Page 6 - Tourist Guide Of Greece
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ΙΟΝΙΑΝ ISLANDS Kefalonia Island (Area: 782 sq km - Coastline: 254 easy to admire these sceneries and km - Distance from: Patras 56 n.m., explore Cephalonia from one side to Kyllini 21 n.m., Astakos/Etoloakar- the other. nania 25 n.m.) History: Cephalonia has been Cephalonia, Kefallinia in Greek and inhabited since prehistoric times. in modern Greek Kefalonia, is the There are ruins of settlements of largest island in the Ionian group. the 8000-3000 BC period in the It lies opposite the entrance to the areas of Sami and Skala, while Gulf of Patras, north of Zakynthos, Mycenaean tombs and archaeologi- south of Lefkada and west of cal finds have demonstrated that Ithaca from which it is separated of major importance for the island by the Ithaca Channel. The island was the Mycenaean era (1600-1100 is very irregular in shape, rugged BC) during which four cities were and mountainous (island summit flourishing: Krane, Pale, Pronnoi 1628m). A long mountain range and Same. In 187 BC the Romans runs from north-west to south-east, conquered Cephalonia and in the the foothills covering almost the 4th century AD the island became whole island. The main summit part of the Byzantine Empire. In (1628m), being in the island’s the middle ages Cephalonia expe- southern part, is the peak of Mount rienced many conquerors: Normans Enos. Mount Enos, at 15km from a point halfway along the Argostoli- (12th c), Orsini (1185-1478), Turks (1485), Venetians (1500-1797), Sami Road, is the highest point of the Ionian Islands and has been French (1797) and British (1809). declared a national forest park to On 21 May 1864 Cephalonia was protect the tall, cedar-like fir trees united with Greece, along with the (abies cephalonica) that cover its other Ionian Islands. Much of the slopes and grow nowhere else in island was destroyed by earthquake the world. in 1953. Cephalonia offers an impressive The island’s capital: Argostoli, landscape: hillsides studded with Kefalonia’s capital and main port, is grapevines, lush valleys, groves sited in a picturesque bay beneath filled with olive or orange trees, the mountains on the south- breathtaking golden beaches, green western side of the island. Of the rocks plunging suddenly into the old, immensely attractive town of deep blue waters, secluded coves, Argostoli, which was destroyed by picturesque villages and small an earthquake in 1953, very little beautiful towns highlighted by old remains; one or two houses, the mansions and “humble” farmhous- arched stone bridge connecting the es. The good road network which two sides of the inner bay, and the covers the whole island, makes it obelisk at its centre. 208 Tourist Guide of Greece •
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