Sunday, 22 November 2015

Kefalonia 2015


Hello and welcome to my second summer holiday post this year. Sorry it's been a bit delayed, but I did only get back home at the end of September, so it's not too late. This one's all about my third holiday this summer to the largest of seven Ionian Islands, Kefalonia near Greece. I have done a post on this place before, as my family and I came here on holiday 2 years ago, and it was so beautiful that we decided to come back. This time was even better, as one of my best friends of 10 years came along too!
You can read my first post about this place here: http://laurajadejackson.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/summer-holiday.html

VILLA




This year we stayed in the same town as last time, Skala. We also stayed in the same villa, Villa Brio. We LOVE the location of this villa. It's literally amazing, one of the best 180 degree views of the sea you'll ever see. It's also in a great location as its only a 3 minute drive to the town of Skala and only about an hours drive from Kefalonia Airport.

SNORKELLING


As you'll know if you read my last post about this place, the snorkelling is amazing here. The villa has it's own private beach and jetty where you can jump off into the sea and it's perfect for snorkelling. The water is crystal clear and appears like magical colours of blues and greens, it's amazing! Me and my best friend Mollie went snorkelling quite a few times and we were literally surrounded by hundreds of fish. I really wish I had an underwater camera to capture what we were seeing underwater, because it was so cool.

HORSE RIDING


A passion which Mollie and I both share is horse riding and we were determined to go on a horse ride together along the beach while we were here. I'd researched it before we came and I'd found a riding stables actually in Skala which had really good reviews on tripadvisor so we thought we'd give it a go. When we got there, the man was lovely and he got our two horses for us to groom for a bit to get to know them and feel comfortable, but we then discovered that because it was the end of the summer season and he was actually taking the horses back to the winter stables the next day, he didn't have any riding hats with him.


Now, both being experienced horse riders, as I've been riding since i was four years old, and Mollie has been riding a long time and has had her own horse, we had more sense and kindly declined the offer to ride without hats. To inexperienced riders, it might seem harmless going on a holiday trek along the beach, and as the man said, "nothing bad has ever happened before etc etc", which may well be true, but it only takes a second for something to go wrong, the horse to spook at something insignificant and the rider could fall off and be seriously injured or worse, so we ruled with our heads instead of our hearts and decided to leave it. We were really disappointed as we were really looking forward to it, but oh well, I think everything happens for a reason.

BARS

Captain's Bar

One of our favourite bars to go to after dinner was Captain's Bar. Its always the busiest and liveliest bar and they do the best cocktails in town. My cocktail of choice is always usually 'sex on the beach'.



Captain's Bar has a great atmosphere, modern chart music to sing and dance along to, great cocktails, friendly and welcoming staff and I also love the way its decorated and furnished. The bar itself is literally built around a huge tree. The tree trunk makes the centre of the bar which is decorated with lots of lights, candles. fairy lights and white fabrics. The whole bar has a very boho vibe, its all decorated and lit with quirky different lights and light bulbs in glass vases and fairy lights and white draped fabrics. It looks how I want my garden to look, I love it. So it's definitely the place to be in my opinion. The only downside, is that they don't have a dance floor, as there literally isn't room for one. I think if there was a dance floor, it would be even better.





Motown/Northern Soul Bar

So I've actually forgotten the name of this bar, but its on the same street as Captain's Bar, just a bit further down. Most nights it's empty, but a few times a week they have themed music nights and when we were there it was Northern Soul night. Mollie and I were the youngest in the bar by at least 20 years if not more, probably more like 30 years.


 It was full of what we call oldies, but my parents were absolutely loving it as all the music was from their time. But I have to say even though I'd only heard of one song throughout the whole night, it was such a laugh and was one of the funniest nights out we had. Just watching everyone else made my night, everyone was in their own little world just going for it and it was so much fun! So I'd definitely recommend going to the themed music nights there.


Metaxa Beach Bar

So we went here one night, it was the night we crashed a wedding reception. We'd heard they did parties every Friday night where there was a fire show with fire dancers and fireworks on the beach and after there was a DJ playing music till 3am.


The first Friday Mollie and I were going to give it a try but we didn't end up going in the end, so we thought don't worry, we've got next Friday, we can have a last night shebang. Unfortunately, on the last night there was a storm, so it was cancelled, so we didn't actually get to go to one of the 'parties'. However, like I said, we did crash a wedding reception one night there, and they did have a DJ playing chart music, which was good.



RESTAURANTS

The Castle Restaurant (To Kaetpo)


This is 100% my FAVOURITE restaurant on the island. It is located right next to St George's Castle, which is very famous on the island. The location of this place is beautiful. It's surrounded by flowers and greenery and of course the beautiful sunsets over the castle at dusk. If we were staying nearer, I would've eaten here everyday, but unfortunately we were about a 45 minute drive away. We still made the trip and ate here about four times throughout the holiday and I looked forward to it every time, just as much as the last time.


The restaurant is owned by a couple, the man is Italian and the woman is English. It's a family run restaurant, you see the granny popping in and out every now and then and also the children. The wife makes, cooks and prepares all the food and the husband is front of house. They are such a lovely couple and are always so friendly and welcoming. They are open till about 5-6pm, depending on if their are customers, so they are more of a lunch than dinner place. However, we went for a late lunch/early dinner a couple of times.


