9th Ionian VolksFest Kefalonia

The best meeting of the year for us is without a doubt the 9th Ionian VolksFest on the Greek island of Kefalonia. For years we have gathered here for a weekend with friends, wonderful touring trips with our aircooled cars around the island and beautiful excursions.

This year was no exception! Even though we went to Kefalonia by plane, we were able to participate in style, thanks to Charis, who lent us a beetle.
This year the meeting was held in Sami, a beautiful port town on the east side of Kefalonia.

Friday, September 1

On Friday, we gathered at Odysseus Zoo Land, near Sami. This park showcases Odysseus’ journey through various exhibits. In addition to the exhibits, there are also various animals that Odysseus encountered during his return to Ithaca.

We had driven by here many times in previous years, but had never visited the park.
It was a fun and educational visit and we will definitely visit again in the future.

From the theme park we left for a short drive to Drogarati Cave, which is only a few hundred meters away. Drogarati Cave is known for its impressive stalactites and stalagmites. There is even a grandstand in Drogarati Cave where concerts are given due to its excellent acoustics. After a visit to the cave we got free drinks and prepared for a short ride to the Melissani Cave.


Melissani Cave is one of the most beautiful and interesting sights of Kefalonia. The cave was discovered in 1951 by Greek speleologist Giannis Petrocheilos after part of the roof collapsed. The lake is about 20 meters underground and it is between 10 and 30 meters deep. The cave is worth visiting, especially between noon and 3 p.m., when the sun shines into the cave.

After our visit to the cave, it was time to cool down. A few minutes’ drive away is Agia Paraskevi, where we were able to swim for a couple of hours and enjoy a drink at the bar.

In the evening, a delicious dinner was arranged at Georgios Giafis Farm. And with that, the first day of the 9th Ionian VolksFest came to an end.

Saturday, September 2

On Saturday, we gathered early at Sami Harbor. Here we were picked up by the Ionian P Lines ferry, for an “aircooled only” crossing to the island of Ithaca.

After half an hour of sailing we arrived on the island after which we took beautiful mountain roads towards Kioni, where we had time to look around and have breakfast by the sea.

After this it was time to leave towards the monastery of Kathara. The monastery could be visited and from the old tower there was a magnificent view over the bay, with the town of Vathy on the other side.

The next destination was the town of Vathy, which we had a great view of earlier.
Here we were able to line up all the Volkswagens along the waterfront, after which we could go into the town for lunch and some ice cream, as it was very hot.
After a while we left for a short drive to Tsiribis Restaurant and the adjacent Loutsa Beach to eat and swim.

Unfortunately, after that it was time to head back towards the ferry and leave Ithaca behind us. One thing is for sure, we will return here again!

In the evening, the annual raffle was held with great prizes provided by the sponsors.

Sunday, September 3

Already the last day of this great meeting.
Today we gathered again at the port of Sami, after which we left for a visit to Orealios Gaea, where the famous Robola wine is made. The grapes from which the wine is made come from the steep slopes, where everything has to be done by hand. These farming methods combined with the surrounding microclimate give the wine its special flavor.

During our visit to Orealios Gaea, trophies were also presented to the participants of the Volksfest and friends of the club who worked to make this meeting a success.
The club had special trophies in the form of beetles and a bus made, a wonderful memento of this meeting.

From the winery, it was a very short drive to the adjacent Saint Gerasimos church and monastery. Agios Gerasimos is the patron saint of Kefalonia. After Gerasimos died in 1579 he was canonized the monastery was named Agios Gerasimos.
The body of Gerasimos lies in a silver sarcophagus in the church to this day.

Saint Gerasimos is believed by natives of Kefalonia to protect them and to also heal them of illness. Many natives of the island name their children after Saint Gerasimos as a tribute to the saint who protects them.

In 1953, immediately after the devastating earthquake on Kefalonia, there were many claimed sightings of Saint Gerasimos throughout the island who is believed to have comforted and tended to the injured trapped inside homes and buildings.

All over the island you can find old villages that were abandoned in 1953 after the earthquake. After Agios Gerasimos, we visited Old Valsamata. In recent years we have visited several of these villages, but it is still impressive that everything was left like this, a a huge tragedy for the island.

After a short walk through the old village we were invited to the shop of Vassikis Winery for some wine tasting and to get some local weets and olive oil.

One of the highlights for us was the visit to Ainos National Park at Mount Ainos.

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