Kefalonia’s natural wealth is unique amongst the Ionian Islands. The island’s unusual geomorphology with its tall mountains, in excess of 1000 metres, in a relatively small area, but also the closed coves and natural beaches form a rich coastline offering a sanctuary to rare and abundant species of flora and fauna. Mount Ainos has taken the lead role with its black fir-trees that overlook the majestic scenery.
Mount Ainos or the Black Mountain ... The Ainos Mountain range, which has a crest of approximately 14 km and has a south easterly direction, overlooks the island. Its wealth of native and rare species of flora and fauna, but also the need to protect the Kefalonian fir-tree forest (black fir-tree, abies cephalonica) led to a large area of the mountain being designated as a National Park in 1962. The national park has an area of 2,862 hectares. The first section reaches up to the highest peak of Mega Soros and the second includes part of the neighbouring Mount Roudi. The Kefalonian fir-tree can be found throughout almost all the area, although most of the native Kefalonian species are also encountered.
The Venetians called Mount Aino “Elatovouni” or Mavrovouni” (Monte Nero) because of the deep green colour of a fir tree that densely covered the mountain slopes. For the Kefalonians, however, Mount Ainos will always be the island’s “Big Mountain”, an element of nature that inspired myths and legends. Stories created by folklore imagination exist to this day constituting a valuable element of its cultural inheritance.