take your back to the cruise terminal where you can board the ship.