During our family holiday to Lassi in Kefalonia this year, we stumbled upon Argostoli, the delightful capital. We were very well placed for frequent visits to Argostoli with it being less than a ten minute journey away at our base in Lassi.
Argostoli is the main town and port of the Greek Island of Kefalonia. Alongside Fiskardo in the North of the Island which I have talked about in Fiskardo, Kefalonia, it was a firm favourite.
This capital city was a treasure trove of finds and contrast.
It’s been a while since we were in Greece. You can never fail to have a relaxing time there and when you break the day up with visits to places like Argostoli, you could certainly do a lot worse for your family holiday. As capital cities go, this one definitely needs to get itself on to the ‘must visit’ map – for so many different reasons. In fact, I’d put it in my book of perfect weekends away. Particularly with it being so close to the airport.
Our initial visit to Argostoli was to investigate the Turtles that were reported to be seen swimming abundantly at the harbour in the morning. We were advised that the best times for viewing were between 9.00am and midday.
On arrival in Argostoli, the gathering and moving crowd left no doubt as to where one might be best placed to spot a turtle! The ability to catch a picture of these beautiful creatures whilst avoiding the complete over enthusiasm of going straight in to the water – camera first, was a challenge! I imagine this to be a regular site for the Fishermen.
It is of course while the Fishermen carry out the painstaking process of cleaning their nets that make for the best viewing times as the Turtles wait for the ‘waste’ to come overboard.
Here Come The Turtles
After the initial flurry of activity, there was a little wait. It was fascinating to watch the fisherman at work on their boats. Displaying their prized haul as they worked.
All eyes were on the back of the boat for the first sign of turtles. I imagine it becomes quite a sport for the fisherman to see the crowds of tourists each day. There is something about turtles that we all love isn’t there.
I am pleased to report that we all remained on dry land at all times during photography. We even got a face out of the water. And that’s a whole lot better than one of our faces going in the water!! Depending on which way you look at it!
And as much as we love a turtle, it is also a joy to see such a traditional industry at work among the lovely culture and richness of its authentic surroundings.
The heat, the sounds and the smells of the sea added to the experience and we even saw a woman at work on the nets. She didn’t want to be photographed but I thought it was amazing to see her there carrying out what was always a ‘traditionally male role’. Good for her.
Greek Tradition – The Old
Alongside the fisherman selling their wares was a traditional Greek café, full of local life on a busy morning. Argostoli is a town of contrasts and it was particularly interesting to see tradition nestled amongst modern on this promenade.
A few steps further on saw a local fruit and vegetable market full of produce that us Brits could only aspire to.
The Rest of Argostoli
Just a stones throw from the harbour, we found some of the most amazing Chocolatiers and Patisseries. This particular Chocolatier had the most amazingly decorative ceiling as you can see from the picture below. The whole shop was a feast before our eyes even before we started on the chocolate.
The ceiling gives just a small glimpse into the deliciously ornate cakes that were displayed among the many delights on offer.
And then the Baker and Patisserie. It is little wonder that we left a little heavier than when we arrived. I mean there is Baklava and then there are giant Baklava.
And if the locals are flocking there in droves, you know its got be good – right?
There was just always a reason to eat on this holiday. You’ve got to feel for us!
And in keeping with the ceiling theme, stocking Olive Oils, Balsamic Vinegar, Honey, Preserves and Liqueurs in equal and generous measure – was this little beauty of a shop …….
We were invited to try EVERYTHING!! Such hospitality. In their words “you don’t try, you don’t buy”. And it blooming well works a treat. Especially when you’ve had two melon shots before 11am!!! Yammas!!
As you move further into the town, the shops just get swisher and swisher.
Street upon street of loveliness opening out onto little squares where a bar or café would just appear at the right time.
Evenings in Argostoli
Early evening saw us make for the Central Square – Vallianou Square in Argostoli. A perfect spot to watch the evening come to life with young people and families as they all headed to the square to meet friends. And us? Well we relaxed and enjoyed the cosmopolitan feel while enjoying dinner at one of the lovely restaurants on the square. La Gondola happened to be recommended and also our favourite. It certainly served the best Moussaka I have tasted.
And for the times we stayed back at the hotel, we were spoilt by this view. Only Greece. No complaints. Whatsoever.
And two weeks on, we are left to wonder whether we did really go!