Katelios was originally a fishing village and a couple of boats still work from here today. Development of tourist’s accommodation has seen the village gradually grow into a holiday destination Most of the holiday accommodation is set back from the beach area into the valley behind. This Kato Katelios is a friendly and relaxing resort with a laid back approach to life. Many people choose to revisit Katelios and it has built up a loyal following over the years. Katelios is in the south east of the island and is one of the southernmost villages of Kefalonia.
Located in a large, flat plain between the villages of Hionata, Mavrata, Markopoulo and Ratzakli, Katelios looks across the water to the nearby island of Zante and also over to the Greek mainland. Surrounded by fertile agricultural land and rocky hills. Katelios is divided into two parts, lower (Kato) and upper (Ano) Ano Katelios, is a picturesque village of natural beauty , and is where most of the small resident population lives . It sits on the lower part of the valley coming down from Pastra, and has a river passing through its centre. This river is unique in Kefalonia for the fact that it has natural water flowing throughout the whole year. The surrounding areas have some of the island’s most dramatic beaches which attracts people wanting a largely beach based holiday. Katelios has its roots as a fishing village of Kefalonia with a great maritime tradition.
Katelios is located in a rural part of the island so nature lovers, walkers and bird watchers will be spoilt with the abundance of nature, which encases this part of the island. Until recent years the village used to house just fishermen’s cottages and huts, some of which are still inhabitedincludes small hotels, rooms to rent and apartments.
The village has a handful of shops and several tavernas. For a relaxing away from it all beach based holiday it seems to have the right ingredients. Days can be spent relaxing on the two natural and uncomercialised beaches, whilst evenings can be spent mixing with the locals in the local tavernas and fish restaurants, so Katelios holiday nightlife is largely restricted to good Greek-style tavernas serving mostly Greek food, and a few bars.
Katelios is a quiet resort, however it has become popular with families and couples of all ages. It attracts people however doesn’t feel busy or bustling, and has an uncomercialised feel. Along the waterfront there is a selection of tavernas serving food all day, these are a great place to sit and watch the world go by.
The beach at Katelios is safe for children. It gently slopes gradually and rarely has waves to speak of. Out to sea you can view the Karavopetra (karavi=ship, petra=rock), this is aand it rock in the shape of a boat sits perched on a reef just outside the pier of Katelios. Local tradition holds that this stone is all that remains of an ancient port that was constructed and used by the Venetians.
There is evidence that Katelios was a port and trading center way back in the Venetian period, witnessed by the remains of an old pier or mole in the bay.
There are Roman remains just behind the main Aghia Barbara beach which points to the fact there was a settlement in Katelios over 2000 years ago.
Some of the villagers are permanent residents and see the winter through here too. On the island a number of islanders do not spend the winter months here, but spend them abroad or on the mainland. Once a fishing village, like so many other places on the island it now mainly thrives on tourism for the bulk of its income.
Katelios is also home to a group called ‘The Katelios Group’ this is a local NGO that seeks to research and protect the population of sea Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) and their habitats on the island of Kefalonia. The Katelios Group is involved also with other activities, such as teaching tourist children and local children the importance of the environment.
In spring local schools are invited to the Environmental Center. In the summer months an environmental festival is held in Katelios.
The Katelios Group hopes to promote the concept of sustainable development through programs of environmental awareness raising.
Recent History In WW2 a British submarine the HMS Perseus sank between Katelios and the neighbouring island of Zakynthos after striking a mine. There was sadly only one survivor named John Capes. Fishermen from Mavrata rescued this soul and sheltered him from occupying forces.
The 1953 Earthquake destroyed nearly every village on the island and Kato and Ano Katelios were not sparred, they have since been rebuilt and the remains of an old church bell-tower can be found in Ano Katelios.