Stretching out from the rugged, towering mountain range in its centre, Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands, boasting a long and rich history. Remains relating to Greek royal burials from thousands of years ago have been discovered on the island, suggesting that it was one of the country's important centres as far back as the Palaeolithic Era. There have also been discoveries of unclassified Roman ruins, implying that there were Roman settlers here between the 4th and 2nd centuries BC.
Kefalonia through the ages
By the Middle Ages this prosperous island had become a major centre for the Venetian Republic, who also laid claim to all of the other Ionian Islands. In the 18th century Kefalonia was handed to the French, before being annexed by the British in 1809. The island finally became part of a united Greece in 1864; by this time, each period of its history was apparent in the array of beautiful architecture. Unfortunately, August 1953 saw one of the region's worst ever earthquakes and a significant number of Kefalonia's buildings were destroyed.
Yet Kefalonia quickly rose from the ashes and emerged once again as a popular holiday destination not only for Greeks, but for tourists from all over the world. Nowadays, with its beautiful harbours, appealing coastline and sprawling vineyards, Kefalonia is a delight to explore.