The Greek Islands and Athens

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Kefalonia is the largest island in the Ionian group. With its mix of spectacular mountain scenery, pine covered hills, and sandy coves, it has become a popular summer holiday destination, even more so since the release of the film, Captain Correlli's Mandolin, set on Kefalona, and based on the best selling novel of the same name, written by Louis de Bernieres.

Kefalonia

Gradakia beach at Lassi. Most package holiday makers will find themselves staying in Lassi, Not far fron the capital Argostoli, it has a large selection of bars and restaurants, this is easily the liveliest resort on the island. Unfortunately a wide and very busy road runs through the resort but it does have a good selection of sandy beaches to choose from.

Argostoli, the capital, lies in a picturesque bay with mountains for a backdrop. Unfortunately the town itself is not the prettiest in Greece, as many of the buildings have half finished top floors so that the owners can evade paying the local roof tax. An earthquake in 1953 resulted in most of the buildings being destroyed which explains the lack of traditional style housing on the island.

The harbourside at Argostoli with all the boats coming and going is not the first place you would choose to have a swim, but this turtle seemed to be enjoying the experience.

Myrtos beach has been described as one of the most dramatic beaches in the Ionian islands. The beach, which nestles in steep cliffs, is a strip of fine white sand and pebbles. There is no shade on the beach except for the usual sun umbrellas that are for hire, so be warned, this beach is a real sun trap, it also can get very crowded in high season.

Assos, now a quiet village, was once a stronghold which was started by the ancient Greeks and added to over the centuries by successive conquerors. The present castle is Venetian and was built during the sixteenth century. Its large interior area is now a park.

Situated close to the village of Karavomylos, is Melissani cave which can only be explored by boat. It can be accessed by descending some twenty or so steps to a landing stage, from here, small rowing boats will take you into the cave for a trip that will last about 10 minutes. The cave roof has collapsed so daylight shines onto the surface of the internal lake below, lighting your way across its deep clear waters.

Poros was one of the first sites on the island to be developed for tourism. It is a mix of small hotels and apartment blocks plus plenty of shops and tavernas. The beach is mostly shingle and quite narrow, but has a good selection of watersports available. There are good ferry links from here to Killini on the mainland and to the island of Lefkas.

Poros actually sits in two bays, the first as discussed earlier where most of the tourists are based, the second is just over the headland where you will find the towns harbour. Although the main seafront has the majority of the bars and tavernas, the old port area is quieter and has a more gentler atmosphere. There are also a couple of quite good fish tavernas.

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