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Kefalonia island news and views

Kefalonia is a popular Greek holiday island located in the Ionian chain of islands off the west coast of mainland Greece. Kefalonia lies south of Corfu and north of Zante to the south. It is a large hilly island with a string of south coast beaches, some of the most picturesque coves and some spectacular caves. Offshore is the idyllic island of Ithaca, a favourite target of day trippers.

map kefalonia quake
More quakes for Kefalonia

After suffering widespread earthquake damage last year, Kefalonia suffers more seismic rumblings under the Ionian Sea Earthquake rumbles continue to shake the holiday island of Kefalonia months after a series of quakes hit the island in January causing widespread damage. Scientists report a strong 5.1 magnitude tremor under the Ionian Sea just west of the island at the weekend following a 4.7 magnitude quake recorded on the previous Friday. There have been no reports of injuries or damage but the incident will have reawakened memories of the series of tremors that rocked the island earlier this year. A major 5.9 earthquake in January this year was one of many that shook the island for nearly a month, bringing down houses, causing landslides and blocking roads. In February this year, just days after Kefalonia holiday hotel owners reassured tourists that hotel were safe despite more than 250 tremors over a number of weeks, the island was hit by another major earthquake. Measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale the tremor struck Kefalonia just before dawn sending panicked residents across the island running out into the streets. More than a dozen people were injured and damage reported to several buildings. Aftershocks as large as 5.2 were recorded and, at the height of the incidents, a state of emergency was declared. Some parts of Kefalonia were without electricity for several days and rescue efforts were hampered as several roads were blocked by landslides. Hundreds were evacuated from damaged or dangerous home and house in emergency shelters and on ferry boats docked in the harbour at the capital of Argostoli. Nearly every building in the town of Lixouri was reported to have suffered some minor damage, and many buildings, including schools suffered from collapsed walls and roofs. One unusual side effect of the seismic activity was the creation of several new beaches as parts of the island were raised around 20 centimetres. The remote north-west Pali peninsula suffered the worst and it is here that searches have revealed beaches where none existed before including one that extended several thousands of square metres. Fortunately the island recovered quickly from the worst effects and the 2014 summer holiday season was not affected as hotel owners reported a rise in visitor numbers despite fears that potential visitors would change their holiday plans. European ministers also earmarked €3.7 million towards clean-up costs on the island and much work has been done to restore damaged roads and buildings. But the latest tremors may do little to reassure visitors planning a holiday in Kefalonia in 2015. The whole Ionian region is no stranger to strong earthquakes. The area is particularly prone to tremors and both Kefalonia and nearby Zante were devastated by a 7.2 quake in 1953 that razed many buildings across both islands. Known as the Great 1953 Ionian Earthquake it struck the southern Ionian Islands in August 1953 after a month when more than 113 tremors were recorded in the region between Kefalonia and Zakynthos. Earthquakes still regularly shake the islands of Zante and Kefalonia and there have been several, notably in 2003, 2005 and 2006. It is not the only tremor reported in Greece over the past few weeks. A 4.8-magnitude earthquake also shook the cities of Patras, Aegion and Nafpaktos in the northern Peloponnese on Friday evening, according to Athens Geodynamic Institute. The tremor occurred at a depth of 5 kilometres and its epicentre was located in the western Corinthian Gulf. A 5.2 magnitude earthquake also struck Western Greece in the last week of October with its epicentre 20 kilometres from the mainland town of Arta , to the north-east of Kefalonia. No damage or injuries were reported.

