Castles of Greece


Atheras, Cephalonia, Ionian islands

Vardiola of Atheras

or Vardiola of Agios Spyridon  
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Vardiola of Atheras
Atheras bay at the northwestern side of Kefalonia island
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
Ionian islands
Municipality > Town:
City of Cephalonia
• Atheras
Elevation ≈ 5 m 
Time of Construction   Origin
16th cent. before 1571  
Castle Type   Condition
Not Good

A venetian guard-post (aka vardiola) at the little bay of Atheras close to the monastery of Saint Spyridon.

The unusual characteristic of this vardiola is that it appears to be hidden and looks like a rock from a distance but maybe it was not designed like this and its stealth position has been the result of land sliding.


About Vardiolas in general

The word “vardiola” was venetian and originates probably from the word guardiola (a common castle term meaning guard or observatory). It is used for the various watchtowers that the Venetians built on the coasts of the Ionian islands. There are vardiolas in Kythira, Cephalonia and Zakunthos. Some of them are included in Kastrologos. Probably, there are many more. We do not know (in this site) if the name “Vardiola” is used for watchtowers in other areas outside the Ionian islands.

The Vardiolas had a very particular design: small dimensions, strong stone walls with a square-pyramid-shaped roof.

In an official venetian document since 1584, it is reported that the number of the vardiolas in Cephalonia were 129. Around 10 of them can still be traced, while only 3 or 4 are in a relatively good condition.

The coastal defensive system of the island was designed in 1540 and was constructed before 1571. So all the vardiolas of Cephalonia are constructions of the late 16th century.


  • Αργύρης Θ. Κρητικός, Παρασκευάς Στ. Μαρούλης , «ΒΙΓΛΕΣ-ΒΑΡ∆ΙΟΛΕΣ ΚΕΦΑΛΟΝΙΑΣ», Πτυχιακή εργασία Α ΤΕΙ Πειραιά, Τμήμα Πολιτικών και Δομικών Έργων, Athens 2007, available also online
  • Information sent by Mr. Ioannis Dedes
  • Γεώργιος Ν. Μοσχόπουλος, Ιστορία της Κεφαλονιάς, τόµος Α΄, Αθήνα 1985

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