Odysseus Unbound - The Search for Homer’s Ithaca

Visiting Kefalonia

The following information is provided as a convenience to readers. Although efforts are made to keep these details up to date, no responsibility can be taken for any inaccuracies in the content of third party websites or any decisions that may be taken on the basis of their advice.

Flying to Kefalonia

Ainos Travel

There are daily direct flights between Athens and Kefalonia (airport code EFL, near Argostoli) via Olympic Air (now a code-share subsidiary of Aegean), Aegean Airlines and Athens Airways.

Between April and October, EasyJet and RyanAir fly direct from the UK to Kefalonia. Between May and September, there are direct charter flights from London and other cities via operators such as Thomson, First Choice, Thomas Cook and Cosmos (Monarch).

Bookings from UK airports can also be made from agents such as Just the Flight, Cheapflights and CharterflightCentre. Reservations can also be made directly with the resourceful team at Ainos Travel in Argostoli. AirSea Lines of Corfu also provides local flight connections between the principal islands and the mainland of Greece and Italy.

Car ferries to the Ionian Islands

Click to enlarge Click on the map to enlarge

Latest timetables are available from the Greek Travel Pages (type in the port codes below). Car ferries to Kefalonia from the Greek mainland depart from Patras [PAT] to Sami [SAK] and from Kyllini [KYL] to Poros [POK]. The operators are Ionian Group (Kyllini 26230 92080; Poros 26740 72450; Patras 26102 40000; Sami 26740 22003, 23089) and Kefalonian Lines (Kyllini 26230 92210; Poros 26740 73033; Argostoli 26710 22033).

Ionian Group Kefalonian Lines

There is a regular car ferry service between Argostoli and Lixouri, the main town of Paliki. In July & August it runs every half hour from 06:00 to after midnight; at other times the service is hourly, leaving Lixouri on the hour and Argostoli on the half hour, with the last ferry from Argostoli at around 22:30.

The Ionian Group also provides ferry service to Ithaca and Zacynthos (Ithaca 26740 33453, 22871; Zacynthos 26950 24006).

From Sami and Fiskardo [FIS] there is a ferry service to Ithaki (Vathy) [ITV] and Pissaetos [PIS] on the island of Ithaca and from Fiskardo (26740 41440) there is also a car ferry to Vassiliki [VAS] (26450 31805/31555 ) and Nydri [NYD] (26450 92509) on Lefkas. The operator is Four Islands Ferries, recent Greek timetable. In the summer there is also a daily ferry service between Sami, Pissaetos and Astakos [AST] (26460 41052) on the mainland. Agios Nikolaos (Skinari) [ZAN] in the north of Zacynthos can be reached from Pessada [PES] in the south of Kefalonia; the main service to Zacynthos town [ZAK] is from Kyllini. For all services, at peak times it is wise to telephone ahead with your vehicle registration number (if the telephone number is not listed above, click on the port name).

For quick reference, click on a port name below (on either side of the arrows) for the departure times from that port to the other. Ferries to Kefalonia also operate from Bari and Brindisi in Italy.

Patras <--> Sami; Kyllini <--> Poros; Kyllini <--> Argostoli; Argostoli <--> Lixouri; Fiskardo <--> Vassiliki; Fiskardo <--> Nydri; Fiskardo <--> Ithaki (Pissaetos); Sami <--> Ithaki (Vathy); Sami <--> Ithaki (Pissaetos); Sami<-->Astakos.

Coach, bus and rail connections

Argostoli bus station

There is a daily coach service between Athens and Argostoli via the ferry and an inclusive ticket can be purchased for the whole journey, which takes about 8 hours. Contact details are provided here for the Athens, Argostoli and Lixouri bus stations.

For timetables see the Athens long distance bus website or the Kefalonia Appreciation Society website, which also lists bus routes on the island itself. There is also a rail service between Athens and Patras which provides an alternative connection to the ferry or seaplane connection (Gouvia Marina). Journey time is about 3.5 hours and timetables are provided at the Greek railways site (OSE). Alternatively one can continue by bus from Patras to Kyllini, or by rail from Patras to Lechaina and then take a bus to Kyllini.

