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Island of Kefalonia
Kefalonia features numerous impressive landscapes, interspersed with important churches and monasteries to such an extent that specialists have called the island "a vast ecclesiastic museum". Kefalonian temples are built in the so-called "Heptanesian basilica" style and feature characteristically simple (Frankish) or tower-like (Venetian) bell-towers. Their internal decoration boats works of high art, with icons and frescoes painted by the important artists of the Cretan School.
  The island's most noteworthy churches include the Metamorphosis (Transfiguration of Christ) at Travliata, the Panayia (Our Lady) at Domata, the St. Spyridon at Atheras, the St. Nicholas at Vatsa, built next to the ancient temple of Poseidon, the Holy Apostles at Havdata, and the Church of Our Saviour (Sotiros) at Ferendinata, with its impressive 33m high bell-tower. Of special importance also are the temples of Our Lady at the villages of Markopoulo and Arginia, where every year, from August 6th till the evening of August 15th (feast of Our Lady's Assumption), there appear the harmless little snakes known as Our Lady's Serpents. Amongst Kefalonia's monasteries, a prominent position is held by the Monastery of St. Gerasimos; the island's most sacred place is both a most important pilgrimage for the entire Eastern Orthodox Church and a religious point of reference for all Kefalonians. Amongst the rest of the Monasteries, the most impressive are those of Atros and Kipoureon, both built on imposing locations, the Sissia Monastery, traditionally held to have once belonged to St. Francis of Assise.
Those who cherish excuiste tastes will not be diasappointed on Kefalonia. In the island's numerous traditional taverns, "musts" include the tasty Kefalonian kreatopita (meat pie), made of sheep meat and rice; the aliadha, i.e. a kind of local garlic paste made of potatoes; the bakaliaropita (i.e. cod pie); and of course the famous mandoles, i.e. sweets made of almonds and caramel. Stock-breeding is particularly well-developed on Kefalonia, with aspecial species of sheep being bred on the island, namely the so-called kokkino (red) or kephallonitiko (Kefalonian). Thus Kefalonia offers not only tasty meat but also excellent cheeses (feta and kefalotyri) and dairyu products. The best dairy producers are to be found in the Pilaros villages, and are much sought after both within and outside the island.
On Enos' limestone slopes and around the Omalo plateau, there stretch the vineyards that produce the famous Kefalonian robola, an excuisite wine made only on Kefalonia. Kefalonia's landscape, idiosyncratic and special like Kefalonians theselves, is replenished with wonders, large and small. One of them is the Argostoli Katavothres, i.e. subterranean wells whence seawater escapes into endless tunnels of limestone, flowing on for 17km on a straight line, only to reappear after a fortnight at the island's opposite end, near Sami, at Lake Melissani. The lake is located within the impresive cave of Melissani, where the sunrays' peering through the cave's collapsed roof lends a unique blue transparency to the water.
  Amidst the rest of the island's caves, most important are those of Drongarati, with its red stalagmites and impressive chamber, and of Agalaki, with its mysterious entrance. Kefalonian nature has more surprises in store for us: the Lakes Small Avithos and Large Avithos, the Kounopetra (the gigantic rock that swings relentlessly in the sea), and the peculiar rocks at the Paliki meadows, which are called askylakes (puppies) by the Kefalonians. The island's landscape alternates wonderfully between steep mountains and deep glens, vast sandstripes and cypress forests, small bays beneath dizzying gorges and remote, waterless capes.  
The varied morphology of Kefalonian shores has endowed the island with some of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. The magic beach of Mirtos excites the visitors' wonder at the breath-taking landscape an its extra-white sand. Troughout the island, there are many beautiful and cosmopolitan beaches, such as Makris Gialos, Platis Gialos (near Argostoli), Kaminia, Skala and Katelios (in t he southern part of Kefalonia), Avithos, Lourda, and Trapezaki (at Livatho), Xi and Megas Lakos (near Lixouri), Ragia (at Poros), Petani, Antisamos, Aghia Kiriaki, and (around picturesque Fiskardo) Foki, Aghia Ierousalim, Emplisi, and Alaties. However, of special attraction are the small, idyllic beaches that lie forgotten next to enclosed, picturesque bays. Such marine beauties include Koumaria, Langadakia, Aghia Eleni, Atheras, Vouti, Paliolenos, exotic Koroni, forgotten Xilomata, the beach of Lazaros, Giagana, Horgota, Aghia Sofia, Kamini and Kakogilos.
  Kefalonia is not only largest amongst the Ionian islands, but also features the highest mountains. Its main mountain bulk is the magnificent Mt. Enos, rising up to a 1.672m height, with a wonderful fir tree forest crowning its top; its dark green colour earned Enos its Venetian name Monte Nero, i.e. Black Mountain. The black Kefalonian fit tree (Abies cephallonica) is endenic to Enos, and it is found nowhere else in such profusion and purity, anaffected by hybrids. For the protection of this unique forest, as well as of all other endemic plants growing on the mountain's slopes, the Enos National Park was founded in 1962; it covers an area of 28620 acres and includes central stretches of the Enos fir tree forest, as well as thick stretches of arbutus, heather and sim on nearby Mt. Roudi. Marvellous forest roads cross the Park throughout, and offer exciiting views of the densely-wooded mountain slopes. A traveller can also enjoy the truly stunning view to Kefalonia's south-west shore, with Zakynthos peering in the background and the Ionian Sea stretching as far as the Adriatic.  
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