Fiskardo village in Kefalonia, one of the most beautiful Greek islands in the Ionian sea, is so beautiful that the Greek government has declared the region as having “great natural beauty”. That means that Fiskardo is under government protection to remain gorgeous. That alone should say a lot about why going to Fiskardo is a must!
This amazingly picturesque village has an iconic architecture with strong Venetian influences and is right at the coast of a gorgeous bay. Lush, verdant hills surround it with cypress and olive trees so dense they may as well be called a forest!
If you are at Kefalonia, traveling to the northern tip of the island to get to Fiskardo is going to be an unforgettable experience full of beauty and history. To make the most of your visit to Fiskardo, here is everything you need to know:
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- Brief history of Fiskardo
- How to get to Fiskardo
- Where to Stay in Fiskardo
- What to see and do in Fiskardo, Kefalonia
- Where to eat in Fiskardo, Kefalonia
Brief history of Fiskardo
Fiskardo’s earliest mentions are by the ancient historian Herodotus in the 5th century BC. At the time it had the name Panormos, as attested to by a plaque found in relevant excavations. The town was continually inhabited well into Roman times.
In the Byzantine era, Fiscardo was a point of contention between Byzantines and Normans who kept invading. The most significant invasion took place in 1084 AD by Robert Guiscard. Guiscard was the founder of the Kingdom of Sicily and had the title of Duke of Apulia and Calabria. That’s when the village was named Fiskardo and remained so ever since.
The multiple raids and constant danger from pirates delayed significant development until the 18th century when Fiskardo became the commercial harbor of the area.
Thanks to the fact that the great 1953 earthquake that ravaged Kefalonia left Fiskardo untouched, it is one of the few villages of Kefalonia that has kept its original Venetian buildings.
Fiskardo was also where Nikos Kavvadias, a great Greek poet and writer, lived.
You might also be interested in my other Kefalonia guides:
Things to do in Kefalonia
The most beautiful villages and towns in Kefalonia
A Guide to Assos, Kefalonia.
Where to stay in Kefalonia
Caves of Kefalonia
A Guide To Myrtos Beach in Kefalonia
The best beaches in Kefalonia
How to get to Fiskardo
You can go to Fiskardo by car or bus. It is roughly a 1-hour drive from Argostoli, the capital town of Kefalonia. If you happen to be at Nydri in Lefkada island, you can also get a boat ride to Fiskardo from there.
There are also excursions to Fiskardo that you can take, acting like guided tours and affording you a day to quickly experience what you can of the village.
Where to Stay in Fiskardo
Fiscardo Bay Hotel – Surrounded by trees with the waterfront visible across the terracotta-tiled rooftops, Fiskardo Bay Hotel enjoys a quiet location with tavernas, shops, and bars a short walk away. It has a pool with a wooden sun deck and stylish spacious rooms.
Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.
Emelisse Nature Resort – Thanks to its cliff-top location, Emelisse Nature Resort enjoys stunning views of the sea but also of nature since it’s surrounded by trees with mountains behind. The rooms are light and airy and feature extra touches of sophistication such as Nespresso machines.
Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.
What to see and do in Fiskardo, Kefalonia
Lose yourself in Fiskardo’s picturesque streets that maintain their Venetian charm. Discover little nooks and corners that look as if taken from a picture book. Since it is one of the few, if not the only, village that escaped the 1953 earthquake, consider exploring it as a living museum of the iconic Ionian architecture of the Venetian era.
Walk along Fiskardo bay
Fiskardo is a very cosmopolitan village. Locals and tourists go there for the fine dining and the vibrant nightlife. It is also the connection to Lefkada and Astakos island.
Therefore, when you walk along the port and seafront you will see yachts and luxurious vessels lining it, while on the other side there are several cafés, clubs, and restaurants. The beautiful Venetian houses with their pastel colors make the waters of the bay glisten with various hues.
Take a walk there and enjoy the diverse tableau, the calm sounds of the sea, and the vibrant sense of life.
Visit the archaeological sites
Not many come to Fiskardo for the history, though they should as there is lush history to be discovered with just a few hikes or strolls around the area.
Walk the Lighthouse Trail: At the northern part of Fiskardo, start on the path by the Venetian lighthouse and keeper’s cottage, dating from the 16th century. Then go on ahead to find the ruins of an ancient, early Christian Basilica dating from the 6th century. Throughout the trail, you will be treated to great views of the area, ruins of windmills, various farms, and Ithaca island looming on the horizon. The Basilica is considered to have been one of the oldest and largest churches of the Ionian islands.
Walk the Tselentata Trail: Very near Fiskardo proper, you will find the old Tselentata settlement. Currently, it is inhabited by only a handful of people but in the 1900s was a robust little village. It is now overgrown with lush vegetation and bougainvilleas. Find the beautiful church of Aghios Gerasimos, built in the 18th century with materials imported from France.
Continue on the path past the Spiliovouno settlement where you can have a look at an old oil press, to find the “rock-roofed caves”. Here there are significant traces of very ancient settlements and even parts of Cyclopean walls nearby. Ancient Greeks worshipped Pan and the Nymphs in these beautiful caves. Continue on and you will find yourself back at Fiskardo.
Hit the beaches in Fiskardo
There are two gorgeous beaches to visit near Fiskardo.
Foki beach is in a little cove, so it is protected from the elements. Foki got its name from the popularity it has with Monachus Monachus seals. If you are lucky they might be paying a visit at the same time as you!
With a lush deep blue that fades into a brilliant azure that becomes emerald when the light is just right, Foki beach’s waters are irresistible. The beach itself is pebbly and surrounded by a stunningly verdant forest that reaches out almost to the waters! That means there will be naturally shaded areas for you to take refuge from the sun.
The waters are comfortably shallow which makes this beach perfect for families. Swim to the edge of the little cove to find a cave if you feel like exploring!
You can reach Foki beach on foot from Fiskardo.
Emplisi beach is also very near Fiskardo and is considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. The waters are gorgeous emerald or sapphire depending on the day. But for the lush olive and cypress trees embracing the beach, you could have thought you were somewhere in the Caribbean!
The beach is pebbly with characteristic white pebbles. The waters here aren’t as shallow as in Foki, so make sure you keep children supervised. They are, however, so crystal-clear that you can easily see the seafloor even halfway in the bay. The beach is not organized, so make sure you bring your own necessities to enjoy your swim and take in the raw authenticity of the scenery.
Take a ride in a Greek wooden “kaiki”
A “kaiki” is a traditional Greek wooden boat, usually used for fishing. Greek kaikia are beautiful and a staple of sea-faring Greek heritage.
At Fiskardo you can hire one to take you on a ride-along Fiskardo’s gorgeous coast. Discover inaccessible little beaches, go snorkeling and find beautiful samples of marine life, and swim in the beautiful clear waters.
Where to eat in Fiskardo, Kefalonia
Odysseas’ Taverna: This little taverna is at a calm, perfect spot near the beach to offer you great views. At its yard, there is a huge fig tree that offers ample shade. The food is delicious, mainly Greek and Mediterranean cuisine cooked in a traditional, wholesome manner. The great service and the good food will make you return again and again!
FAQ About the Village of Fiskardo
From Fiskardo you can walk to the beautiful Foki beach and nearby you can also find Emplisi beach.
Fiskardo is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Kefalonia as it has retained the Venetian architecture from the earthquakes. It is a lively coastal town with lovely restaurants and cafes and beautiful beaches.
I would say that Fiskardo along with the nearby village of Assos are the most beautiful places to see in Kefalonia.