Argostoli, Greece | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Argostoli, Greece

Argostoli (Greek: Αργοστόλι, Katharevousa: Ἀργοστόλιον) is a town and a former municipality on the island of Kefalonia, Ionian Islands, Greece.
Since the 2011 local government reform, it is part of the municipality Kefalonia, of which it is a municipal unit. It has been the capital and administrative center of Kefalonia since 1757, following a population shift down from the old capital of Agios Georgios (also known as Kastro) to take advantage of the trading opportunities provided by the sheltered bay upon which Argostoli sits. Argostoli developed into one of the busiest ports in Greece, leading to prosperity and growth. 

Kefalonia (Κεφαλονιά), also Kefallonia (Κεφαλλονιά) and Kefallinia (Κεφαλλήνια), is an island in the Ionian Islands in Greece.... Read more

Argostoli, Greece


Argostoli (Greek: Αργοστόλι, Katharevousa: Ἀργοστόλιον) is a town and a former municipality on the island of Kefalonia, Ionian Islands, Greece.
Since the 2011 local government reform, it is part of the municipality Kefalonia, of which it is a municipal unit. It has been the capital and administrative center of Kefalonia since 1757, following a population shift down from the old capital of Agios Georgios (also known as Kastro) to take advantage of the trading opportunities provided by the sheltered bay upon which Argostoli sits. Argostoli developed into one of the busiest ports in Greece, leading to prosperity and growth. 

Kefalonia (Κεφαλονιά), also Kefallonia (Κεφαλλονιά) and Kefallinia (Κεφαλλήνια), is an island in the Ionian Islands in Greece. It is also known by its Italian form, Cefalonia.

Kefallinia, Kefalonia, Cephallonia - so good they named it thrice. Confusingly, you may hear islanders pronounce it as "sefalonia". The region, incorporating the neighboring island of Ithaki (Ithaca) is known as Kefallinia, hence the name of the airport. The Island is best known, perhaps, as the setting for 'Captain Corelli's mandolin', though the level of Corelli-related merchandising is not as great as you might expect, even in Sami, the old-fashioned port in the East of the island, the portside of which was turned into a kind of set for the film.

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Argostoli, Greece: Port Information

Cruise ships dock at the port of Argostoli. This port is connected by ferry with another big city, Lixouri. You can walk, take a bus or rent a car, or take a taxi to visit the island's famous villages, such as Skala, Agia Efimia, and Sami. The bus stop is near the port, opposite De Bosset Bridge. If you choose walking, then after 15 minutes from the port, you'll be in the center of the town.
There's only one berth in the port, so other ships anchor offshore, and passengers are transported by tenders into the old harbor of the town.

Get around Argostoli, Greece

The bus service on the island is too infrequent to be of much use to tourists. Unless you have arrived on your own yacht, in which case you'll have no problem getting to most parts, you need a car or bike if you plan to get around. There are car ferries from the mainland, and many car-hire places in towns, though prices vary. Although all travel operators are against motorcycle hire, as long as you have some bike experience, renting a 100cc scooter for the duration of your stay can work out very reasonable. Just make sure you check the bike out before you hire it. Most of the hire places are in Lassi, the main resort, and the capital Argostoli. Taxis are fairly reasonable and individual arrangements can be made with drivers to pick you up at specified times from beaches etc. They are usually helpful and friendly.

What to see in Argostoli, Greece

The island consists of four peninsulas and includes some fairly serious mountains, which all goes to make for some outstanding scenery. A series of earthquakes, the last in the 1970s mean there are relatively few relics of antiquity on the island, but architecturally it doesn't look very different from most of Greece. Towards the center of the island, there are two noteworthy caves: the beautiful Drogarati caves seem have suffered somewhat from the loss of rather a lot of its stalactites and stalagmites (allegedly due to occupying German forces using them for target practice during WWII), but

Melissani cave

(actually, a lake, formed when part of the land above collapsed during an earthquake), filled with brilliant blue water from an underground current that mysteriously flows right under the island, is a memorable experience.
Sami beach (a short drive out of the town of the same name) is also stunning, (blue water, white stones, mountains in a circle around the small bay) but has a permanent traffic jam around it. Myrtos beach, in the West, is also attractive and popular but can be busy. This beach has a very steep shore break (you are out of your depth about 10ft out!) so it is not recommended for nonswimmers. Also take plenty of suncream, as the beach is made up of white stones, and in high summer can be blindingly hot. Less ravishing but pretty good beaches which are very much less crowded tend to be found in the south, around Scala and the Lixouri peninsula to the west. The beach of Xi, south of Lixouri, is a lovely sandy beach and always seems to have space and peace. Makris Gialos and Platis Gialos in Lassi are two stunning beaches, but predictably busy. Petani, on the Lixouri peninsula, is very pleasant, while Antisamos, near Sami, is where they filmed some key scenes for Corelli. Kaminia Beach is a lovely shallow beach between Anno Katelios and Skala, where you may see a turtle!
The jetty in the film of Corelli, where Mandras throws Pelagia into the sea, is at Horgota beach.
Of the many boat excursions available, one to nearby Ithaca is particularly recommended. Also, the glass-bottomed boat tour run by Captain Maki is a must.
The Roman villa just outside Skala, with mosaic floors more or less intact, is worth a visit - recent finds have added to its attraction and digs continue in the area.

