Fiscardo

The beautiful harbour village of Fiskardo is the most northern town on the island and is a favourite not only with holiday makers but with the yachting flotillas that visit this pretty quaint village. 1975 saw Fiskardo and the surrounding forests declared areas of great natural beauty and are protected under Greek law. Pastel coloured Venetian buildings and enchanting old fishermen’s houses sit proudly around the harbour where you can take a break and enjoy a cool drink at one of the many tavernas that overlook the water. Backing a tree-lined bay with spectacular seascapes across to Ithaca, this striking place largely escaped the 1953 earthquake, so its majestic Venetian houses stand intact, festooned with bougainvillea cascades.

 

It’s a great place to people watch, or simply observe the fishermen preparing their nets for the next trip. Fiskardo has a busy waterfront and rows of boats are tied along the L shaped waterfront running parallel with the shaded restaurants that line quay all the way along.
The port serves ferry routes to the islands of Ithaca with the port of Frikes and Lefkada.
Fiskardo is also a popular port of call for the rich and famous. Madonna, Tom Hanks, and Steven Spielberg have visited here. Recent years has seen this destination raising its’ prices and does seem to be more expensive than the rest of the island, some visitors have said they do not mind paying a little extra due to the surroundings and the view.
It is a tourist trap and can become very busy in the summer months. It’s advisable to book a restaurant table if you want to eat out in the evening.
There are an abundance of gift shops and tavernas, some are well hidden in the small back streets. The village allies and back streets are crammed with gift shops, bakers and coffee shops. You can wander through the narrow streets lined with traditional 18th century houses, with tiled roofs and tiny balconies entwined with grape vines, it is a very pretty place. Decades ago Fiscardo was pretty deserted with most buildings in disrepair with a local population of around 35 residents scraping for a living. Fiscardos’ own natural beauty has been the reason why it’s so popular with visitors. Owing to its’ location and idealic surroundings Fiscardo has blossomed into a beautiful place. The village sits on a coast peppered with scenic coves kissed by a crystal topaz sea. The woodland reaches to the waters’ edge where the vivid greenery meets the bluest of water.

 

From the middle of the harbour, steps lead up to the Church of Panagia Platiteras, this is the only church in Fiscardo and houses icons from the 1600s. Luckily this area did not suffer too much in the 1953 earthquake that tragically razed the rest of Kefalonia. A number of ruins and sites of historical importance have been unearthed in the Fiscardo area which isn’t unexpected given its geographical location and the fact that its harbour has attracted many adventurers over the years. The majority of these discoveries relate to the Roman period, when Kefalonia was under Roman occupation. In April 2007 roman era theatre and tomb had been discovered in Fiscardo. The tomb was complete with potterywear, jewels and bronze offerings. There is also a roman graveyard on the waters’ edge, near to the Panoromos taverna this was found in 1993.

 

Opposite the main harbour is the Lighthouse of Cape Fiskardo. This lighthouse ceased working in 1892 ,this old Venetian lighthouse from the 16th century, which looks like the shape of a greek column. After the earthquake of 1953 the old lighthouse was abandoned and a new one was built with a square tower, It is very unusual in Greece to have two lighthouses in one location. The Natural and Environmental Museum is worth a visit and located at the harbour. The museum opened in 2012 and has collections of old photographs, artefacts and implements helping to give the visitor an insight to life in Fiscardo in times gone by. Electricity didn’t arrive in the village until the mid seventies!. Fiscardo is a great place for diving and there is a diving school in the village for expert tuition. The waters around Fiscardo are crystal clear with visibility up to 40m You can also hire a motor boat and explore the coastline and coves by day. There are a handful of companies to choose from.

In the waters between Fiskardo and the nearby island of Ithaca the Mediterranean Seal (Monachus monachus) can be found, these take refuge in sea-caves and live on fish and octopuses. The female seal normally gives birth to just one pup.

If you like sailing or fancy seeing some of the lovely little coves that are dotted around the area then you can hire a small boat.
A great day out can be had in Fiskardo and daily buses run from Argostoli to Fiskardo. These leave in the early morning and return late afternoon.
If you want to combine the harbourside setting with the added bonus of a visit to a beach try a stroll round the headland to the small beach. Fiscardo has its’ own small beach which is great for a dip or a cooling swim but due to size it may get too busy in high season for some.
Other beaches in the area are;
Emblisi, Foki, Dafnoudi, Alaties and Aghia Jerusalem.