When you visit the cathedral and the monastery of the patron saint of Kefalonia, St. Gerasimos, you will almost certainly drive through Valsamata. It is the largest village in the beautiful Omala plateau and is located on the western slopes of Mt. Ainos.
The village is famous thanks to the festival (paniyiri) that takes place in the village every year on the 16th of August, the feast day of the Saint. Because Kefalonia’s famous traditional white wine is made from a unique varietal of grapes grown in the area around Valsamata, the theme of the festival is Robola wine. In both Valsamata and the neighboring village Fragata the celebrations last for two days and visitors can take part in all of the festive events. There is food, music and an abundance of free of charge Robola wine.
St. Gerasimos is grandly celebrated twice a year both on the 16th of August and on the 20th of October. The litany is attended every year by thousands of Kefalonians and visitors. October 20 is also the date of the name day. This means that all people with the name Gerasimos in Kefalonia celebrate and there is no family without at least one Gerasimos or a Gerasimoula! In most houses, one of the most delicious Kefalonian dishes, meat pie, is on the menu this celebration day.