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Kefalonia Practical info


General Info

CLIMATE
The Ionian Islands enjoy a typical Mediterranean climate. Kefalonia has long, hot summers, with abundant sunshine and temperatures that reach up to 35 degrees. There are only a few rains during summer months and the nights are somewhat cooler. The islands on this part of Greece do not experience the famous “meltemia”, summer winds, very usual in the Aegean. Thus, the temperature does not considerably vary. However, there are beaches, especially on the northwestern side of the island that experience extremely strong winds and underwater streams that require attention in swimming. A good example is the famous beach of Myrtos.  

Spring and fall are certainly the ideal months for sightseeing and walking, since temperatures vary between 15 and 20 degrees, facilitating any kind of sports and even swimming. The winters are mild, with temperatures that won’t drop below 9 degrees. The heavy rainfalls, the high humidity and the gentle winds are responsible for the lush green landscape of Kefalonia.  

TELEPHONE
The national prefix for Greece is +30 if you are calling from abroad.
The area codes for Kefalonia are 26710 (for Lixouri and Argostoli) and 26740 (for Sami and Fiscardo) and the local phone numbers have 5 digits. If you want to place a call to another country, you have to start by dialing this country’s national prefix (i.e. for Germany is 0049, for England is 0044, etc.) and then continue with the desired area code and number.  

CURRENCY
The currency used is Euro (€). Euro Coins: 1 and 2 euro coins (golden and silver color) 10, 20 and 50 cents (golden color) 1, 2 and 5 cents (copper color) 1 euro = 100 cents/centimes. The banknotes come in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. Please bear in mind that it’s not easy to get change from the 100, 200 and 500 banknotes.


Getting there

BY AIR
The airport is located 9 kilometers off the island’s capital, Argostoli. There are daily flights between Athens and Kefalonia throughout the year, as well as numerous charter flights between the island and major European cities during the summer months. Additionally, during the summer there are flights between Kefalonia and other cities in Greece. The airport can be easily accessed either by private cars or by bus and taxi.

Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos www.aia.gr

Olympic Air: For accurate timetable and ticket costs visit Olympic Air website www.olympicair.com
Tel.: 801 801 0101/+30 210 3550500
Kefalonia Office Tel.:  +30 26710 28808, +30 26710 28881

BY CAR
If you choose to visit Kefalonia with your car, you have three choices. You can drive to Patras (216 km), Kyllini, trip lasts about 3 and a half hours, or Astakos in Aitoloakarnania. Patras, Kyllini and Astakos can be accessed via the Athens-Patras National Highway, if you are travelling from Peloponnese, Athens or east-central Greece. If you are driving from northern Greece you need to take Egnatia Odos towards Igoumenitsa and then drive southwards.  

If you are driving through the Athens-Patras highway and you want to take the ferry from Astakos, you need to pass the bridge of Rio-Antirio and continue through Mesologgi towards Astakos.

Once you reach Patras, Kyllini or Astakos you take the ferry to Kefalonia. The journey’s time depends on the departure point. For more details, please see the dedicated section for boat routes and timetables below.

BY BUS (KTEL)
There are daily departures from Athens to Kefalonia, from Kifissos Terminal Station in Athens. The bus will go from Athens to Kefalonia (through Kyllini or Patras) and will reach its final destination, Argostoli, within about 6,5 hours. Kefalonia features the ports of Sami, Poros or Argostoli.

KTEL information in Athens - 100 Kifissos Avenue, +30 210 5129498
Argostoli Bus Station – Downtown, +30 26710 22281
For more information, please visit www.ktel.org  

BY BOAT
There are daily boat connections between Kefalonia, Peloponnese and the district of Sterea Ellada.  

  • From Astakos region, Sterea Ellada

There are daily boat routes from Astakos to the port of Sami in Kefalonia that last approximately 2,5 hours.
For accurate timetable and ticket costs call here:
Kefalonia Port:+30 26710  91280
Port Authorities of Astakos: +30 26460 41052.      

  • From Patras

There are daily boat routes from Patras to the port of Sami in Kefalonia that last approximately 3,5 hours.
For accurate timetables, prices and reservations please visit: www.strintzisferries.gr
Port Authorities of Patras. Tel.: +30 2610 341 002
Port Authorities of Sami. Tel: +30 26740 22031.

  • From Kyllini

There are daily boat routes from Kyllini to the port of Poros in Kefalonia that last approximately 1,5 hours. There is also a connection between Kyllini and     Lixouri – Argostoli, but only during the summer months.
For accurate timetables, prices and reservations please visit: www.ionianferries.gr or www.strintzisferries.gr
Port Authorities of Kyllini. Tel: +30 26230 92211
Port Authorities of Poros. Tel: +30 26740 72460
Port Authorities of Lixouri. Tel: +30 26710 91205.

