Explore an Abandoned Village
Distance: 2.20 km
Terrain: Varied , rough uneven track and some tarmac
Duration: 1 hour approx
Views: Rural hillsides and across to Ithaca
Points of interest: Stone Throne, Old Church, Deserted Village
Other: Ends in village of Antipata, option to continue to Dafnoudi
An interesting walk that begins from Fiscardo and takes you back in time. This walk can be combined to make a longer hike to Dafnoudi beach or used as a shortcut to the village of Antipata. There is a restaurant in Antipata, so a good place to stop for a drink or a snack! If you are staying in accommodation in Antipata, then this route in reverse is the most direct way to walk to Fiscardo.
Start Point: The main road above the village – close to the main rubbish disposal area.
You can reach this point either by taking the road from the main car park towards Argostoli. About 300 metres on your left, you will pass some bins and a refuse compactor. Turn left up this track. Alternatively, from the square in Fiscardo, walk past the pharmacy and Ellies bakery then proceed straight ahead until you reach the main road.
You will see the bins on your left and the track will be almost opposite you. Click to view start point on Google Maps
The first place to check out is the ancient throne of the Queen of Fiscardo. This is about 100 meters up the track on your right hand side, just beyond the parking for Queen Club. There is a very small stone lined path leading to the ‘throne’. This is possibly a natural formation, but is more likely to have been hewn from the solid rock. Local legend suggests, that it was here that the Queen of Fiscardo held court. After checking out the throne, continue up the track, which becomes quite rough and resembles a dry riverbed. To your left and right you will notice the remains of old terraces now long overgrown and as you reach the brow of the hill, you will notice fields to your left. Beyond these fields you may now be able to catch a glimpse of the deserted village. Continue just a little further and the track becomes a tarmac road.
On your left, above the road, is the church of Saint Spiridon. If you are interested, there are some gravestones here, which date back to the turn of the century. Continue up the tarmac road a few yards, and from here you will get a good view of the village. To get to the village you need to continue a little further. First, you will pass a stone house on your right, immediately followed by a small bungalow on your left. About fifty metres past this you will notice a newly widened footpath on your left – this loops back and leads directly to your destination, the old village of Psilithrias. Here you can admire the view of Ithaca and the sea below and ponder on the past inhabitants of this once thriving village. Although a couple of the houses have been renovated and are used during the summer, the majority are not habitable.
Some of the houses were quite grand in their time as you will see remains of large gateposts and majestic balconies. It is interesting to note that this village cannot be seen from the sea. Villages on Kefalonia were often built in similar locations. This was in order not to be seen by pirates. Access was entirely on foot, and goods were transported by mule or donkey. Once you have absorbed the atmosphere of the village you can either re-trace your steps to Fiscardo or continue another ten minutes up the track to the village of Antipata. With it’s typically Greek taverna, school building, church and large village square,this is a relaxing place to catch your breath and enjoy a cool drink or a snack before making the return journey, or continuing your adventure.