kefalonia earthquake
EU cash aid for Kefalonia

Kefalonia to get euro cash help towards the clean-up costs of winter earthquake. Cash help could be on the way for the Ionian holiday island of Kefalonia hit earlier this year by a 5.8 earthquake and a series of severe aftershocks. European ministers have earmarked €3.7 million from the European Union Solidarity Fund towards clean-up costs following the series of earth tremors that struck the island in January this year. The earthquake struck on 26 January to the north-east of the island capital of Argostoli and tremors were felt on the neighbouring Ionian Islands of Zante and Corfu and on the Greek mainland. Dozens of aftershocks shook buildings for several weeks after the iniital shocks with significant damage to buildings and to island roads. Around 100 houses were so badly damaged that they had to be demolished and thousands of islanders were forced to move into temporary accommodation. Many Kefalonian islanders slept in tents and other emergency shelters. Ferry ships and cruise liners anchored in Argostoli harbour were also used for temporary emergency accommodation. Schools across the island were closed until mid-February and there was significant impact on the local infrastructure. Landslides and fallen rocks made many of the island roads impassable. Some aftershocks were so severe they had panic-stricken islanders running into the streets. The seismic shocks reawakened memories of the devastating 7.2 magnitude quake that struck Kefalonia in 1953 killing hundreds of people. The cash support package for Kefalonia is part of aid worth nearly €47 million that is also earmarked for Sardinia, Slovenia and Croatia in the wake of a string of natural disasters. "These amounts are specific and targeted to help address the immediate and direct impact of natural disasters," said EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn in a press statement. The support still has to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council but it is unlikely to be opposed. The cash will go towards covering the emergency costs incurred by the public authorities on Kefalonia as a result of the disaster. The grant will help to restore vital infrastructure and services, reimburse the emergency and rescue services, and help to cover some of the clean-up costs. Fortunately the island was able to recover from the worst effects in good time for the summer holiday season and has this year reported a rise in visitor numbers despite fears that potential visitors would change their holiday plans in light of the island tremors.

kefalonia myrtos
New beaches for Kefalonia

Earthquakes create new sands along the shore. Kefalonia is enjoying a surprise boom in beaches with new stretches of golden sand appearing along the island's long indented coastline. And several existing beaches have grow in size with more sands for Greek island holiday visitors to Kefalonia to enjoy. Experts say it's the result of the series of earthquakes that rocked Kefalonia earlier this year. Geologists report some parts of the island have been raised up by as much as 20cm allowing huge stretches of sand to emerge from the sea. A group of seismologists from Athens University has been investigating the island to determine the effects of the series of strong earth tremors that rocked the island at the end of January this year. A state of emergency was declared on Kefalonia when dozens of aftershocks followed the initial quake which reached 5.9 on the Richter Scale with the epicentre located just a few kilometres off the coast near the capital city at Argostoli. The remote north-west Pali peninsula suffered the heaviest of the tremors and it is in this region that detailed searches have revealed new beaches where none existed before including one that extends to several thousands of square metres. The team of geologists say the entire peninsula has been raised several centimetres as a result of the shocks and other recent earthquake activity. The scientists arrived on Kefalonia in May to carry out detailed research on the Pali peninsula and they set up special instruments to measure changes in ground levels. As well as the appearance of new beaches they also found that the water level in the wetlands around Livadi, north of the port of Lixouri, has risen appreciably. This area is one of the most important wetland habitats in Greece with more than 100 rivers and creeks creating shelter for many types of flora and fauna. The quake was also responsible for a strange phenomenon on one of Kefalonia's best known beach at Myrtos, pictured above, which is also located in the north-west of the island. A huge rift, measured at more than 60 metres long released large amounts of sand and soil into the sea to create a huge mud bank in the bay. This has not been the first strong earthquake to strike the Greek island of Kefalonia. A 7.2 magnitude quake in 1953, struck three days after a 6.4 tremor, leaving many dead and injured and most of the island's buildings reduced to rubble. Kefalonia houses built since 1953 have adhered to strict anti-seismic regulations and this is considered the main reason why relatively little damage was caused in the earthquake earlier this year.

kefalonia earthquake
More shocks for Kefalonia

6.1 strong earthquake hits the island of Kefalonia just before dawn. Just days after hotel owners on Kefalonia reassured tourists that hotel were safe despite more than 250 tremors, the island was hit by another major earthquake. A strong quake measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale struck Kefalonia just before dawn today (Monday February 3) sending panicked residents across the island running out into the streets. Greek radio so far reports damage at the port of Lixouri, Kefalonia's second largest town, with damage to buildings and minor injuries. Authorities have no clear picture of the situation in outlying villages on the island's mountainous Pali peninsula. The Athens Geodynamic Institute registered the quake, which struck just after 5 a.m. local time with a magnitude of 5.7 and an epicentre 12 kilometres north-west of the island's capital of Argostoli while the U.S. Geological Survey registered the shock at 6.1. Earthquakes have been rattling Kefalonia constantly for more than a week following a 5.9-magnitude tremor that struck on January 26, damaging homes and injuring seven people. Thousands of Kefalonia residents have abandoned their homes to live with relatives or in temporary accommodation provided by ships moored in Argostoli harbour. The seismic shocks have reawakened memories of the devastating 7.2 magnitude quake that struck Kefalonia and Zante in 1953, one of a series of three that killed hundreds of people and destroyed nearly all the buildings on both islands. The latest quakes have been felt right across western Greece and as far away as the Greek capital, Athens, nearly 300km to the west. Kefalonia's mayor has urged people to leave their houses if they show any signs of damage. Power and water supplies have been cut and islanders have also had to cope with bad weather, heavy rains and low temperatures.

