Kefalonia, the largest of the Ionian Islands, has been recently made popular by the film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, originally a book by Louis de Bernieres. The islands known history dates back to about 5000 BC but most of its influence has been through Greek and Roman occupation and more recently Venetian rule in the 16th and 17th century. The islands coastline is a mix of steep-sided cliffs, coves and sandy beaches whilst inland Mount Ainos, in the National Park of the same name, rises up to 1628m. A devastating earthquake destroyed most of the island buildings in 1953; some villages were completely wiped out. Most buildings have been rebuilt although there is still some evidence, especially in the rural areas, of this well documented tragedy. Kefalonia seems to have escaped the tourism explosion of some parts of other Greek Islands being on the whole a quiet and laid back island.
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