Abandoned houses, half-ruined churches, signs of life that was here until yesterda . In Old Vlahata the time has stopped in August 1953. It was then that earthquake attacked in Kefalonia , Zakynthos and Ithaca. The 7.2 Richter earthquake of August 12th 1953 completed the destruction: all residents of the small beautiful village were forced to abandon their homes and leave. Since then, the village remains deserted. Small houses built in traditional Ionian architecture , churches , the central square of the village, the old Girls’ School, the old cisterns, the stone ovens, the tools and objects left by the settlers, the old roads are only a few sites of those can be seen by a visitor today at Old Vlahata.
It is a ghost-village, in a scene that looks like something from a movie .
A unique art festival brings to life the Old Vlahata every August. This is the “Saristra Festival”: concert , video art, seminars, lectures and exhibitions. The “Saristra” is the central square of the village where the main stage is set up for the festival. Far from the idea of merchantability respecting the historic site, the events have great public acceptance. “We understand our festival as a postmodern traditional festival. As we appreciate the festivities and watch them in various villages of Kefalonia, we decided to set it up with the material of our generation” says the journalist Fotis Vallatos, one of the organizers of the festival to present the spirit of the event.
You can visit Old Vlahata either by Sami (3 km distance) or by Karavomilo, which is even closer. The route by Karavomilo where most of the old inhabitants were relocated passes through the olive groves and it can be pleasant on foot or by bike.