The team

GIORGOS POTAMIANOS MARKANTONATOS

The boss (he thinks)

Giorgio has strong roots in Kefalonia, his family’s name is registered in one of the oldest documents dating from 1262. His mother is a professional licensed guide for the National Tourist Organisation and has also written four books about the island of Kefalonia. His uncle owns the vineyards which produce the famous Mavrodaphni wine for the “Markantonatos” and “Gentilini” wine companies. He has been involved in adventure sports and activities since the age of 15 when he started walking, caving and learning about the historical background of Kefalonia. He became a volunteer with the fire service at the age of 16, which later lead to a full time position as a driver (fifth degree professional driver)- firefighter, for 6 years. He trained in the army with the Special Forces (1998-2000) in the “Mountain assault units”,where he was also a medic. After his army training he trained and became an expert in mountaineering, rock-climbing 7b- and ice-climbing 4+, 5 and as part of his training, he travelled throughout Greece to places such as Meteora, Mount Olympus and in Europe (La Grave, Fournel, Val d’aosta) to perfect his sport. He is an accomplished diver and is responsible for the department of diving at the sailing club of Kefalonia. Also worked as a diver at the reconstruction of the historical bridge of Argostoli. In 2005 he designed the new footpath system for Ainos Mountain’s national park, these paths were opened to the public in 2011. He has attended and completed various training courses and seminars based around his profession including areas such as the protection of yourself and the safety of others. As a kayaker he is an ISKGA coastal and BCU 4* sea kayaking guide (trained by Sea Kayaking Cornwall). In October 2013, he crossed the Adriatic sea, paddling 700 nm from Kefalonia to Venice in 34 days. He also undertakes rope access projects which involve accessing places in which the usual means of ladders or scaffolding can not be used and ropes are needed, usually very tall, deep or narrow places. He turned his numerable skills into a business in 2008.

IRENE

"The Real Boss"

With a mixture of genes from Kefalonia , Crete, England and Italy , Irene also has a quite mix of achievements and ambitions. Her family has been in Tourism since the 70’s with Travel Agencies in Athens and Kefalonia, and her parents own Panem Tours Travel Agency which has been operating in Kefalonia since 1980.She and her brother are now guiding Panem Tours into new activities. She studied Business Management in Athens, and worked in London for 6 years, in the PR Depratment of “The Berkeley” 5* hotel in Knightsbridge. Apart from her passion for ballet, in which she achieved certificates from the Royal Ballet School of London she still has many gold medals in swimming and sailling. Commited to both her family and businesses , she equally devides her time between her two loves. She is married to George Potamianos, and they have two boys, Alexandros and Philipos.

LEFTERIS

"The artist"

Lefteris was born in Kefalonia in a 1983 and spent his childhood exploring the island with his father, Simos, race driver and one of the first divers on the island who went on various expeditions and discovered many amazing things within Kefalonia’s underwater world. His father now has 3 fishing boats and catches tasty local fish and supplies these to traditional local tavernas. His father is also involved in local wine produce and has several vineyards on the island, making the traditional wine ‘Mavrodaphni’, a delicious, fruity red wine, for the “Markantonatos” and “Gentilini” wine companies. Lefteris himself is a lover of sport such as football, badminton, basketball and he also does Karate. He was a member of the Kefalonian sailing and rowing society and as a teenager he won first place in the Greek national rowing competition, a sport that he still enjoys very much. He spends a lot of his winter time in Thessaloniki, where he is a member of a local rowing club and has gained the 1st star in diving. Lefteris adores the sea and nature and knows Kefalonia inside and out, from both dry land and on top of and under the sea. As well as having a passion for the sea and the outdoors. Lefteris is a keen music enthusiast and is a guitar player in a band.He is part of our team with his roots firmly planted in Kefalonia and offering a genuine passion and knowledge of the island and all the mysteries that it holds .

