A guide to Fiscardo, Kefalonia

Geography and History

Fiscardo is a village situated in the north of the Ionian island of Kefalonia. It lies around fifty kilometres from the larger town of Argostoli. It takes its name from a Norman pirate, Roberto Guiscardo, who died in the village in 1085. The Venetians began their rule of Kefalonia in the middle of the 1600s and from 1700 onwards, Fiscardo was the main commercial harbour in the whole of the Erissos area.

The village’s buildings were largely unaffected by the huge earthquake of 1953 which destroyed so much of the Ionian’s unique Venetian architecture. Fiscardo’s beautiful buildings, combined with its beautiful setting, make it one of the area’s most picturesque villages.

Fiscardo is still a working fishing harbour and is a very sleepy place for much of the year. However, in the summer months the village comes alive as its harbour fills with visiting yachts and its tavernas and shops reopen after the winter shutdown.

Beaches

Fiscardo is home to some of the best beaches in the Ionian area with Foki Bay and Emblissi Beach standing out in particular. Both of these beaches are within walking distance of the village. Near Evreti, a small hamlet to the south, lies The Bay of Deskalion, which is home to a sunken shipwreck that can be explored, either with snorkels or by scuba diving. Sea kayak hire is also available at Emblissi Beach.

Shopping

For such a small fishing harbour, Fiscardo has some excellent shopping and probably the best range of designer clothing stores in the Ionian Sea. As well as the basics, such as beach equipment and international newspapers, you will find shops selling designer beachwear and other clothing, designer jewellery, ceramics, traditional handmade Greek textiles and art, hand-painted religious icons and even confectionery.

Eating and Drinking

The harbour offers a good choice of tavernas and restaurants, but the village does get very busy, so it is often best to book in advance for an evening meal. There are also several bars and caff to choose from. The standard of food is high and a great variety of traditional Greek dishes are available as well as classics from other countries. There are also several villages surrounding Fiscardo, such as Matsoukata and Vassilikades, which also have tavernas and bars and are a little more laid back than those in the village itself.

Other Information

One of the most famous landmarks in Fiscardo is its 16th century Venetian lighthouse that hasn’t been used since the 1890s and is well worth a visit. Similarly, the historical Church of the Panaghia Platytera, in the heart of the village, is a must-see.

If you are visiting Fiscardo by yacht, try to arrive in the harbour a little earlier than is necessary in most other Ionian villages as it fills up fast. Many of the bays surrounding the village do allow boats to moor, but some are designated as ‘swimming only’, so it is best to plan ahead. If you don’t have your own boat, motor boat hire is available and there are also several cruises available to other nearby islands such as Ithaca and Lefkas. Alternatively, you can explore the rest of this beautiful island by hiring a car or motorbike from one of several companies in the village.

Article by Tracey, a part time travel blogger writing for Cheapflights, where you can book flights to Kefalonia online.