kefalonia earthquake 2014
Hotels pledge on quake

Kefalonia is ready to welcome holiday visitors. Hotel owners on the holiday island of Kefalonia have rushed to insist there is no danger for tourists after the island was hit by several large earthquakes. An official statement of support from the Panhellenic Federation of Hoteliers says the vast majority of the hotel units on the island of Kefalonia are in a good condition with no reported problems. Hoteliers insist that Kefalonia is ready to welcome holiday visitors this year and can accommodate both Greek and foreign visitors when the holiday season gets under way. A quake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale shook the island on Sunday, January 26 followed by more than 250 aftershocks that caused major problems to the infrastructure of the island. Kefalonia's largest hospital at Lixouri was evacuated, roads were blocked by landslides, homes abandoned and there are also concerns about two schools. Many homes have been badly damaged and in Argostoli one in four buildings has been declared unfit for use. The village of Atheras was also evacuated on Monday for fear of landslides. Residents unable to return to their damaged homes have been offered temporary accommodation on three ships that have docked in the main harbour at Argostoli. The Panhellenic Federation of Hoteliers says it is keeping an open line of communication with the Kefalonia and Ithaca Hotel Association which is constantly updating the situation of the island. Meanwhile, one of the many problems that the residents of Kefalonia have to deal with, is the problems in water networks in many areas of the island. In Lixouri as well as in other areas the use of water for drinking or cooking is prohibited. Another earthquake was recorded on mainland Greece in the area of Patras with a magnitude of 4.2 on the Richter scale and tremors were felt in Patras, Nafpaktos, Aigio and other coastal regions This latest earthquake seems to be linked to the earthquakes on Kefalonia. It follows a winter of earthquakes in the Greek Islands with four tremors recorded in Thessaloniki and more off the coast of Crete in the southern Aegean.

earthquake villa ruin
Earthquake hits Kefalonia

More than two dozen aftershocks reported. A state of emergency has been declared on the holiday island of Kefalonia after more than two dozen seriously large aftershocks followed a major earthquake tremor at the weekend. Scientists reported an initial quake of 5.9 on the Richter Scale with the epicentre located just a couple of kilometres off the coast of the island capital at Argostoli. Some of the aftershocks measured 5.2 on the Richter scale causing damage to some buildings although no serious injuries were reported. Some parts of Kefalonia are still without electricity and roads have been blocked by landslides. Those with damaged homes have been warned to leave and find shelter elsewhere. A passenger ferry with the capacity to host 700 passengers docked at the island to provide temporary homes to victims. The Greek government has sent two ships to the island to offer temporary shelter for more than 2,000 of the island's inhabitants who are believed to be unable to return to their homes. The strong quake shook the island at around 4pm on Sunday afternoon and was felt as far away as Athens, Albania and even southern Italy. Scientist are concerned at the shallow depth of the quake, measured at only 17km below sea level. Shallow quakes of this size can cause considerable damage. Islanders have been warned to expect more aftershocks and to be prepared to leave their homes if necessary. There have been more than two dozen aftershocks registered mainly in the sea about 25km north-west of the first quake. According to the latest updates nearly every building in the town of Lixouri has suffered some minor damage, and many, including schools, have suffered more serious damage, such as collapsed walls and roofs. Reports of minor damage have come in from across the island, as well as the neighbouring island of Zante which lies about 50km to the south of Kefalonia. Flights have been cancelled at the Kefalonia International Airport, near Argostoli, until the damage has been assessed. Kefalonia is no stranger to strong earthquakes. The Ionian Sea is particularly prone to tremors and both Kefalonia and nearby Zante were devastated by a 7.2 quake in 1953 that razed many buildings across both islands. Known as the Great 1953 Ionian Earthquake it struck the southern Ionian Islands in August 1953 after a month when more than 113 tremors were recorded in the region between Kefalonia and Zakynthos. Earthquakes still regularly shake the islands of Zante and Kefalonia and there were several in 2003, 2005 and 2006.

