Fiskardo – does it have the X factor?

Fiskardo is a small harbour town on the north east tip of Kefalonia.  It was once only known as a fishing village, and a handful of local boats still remain, but nowadays it has become an immensely popular and cosmopolitan resort, and attracts huge yachts as well as flotillas and cruising yachts throughout the season.  

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The attractive buildings, many of Venetian origin, stand grandly along the waterfront, most of which survived the huge 1953 earthquake which destroyed most of the buildings on Kefalonia in 1953.  An exploration of the narrow backstreets, stone steps and alleyways give you an idea of what Fiskardo was like at the turn of the century.

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If you are prepared to pay for an extra-special holiday in Greece, maybe in a private villa or exclusive apartment with your own pool, you will love Fiskardo.  But it doesn’t really represent the ‘real’ Greece.  Maybe that doesn’t matter to you.  You won’t see piles of rubbish, skinny cats, half built buildings or holes in the road here. 

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You will love the exclusive gift shops, the little boutiques, jewellery shops, and most of all the wonderful waterside restaurants.  You will be amazed by the beautifully decorated tables and chairs, with luxurious cushions and furnishings.   This isn’t really what Greece is like, and I’m sure in winter the whole place closes down and the business owners retire to their homes elsewhere.

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We have visited Fiskardo about half a dozen times over the years, and it never changes, it is still a pretty place to be. But I no longer get the ‘wow’ factor. However, we don’t think of ourselves as being on holiday.  We are liveaboards (until the end of the season) and we don’t have an unlimited supply of money, or even a holiday fund.  Every time we eat out or have a coffee or beer ashore, we have to watch the pennies and we can often be found walking around a place to find the cheapest cup of coffee, or the most economical place to shop. 

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You can actually hear my husband Tim take a sharp intake of breath and mutter those immortal words – ‘that is going to be expensive’ when he walks past a restaurant which has proper linen tablecloths, cutlery for several courses, highly polished wine glasses, and comfy cushioned seats. The don’t call them ‘tavernas’ here, as a proper Greek taverna has uncomfortable chairs, a paper tablecloth and wine served out of a metal jug….

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