Resort Guide to Assos Kefalonia
If you were to conjure up a picture of the archetypal sleepy Mediterranean Greek village featuring untouched villages and houses that have seen little change over the last couple of centuries then you might well picture Assos. Assos is the ideal destination for those holidaymakers who really want to get away from it all. With that in mind it is worth pointing out that like a couple of other resorts, car hire is an absolute must if you are going to stay in Assos. However, if you do choose to do that and to hire a car, you will be rewarded with perhaps the most charming, relaxing and welcoming village in the whole of Kefalonia, if not all of the Greek Islands.
The impression of Assos as an untouched Greek village starts on the approach road into the village. An exhilarating ride of endless hairpin bends and fantastic views leads you from the road along the cliff top to the delightful and romantic village of Assos waiting for you at the bottom. From the moment you enter Assos you get the sense of a place that is lost in time, from the small square at its center with the local restaurants and tavernas to the multi-colored fishing boats of all shapes and sizes bobbing up and down in the harbor (and the odd luxury yacht too). As with most places the bulk of the original architecture was damaged by war and earthquake, but in Assos most of the Venetian architecture can still be seen in ruins dotted around the village which only adds to the timeless feel of the place, sitting as it does amongst the gorgeous colored houses nestled into the hillsides and around the bay. This secluded village is the very definition of romantic, from the horse-shoe shaped harbor to the surrounding dramatic coastline with its waves crashing onto white rocks and hills covered from head to toe in lush forests of pine and cypress – all topped off with the ruins of an old Venetian fortress sitting on high above the peninsula. That old fortress, Assos Castle, was originally built in 1584 and represented one of the largest and most imposing landmarks on the whole island. Nowadays there are enough remains to get a good idea of the original scale of the castle, and they also offer spectacular views from an incredibly beautiful spot. The trip is best made early in the morning or in the cooler part of the afternoon as it is a long and winding track to get there.
Other sights worth seeing include the assorted beautiful Venetian ruins (but be careful, some are in a very poor state) and the various churches located nearby. These include the Church of the Virgin Mary that sits approximately half way up the fortress road (and which provides a fantastic resting place en route to stop and take in the views of the harbor and countryside); the Church of Asios Giorgios, painted in a light pink color and built in 1871, only a few hundred yards from the village square and the Madonna of the Sand, which sits right on the beach. Additionally you will no doubt spend countless hours ambling around the village itself and taking in the locals themselves, many of who will stop and chat, as well as sights along the waterfront such as the old cannon and the war memorial.
However Assos is really the perfect resort for those who want to get off the beaten track and indulge their passion for hiking and biking, photography and bird-watching, and generally just slowing down for a couple of weeks in beautiful, natural surroundings. The smell of the fields and herbs, flowers and olive groves all around you, combined with the constant crashing of waves against the cliffs, will soothe your soul and reinvigorate your life. And should you want to get away for a day and stock up on supplies or just have an evening out, then the capital city of Aggostoli is only about 4o minutes away in the car. Chances are, however, that you will find all you need in the small shops, small restaurants, charming beaches and clear waters of this charming Kefalonia village and harbor.