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Lixouri is the second largest community in Kefalonia after Argostoli and is the capital of the small Paliki peninsula. The town has a small port with a ferry line with services to Argostoli (in the season every half hour) that is used for vehicles under five tons. Other services are in summer to Patras and Killini on the mainland. There is a Square by the port and it is surrounded on three sides by Cafes, bars and small tavernas. It is a short stroll from the promenade where the ferry arrives and you can sit with a coffee awaiting your return crossing in comfort.

Lixouri can be reached by either driving around the coast road, about a 30-40 minute drive, or by taking the ferry from the island's capital, Argostoli across the gulf, about 15 minutes sailing time.

Most of the town was destroyed in the 1953 earthquake, although there are a few public buildings still preserved in their pre-1953 condition, the Tipaldon-Lakovaton public library and Museum being one of them. Lixouri is not as busy as Argostoli, with a relaxed atmosphere; it is certainly worth exploring this part of the island.

Bring the car over with you on the ferry; it is then a very easy drive to some very nice beaches, XI being probably one of the best. I had a very pleasant trip on the ferry across the gulf, I then returned along the very scenic coast road to finish a wonderful trip.

Be warned, returning this way is not for the fainthearted, as it is a winding road that needs great care, particularly as in places there are no barriers and you are just inches from some very sensational drops to the right. You can of course drive from Argostoli hugging the mountainside and then return by ferry. Islanders do advise that the safest way around the island is to drive clockwise, thus always being mountainside, although not always possible this is very good advice to take.

I actually enjoy driving on these dramatic roads, although I would not recommend them to inexperienced or nervous drivers. On my visits to the island each year I notice more new barriers on various main roads, which are getting safer.

Update: On my return visit in 2007 I found that the Lixouri side of the Island has had a steady increase in tourism. At the moment it does not seem to have any detrimental effect to this side of the Paliki peninsula, as most of the villas and apartment have been built inland. I spent some time on Xi beach and I am pleased to say that it has not changed since by previous visit in 2005.

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