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Kefalonia, the island of honey and wine, is blessed with every possible natural beauty. It is the largest of the Ionian Islands and is also the one with the most variety in its natural environment. Tall mountains, aquamarine shores, water springs, underground caverns and lakes, and a rich and rare assortment of flora and fauna make this island unique.
Kefalonia has become a favourite relocation destination among Europeans.
With spectacular beauty and wildlife, Kefalonia offers visitors a great variety of landscapes with marvellous beaches, wonderful green plains and deserted mountain forests, the island also lures its visitors with unique grottos and caves.
Mt. Aenos, peaking at an altitude of 1628 m., is the second highest mountain on a Greek island and is covered by a dark fir forest. This endemic species (abies cephalonica) is unique to this mountain and along with its rare and rich flora and fauna have resulted in Aenos being declared one of Greece's ten National Parks.
The dramatic landscape presents many contrasts: abrupt mountain ranges and steep rocky cliffs alternate with smooth, lacy shores and fertile plains with flowering bushes and olive groves. Towering cypress trees emerge everywhere, providing another contrast yet in this unique landscape. Colourful and fragrant bushes cover a substantial portion of the land. These include laurels, arbutus, myrtle and broom bushes. There is also a variety of fragrant herbs that grow in abundance on the island, including oregano, thyme and sage.
The shoreline offers just as much contrast and variety as the inland. Gently shelving sandy beaches, white shingle shores, small or larger unexplored coves surround the island justify its fame as having some of the Mediterranean's loveliest beaches. Myrtos Beach, voted as Greece's best beach and ranking among the world's ten best beaches, awaits to dazzle the visitor with its turquoise vastness and dramatic embracing cliffs. Other well known and must visit beaches include Skala, Antisamos, Makris Yialos, Agia Kiriaki, Xi, Ammes, Avithos and Paliolinos.
According to Greek Mythology, Kefalonia was named after King Kephalos, son of Hermes and Herse. He was married to Procris, a daughter of Erechtheus. However she had a rival called Eos who kidnapped Kephalos whilst hunting. Eos was unable to diminish his love for Procris. Procris, out of jealousy, spied on her husband while he was hunting and he accidentally killed her thinking she was an animal; for this he was banished. However he later helped Amphitryon in a war and for his assistance was awarded the island of Kefalonia. There are many myths about Kephalos's adventurous and romantic lifestyle; however, some believe these myths were invented for political reasons by Athenians in around the 5th Century.
Kefalonia participated in the Trojan War as part of Odysseus's kingdom and Kefalonian forces also participated in the Persian Wars and eventually joined the Athenian Confederacy. Archaeological excavations prove that Kefalonia was highly developed during the Mycenaean Era.
Kefalonia has rich cultural legacies influenced by the Romans, French, Venetians and British. Today Kefalonia faces the future with a flourishing tourism services industry, an ever improving infrastructure and an increasing population.