Assos beach guide Kefalonia
Assos is a small fishing village of almost unreal beauty that can stops a holidaymaker in his tracks.
It has no beach to speak of, just a few small tavernas perched around the quayside overlooking a small, enclosed bay. But this beautiful Greek hamlet oozes a perfectly placid charm,
Assos has long been touted as one of the most beautiful locations on Kefalonia.
The setting on the west coast is as spectacular as it is romantic with a horseshoe harbour of cobalt blue overlooked by a hilltop Venetian fortress. It has now been listed as a World Heritage Site.
Assos beach is 37 kilometres from the island capital at Argostoli and approached with an almost suicidal descent from the main west coast road to Fiscardo.
Despite the hairpin bends this is a favourite destination for day trip coaches although they must park outside the village. It's the same for cars and a car park has been built on the edge of Assos.
Assos village has about 100 permanent inhabitants and most of its building were spared in the 1953 earthquake. Not so say there hasn't been some modern building as the resort has expanded and, although most of it is sympathetic to the surroundings, a clutch of harbourside apartments may be a little kitsch for some tastes.
A huge rock promontory curves around to form a natural, shallow and sheltered harbour. As well as the shady waterfront tavernas, more have sprung up on the hillside. The beach is just a thin strip of shingle and sand beneath the harbour wall.
Assos has several tavernas and a mini-market Many of the back streets are cobbled and unlit, so you need a torch if you stay here.
There is little to do in Assos other than relax and unwind. There are no clubs or music bars other tourist trappings. It's enjoyed by those interested in walking and relaxing.
The Assos fortress, built in 1584, stands on the rock promontory overlooking the bay. Work started on a conference centre within the castle walls with EU funding but the future of this project is still uncertain.
A long and steep winding walk up a track gets you there . The church of the Virgin Mary in Plakoula is about half way up.
There is bus to Argostoli but it only runs once a week so car hire is essential. Boat hire is available and there is a taxi rank in Assos square, although you should ask in the mini-market for a driver.
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.