Kefalonia is also connected with the rest of the Ionian Islands.

  • From/to Kefalonia to Lefkada and Ithaca

There are boat routes between Lefkada and Fiscardo, Ithaca and Fiscardo, as well as Ithaca and Sami.
For accurate timetables, prices and reservations please visit: www.strintzisferries.gr
Port Authorities of Fiscardo. Tel: +30 26740 41400
Port Authorities of Ithaca. Tel: +30 26740 32909.

  • From/to Kefalonia to Zakynthos

This connection applies only during the summer months (May to October) and takes place twice a day. The journey, that lasts approximately 1 hour, is between the port of Pessada in Kefalonia and the port of Schinari in Zakynthos.
Port Authorities of Argostoli. Tel: +30 26710 22224
Zante Ferries: www.zanteferries.gr, Tel: +30 26710 91280.

  • From/to Kefalonia to Corfu

You can travel between Kefalonia and Corfu with a flying dolphin.
For accurate timetables, prices and reservations please visit: www.ionian-cruises.com Petrakis Ferry Lines. Tel: +30 26610 31649 (based in Corfu).

  • There is also a boat connection between Argostoli and Lixouri. The boat leaves every half an hour, the trip lasts 20 minutes and it costs 1.70€ per passenger and 4.30€ per car. For more information you can call the Port Authorities of the above cities or visit the website www.ionianferries.gr.
  • Finally, during the summer months there is a boat connection between Kefalonia and Brindisi in Italy, with Endeavor Lines Ferries.

For accurate timetables, prices and reservations please visit: www.endeavor-lines.com.  

BY CAR
If you choose to visit Kefalonia using your car, you have three choices. You can drive to Patras (Athens-Patras 216 km), Kyllini (Athens-Kyllini 286 km) or Astakos in Aitoloakarnania. Patras, Kyllini and Astakos can be accessed via the Athens-Patras National Highway, if you are travelling from Peloponnese, Athens or east-central Greece. If you are driving from northern Greece you need to take Egnatia Highway towards Igoumenitsa and then drive southwards.  


Local Transportation
BUSES
Kefalonia’s road network is good and so is its public transportation system. The main Long Distance Bus Terminal (KTEL) is in Argostoli and from there you can get information about itineraries and prices. The bus itineraries cover almost the entire island and the tickets are not expensive. There are 4 daily rides between Argostoli and Sami and 2 between Argostoli and Fiscardo.

TAXI SERVICE
A taxi can be used for short or longer distances. The main taxi station is in Argostoli, on Vlavianou Square. However, you can also hail for a cab in the main streets or central places. The fares are fixed between the capital city and the most popular destinations, but you can also check before you get onboard. In the main taxi stations you will also find a board with indicative fares for every destination. Additionally, you can also call for a cab at the following numbers:
 
Argostoli – Tel.: +30 26710 28545
Lixouri – Tel.: +30 26710 91459, +30 26710 91524
Poros – Tel: +30 26710 72340, +30 26710 72329
Skala – Tel.: +30 26710 83231
Fiscardo – Tel.: +30 26740 51496

RENT A CAR OR A MOTORBIKE
Kefalonia is the biggest of the Ionian Islands covering an area of 904 km². There are many attractions, secluded beaches and monuments waiting to be explored, thus a car or a motorbike is always the most practical and convenient way to get around. There are numerous car rental agencies on the island. However if you are planning on visiting the island during summer months, it’s better to make a reservation in advance.  

Remember that in order to rent a car or a scooter, you need to be 21 years old (for some companies you need to be 25) and you definitely need a valid driving license. Full insurance is optional. Make sure you check the condition of the car beforehand. If you sign for its mint condition, this is how you must return it, otherwise you will be charged with damages, unless you included full insurance in the initial, mutually agreed price. The agency’s representative should take note of any damages and make a mark on the contract. Also, you need to return the car with as much gas as it had when it was delivered to you. Bear in mind that no agency is allowed by law to withhold your driving license or ID card. These can only be photocopied, if necessary (very few agencies do), and then delivered back to you. You should carry them at all times in case the police or any local Authorities request them.

