Kefalonia




Lourdata

 
On the road from Skala to Fiskardo winding along the western coast of one of the jewels of Greece - Kefalonia (Cephalonia), there is a cute cosy town Lourdata (or Lurdata). The locals claim that the name of the town comes from the English word "lord" and means the place where the lords used to live. In the days, when the island was ruled by Britain, Lourdata became a favourite vacation spot of British aristocracy and lords. Surrounded by greenery, the village has not lost its charm to this day. The Lourdas bay is famous for its milky-blue warm and friendly waters as well as long coastline dotted with small whitish pebbles.

Charismatic taverns offer excellent taste local cuisine along with traditional Italian pizza and spaghetti. In the evenings, you can enjoy Greek music and dancing sometimes arranged by hospitable hosts of the restaurants. Freshly cooked lamb just melts in your mouth – it is seasoned with a light red wine from the grapes of Kefalonia. Despite the fact that the county sheep look thin, the meet tastes very juicy. In the given menu, you can see the prices of dishes offered in the taverns.

You no doubt will be enchanted by a cosy cafe Platanos, which indeed huddled under a big sycamore tree offering a breathtaking view of the drained down valley, overgrown with greenery and decorated with scattered flower buds on it. The owner will offer you a Greek coffee, candy, and snacks. You will have fun leisurely enjoying the goodies offered seasoning them with a good glass of local wine. Both the Greeks living in Lourdata and tourists, who discovered this oasis of taste and beauty, pop in here not just to eat so much as to spend time contemplating the calming panorama and driving leisurely conversation. If you do not have a friend, do not worry - the owner will be happy to keep your company.

Along the coast, the gardens of local residents lie in neat rectangles alternating with artistically decorated taverns and bars, mini-hotels, and small villas. Walking along the promenade, you will be happy to note that the residents of Lourdata have a sense of humour.
Higher up the slope, perhaps already in Vlacháta, you can find a jewellery store and  department stores, which for some reason are called super-markets, rental vehicle shops, and again restaurants, cafés, and bars. These small towns smoothly flowing from one to another practically do not have clear visible boundaries, at least for us, tourists: Lourdata, Vlacháta, Mousata ... It should perhaps be noted that Lourdata still seemed to us more civilized or something. It may be because of the impact of the spirit left by the British lords, who used to rest here in the old days...

Wandering through the town and the surrounding area, you will certainly run into a friendly shepherd leading his flock home and meet with a local veteran, who is over 90 years old and who every day gets his little tractor started at eight o`clock in the morning informing the whole neighbourhood of the beginning of a new day.
In addition to sheep and goats, wildlife of Lourdata consists of cute cats living nearby hotels and villas, where compassionate tourists over the summer help them become fatter. In spring, the whole neighbourhood hears happy cries of these furry creatures happy of life. However, the spring is loved not only by cats but also by insects and brisk coquettish lizards lured by the sun`s rays out of hiding. By the way, you should look more closely to the picture with the kitten – he is not alone there!

Lourdata
stretches on a rather steep cliff, towering as an amphitheatre above the sea at the foot of the majestic Mount Enos (Ainos). Right above, there is the highest point of the Lourdata mountain range. You will not regret it, if you arrange yourself travelling to this whitish top, which lost its dark green cover according to local residents during the British rule, when Kefalonian guerrillas hid in inaccessible mountainous forests. British military had to use fire to get them out burning down black strange coniferous trees. They say, it was not just the trees that suffered, unfortunately.

Small, cheap hotels buried in the green flower gardens and olive trees of Lourdata and surrounding towns offer clean and well-kept rooms with amazing views of the azure sea and the nearby island of Zakynthos. Lourdata has an extremely favourable location - 14 km from the airport and 16 km from Argostoli - the capital of Kefalonia (Cephalonia). It is equally easy to get to the famous beach of Myrtos as well as Poros and Sami, where you can catch a ferry to the neighbouring Ithaca or the mainland. If you have time to visit the island of Zakynthos, please, go to Pessada located just 8 km from Lourdata – a small ferry sails daily from this town to the island.

Hikers will spend perfect time walking along the coast towards Pessada and nearby towns. Along the way, you probably will not be able to resist the temptation to take a dip in the bays that you will meet along the way, admire the ruins of ancient buildings, and sunbathe on a wild beach. Although, be careful: the road may take several hours. Moreover, be sure to take into account the fact that the "return to civilization" can only happen if you turn back or reach the next town, because the break towering over the shore almost does not provide for rising to the top.
You can also make your way through the top road before reaching a pretty, little church and the beach Trapezaki. There is a hiking trail winding between tiny mountain streams and green, lush, and almost tropical forest.

Before reaching a bend to Trapezaki, you can turn to a secluded small beach Kanali, to which you will be lead by a narrow path that runs along the steep slope, where the locals manage to break the vegetable gardens growing in abundance tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, potatoes, cucumbers, and other eco-friendly edibles.
To the south of Lourdata, there is the Sission monastery. To get to it, you have to go up to the motorway heading towards the rocks, walk or drive to the sign indicating the right direction, and go down the paved road to the monastery, which houses a miraculous icon. Then, the asphalt turns into gravel and leads to the ruins of the old building of Sission that was destroyed by the earthquake.

Proceeding along the path further down, you will be taken to a wild beach with boulders and scenic coastline - no wonder the locals call it Paradisi, that is a “little paradise”.
From the motorway, just above Lourdata, the serpentine leads up to the nature reserve located on the top of the Mount Enos, the monastery of Saint Gerasimos, and the fortress of St. George. Along this way, the local people make the procession carrying the miraculous icon from the Sissia monastery to the Church of Annunciation (Church of Evangelistria) located near the fortress at the very top of the hill.
A perfect place for the wedding ceremony would be the church of Agia Paraskevi secluded among shaggy pines. The history of the church dates back to the 14th century. Restored recently, it is made of stone of a sand shade and is famous for its hagiography.

Cute Lourdata is sure to enchant you with its own unique charm, comfort, silence, and sweet aroma of herbs and flowers, beckoning to come back here again. Sincere hospitality of the locals will conquer you with its warmth and simplicity. It is not surprising that many, if not all, are keen to experience again and again that feeling of heavenly calm and serene joy that overcomes you in Lourdata and is almost universal in Kefalonia (Cephalonia) gently washed by the sky-blue waters of the warm Ionian Sea.

P.S. For the convenience of tourists, from 2014 on the beach of Lourdas - Trapezaki beach - Vlachata runs a mini bus. The schedule can be viewed here.


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