Kefalonian Roots     Genealogical Services for Kefalonia, Greece


The Derivation Of The Names  Of Significant  Places And Towns




With thought, wisdom and humor, the Kefalonians have named many of the landforms and towns on their island. The sources for the majority of these names were mythology, history, religion, literature, beauty and even the practical use of an area. Because of this, the names have very interesting derivations and meanings.
Below, is a list of the most familiar places and towns; the municipality in which they are located; and their derivation and meaning. The list is far from complete, more additions will be made . To see the geographical location of each of the places listed below, click on the respective name of the town or place link.

If you know the name, derivation and meaning of a place or town on the island, please send your information by e-mail to stating of the Subject Line:  Deriv. of Name of Places/Towns - add.; in the Message Area: your information along with a source of your information and in the Signature: your name and e-mail address. The contributors of information used on the site will be listed in the  Credits. 

 Geographical Map


                                           Municipalities and their abbreviation















  Community Omalon



Place / Town Municipality Derivation Meaning


Petanoi Beach - 1


Peta  Petaei  =  to fly

Nous = Mind

Humoristic Explanation:

It is said that one's mind flies with joy when one sees the beauty of the beach and the sea.  This is very true, and is therefore a perfect name for the beach.

Historical Explanation:

From Homer's word for the area, "epietaneoi": which meant "much water" from springs in the mountains.  From the word epietaneoi, the letters e, i and the third e, were removed; thus leaving the word Petanoi, the present name for the beach.

 Sunken Lake  Melissani   2


Melissa =  bee

In mythology, Melissa, a sister-in-law of the god Pana, fell in love with him, but he did not desire her.  She committed suicide in the lake, and the lake was named after her, Melissani.

Another theory states that the lake took its name from the fact that there were many bee keepers in the area of the lake.  The Greek word for bee is melissa.

      Drogarati Caves   3


Drogos = dragon

Name of the area where the cave was found by a shepherd's dog that went into the cave while the shepherd was grazing his sheep  The cave was first called the Cave of the Dragon - Grk. Drakon, but later it became known as Drograti.
         Fiskardon     4



 Named for a man from Normandy, Roberto Guisardo, who came to Kefalonia in 1085, during the Crusades.  He stayed in the port village of Panomorphos (Gk.= very beautiful) and there he died.  The town was then named Piscardon, and later Fiskardon.
           Lixouri        5


Lixis ourion:

 Lixis means end of

 ourion, in Nautical language,  means the winds coming from the stern of the ship and going toward the bow.  

Ending of the helpful winds.  The winds, which come from the stern of the ship as it enters the Gulf of Argostoli from the Ionian Sea.  In the waters off shore of  Lixouri, the southern, "stern", winds begin to die down as they hit against the mountains.
              Argostoli   6


Argo means slow

stolo means fleet

Before Argostoli became the capital of Kefalonia, it was a port for the ships, which at that time were powered by oars.   They were considered slow moving ships; therefore, the name argo for slow and stoli for fleet.

Another theory for the name:  That it came from the surname Argostolis, which was documented in the area of Cranea,  a section of present day Argostoli.

              Mt. Ainos   7


ainos means praise

The highest point on the island.  The mountain is reaching up as to praise  God.
             Assos         8


The name of a town in Asia Minor. In a certain period of history, date undetermined at this point - believed to be before 1638, many people from Greek colonies in Asia Minor came to Kefalonia. It is said that they brought the name and named this area Assos.

Vardianos   9


Means: to guard, to keep watch over. A small, long, narrow island off the southern coast of Paliki.  In its physical location, it stands as a "guard" ,off the southern coast of Paliki and at the mouth of the Gulf of Argostoli.

Korianna  10


Means:                     The daughter, Anna The first family to arrive in the present day area of Korianna was the family Rosolymos.  They had one child, a daughter, who was ill.  When her parents died she remained in the same house.  The women from the area would say, "lets go see kori  Anna.  Kori in Greek means daughter. Slowly the two words were joined and the women said "let's go see korianna".  The area became known as Korianna.



Human Resources

Unfortunately at the present time, there is no known book stating the derivation of the names of places and towns on Kefalonia. All of the information on this topic has been passed from generation to generation by oral tradition. It is hoped that one day someone will compile all of the pertinent information on this topic and write a book, which all Kefalonians  can enjoy.  The sources for this information were:

Mrs. Fillipatoy:                

She was raised in the area of Paliki, Kefalonia and is well educated in the derivation of the names of   places and towns.

Mr. Gerasimos Galanos:    

He has lived in Lixouri all of his life and is a local historian.

Mr. Dionysios Synodinos-Vallianos:

He is a  life-long resident of Paliki, and knows its oral history.


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