Agia Efimia resort guide Kefalonia
Agia Efimia is as much of a traditional Greek fishing village as you will find on Kefalonia these days.
It lies on the east coast, about 30 kilometres overland from the capital at Argostoli.
There has been a harbour here for centuries but most of the homes seen today were built in the wake of the calamitous 1953 earthquake when many of the Kefalonia's villages were flattened.
Agia Efimia village life, which these days means mainly tourist life, is centred around the harbour where there is a liberal sprinkling of tavernas, bars and shops.
When the chic port of Fiscardo, to the north, became overly expensive, yacht flotillas turned to Agia Efimia for cheaper moorings. This has led to a busy harbour and a substantial boost to the local economy in recent years.
Agia Efimia's popularity with day trippers has increased local traffic and brought parking problems. In fact ,the place can get uncomfortably packed with holiday traffic in the summer.
A few original buildings survived the 1953 earthquake, but most are modern homes and apartments and surprisingly tasteful for Kefalonia. The resort is noted for its flowering gardens, with bougainvillea seeming to tumble off almost every wall.
A recent spate of building — presumably to cash in on the tourist trade — has set some alarm bells ringing and fears that Agia Efimia could quickly lose the charm that has established it as such a popular holiday resort.
There are no beaches to speak of in Agia Efimia — just three small strips of shingle with no facilities. The main occupations are sitting in the harbour tavernas or wandering the narrow Agia Efimia back streets. This can make the resort a better place for a day trip visit than a place to stay.
The Effimia Express runs boat trips from the harbour where you can buy tickets at the taverna next the bakery. The area around Agia Efimia has lots of walks, with tracks up to ancient hill villages.
There are several small rocky coves along the road to Sami and it can be worth hiring a bike or a boat in the resort — the Yellow Boat company is recommended by visitors. The larger port of Sami has regular ferries to other islands.
Kefalonia is not just a holiday island of sea and sand, it also has some very impressive monasteries that are not only in delightful settings but also house some important relics.
The word 'stunning' is often overused in the world of travel writing. Very few vistas can be described as truly stunning, but the fortress at Assos is certainly a contender.
The Castle of St George or Agios Giorgios is one of the best known and most visited historic sites on the Greek holiday island of Kefalonia with panoramic views in all directions.
At Melissani Lake cave in Kefalonia light streams through an open roof to a shimmering blue lake of almost ethereal beauty. Melissani Lake is an astonishing sight at any time.