The terrain of the island is mountainous, with many purely agricultural areas, which means that tractors or other vehicles might appear out of nowhere or even animals or pedestrians. Needless to say that you should be extra careful and experienced, especially if you are riding a motorcycle or a scooter. Do not violate the speed limits and do not park where not allowed. The municipal and the traffic police will grant you with a ticket. Remember that even though it’s a rent car or motorbike, you will still have to pay for the ticket.   
Distances between the most known villages and towns in Kefalonia:

Sami – Lixouri 42 km
Poros - Lixouri 70 km
Fiscardo - Lixouri 50 km
Argostoli - Lixouri 30 km
Pessada – Argostoli 15 km
Argostoli - Fiscardo : 50 km
Argostoli - Poros : 43 km
Argostoli - Skala: 40 km
Argostoli - Sami : 24 km
Argostoli – Agia Ephemia: 36 km

Local services

BANKS & ATMs
You will have no problem getting money from an ATM, since every bank has one. There are many bank branches on the island, as well as several ATMs scattered around, which operate 24/7. Remember that in order to get money you need to have a card linked to the PLUS, Cirrus or Maestro networks. Check with your local bank for details.
The banks are open daily, from Monday to Thursday, from 8am to 2.30pm and on Fridays from 8am to 2pm. No bank is open during the country’s national and religious holidays. You can also use every major credit card (AMEX, Visa, Mastercard and Diners) during your transactions with hotels, stores and restaurants. Entrance to archeological sites, bus tickets, taxi fares or entrance to bars and clubs cannot be paid with a credit card.  

MONEY EXCHANGE
If you are travelling from outside the EU, you can carry traveler’s cheques. All banks exchange almost every major currency and traveler’s cheques; the commission is always lower for cash. The Post Office can also exchange cash, but not traveler’s cheques and usually charges lower commissions than banks. Travel agencies and 5 star hotels exchange foreign currency and traveler’s cheques, but usually with a higher commission. There is also a dedicated exchange kiosk at the local airport, as well as at the Athens international airport Eleftherios Venizelos.

POST OFFICE
The Greek Post Office is called ELTA and you will find branches in the biggest towns of the island. However, you will track down many post boxes in every town and outside 5 star hotels. Boxes might be YELLOW for regular mail or RED for URGENT mail. If you wish to send REGISTERED mail, you need to visit the nearest Post Office and don’t forget to get a receipt.

ELTA Argostoli – 19 D. Konstantinou Street, tel.: 26710 22312
ELTA Lixouri – D. Lavragka Street, tel.: 26710 91206
ELTA Sami – Tel.: 26740 22012
ELTA Poros – Tel.: 26740 72644
 
POLICE STATION
Do not hesitate to call the Police in case of an accident or a criminal act against you or someone else. If you have a problem with your hotel, you can also contact the Tourism Police (tel.: 26710 22815). There are many police stations around the island and you will see officers inspecting the streets of all major towns at all hours.

  • Emergency telephone line: 100•    Police Station Argostoli: 52 I. Metaxa Str., +3026710 22200
  • Police Station Lixouri: +30 26710 91207
  • Police Station Skala: +30 26740 83100
  • Police Station Poros: +30 26740 72210
  • Police Station Fiscardo: +30 26740 41460
  • Police Station Sami: +30 26740 22100
  • Argostoli Municipal Police: +30 26710 24309

MUNICIPALITY OF KEFALONIA
Municipality of Kefalonia. Tel.: +30 26710 22120, 29130 and 29131


Useful Numbers
  • Argostoli Customs: +30 26710 22335
  • Airport Customs: +30 26710 41150
  • Lixouri Customs: +30 26710 91420
  • Fiscardo Customs: +30 26740 41250
  • Greek Tourism Organization: +30 26710 22248
  • Airport: +30 26710 41511
  • National Bank of Greece in Argostoli: +30 26710 25191
  • Emporiki Bank in Argostoli: +30 26710 22334
  • Alpha Bank in Argostoli: +30 26710 25181

INTERNATIONAL PRESS
You can find International Press (magazines and newspapers) almost anywhere around the island.

HEALTH
  • General Municipal Hospital in Argostoli: +30 26710 24641
  • Mantzinateio Hospital in Lixouri: +30 26710 91233, +30 26710 92222
  • Medical Center Sami: +30 26740 22222
  • Regional Medical Center Agia Thekla: +30 26710 97208
  • Regional Medical Center Karavados – Tel.: +30 26710 69387
  • Regional Medical Center Keramies: +30 26710 69101
  • Regional Medical Center Skala: +30 26740 83222
 
PHARMACIES
There are many pharmacies around the island and they are open in the following days and hours:
Monday and Wednesday: 8.30am - 2.30pm
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 8.30am -  2.30pm and 5.30pm - to 8.30pm.
Saturdays & Sundays: Closed

However, you will find few pharmacies which are open during the weekend and throughout the night. A list of those pharmacies can be found at any time on any pharmacy’s window around the island.

Argostoli Pharmacies: +30 26710 24015, 23245 and 24795
Lixouri Pharmacies: +30 26710 91490, 93548 and 93675


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