The food is AMAZING! They serve normal dishes, but also serve little tapas style dishes to share. One of their main ideas was to create these little sharing dishes to get people and families to share food and conversation and everything else like that and to just have a lovely, relaxed experience. Each time we went we ordered about 6-7 sharing dishes between the four of us and that was just about right for a main meal. From memory some of the things we ordered were: Greek salad, the dips (which are literally delicious by the way!), prawn balls, croquettes, cheese pies and the meatballs. Everything we ordered was delicious, but the dips especially are SO good! So if you go here, definitely order the dips, which are all homemade and come with little triangles of pitta bread.

Old Times

Now this restaurant is literally a 2 minute walk from our villa, which was very convenient, especially as it was my second favourite place to eat on the island. It's on the road out of Skala towards Poros. We ate here quite a few times too and each time, I always had the same thing which was the small grilled burgers, which are so good! The Greek salad here is also the best we had on the island, but you can share one between four people, as its huge!


All the staff are very friendly and polite and every one of us always enjoyed our meals here, which was important especially for my mum as she is vegetarian, and they did great vegetarian dishes, she loved the vegetarian mousaka. The only down side is that they didn't have Heinz tomato ketchup, which all the restaurants didnt either, but I thought as Old Times was only across the road from our villa, it was acceptable to take my own Heinz to go with my burgers haha!


Mikonos Restaurant

We ate at this restaurant quite a lot last time we came here and got to know the family members who run it, including the grandfather who we learnt sadly passed away in January, which was so sad to hear as we used to sit and talk with him every night about all his times in the navy, bless him.
This restaurant is located on the main street in Skala and is always busy every night. Some people who have been coming to Skala for 25 years every summer, always go back to this place. It's very much a family atmosphere, the staff are all great and always running round like crazy to make sure the service is always great. There's a variety of food served, they pretty much do most things, from traditional Greek dishes, to pizza, pasta, meat, fish, everything. So it's definitely worth a visit if you're staying in Skala.

ARGOSTOLI

One day we decided to go and see what the capital of the island had to offer. It wasn't as big as I expected it to be, but then I was comparing it to London or a big city like Manchester. It was definitely a lot busier than all the other places we've visited, a lot more modern and lively. We went to a bar for some drinks and we did some shopping and had a look around. There was actually lots of really nice, individual shops which I really liked and I actually found one shop in particular which I really liked called 'Ozzie'. It was like a really fashionable boutique, as soon as you walked in, all the staff were so friendly and welcoming, offering help if needed. I found quite a few things that I really liked, some black louboutin inspired heels imparticular, but they didn't have my size, or else they would have definitely been coming home with me. I did find this really nice off-the-shoulder Bardot style black top which I tried on and bought, and I got 20% off too, which is always a plus!




FISCARDO


Another day, we decided to go and visit Fiscardo, which is a picturesque and beautiful Greek harbour village on the Northern tip of Kefalonia. Fiscardo is unique and famous on the island for being the only town to remain virtually undamaged during the great earthquake of 1953, which ruined most of the historic buildings in Kefalonia. It's a very quaint little town, with a harbour, lots of boats and yachts, cute patisseries, bakeries, shops and cafes and restaurants.




We ate lunch at a really nice café place here, right by the harbour, next to the frozen yoghurt shop, which served lunch and cakes. I had a club sandwich which was really nice and was served with chips. We actually got caught in the rain here, as it started to rain SO hard while we were finishing lunch, so we decided to wait it out at the café, rather than get soaked in the rain and risk the windy roads driving back in this weather.





ST GEORGES CASTLE



The Castle of Saint George is located 7 km south east of Argostoli, above the village Peratata. It has a polygonal shape and covers an area of 16,000 sq. m. This Castle was originally built in the 12th century by the Byzantines but it was mostly the Venetians who gave it its present form. In fact, its external walls were built in 1504 by the Venetians. The castle is ruined today and only a few buildings survive. It was not only the time and wars that caused its damages.



This castle also suffered a lot from the earthquake that hit Kefalonia in 1956. At the time of its glory, inside the Castle, there were residences, public buildings, storehouses with food and guns, churches, hospitals, prisons, cisterns of water and generally an organized town. In fact, this Castle was the capital of Kefalonia before Argostoli was made the new capital in 1757. Close to a small square in the castle, you will also see the ruins of the Catholic Church of Saint Nicholas.


WEATHER

We had fantastic weather for 12 out of the 14 days, with sunshine and blue skies and temperatures of over 30 degrees everyday, it was glorious. However, the last 2 days there were storms, thunder, lightening, heavy rain and our electric actually went out at our villa for most of the day which was a worry once it started to go dark, but luckily it came back on just in time. Last time we came here, we came in early September and the weather was brilliant for the whole 2 weeks. This time, I think we left it abit late coming the last two weeks in September, which is why we got a few days of storms. But at least we know for next time!

This last holiday has convinced me that I want to have my wedding abroad. We saw quite a few weddings taking place while we were there, one on the beach, which was just beautiful.


Overall, I had a great holiday, I swam in the pool everyday, I went snorkelling with my best friend, got a good tan, relaxed, ate, drank, read, relaxed, had fun with my parents and Mollie and I laughed everyday. I love that <3




Thanks for reading this post,
I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about Kefalonia and my experiences on this holiday.

LauraJadeJackson
xXx

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