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Argostoli

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Brightlingsea...
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Argostoli

We are booked in the Tourist hotel for the last week in September. Our plan is to hire a car and explore the south of the island before moving to Fiskardo for the second week of our holiday. I have read some really bad reviews of Argostoli in the likes of Lonely Planet and was wondering a, if they paint too gloomy a picture and b. if there other places that would make a better base. We are in our late 60s/early 70s but both fit and well. We are not keen on holiday complexes and like the buzz of places with shops/ restaurants etc. Any suggestions/corrections of rather snide comments about Argostoli. Anne at the Anchor

Devizes, United...
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1. Re: Argostoli

Hi Anne

I would take whatever the LP guide says with a pinch of salt. Argostoli is a working town, not a full blown resort, so it will have a different feel to it. But, it has some excellent museums, some lovely civic buildings, a busy harbour, great shopping along its main pedestrianised street, " Lithostrotos", fish, meat, fruit and veg markets down by the harbour, the Drapano Bridge and a wide and pleasant main square "Vallianou".

You can take the regular ferry across to Lixouri and of course, it's close to the airport so no long transfers to contend with. It wouldn't be my first choice but there again, I like a decent beach and swimming in the sea so I think it would serve you well and give you an authentic flavour of the island.

Suffolk, United...
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2. Re: Argostoli

Hi Anne,

Argostoli was completely devastated in the 1953 earthquake. It had to be completely rebuilt and so it is a modern small city. If you are looking for a romantic looking old Greek city you will be disappointed. However it has quite a lot going for it. There is a cultural museum (beneath the library) that shows the history of the island. There is a geological museum in the main square. A walk along the harbour will probably reward you with a view of a giant turtle amongst the fishing boats and perhaps a dolphin also. The shops are like any other town that attracts tourists - a mixture of souvenir shops, cheap clothes shops, and more upmarket shops. A trip round the headland to the waterwheel and then on to the Italian war memorial (remember Captain Corelli's Mandolin?). There are plenty of restaurants, some excellent, some not so good.

Places to see in the South of the island include St Georges Castle (closed Mondays as are the museums in Argostoli), Monastery of St. Gersasimo (closed from 1pm until about 5pm) Robolo winery, Mt Ainos, Melissani and Drogerati caves, Antisamos beach.

Enjoy your time on the island

Bob

Burbage, United...
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3. Re: Argostoli

Hi Anne

We have visited Kefalonia a number of times and have also stayed at the Tourist Hotel once for a short time. Quite why anyone would paint a gloomy picture of Argostoli is beyond me. The quayside has plenty of eating and drinking options, and where else do you see Sea Turtles up close ? also a vibrant food and fish market. The main street is pedestrianized and the shops worth a look, plenty of options for a coffee stop. Again plenty of option for dining on the main square in the evening when the traffic is diverted and the area pedestrianized. Family hotel small and personal you'll enjoy.

Burbage, United...
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4. Re: Argostoli

Hi Anne

We have visited Kefalonia a number of times and have also stayed at the Tourist Hotel once for a short time. Quite why anyone would paint a gloomy picture of Argostoli is beyond me. The quayside has plenty of eating and drinking options, and where else do you see Sea Turtles up close ? also a vibrant food and fish market. The main street is pedestrianized and the shops worth a look, plenty of options for a coffee stop. Again plenty of option for dining on the main square in the evening when the traffic is diverted and the area pedestrianized. Family hotel small and personal you'll enjoy.

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5. Re: Argostoli

We are currently in Argostoli staying at the AENOS hotel on the main square. We stay here every year and love Argostoli as a holiday base. It has all the ingredients you mention in your post, and unlike a lot of the more tourist oriented resorts, Argostoli is still essentially a very 'Greek" town and has a very cosmopolitan feel.

Lithostroto, the main shopping street, is a bustling thoroughfare with every conceivable type of shop and eating place and is thronged with people until well after midnight. Valliano Square is the hub of the town in the evenings and well into the next morning with a great selection of restaurants and trendy bars. (Would recommend the Central Cafe for eating and Platanos for a drink).

In short, Argostoli is thriving, vibrant but never wild or overwhelming. It's also the perfect base for exploring the rest of the island, so enjoy - you've made an excellent choice.

Brightlingsea...
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6. Re: Argostoli

Thanks for all your very helpful and positive comments. I had a gut feeling Argostoli would be a good base. I shall ignore the Lonely Planet and its ilk in future: its advice is always overly critical. I am really looking forward to our trip now. Anne

Suffolk, United...
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7. Re: Argostoli

Any more help wanted, just ask

Happy planning

Bob

Birmingham, United...
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8. Re: Argostoli

Neither of my copies of Lonely Planet or Rough Guide are critcal of Argostoli at all. There are some from other sources.

I have stayed in Argostli, Fiskardo, and Nea Skala several times. They are good bases for the south, centre and north end of the island. In themslves different as well.

For that part of the island Argostoli it is the best practical place to stay. It is not the most attractive of island ports that's for sure. The quay area is very dull, the main centre being a block or two inland around the main square.

It is a busy island town thus not full of package tourists. Unlike Lassi over the hill, a blatant scattered tourist area.

If it's a southern base you want then Nea Skala is the best place to stay. Though a new tourist resort it is centralised like a village and has the buzz you are looking for.

Fiskardo in the north is certainly convenient for that part of the island, ferries to Vasiliki on Lefkada which is why I stayed there. Bit too yachty for my liking and the nearby beaches are pebbly/shingly/stoney and dirty.

La Crosse, Wisconsin
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9. Re: Argostoli

I'll be on the island for 5 to 5.5 hours in July.

What do you suggest that I see in this short amount of time?

Also, do you advise a car or taxi?

Edited: 30 June 2014, 19:46
Suffolk, United...
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10. Re: Argostoli

See my reply on the other thread.

Bob

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