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Katelios, on the south-west coast of Kefalonia, was little more than a hamlet until about twenty years ago, when tourists first discovered the beauty and tranquillity offered by the sandy beach and flat farming land in the plain behind. A couple of tavernas and a small collection of fishermen’s huts were dotted about behind the tiny harbour area, known as Kato Katelios, while the local population, such as it was, lived in Ano Katelios, a small settlement at the foot of the hill, or in the nearby hill villages surrounding the wide valley.

Popular among the more mobile citizens of Argostoli for the quality of its seafood, Katelios has quietly grown over the last two decades as more people discover its delights and return year after year.
agia barbara

church At the western end of Mounda Bay, and separated from Mounda beach by a rocky outcrop, Katelios has been inhabited over a long period of time. At nearby Mavrata there is (allegedly) a Mycenaean tomb and Roman remains going back some 2,000 years can be found just behind Agia Barbara beach. Although Mounda Bay is very shallow there is evidence that Katelios was a port and trading centre during the Roman and Venetian periods, witnessed by the remains of an old mole near the fishering harbour.

During the Second World War the British submarine HMS Perseus sank in the straits between Kefalonia and Zakynthos after striking a mine. The only survivor, John Capes, was rescued by fishermen from nearby Mavrata.

Katelios, like virtually all of Kefalonia, was all but destroyed during the earthquake of 1953. Remains of the old church exist in Ano Katelios and, despite growing popularity as a tourist resort, Katelios is still largely an active agricultural area with fertile soil irrigated by streams from the mountains above. These streams powered water-mills from the Roman period until quite recently and there is a very pleasant  - if somewhat haphazard - walk, taking in the remains, down from Pastra to Katelios.

This fertile farming land is slowly sprouting new tourist accommodation, including two new, up-market hotels, yet remains very much a rural village and, although only some seven kilometres from lively Skala, has a character all of its own.

katelios beach
Katelios beach, photo by Tony & Kath
Although there are a couple of off-beach bars offering quizzes and sports channels on wide-screen television, you won’t find the usual tourist trappings. There’s a daily bus (or two) to Skala, Poros and Argostoli (but not on Sundays and ‘Bank Holidays’), also a water-bus to Skala and Poros.

There’s a good choice of tavernas and bars, a choice of tours and car hire, three mini-markets, several gift shops and exchange facilities; a pharmacy, doctors and ATM machines are available in Skala.

Although much of the tourist accommodation in Katelios is block-booked by British package tour companies there is also a variety of good independent accommodation available, see the
Katelios map & accommodation listing

Irrespective of age, Katelios will particularly appeal to 
bird watchers, nature lovers and mature- minded people seeking a relaxing holiday in a peaceful, rural setting, especially early and late season.

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