Assos probably has the most distinctive feature in the whole of Kefalonia, with the 16th century Venetian fortress of Assos built out on a large and strange isthmus of rock that hides Assos from its seaward side and forms a shallow and warm natural harbour.

Situated on the same dramatic coastline as Mirtos, in fact literally just around the corner, this attractive village was re-built after being destroyed in the 1953 earthquake that rocked the island. A winding steep descent from the main road leads down to the sheltered harbour.

There is a very rough, steep unmade narrow road leading up to the fortress ruins, it was not until I drove up to the fortress on a previous visit that I realised how dangerous this road really was as parts had crumbled away.

I was on the island when an earthquake measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale was felt, on my visit up to Assos ruins I discovered that parts of the road leading up to the fortress had developed a fissure down the centre of the road. I had to endure a very slow heart stopping ride up, as it was too dangerous to try to turn the car around on such a narrow road until I reached the top, where there is space to turn, and then inch my way back down again, I was very relieved to reach the bottom safely. The road really is now totally unsuitable for vehicles.

I will certainly revisit, only this time climb the road on foot, it will be a long hard climb, but having been there I know that it will be worth the effort, the reward will be some of the most breathtaking views of this . . .

. . . oh! so beautiful island!


Update 2011: After visiting Assos, many times over the past few years I was amazed at the amount of work that had been done over the 2010 winter to the road leading up to the ruined Assos Fortress. The very dangerous road has now been made safe and completely paved. Vehicles are not permitted on this paved road so you would need to be quite fit to get to the top on foot, but well worth the effort as it is a very pleasant walk up to the fortress with some amazing views of the Mirtos/Assos coastline along the way.

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