Kato Katelios is a friendly and relaxing resort with a laid back approach to life. Many people choose to revisit Katelios and it has built up a loyal following over the years. Katelios is in the south east of the island and is situated in a large, flat plain between the villages of Hionata, Mavrata, Markopoulo and Ratzakli. Katelios looks across the water to the nearby island of Zante and over to the Greek mainland and is surrounded by fertile agricultural land and rocky hills. Until recent years the village used to house just fishermen’s cottages and huts, some of which are still inhabited. Development of tourist’s accommodation has seen Katelios gradually grow into a holiday destination. The surrounding areas have some of the island’s most dramatic beaches which attracts people wanting a largely beach based holiday.
Ano Katelios, the old village, and is where most of the small resident population live while Kato Katelios is the relaxed holiday area which has slowly developed.
It is the sort of resort you can totally escape and relax.
The 1953 Earthquake destroyed nearly every village on the island and Kato and Ano Katelios were not sparred, they have since been rebuilt and the remains of an old church bell-tower can be found in Ano Katelios.
Katelios is located in a rural part of the island so nature lovers, walkers and bird watchers will be spoilt with the abundance of nature, which encases this part.
The village has a handful of shops and several tavernas. As far as attractions go apart from the beach and the shops, bars and tavernas which are dotted about, there really is not much more, so a relaxing away from it all beach based holiday it seems to have the right ingredients. Days can be spent relaxing on the two natural and uncomercialised beaches, whilst evenings can be spent mixing with the locals in the local tavernas and fish restaurants. Katelios holiday nightlife is largely restricted to good Greek-style tavernas serving mostly Greek food, and a few bars.
Katelios is a quiet resort; it has become popular with families and couples of all ages. There are a small handful of tavernas along the waterfront, which makes for a lovely setting to enjoy a cold drink or a bite to eat. Most of Katelios holiday accommodation is set back from the beach area into the valley behind. This includes small hotels, room to rent and apartments.
There is evidence that Katelios was a port and trading center way back in the Venetian period, witnessed by the remains of an old pier or mole in the bay.
There are Roman remains just behind the main Aghia Barbara beach which points to the fact there was a settlement in Katelios over 2000 years ago.
Some of the villagers are permanent residents and see the winter through here too. On the island a number of Kefalonia’s do not spend the winter months here, but spend them abroad or on the mainland. Once a fishing village, like so many other places on the island it now mainly thrives on tourism for the bulk of its income.
Katelios is also home to a group called ‘The Katelios Group’ this is a local NGO that seeks to research and protect the population of sea Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) and their habitats on the island of Kefalonia. The Katelios Group is involved also with other activities, such as teaching tourist children and local children the importance of the environment.
In spring local schools are invited to the Environmental Center. In the summer months an environmental festival is held in Katelios.
The Katelios Group hopes to promote the concept of sustainable development through programs of environmental awareness raising.
In WW2 a British submarine called HMS Perseus sank between Katelios and the neighbouring island of Zakynthos after striking a mine. There was sadly only one survivor named John Capes. Fishermen from Mavrata rescued this soul and sheltered him from occupying forces.
As with all destinations on this truly magnificent island, vehicle hire is an advantage to see all the splendor it has to hold.