Makriotika, Kefalonia, Greece .... Makriotika Village - located approximatly 5 kms inland from Aghia Efimia and nestling on the lower slopes of Agia Dinati Mountain you will find the traditional Greek Village of Makriotika. It is a small village of approximately 350 inhabitants. An authentic working Greek village with a definite sense of it's own identity. It boasts three churches, a smart Cafe (The Nikteritha), a Taverna (The Maklithari) and a little supermarket. Close by there is also a Monastery called the Themata Monastery, built around the 1600's (worth a visit!)
However, what is really nice about Makriotika is it is a vibrant, living village with a history where a traditional Greek way of life and culture is still maintained. The village is home to the Olive Story Museum - a charming village museum dedicated to the history of the production of Olive Oil - it's well worth a visit.
Makriotika has a proud history of defending the village and it's people. In 1907 Marinos Antipas died. (1872-1907). He was the first campaigner fighting for the rights of the villagers to work only 8 hours a day and to get paid for it!
There was a form of almost serfdom close to slavery with the people tied to the wealthy land owners. Some say Marinos Antipas was murdered. There is a statue raised to him in Potamianata at the bottom of the hill near the shell petrol station.
In 1940 the Germans arrived in the village and attempted to control the whole area, this split the people of the area into various factions. In 1945 The Axis (German and Italian) forces left. The power vacuum that developed immediately afterwards was exploited by the communists who, gathering men from all over Greece attempted to assume control by force. There was a riot and the men of Makriotika banded together and stopped the communists coming up the hill despite being out numbered by them. They prevailed and defeated the communist insurgents. The road where it happened is named after the defending heroes. 'Othos Ethnikis Antistasis'. Or very roughly translated "The road the nationals stopped the communists."
On the 28th of October the whole of Greece celebrates Independence Day (known locally as "Ochi Day") and the village of Makriotika is no exception. This is not to be confused with another Independence Day celebration in March held in Aghia Efimia which celebrates independence from the Turks!
What is amazing is to see the small village of Makriotika with a population of about 350 people put on such a display on the 28th October each year! A recent local Mayor, Markos Kostilinis, obtained funding to establish a youth band complete with uniforms. Coffee and biscuits were also provided afterwards in the local cafe-bar, 'The Nikteritha'. It is/was a great day and the children love marching through the village with their proud parents looking on.