Argostoli is the islands capital and main port. It has been the capital
of the island since 1757. The town has a population of 14.000 inhabitants.
Argostoli sits proudly on the Koutavos Lagoon, located on the far end of
the bay of the same name and is surrounded by mountains and verdant
forests. On the cobalt blue waters of the sheltered lagoon small
traditional fishing boats mingle alongside a handful of smart
sophisticated private yachts. Early morning you can see taverna owners and
hoteliers buying fish at the fish market on the quayside.
Original buildings that weren't shattered by German bombing in 1943 were
destroyed by the earthquakes ten years later. Sadly the town of Argostoli
was devastated by the earthquakes of 1953 and very few original features
remain, with many of the town's impressive mansions destroyed. A series of
earthquakes razed the town which has now been completely re- built,
following the original street layout. The new town, which has been built
in an Ionian style with well-laid out streets, spacious, squares, many
trees and alleys and a very lively port.
The waterfront has an attractive
area with the pedestrian walkway which has been painstakingly paved and
decorated with tropical palm trees and a supply of benches dotted here and
there for you to rest and watch the world go by, or look out onto the
water and watch the boats come and go.
Argostoli is a working town and a
port where cruise ships occasionally stop off on their itinery.
many waterfront towns there is a hive of activity along the front with
tavernas restaurants, shops and an excellent fresh fruit and vegetable
market which is open everyday.
The capital is where all the main business
is done throughout the year especially when the winter comes and the
island almost goes to sleep, Argostoli still lives on. The main coastal
road runs along the quayside and can be very busy with local residents and
sightseers going about their daily business.
Parking can be a little hit
or miss and the only real way to drive around the town is to join in, the
locals appear to park wherever they feel like and pedestrians meander down
the middle of the road pausing to have a chat with a friends or relatives.
If you dither around you will start the locals off into a horn blowing
frenzy. Best parking is along the back streets just off the main square.
As like all other towns Argostoli has schools, Museums, a hospital, banks,
a bus station shops and businesses as well as homes, these all lie
integrated within the town which sweeps up from the waterside and leans
The famous village square in Argostoli is called the Platia
Vallianou, which means Vallianou Square and appears to spring to life in
the evenings, which tends to be busy with people visiting the tavernas and
bars which surrounds the square. Locals and visitors enjoy the friendly
atmosphere of the square. In one corner of the square there is an Internet
cafe for your use where you can order the Internet and a beer, children
are also allowed to use this facility.
The modern retail district is
Lithostroto Street; this is a pedestrianised smartly paved area.
Lithostroto is a long almost straight and flat street nestled with in the
centre of the town. One danger to watch out for is the vertical uphill
streets which cross and interrupt the flow of the street, these are not
however pedestrianised at times cars and bikes do think they have the
right away. Along this smart street you will find boutiques, hairdressers,
mobile phone shops, a book shop, cafes, bars, various eateries, bakeries,
gift shops, toy shops, jewellers, supermarkets and wonderful
On 31st December along 'Lithostroto' wayfarer in Argostoli,
Kefalonian choirs and bands sing Christmas carols to people passing by and
AINOS and GERASIMOS, two small ferries which run every half
an hour from the ferry stop on the quayside over to the town of Lixouri,
which takes about 20 minutes and provides you with the opportunity to see
Argostoli and the surrounding coastlines from a different view. Boarding
the boat with a car can be a little chaotic and you usually drive on in
reverse, depending on the crew in charge on the day. Beware of passengers
on foot using the ferries as some tend to disembark without looking out
for vehicles. These ferries are very reliable and reasonably priced, they
run from early in the morning until very late at night, all year around.
Stretching from Argostoli over to the other side of the lagoon is the
Drapano bridge, once open to modern day traffic it was used as a shortcut,
nowadays the bridge is closed to vehicles, and is awaiting renovation by
the Greek Ministry of Culture although you can stroll across on foot if
you please, be aware of motorbikes who still use the bridge and for
fishermen who cast their lines out without taking into account someone may
be behind them, so watch your step, If you are lucky you may just catch
the sight of a loggerhead turtle, as this location can be an excellent
place to do a spot of turtle watching!
The coastal road out of Argostoli
to the west was known during the Venetian period as the 'Piccolo Gyro', a
very pleasant (quite a long) walk to some super beaches in the popular
Lassi area. The road is quite narrow, but wide enough for two cars to pass
with caution, there are no pavements so you do need to be careful. If
venturing out for an evening stroll take a torch, the road is not lit and
it becomes pitch black at night.
A taxi ride into the Lassi district will
take approximately ten minutes along the coastal road from Argostoli, or
five minutes via the top road.