Fanari lighthouse on Kefalonia
Praise for Kefalonia's ports

Locals pay homage to the island's harbours. As the Greek island of Kefalonia celebrates one of its best years ever in terms of the number of holiday visitors, locals pay homage to the island's harbours. Latest figures show a huge 20% rise in arrivals at Kefalonia airport and a 10% rise in numbers landing from cruise ships and ferries at Kefalonia island ports. The surge in holiday visitors has prompted the island newspaper to pen a homage to the ports of Kefalonia with a paean of praise for the island's port facilities. The article praises the well organized small and large ports found all around the island and the port authorities too for promoting goodwill among holiday arrivals. Indeed, Kefalonia has a large number of good ports to choose from with harbours dotted all around the island's long coastline. And the report spares no amount of praise for "Hostess Captain, Kefalonia recommends the Ports with pride, starting from the capital of the new breakwater hurry to reach the cruise ship that gently touch and invites passengers to hear legends and stories from local mariners." Like I said, no praise spared. The main port is in the capital of Argostoli, set in a huge sheltered bay and a setting that some say is unrivalled in the Greek Islands with the historic Bridge De Bosset, at 700 metres the largest stone bridge in Europe, snaking out over the bay. Across the Bay of Argostoli is the port city of Lixouri, of a rival as the capital of Kefalonia, but which many still regard as the capital of island culture and intellect and the birthplace of many prominent people in the fields of science and technology. On the other side of Kefalonia is the port of Sami which provides ferry links to the island of Ithaca and is the site of the underground lake at Melissanis, one of Kefalonia's top tourist attractions. The port of Fiskardo, on the north-west tip of the island, took its name from the Norman conqueror Roberto il Guiscardo, who besieged the island in 1085. This is almost the only village on Kefalonia to survive the devastating earthquake of 1953. The east coast port of Poros is the site of many important archaeological remains, including a vaulted Mycenaean tomb while the small harbour at Pessada in the south-west is also linked to legendary figures like the apostle Paul who is said to have landed here. Kefalonia island officials are particularly pleased at deals done this year with low cost airlines and with ferry companies that have helped to open up new international travel markets and helped the island recover from last year's poor tourism numbers in the wake of Greece's financial problems.

Waterfront at Fiskardo, Kefalonia
Night out in Kefalonia

A night out in Kefalonia. When you think of Kefalonia, there are three things that should come to mind: drink, dance and party. If that doesn't sound like a good time to you, then perhaps the Kefalonia nightlife will be a bit over your head. However, if this sounds like it might lead to the best time of your life, then it would be a good idea to consider a holiday to Kefalonia. Let's take a look at the best bars, clubs and restaurants in Kefalonia. We'll start with bars. Captain's Bar is one of the more popular establishments. This isn't an active or high-energy environment, but it is a great place to start out. It's a place that allows you to settle in and get a feel for the lay of the land. Captain's Bar is located right on the Skala beachfront. Therefore, you're going to have great views and feel very at ease. The music is usually soothing and there are more than 40 different types of drinks available. If you want an actual beachfront bar, go to Stevento. They offer great service, drinks in iced glasses and the best sunsets in the Greek Islands. This is also a great place to go to meet locals. For on-trend music, go to Zanza. They play a wide variety of tunes and often have experienced DJs spinning. It's also a café in the morning. For the most unique bar experience, go to Zebra. You can find live music upstairs and a crazy party with a dancing zebra downstairs. The zebra is someone in costume, of course. As far as nightclubs go, there are a number of places where you can party the night away. Bass is the most popular club in Kefalonia - mainly because it's so close to Central Square. The party doesn't get going here until midnight so keep that in mind while on your Kefalonia holiday. Cinema is another popular option and is close to many shops on Lithostrob Street. This used to be an actual cinema and the antique projector and many seats remain. This makes for a historic environment, which makes Cinema unlike any other club in the islands. Cinema also opens earlier than most other nightclubs so it's a great place to start. Kastro has been around since 1995 and mixes an old mine with lush greenery. The pine trees and live bands make this a more laidback atmosphere. As far as restaurants go, start with Ellis, which is on the Fiskardo seafront. They serve a range of different dishes, but seafood is their specialty. Regardless of what you order, you will be able to enjoy views of the Ionian Sea. Andromeda is a Greek restaurant that offers outdoor dining near Lourdas Bay. It's a beautiful atmosphere and everyone raves about the food. For peace and quiet, sea views, an extensive wine list and the best moussaka around, dine at Old Times. With the information above, you should be able to enjoy the best Kefalonia nightlife on offer. Try to mix the bars, nightclubs and restaurants to get the full Kefalonia experience.