What to do in Argostoli, Greece

Rent a boat in Agia Efimia - there are a few rentals, such as Yellow Boat - and spend the day visiting secluded beaches which can only be reached by boat.
There are a number of horseriding stables in Kefalonia and it is possible to arrange a ride into the mountains, through ruined villages and ancient vineyards, where the bells of the mountain goats and the cry of eagles are the only sounds to punctuate the silence. Gorgeous, and highly recommended, even in the height of summer. Go to the western corner and visit this remote village called Atheras and take the road down to its private little beach with its century-old monastery "Saint Spyridon"...tucked in time.

  • Wildlife Sense, ☎ (+30) 26710 81285. Wildlife Sense Kefalonia is a volunteer organization that collaborates with local authorities and environmental organizations to protect endangered plants and animals while promoting scientific research and raising public awareness. 
  • The George & Marie Vergottis Foundation puts on a series of music concerts, featuring world-class foreign and Greek musicians.
  • Aquatic Scuba Diving Club, Agia Efimia, ☎ +30 26740 62006. They provide a range of diving activities, including trial dives every afternoon for beginners (no previous knowledge required at all) and courses that allow you to get a diving certificate. 
  • Kefalonia Motorbike Tours, Karavomylos (Argostoli to Sami. Turn left to Karavomylos. Second left, past the Zervati Fish restaurant. Take Second Right. KMT), ☎ +306942665034. 8.30-4.30. Guided Motorbike Tours on the Beautiful Island of Kefalonia. Explore the many hundreds of ancient pathways, Adventure the hidden valleys. Lunch, Drinks & protective clothing inc. 

What to eat and drink in Argostoli, Greece


The Ionian Islands have own culinary tradition which is quite different from the rest of Greece. It is not influenced by oriental food, but much from the Italian and Austrian kitchen. As many Greeks from the continent moved to Kefalonia after the earthquake of 1953, Greek food is easy to find, sometimes easier than the traditional Kefalonian.
One local specialty is Kefalonian meat pie, available in quite a few restaurants. It's a hearty farmhouse thing rather than haute cuisine. Getting a really good example is not easy, however - the Captain's Table in Argostoli is perhaps your best bet for this local dish. Food in most establishments is okay rather than spectacular. Menus tend to be the same in most places; it's worth tapping into local knowledge about where to eat.
If you're in Argostoli, visit the big bakery on the main street opposite the harbor and buy the little round cheese pies - they're fantastic
There is a lovely cafe/restaurant at the entrance to the Venetian fortress in Kastro, shaded by trees, with very friendly owners - a Greek man married to an English woman (Nicki). The homemade cakes here are delicious.
Moreover, there is a lovely tavern Dionysos in Poros with a spectacular view of the island of Ithaca and the marina. There you may find one of the most mouth-watering meat pies (kreatopita) on the island, as it is prepared according to a traditional Kefalonian recipe (contains up to three different types of meat). Additionally, slightly exotic scenes in Dionysos are the squids that slowly dry while hanging under the sun, waiting to be fried. Nonetheless, the specialty of the restaurant is moussakas, a small bite of which leaves a mouthful of flavors.


  • Frappe - instant ice coffee. Drunk by everyone, cheap and refreshing. A "ticket" to sit outside a cafe for hours, like the Greeks
  • ​Freddo Cappuccino - an iced cappuccino. Also drunk by everyone and stronger than a Frappe and easier on the stomach.
  • Ouzo - Greek anise-flavored liqueur
  • Mythos - good Greek lager - very swiggable after a long day in the sun and usually quite reasonable
  • Orgeat syrup is called Soumada and traditionally served in Kefalonia

Shopping in Argostoli, Greece

Local honey: be sure to buy Kefalonian wild thyme honey, it really does taste special. As well as the local wine, Robola.
Souvenirs aplenty, as you'd expect. Some of the jewelry is of reasonable quality and price - you are pretty unlikely to get ripped off on Kefalonia and the Greeks are generally keen to see you get what you pay for in any transaction.

Safety in Argostoli, Greece

Kefalonia has very little crime, although be careful in busy areas, as most petty crime is aimed at tourists. Traffic, as everywhere in Greece, can be a little mad in towns. Out in the hills, the roads wind precariously around the sides of mountains. Some are passable only with a good 4 X 4, though the main routes are fine.
Watch uneven pavements in dimly lit streets.
The local police have a very low-key presence and generally, confine themselves to issuing speeding tickets. You'll need a rep or interpreter if dealing with them for an insurance claim.
Mosquitoes are a minor issue in inland accommodation, less so by the beaches.

Language spoken in Argostoli, Greece

A sizeable percentage of the local summer population lives abroad in the winter months - there is simply not enough work on the island out of season (Nov - April). Hence a large number of Greeks with American accents on the island. English is understood almost universally, with only senior citizens confined to their native language. Italian is widely recognized, due to the island's strong historical links with that nation. Venture a greeting in Greek anywhere on the island and you will get a warmly enthusiastic response.


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