Lixouri (Greek, Ληξούρι)
Lixouri is the main town on the Paliki peninsula, and also Kefalonia’s second largest town. It lies opposite Argostoli and Lassi The town is affectionately known as Little Paris to the local people. Lixouri is famous not for its’ prettiness but for its’ people, considered as friendly, fun loving, music loving, big hearted and original. Completely detroyed by the Earthquale in 1953 it like it’s neighbour Argostoli had to be rebuilt. The town also suffered from damage in the 2014 Earthquake.
The Paliki peninsula is lower and much flatter than the rest of the island with gentle hills and clay soil which makes for excellent farming. This area produces vast amounts of grain, olive oil, wine and vegetables. Surrounded by mountains, Lixouri is centered by a stunning lively harbour, with boats and people enjoying the views and desirable port. A river divides the town in two and the two parts are linked with small bridges. Lixouri is an attractive town with wide streets and small squares. The town has the usual facilities of Banks, a Post Office, shops, restaurants and tavernas. The main square in Lixouri, the Platia Petritsi located just up from the waterfront and is surrounded on three sides by Cafes, bars and small tavernas . Dominating the centre of the square sit an enormous tree.
The waterfront and harbour area can be busy especially in the summer months with tourists and locals using the two ferry boats which transport all types of vehicles and people on foot over to Argostoli, a journey of 20 minutes or so. The ferries are every half an hour in high season and seem to pass each other midway. They are reasonably priced and very reliable with English speaking crew.
The ferries work from early in the morning through to late in the evening, so transportation shouldn’t be a problem to you. Both towns look impressive in the darkness from the water with their lights shining brightly, shimmering on the rippling water.
To travel to Argostoli over land would take around an hour. The route is very scenic and flat until you reach the livadi area then you have to climb up to the cliff road, this route gives you some great panoramic. views across the whole region.
Most of Lixouri was destroyed by the earthquake of 1953, it has since been rebuilt with wide streets, spacious squares and many sights worth seeing. The restored mansion of Typaldos – Iakovatos, is one of the few buildings that survived the earthquake. From 1982 to 1984 the Ministry of Culture restored the building. Today it houses the Public Library of Lixouri and the Typaldos-Iakovatos Museum. Inside you can admire the wood paneled ceilings and see the collection of old manuscript gospels, furniture and portable icons. The surrounding property is used for outdoor programs and performances.
If you fancy sightseeing around the two main towns of the island then this can be done in a day. You could visit the main attractions in Argostoli, have a spot of lunch in one of the many tavernas then hop onto the ferry and carry on your explorations in Lixouri, followed by evening dinner along the waterfront.
The people of Lixouri are known for their love of music, with the Philharmonic school of Pali, based here, being one of the oldest and most important in Greece. They are also famous for their marching bands.
Festivals are organized on the lively main square which is surrounded by various cafes, taverns, bars.
The town offers accommodation, and if you wish to stay in a town environment and find Argostoli is too chaotic then Lixouri may be the quieter option.
As you wander through the town you will see statues of eminent local figures in the town, such as the poet Andreas Laskaratos, the freedom-fighter Georgios Typaldos-Iakovatos, IIias Miniatis, Bishop of Kerkini and Kalavrita and Stamos Petritis, a doctor and local benefactor.
The famous bronze statue of satirical poet Andreas Laskaratos stands proudly on the quay, posing with his back turned towards Argostoli and the rest of Kefalonia, a sign of the two towns’ feud. This dates back to 1757 when the Venetians moved the capital of the island which was St Georges castle to Argostoli which was back then just a small port. Lixouri locals saw this move as an insult to their town as Lixouri was developing strongly at the time.
The Iakovatios Library is located on the western outskirts of Lixouri and is housed in the renovated pre-earthquake mansion belonging to the Typaldi-Iakovatos family. It was restored in 1984. It consists of 14 rooms with wood-panelled ceilings, which are a feature of aristocratic houses, as are the 30,000 books, of which one fifth are 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th century editions.
Although being a town good beaches can be found quite close by. A car /bike is an advantage in order to make getting around easier. You can find the beaches of Mega Lakkos, Lepeda and Xi which are all safe, sandy and great for a swim. For more information on these beaches see the beach guide.