Kefalonia is the largest and most mountainous island in the Ionian and the third most populous after Corfu and Zakynthos. The size of the island is ca. 781 km2 (300 mi2), and the present population about 34,488 residents. On the island there is Mount Aenos or Ainos, the tallest mountain in the Ioanian island of Cephallonia, Greece, with an elevation of 1,628 metres and is one of the ten national parks of Greece. Ainos is covered with Greek fir (Abies cephalonica) one of three species of fir found in Greece and is endemic in our country.
Among important natural features are the caves of the island, as it is a region with many scattered caves, most of them being concentrated in the area of Sami such as Melissani Cave, Agkalaki, St. Theodora, Zervati, the Drogarati Cave, the Sakkos Cave etc. Due to the number and diversity of caves, the area has been proposed for the creation speleological park.
The island is famous for its beautiful coastline, with the beach of Myrtos being the main natural attraction. The Myrtos beach on the northwestern side of the island has been voted 11 times as the best Greek beach according to the annual poll of the Ministry of Environment. Moreover, has been repeatedly, described as the most beautiful beach in the Mediterranean and has been included in the list of most beautiful beaches in the world. The beaches of Petani and Platia Ammos, Makris Gialos, Antisamos, Trapezaki and Lourdas are still some of the most famous and beautiful beaches of the island.
Many monasteries and churches that can be visited in Kefalonia. The monastery of St. Andrew Miliapidias, located in the municipality of Leivathos is dedicated to the patron saint of the island St. Gerasimos. In this monastery a comic incident has happened, during Holy Thursday where a “Kefalonian” drunken priest, reading wisely, counted 13 Gospels (instead of 12).
Of particular “religious” interest is the appearance of snakes in mid-August in the areas of Arginia and Markopoulo in the municipality of Eliou – Pronnoi. The tradition wants the snakes appearing only these days thanks to Virgin Mary. People from these two areas gather those harmless snakes and offer them to believers to touch and their churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
More information about Kefalonia here.