Kefalonia bridge collapse
Kefalonia bridge collapse

Kefalonia tourist bridge collapses. Many visitors on a holiday in Kefalonia last summer will have strolled along the British-built bridge that lies across the Argostoli lagoon. The bridge has become a major Kefalonia holiday attraction. But, after many promises and several false starts on renovating the bridge, it was closed this week after part of it collapsed into the lagoon at Argostoli. Workmen have now sealed off the Kefalonia tourist attraction following the latest setback and accusations fly over who is responsible for allowing the popular Kefalonia bridge to fall into such a sorry state. The Kefalonia bridge has been closed to traffic for many years over safety fears but it was still open to pedestrians. After six years of political wrangling, the go-ahead was finally given for bridge restoration work to begin. The Argostoli bridge is variously called the De Bosset, the Drepano or the Devosetou bridge and it's a major Argostoli holiday attraction. The bridge Is a great place for fishing as well as an ideal venue for a romantic evening walk, with panoramic views of Argostoli. The British Army built the bridge in 1811-1813. It was first constructed of wood but the bridge carried so much traffic it was quickly rebuilt in stone. It is the longest stone bridge to be built over the sea with a length of about 900 metres. The Kefalonia bridge was named after a Swiss engineer Philip Charles-De Bosset, who was an officer in the English army. A marble obelisk was erected in the middle of the bridge to commemorate its British builders. Across the bridge from Argostoli lie English and Italian cemeteries as well as the Greek cemetery of the Monastery of Drapanos. The bridge was renovated between 1822 and in 1830 but suffered some bomb damage in World War Two. The earthquake of 1953 also caused sections of the bridge to sink and cracks to appear. Nevertheless the bridge survived as a Kefalonia holiday attraction and in 1970 it was declared national monument. But little has been done since then to preserve the Kefalonia bridge and it has gradually fallen into disrepair.

Kefalonia muslims at prayer
Open air prayers on Kefalonia

Open air prayers on Kefalonia. A strange sight for anyone on a late holiday break in Kefalonia would be a large group of muslims at prayer in the middle of an open field. But Pakistanis living in Kefalonia were forced out in the open when Kefalonia municipal authorities refused a request to provide a place to pray at the annual religious bairam festival recently. There are about 150 Pakistani immigrants living and working on the holiday island of Kefalonia. Pakistanis have been granted rooms in which to celebrate the religious bairam festival in places like Athens and Thessaloniki, so they thought it was just a formality for them to be given a civic room on Kefalonia. But when Kefalonia local authorities said 'no' they were forced to hold the prayer ceremony in an open field. The bairam was one of two religious bairam festivals celebrated by each year muslims. The lesser bairam is celebrated at the end of ramadan, at roughly the same time as the christian easter festival; this was the greater bairam, also called the 'feast of the sacrifices' which is celebrated 70 days later. Pakistanis on Kefalonia are annoyed at the rejection as they are all legal residents of Kefalonia, have houses, pay island taxes and can vote in local elections. The outdoor prayer meeting on Kefalonia was followed by a celebration and sharing characteristic highly coloured rice-sweets.

Kefalonia fish farm
Kefalonia fish farm protest

Locals want fidh farm plans put on hold. Plans to increase the number of fish farms on Kefalonia and Ithaca have come under fierce attack from islanders. They accuse regional officials of bulldozing through plans to allow vast fish farms to be built off the coasts of the holiday islands of Kefalonia and Ithaca. Kefalonians fear the islands could be turned into vast fish farms and holiday tourists could go elsewhere. Areas earmarked for fish farms lie off the Kefalonia coast to the south-east between Skala, Poros and Sami; in the bay opposite Argostoli harbour north of Lixouri and off the southern coast of Ithaca. The Regional Council is considering plans to allow offshore seas to be used for fish farming. But locals want the plans put on hold until there have been a full scientific, environmental and economic impact studies made. Locals fear tourists will turn away from Kefalonia as the natural beauty is lost. They fear beaches will be polluted by fish farm sediment and warn that fish farm expansion does not have the consent of the community. The Kefalonia Association of Tourist Accommodation has denounced the decision as "unacceptable and nasty power to decide for others our own fate without us." The Pronnoi Trade Association is also fighting the scheme. A spokesman said: "This decision removes any prospect of the tourism development between Poros and Sami, the most promising area in all the Ionian Islands". Anger is growing over apparent lack of consultation. The regional council is accused of trying to push through the scheme without local backing. Tourist leaders on Kefalonian are worried that, if the current schemes get the go ahead, it could open the floodgates for more fish farms.