MAKIS

“The mechanic”

Makis was born and raised in Kefalonia by a local family. Since he was young, he had the tendency to deal with anything that had mechanical parts. While growing, he took things more seriously, so he studied in college where he graduated with the specialty of vehicle electrical engineering. He worked as a car mechanic for three years and was also trained as a lifeguard, in first aids, sea rescue and survival. When free he spends most of his time fishing, hiking and riding his motocross – enduro bike.

Believe me there is no better driver, to drive you around the breathtaking gravel roads on the Kefalonian mountains.

GERRY

"The firefighter"

Gerry was born in Ontario Canada in 1977. He lived in Canada till the age of 11 and then moved to kefalonia. As a young adventuress boy he explored the island on foot and bike to discover its beauty. After his military service he joined the fire brigade and 15 years later is still a full time firefighter. In his spare time loves mountain biking on various trails of the island. He is also a mountain runner taking part in mountain races around Greece. He loves canyoning,caving ,sea kayaking and hiking.He is our basic assistance in all activities that have to do  with mountain trails, caving, canyoning and anything that has to do with ropes. When you will be “hanging around” close to the edge of a cave or cliff, he will always give you the “hand of god” to help you out.

KOSTAS

“The street trainer”

Born and raised in Kefalonia, konstantinos is a sports and athletics addict. Growing up in a fishing family, the son of one of the first divers in kefalonia, loves the sea and everything around it. He spends all his life on tracks and fields, cycling, swimming and street training. He is here to show you the coastline while coasteering or kayak, help you overcome your fears, and make the jump in to the unknown!

DIONISIS

"The engineer"

Dionisis was born and raised in Kefalonia. His father loved outdoor activities. That pushed him to move on the island, marry and live here ever since. He conveyed this love to both his children and spend a lot of time with them, swimming sailing, water skiing, scuba diving, windsurfing and even building and flying RC models. Dionisis the younger of the two at a very early age started to follow his father and brother trying his best to catch up. He was already water skiing at the age of 6 and had his own optimist boat with sail and outboard at the age of 10. He got involved in many sports: Volleyball, Squash, Badminton, Windsurfing, off road Motorcycling, Paragliding and Hanggliding. As a hangglider pilot he became member of the Greek national team and flew in international competitions both in Greece and in Europe. He studied Engineering in England and returned on the island to set up a consultancy. He got married to Demetra and they had a little boy Nikolas. At the age of 32 he had a diving accident that left him paralyzed with no use of his lower extremitiesand very little use of his arms. Restricted in a wheelchair the thing he missed most was the sea. With his engineering background he started developing systems that would allow him to use and possibly even sail his own boat. When the right boat came along, it all came together and “TETE” became a reality, a fully accessible speed boat. Now he wishes to share the experience of “TETE” with others, who share his love of the sea but do not have the means to enjoy it.

MARGOT

"The photographer"

Margot Raggett is from the UK originally but fell in love with Kefalonia over 20 years ago. After numerous visits she finally took the plunge to put down some roots and bought a villa (Korianna House in the village of Koriana near Spartia) in 2010. With a background in PR and marketing and a keen love of photography she now spends up to three months a year on the island and is usually found with a camera in her hand taking pictures. When she is not visiting, her beautiful villa is available for rental via http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/rentals/kefalonia/182623. Margot helps Outdoor Kefalonia with marketing advice, photographs and a general kick up the backside for Giorgio when she thinks he needs it ;)

GEORGE

"The wingman"

