capital of Kefalonia where a large proportion of the island's
inhabitants live today. It is situated on a peninsular, it
is a busy working port with ferries,
ships coming and going all year round, a ferry connection
to Lixouri operates
several times a day. The town of Argostoli became the capital
of Kefalonia in 1757,
over the title
from the nearby St. Georgios Fortress. The British settled
in Kefalonia in 1809, and their rule played an important
in the island’s development.
sight of the town is the 650 metre causeway, the Drapano bridge
which straddles the natural west-coast harbor. It was constructed
by the English in 1813, in order to join Argostoli with the
opposite coast of the Koutavos Lagoon. The elegant arched bridge
is quite a feat of engineering, with no cement to hold its
together. On its middle bend, just off to the side is a small
of the bridge. The construction is based on several stone arrows,
4 meters from each other and placed along the bridge. British
rule in Kefalonia ended in 1864 following the union of the
Ionian islands with the rest of Greece.
I found driving along the bridge
quite an experience, it is very narrow and some parts of
the stone walls are missing, there is nothing to stop you
from driving over the edge, the crossing is even more difficult as local
fishermen stand on the bridge with their fishing rods casting
to avoid them and keeping an eye on oncoming traffic certainly
kept me very alert!
Unfortunately this experience will not longer be possible
as over the last few years due to its fragile condition and
bridge, vehicles are no longer permitted to use the bridge.
However, pedestrians are still allowed to cross and it is a
very pleasant walk in the evenings to the other side of the
Venetian buildings used to stand in the town, but they were
destroyed along with the entire town of Argostoli and almost
all the other towns and villages on the island in the devastating
earthquake of 1953. Although damaged the Drapano Bridge
did survive, however, after the earthquake its stone arches
Originally boatmen were able to row under the bridge between
the arches that
now just skim the surface of the lagoon.
town was rebuilt with the help
traditional "venetian" style buildings, instead
simple Ionian architectural appeared. The architecture
compensated by an attractive waterfront which features
a colourful fruit
market and wonderful
views across the lagoon, St. Georgios Castle and Mount
Aenos can also be seen in the distance.
Argostoli has some very
fine tavernas and restaurants, the evening
is the best time to visit. If you look
you will be able to find tavernas in and around Argostoli
and the rest of the island that still have traditional Greek
town does seem to have a different atmosphere at night,
especially with the main square Valianou coming
alive, but with a very relaxed feel to it.
The waterfront at night
with hundreds of lights reflected on the calm Koutavos
2019 update: The earthquakes that shook the Island in 2014 also damaged the Argostoli harbour area with cracks and buckled concrete appearing all along the boat moorings. It had been five years since I had witnessed the damage here. So, I was very pleased to see that all the concrete along the harbour has been removed and is being replaced by new paving (still to be completed). Although while I was there it appeared to me that it was being done quite rapidly without delay. The Drapano bridge has also been completely repaved and the damaged walls to the bridge repaired or replaced, street lighting has also been installed all along the bridge. Many major changes have been made to Plateia Valianou (Vallianos Square) in the centre of the town. It has been completely refurbished and repaved along with the street leading to the square being pedestrianised with new restaurants and bars lining the street and square.