Myrtos beach on Kefalonia
Kefalonia visitors

Drop in Kefalonia holiday visitors. UK holidaymakers are giving Kefalonia island the thumbs down, with 1,800 fewer tourists taking Kefalonia holidays last month. The drop in visitor numbers in Kefalonia comes despite a surge in UK visitors to other Greek holiday islands such as Rhodes and Kos. UK arrivals at Kefalonia airport in August totalled 21,730 compared to 23,611 in the same month last year, a drop of nearly 8%. Holiday Britons make up the lion's share of the Kefalonia holiday market with over 65% of tourists on the island flying in annually from the UK. Locals are foxed at why Kefalonia visitor numbers are falling at the same time as the popularity of Greek island holidays is on the rise. Rhodes expects 2011 to be a record year for tourism with a forecast 2.5 million visitors this year - up 28% on 2010. The Greek islands as a whole have seen a sharp rise in holiday arrivals with numbers up 12% on last year. Only Austria and the Netherlands are resisting the trend on Kefalonia with a small rise this year. But they only account for 3,543 visitors between them - a small fraction of UK holidaymakers. The drop in popularity for Kefalonia holidays is reflected in port authority figures. July 2011 ended with 10,433 fewer passengers than in 2010 and 2,773 fewer private cars. A Kefalonia tourist spokesman said: "The figures released by the Port Authority of Kefalonia just confirm what was visible to the naked eye. In July, it came to Greek visitors to our island, but the movement of Kefalonia from Athens and other areas were clearly reduced." "As to British tourists, they have the largest share in our tourism market, since it is the 65% of tourists who visit us. Thus, any tendency to decrease or increase in this market, and accordingly affect the overall result of the arrivals."

Robola wine from Kefalonia
Kefalonia wines

Everyone enjoys a few glasses of wine when on holiday and what better than to taste wine that has been grown in Greek Island vineyards. Kefalonia has a wine-making tradition dating back at least to Homer but this is an industry, and an island for that matter, that has suffered severe setbacks in modern history. Invasion, civil war and, most recently, the devastating earthquake of 1953 have al taken their toll on Kefalonia. But the earthquake was the biggest single event that cased the most damage. There were in fact four major tremors and the third basically levelled most of Kefalonia's buildings. Argostoli was basically flattened and only villages in the far north of the island, such as Fiskardo, survived intact. Of an estimated population of 125,000 only 25,000 stayed on the island. Those not killed in the earthquake simply left. Winemaking was among the first industries to recover, thanks Kefalonia's warm climate, natural geography and good soil diversity. Among the wineries that helped revive the ailing industry were Calligas Wines, which grew in the 1960's using native varieties. By the early 1970's Gentilini was making its mark in the wine world and in 1990 they were joined by Metaxas, again producing wines from local grape varieties. On Kefalonia today there are three appellations, Robola, Muscat and Mavrodaphne. The passion for winemaking has seen a resurgence in creating fine wines from local grape varieties. Robola of Kefalonia has a falvour that reminds the drinker of the higher slopes of Kefalonia where it is grown. Muscat of Kefalonia is a sweet, white wine that almost died out completely but is now experiencing a rebirth. Mavrodaphne of Kefalonia is another sweet red. Both the Muscat and Mavrodaphne are made in extremely small quantities. Kefalonia winemakers are also becoming more expert at wine blends. Other native white grape varieties that are used on Kefalonia include tsaoussi and zakynthiko. While on holiday in Kefalonia give the wineries a visit and get to know how good the wines are. Gentilini Winery has vineyards overlooking the Ionian Sea near the village of Minies. The winery is open for tours every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 5pm until sunset from June to September. The Metaxa Wine Estate is near Mavrata and produces exceptional Robola. The winery is open every day from 10am to 6pm, May to October. The Agroindustrial Coop of Robola Production of Kefalonia is located near the Monastery of Saint Gerassimos in the Omala valley 400 metres above sea level in the foothills of Mount Ainos. The winery is open all year round from 8am to 3pm and from June to September, 7pm to 8pm. Also pay a visit to the Foivos Winery for a complimentary tasting. The winery is in Vouni village on the Pali Peninsula and is open from April to October, Monday to Friday 11am to 1pm and 7pm to 8pm.