St George's castle was capital of Kefalonia until the end of the 17th Century. The Byzantines started the work in the 12th Century but it was the Venetians who gave the castle its present day look. It is this dunce's-cap of a hill which gave the castle an almost impregnable position.
St George's castle was to remain the
capital of Kefalonia right up until the Napoleonic wars. Rumour has it that there were even tunnels that once connected the castle to Argostoli some 5km away. These, of course, collapsed in the 53 earthquake!
First stop is at the
monastery of St. Gerassimos, the patron of the Island. St Gerassimos was known for his miraculous abilities to cure people with mental illness. The monastery is considered one of the most scared pilgrimages in Kefalonia and is situated under the imposing Mount Ainos. Today the monastery has been reconstructed and it an imposing building with a newly built church.
Next you head to the impressive
Drogorati Cave, located outside of Sami, with its fine stalactites & stalagmites. Experts estimate that the cave is about 150 million years old. A natural balcony was created in 1953 from the earthquake, overlooking a chamber with about 100 square meters of floor, making it possible to hold concerts for up to 500 people. (30min stop).
Continuing on to
Melissani Lake and Cave. Explore by boat, the cave stalactites, which are over
20,000 years old . Following a roof cave in, an impressive sight has been created causing the
colors of the water to be reflected onto the walls of the cave.Important archaeological finds were also discovered on the lake’s sandbank, one of them is a figurine of the nymph Melissanthe after whom the cave is named, and another is a clay figurine of the God Pan. (30/40 min stop).
You can have your lunch at the town of Aghia Efimia – before the 1953 earthquake it was one of the island’s important centres of trade, with stately homes, these were rebuilt with help from the French. Today it’s a wonderful town with a small harbour. You have time here for lunch, a stroll or there’s a
small beach if you would like to swim . After lunch, we drive towards Myrtos Bay, one of Kefalonia’s
famous beaches, for a photo-stop.
Finally a visit to
Argostoli the Capital of Kefalonia , here you can take refreshments, relax in the square, or have a walk and explore before reboarding the coach to start your journey back to Pessada.