The historic harbour village of Fiskardo (sometimes spelt Fiscardo) is one of the most beautiful – and popular – parts of Kefalonia. Situated at the northern tip of the island, it’s undeniably one of the highlights of any trip to this unique Greek island. Wondering if it’s the right place for you? Read on.
WHAT IS FISKARDO LIKE?
Fiskardo is the only part of Kefalonia that retains much of its original Venetian architecture, making it a really special place on the island to visit. A lot of the island’s buildings were destroyed in the earthquake of 1953, as featured in the film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
Not so on Fiskardo, which largely escaped the earthquake damage – as did a few villages on the neighbouring island of Ithaca. Of course, this makes Fiskardo an understandably popular spot for tourists. And it’s not just an excursion highlight for package tourists, but Fiskardo is one of the most popular places in the Ionian for visiting yachts thanks to its natural harbour. Its winding waterfront is lined with luxury boats, upmarket seafood restaurants, and is home to some of the priciest real estate in all of Greece thanks to the patronage of the rich and the famous who drop by on the megayachts.
If you’re looking for a quiet place with an authentic Greek feel then Fiskardo is probably not for you – it’s well-manicured, it’s cosmopolitan, it’s busy, and it’s posh. So posh. Think wine menus, classical music, and well-ironed polo shirts. I was a bit worried it would feel Disneyfied (and it does, a bit) but actually I loved it. It’s laid-back rather than snooty.
It’s just very beautiful and full of life. Do be careful on the roads around Fiskardo at night as it attracts both locals and tourists from other parts of the island for its lively nightlife (don’t expect big clubs though, it’s more of a late-night bar scene).
It also gets very busy at lunchtime as there are a number of day trip boats from both Kefalonia and nearby Lefkada which arrive at a similar time.
WHERE TO STAY IN FISKARDO?
Most people visit Fiskardo on a day trip or on their boat, but it’s also a pretty nice place to stay – as long as you don’t mind the prices and the crowds.
Archontiko – the beautiful building pictured above, with rose-coloured walls and blue shutters – overlooks the harbour and has fresh and simple rooms with great views. – Check the prices and reviews on Booking.com.
Emelisse Nature Resort is where you’ll find luxury in Fiskardo, with an emphasis on wellness and peaceful natural surroundings of pine, cedar and lavender. It’s a short drive/taxi from Fiskardo and has a spa, a fitness centre, and is close to Emplisi beach. – Check the prices and reviews on Booking.com.
For more suggestions on accommodation see Where to Stay on Kefalonia – Ultimate Beach Resort Guide.
WHAT ARE THE BEST BEACHES NEAR FISKARDO?
There are a few small beaches at either end of Fiskardo Town, more appropriate for a quick dip at the end of a hot day than all-day sunbathing. But you don’t have to travel far along the coast in either direction to hit some beautiful pebble coves with crystal clear water for swimming (click for Google Maps locations):
The famous Myrtos beach is also in the north of Kefalonia, approximately 40 minutes away.
WHAT TO DO IN FISKARDO?
Fiskardo is prime people-watching territory, the best thing to do is while away the hours at cafes and restaurants and watch the world go by. There are also some bijou little boutiques for shopaholics, and plenty of gelato.
But being in Kefalonia is all about the coastline. The best way to explore the best little beaches and coves in the surrounding coastline is to rent a boat. No license or experience is needed for a small boat – the hire companies will give you instructions – and you can travel up to 3 nautical miles. It’s even possible to get over to Ithaca depending on the weather conditions.
Rather someone else was in charge? Take a trip on a traditional wooden caique boat with Ionian Discoveries.
Despite the proximity of neighbouring island of Ithaca, it’s difficult to get over for a day trip unless you’re prepared to charter a boat for the day or take a hire car over on the ferry from Sami.
Don’t miss the chance to sample a glass or several of robola, Kefalonia’s delicious white wine. Head to Panorama for sunset cocktails and then pick up a pitta gyros at Lagoudera Grillhouse or eat at one of the seafood restaurants along the harbour.
HOW TO GET TO FISKARDO
Fiskardo is on the very northern tip of Kefalonia.
From Kefalonia airport: 1 hr 25 minutes drive
From Argostoli: 1hr 10 minutes drive
From Agia Efimia: 45 minutes drive
From Sami: 1 hr drive
From Assos: 35 minutes drive
By Bus: See KTEL Kefalonia for public bus services from Argostoli to Fiskardo.
Kefalonia International Airport (Anna Pollatou) is served by both domestic and international budget airlines – check Skyscanner for deals.
There is also a ferry service that runs between Fiskardo and Nydri on the neighbouring island of Lefkada – see West Ferry for information.
Fiskardo has a busy marina – see Marine Reservation for further info.
EXCURSIONS TO FISKARDO
From Argostoli/Lassi: see KCG Travel
From Argostoli/Skala: see Kefalonia Excursions
From Lassi/Skala/Katelios: see Panem Tours
From Skala: see Captain Vangelis Boat Tours
From Agia Efimia/Sami/Karavomilos: see Avgerinos Travel Experience
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