Argostoli is the largest of the Kefalonia villages with a population of 14.000 inhabitants. It is the capital and main port of the island.
This little town has been the capital of the island since 1757 and is located in the centre of the island’s southern part.
Argostoli is standing on the far end of the bay of the same name which is surrounded by mountains and verdant forests. Venetian buildings used to stand in the town but were destroyed along with the entire Argostoli and almost all the other towns and villages of the island from the strong earthquake of 1953.
The town has been rebuilt since then, with the help of the Greek government but unlike for the capital of Zakynthos, no efforts have been made to maintain the traditional architecture and the local colour.
A stone bridge of 650 metres long called the Drapano Bridge stands at the entrance to the capital, in its middle a small pyramid called “Colona” (Column) is standing, dedicated to Charles de Bosset who built the bridge.
The modern and cosmopolitan town of Argostoli is very busy and has many interesting features and activities to offer. It has an attractive coastal road promenade which is boarded by palm trees and beautifully paved with colourful pebbles from the sea. The road ends at the small ferry quay where boats depart for the town of Lixouri every half an hour and where little fishing boats are mooring.
The central square of the town called Plateia Valianou is a large and pleasant square which is boarded by many restaurants, cafes and bars. During the evenings of summer, the square gets really crowded because it is the place where the locals go for their traditional evening walk. It is nevertheless very interesting and enjoyable to observe the Kefalonian way of life.
The pedestrian Lithostroto Street (Cobbled Street) is the commercial street of the capital and is full of shops. There one can admire the beautiful church of Saint Spyridon and the interesting clock tower of Campana Square.
In Argostoli one can also visit the Archaeological Museum of Kefalonia which houses interesting archaeological finds from the Mycenaean, the Hellenistic and the Roman periods; the collections contain coins, swords, sculptures and ceramics from those various periods.
Another worth-visiting museum is the Korgialenios History and Folklore Museum which is housed in the ground floor of the Korgialenian Library; it consists in a reconstitution of a traditional 19th century Kefalonian house and exposes a rich collection of the island’s photographs.
The imposing library of the capital keeps 50.000 books and old manuscripts, among which some very rare. Nearby the library is the beautiful theatre of Kefalos which is considered as one of the best theatres in Greece.
The Lighthouse of Saint Theodore is located a couple of kilometres from Argostoli and was built by the British Governor Napier; it is locally known as “Fanari” (lighthouse) and consists in a small round building with white Doric columns. This beautiful lighthouse it is one of the trademarks of Kefalonia.
Sami is the closest beach resort to the capital, only a few kilometres from it. It is very popular and offers wonderful beaches that have been awarded with the Blue Flag. In this area the visitor will find various accommodations, nice taverns, lively bars and a wide range of shops.