Resort Guide to Lixouri Kefalonia
Lixouri is often referred to as the second city of Kefalonia and is the second largest town in terms of population size after Argostoli, with approximately 3000 inhabitants living there. Many people prefer it to Argostoli because it offers most of the same facilities and services but is just that little bit quieter. It is the Paliki Peninsula capital town and has gained a reputation as being one of the friendliest and most interesting places on the island. Other villages and resorts boast better beaches and more attractive buildings, but Lixouri is famous for the charm of the locals that live there and the entertainment they provide. That’s not to say the area is not attractive. Though not blessed with the awesome cliffs, lush valleys and spectacular beaches of other parts of the island the Paliki Peninsula is elegantly beautiful in its own way, offering a flatter, gentler landscape packed with farmland, olive groves, vineyards on gentle hills and long stretches of fruit groves.
What Lixouri does offer is a wealth of attractions that are worth visiting whether you are staying there or in another resort. This does mean it can get very busy, particularly around the harbor area and waterfront in the height of summer, as lots of people arrive from and depart for Argostoli via the ferries that leave every twenty minutes. You’ll also see a lot of people stopping to admire all the statues placed around the town, each depicting famous figures from the island’s history, from freedom fighter Georgios Typaldos Iavokatos to the Bishop of Kerkini Illias Miniatis and local benefactor Kalavrita Stamos Petritis. The most famous bronze of all is that of Andreas Laskaratos the island’s most famous satirical poet. His statue was strategically placed out on the town quay with his back purposely turned towards Argostoli to represent the long running feud between the towns that dates back to 1757 when the capital was moved by the Venetians to Argostoli. That was not something went down well with the good people of Lixouri and they have held a grudge ever since. Another historical must-see is the resored mansion building of Typaldos-Iakovatos, one of the only Venetian buildings in the town to survive the earthquake. Restored in the 1980’s by the Greek Ministry of Culture the building now houses the Lixouri Public Library and the excellent Typaldos-Iakovatos Museum and is decorated inside with intricate wood panel ceilings and frescoes and contains a fantastic collection of ancient manuscript gospels, icons and furniture.
For those who want to get out and about around Lixouri car hire is a must. Hiring your own car allows you to head out and see some of the fantastic beaches nearby, often deserted and all beautiful. Particular highlights include the beaches at Xi, Lepedes, Petani and Mega Lakkos all of which are great for swimming, and are un-crowded and sandy. Additionally you can drive between Lixouri and Argostoli along one of the most scenic routes on the island, following a flat road until Livadi where you climb upwards on an exhilarating cliff road with wonderful panoramic views across the island. If you get time it is also worth visiting the Katavothres pits where thousands of gallons of sea-water disappear into the earth (only to resurface at the Melissani Lakes.)
Whether you’re staying there (and it is a great place to stay) or just visiting, make some time for Lixouri, if only to take the ferry between there and Argostoli. A tour of the local attractions followed by dinner along Lixouri waterfront and then a night ferry back under a wide bright moon (with the town lights shimmering on shore) is the quintessential Kefalonia experience. Make sure you try it.