Sailing and scuba diving around Kefalonia

Sea Trek yacht

One of the most spectacular ways of seeing the island is from the sea. Yacht hire for both experienced and first-time sailors is available from the Lixouri base of Sea Trek in Argostoli Gulf, which enables visitors to sail to the Asteris ambush point and also to see the ancient harbour, the heights of Kastelli and the southern exit of Strabo's Channel from a marine perspective. Daily motorboat hire is available from Mike's Boats at the Argostoli bridge and also at Fiscardo, from where private excursions can be made to Dascalion and Ithaca. Skippered and self-drive power boat hire is available in Lixouri from Ionian Seafaris.

Scuba diving can be arranged with the Aquatic World Diving Club in Agia Efimia, who have also assisted the Odysseus Unbound project with marine survey vessels. A comprehensive directory of marine opportunities is available from the Kefalonia Travel Guide while an underwater excursion to Dascalion island and other destinations is provided by Ionian Discoveries.

Sea kayaking, trekking and cycling around Kefalonia

Sea Trek yacht

These expeditions can be booked with Sea Kayaking Kefalonia, who are based near Svoronata to the south of Argostoli. An outstanding but fairly demanding day's kayaking starts at Agia Kiriaki bay, the presumed northern exit of Strabo's Channel below the village of Zola, and then circumnavigates the northern capes of Paliki, arriving in Atheras Bay on the route that Odysseus may have been described as having taken on his eventual return to Ithaca. More modest expeditions can be booked near Argostoli as a way of seeing at first-hand the cape where the suitors may have tried to ambush Telemachos.

Visiting museums and established archaeological sites

The "Odysseus" website of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture has recently been updated. This provides lists of Museums, Monuments and Archaeological sites. Selective inquiries can be made at the interactive cultural map but some pages at present lack contact information. Alternative details are available at the Greek Tourist Organiser entry and at the Paliki civic website (the latter is in Greek). The Greek Travel pages entry on Kefallonia also provides a useful starting point for inquiries. Further details are provided at the website of the General Directorate of Antiquities and locally at the 35th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities.

Visiting the Odysseus Unbound sites

Atheras BaySeveral of the places described in Odysseus Unbound such as Strabo’s Channel, Phorcys Bay, Ortholithos Point and Asteris can be freely visited on Kefalonia and their locations are clearly identified in the book. However, other sites such as Kastelli, Eumaios’ Pigfarm, Raven’s Rock, Telemachos’ Cove and Laertes’ Farm are located on private ground and may not be visited without the permission of the owners.

An itinerary for visitors that includes several of the sites described in Odysseus Unbound is provided via this brochure, entitled The Atheras Walk.

You can see some of the sites in videos made by Ken Gibson, a Canadian self-confessed “motorcycle enthusiast and Greek history nut” who visited in 2016. Ken is an enthusiastic supporter and he was given a guided tour by Project Coordinator John Crawshaw. Click on the image below to see his videos.

Obtaining Odysseus Unbound on Kefalonia

Atheras Bay

In Argostoli there is a bookshop called The Bookmark specialising in English books. Brian and Donna Glencross usually stock Odysseus Unbound and they can also arrange for you to pre-order it and other English books before you arrive on the island. The shop is located off Lithostratou Street (the pedestrian street) in a courtyard behind Cafe Metropolis, 26710 27616.

In Lixouri you can usually obtain the book as well as visit guidance from Nestoras Gioulatos at Carpe Diem travel agency (26710 93940), about 200m north of the ferry terminal. The bookshop Solomos (26710 93522) in the pedestrian shopping area near the Lixouri theatre can also order copies.


Weather forecasts are available from Accuweather and the BBC. For marine forecasts, check Poseidon System, and Weather Online. For a longer term perspective see the annual climate summary.

Accommodation and further information

Many websites provide information about Kefalonia but relatively few contain detailed information about Paliki. The Greek Travel Pages provide hotel and apartment listings for all Kefalonia and also Paliki specifically.

The property agency Kefalonia Real Estate in Argostoli is familiar with the thesis of Odysseus Unbound and is a useful point of contact for visitors, and expert legal advice regarding property transactions is available from the Argostoli practice Lawyers in Kefalonia.

The travel agency Carpe Diem mentioned above can assist with local practicalities including hotel and villa bookings. Package holidays can also be booked via several companies specialising in the island. For a description of local religious festivals throughout the year, click here.

Those who are interested in tracing Kefalonian placenames or family names may in future be able to apply to Kefalonian Roots for help (although currently the website is down).