Just north of the beautiful beach of Myrtos lies the sleepy pretty village of Assos.
A series of hairpin bends take you down from the cliff top road to the bottom where you will find the romantic village.
Assos has a “lost in time” feeling to it. It is almost as if once you are encased in the atmosphere of the village, you simply forget that the rest of the world exists.
There is a small village square with a few taverns and restaurants, there is a small harbour where little fishing boats bob up and down and you may even catch a glimpse of a luxury yacht or two. Assos has a small pebbly beach where you can sunbathe and the waters are clear and shallow. The pretty coloured houses dotted around nestling into the craggy hillside all have wonderful views of the bay.
This is the place to come and spend the day doing nothing, besides sampling the local wine, trying the fresh fish , relaxing and just absorbing in the tranquility and peacefulness that is Assos.
The Castle of Assos was built in the 16th century by the Venetians to protect the village from pirate attacks. Fortifications used to cover almost the entire village, though today not much of the Castle remains. Parts of the walls and an arched entrance gate are the mainly preserved sections. These remaining parts though, have a strong Venetian fortification style and the Venetian Lion of Saint Mark over the gates. The Castle of Assos had four entrance gates, but only two remain today.
Within the ruins, you will find some interesting structures, such as the small church of Agios Markos and the house of the Venetian High Commissioner. A little lower down the hill, there is another chapel dedicated to Prophet Elias, which also has a beautiful wood carved iconostasis. The strategic location of the Castle allowed the supervision of the whole sea area and from there you can admire a beautiful view of the bay. Till 1956, the Castle of Assos was used as a jail for political prisoners, who lived there and cultivated vineyards.
Not many places have such a dramatic setting as Assos, Sadly, as with the rest of the villages and towns in Kefalonia, the 1953 earthquake took its toll on the village, leaving most of the buildings damaged. The Venetian architecture still remains, if only in a ruined state. It serves as a ghostly reminder of days gone by. There are back streets for you to wander around, however it does get hotter further back into the village, so the use of a hat should be considered.
While Assos may be a fantastic relaxing base, car hire is a must if you wish to see other locations around the island, as Assos is rather remote.
Myrtos beach is just around the bay and can be reached via the cliff top road, from which you will have great views of the surrounding area and of Assos itself, so have your camera at the ready!
The island's capital, Argostoli, is approximately 45 minutes away by motor vehicle, and the international airport an hour away.