can be said about this part of Kefalonia? Beautiful? stunning? Yes . . . all these and
There are no road signs to Horgota, also known as Gorgota, it is only marked
on some of the road maps of the island. Perhaps this is why at the moment it
is unspoiled by tourism, also until the last time I visited, it was difficult
to get here by road so it was mainly visited by sea with the occasional yacht
mooring off in the bay.
I was here in 2004 and was dismayed to discover a small tarmac access road had
just been completed leading down to the pebble beach. I sincerely hope that this
is not a sign that tourist development is going to follow and spoil such a peaceful
and remote part of the island.
Horgota is so beautiful with fir and olive trees surrounding a rugged beach.
Access is through a small mountain village where the road narrows, barely suitable
for one vehicle, widening out to a very steep 7km long road with plenty of dramatic
hairpin bends leading down to the sea. The views on the way down are absolutely
breathtaking, with the island of Ithaca as a wonderful backdrop.
I sat on the old derelict pier with my son and daughter in tranquility that is
Swimming in these very deep, crystal clear blue waters is something I will
always remember . . .
. . . for a while, it felt like I had found
Lost: On my return visit in 2005
my fears that the new road, built here during 2004,
would spoil this beautiful tranquil place were to my
utter dismay proved correct. Instead of peace, I found
cars parked all down this new road, the once peaceful
beach full of tourists, some with tents underneath
the olive trees, the remains of their campfires strewn
over the beach. Hardly any wooden slats from the pier
remained, either taken as souvenirs or burnt on the
campfires. I left with a heavy heart and anger at the
way some people have no consideration for preserving
the peace and beauty of this magnificent Island. I
hope that in building this new road, and the shameful
behaviour of some visitors that a lesson is learned
so that other remote parts of this Island are not ruined
2008: I returned to Kefalonia in
July 2008, and drove down to Horgota beach early morning
hoping to catch the sunrise over Ithaca. After the
scenes that I had witnessed in 2005, I could not bring
myself to return here in 2007 even though I was on
the Island so I had not been back to Horgota for over
two years and in many ways dreading what I would find
here, I was, however, absolutely delighted to find that
the local farmer appears to have reclaimed the beach
with his goats. The beach is smaller now than it was
then, as he has built a small retaining wall, which
takes up part of the beach, with a couple of small
outbuildings, only a small amount of the pier now remains.
It no longer appears to be a tourist attraction, as
I revisited by boat a few days later during the day
and still not a soul in sight . . . peace and
tranquility has returned!
Update 2010: I returned here in 2010 during the day and was very pleased
to find Horgota fairly deserted with just one other person on the beach. I
had a wonderful swim in Horgota's crystal clear bay and then sat for a while
on some rocks taking in the amazing scenery. All that is left of the pier is
the old rusting frame that once held the wooden slats together, these have
now completely disappeared . . . This is still one of my favourite
places to just sit in tranquility and take in the breathtaking views of Ithaca
and this beautiful island.