George is responsible of the outdoor activities in Ithaca and is running the “Ithaca sea kayaking day-trip” and some of our expeditions. He grew up on Ithaca, which is located at the north-east side of Kefalonia. He studied Electronic Engineering (BSc) at the Educational Institute of Athens. During his military service at the Hellenic Navy he trained as radar operator. He studied Renewable Energy Engineering (MSc) at Heriot Watt University of Edinburgh. For his dissertation he worked for PURE Energy Center in Shetlands, Scotland. Finally he decided to return to Ithaca and to setup his own company. His passion for his homeland is obvious. He was always interested in outdoor activities. He has been sea kayaking since 2006 and he completed the sea kayaking BCU (British Canoe Union) 3 star award in 2011. He has explored almost every islet of the central Ionian Sea with his sea kayak. As a sailor he did two offshore sailing courses (beginners and advanced) at the Hellenic Offshore Racing Club (HORC). He is also a dinghy sailing athlete at Proodos sailing club in Vathy, Ithaca. He also undertook a lifeguarding course at the Greek Lifeguard Academy (ENAK). In 2012 season he worked as a sea kayak guide at Ionian Explorers leading day and multi day trips, while he was doing his Divemaster intership at Nautilus Diving Club in Vasiliki, Lefkas. At the end of the season he worked as a Divemaster at the same diving center. Then he became an Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) and an Emergency First Response (EFR) or first aid instructor. After summer 2014 he gained the title of PADI MSDT (Master Scuba Diver Trainer). In October-November 2014 he undertook one of the most complete sea kayak guiding courses worldwide, the 6-week “Coastal Guide” course at Sea kayaking Cornwall. He was trained in leadership, incident management, coaching, sea survival, navigation, remote emergency care, expedition skills, surfing and advanced techniques by some of the best sea kayaking instructors, as Jeff Allen and Simon Osborne. BCU 4 star sea kayaking guide. Among his hobbies are football, basketball, free-diving, mountain biking, cycling, running, trekking, kiteboarding, snowboarding and photography.

SHAUN

"The shoul-paddler"

In 2007 after having sold his businesses in South Africa, Shaun moved with his young family to Kefalonia, where he worked as a commercial sea kayak guide for a few years, he took time to explore and expedition paddle a variety of areas and islands both locally and internationally, including expedition trips across the Aegean Sea and numerous Greek island circumnavigations, with the main aim to enjoy his paddling, children and family while they were still young. Shaun joined Outdoor Kefalonia in 2012 with the challenge and aim of developing the Outdoor Kefalonia sea kayaking division, he initially guided and worked in the business. He helped create the trip itinaries and foundation from which the division now operates. His business and coastal knowledge helped Outdoor Kefalonia develop a quality sea kayaking programme which added to and enhanced the already successful reputation of Outdoor Kefalonia as the islands PREMIER outdoor activity provider. In 2013 Shaun travzelled to Sea Kayaking Cornwall in the United Kingdom to attend the first ISKGA www.iskga.com (International Sea Kayaking Guides Association) Advanced guide training programme, where he developed himself as an advanced expedition guide and Sea Kayaking Cornwall team member www.seakayakingcornwall.com The unfortunate side of this decision was having to remove himself from the hands on running of the Outdoor Kefalonia sea kayaking division and leave his beloved Kefalonia, in search of international sea kayaking journeys and adventures. Shaun is now a partner and director of sea kayaking Cornwall,, ISKGA advanced guide and trainer, he teaches and guides sea kayaking trips across the globe. He continues to assist Outdoor Kefalonia as a technical advisor and staff trainer and has been awarded an “honorary life” Outdoor Kefalonia team membership position. He may be back in a guiding position when he one day returns to the serenity of the island and his village home in the village of Koudourata as a retired “soulpaddler” He still returns regularly with groups working alongside the Outdoor Kefalonia team guiding week long expeditions, sharing the beauty and magnificence of the Kefalonia coastline with clients from all over the world !

ANASTASIA

"The cute P. R."

About Us

OUTDOOR KEFALONIA ACTIVITIES

“Outdoor Kefalonia activities” is a family run, alternative tourism office, authorised by the GREEK TOURISM ORGANISATION (EOT) since 2008 (A/n: 08-30-E-61-00-01-343-0-1).We offer unconventional, alternative and extreme activities,such as: sea kayaking, jeep safaris, hiking, caving, and provide unique and different ways to explore and experience the breathtaking Ionian island of Kefalonia. Our aim is to show you the elements of earth, wind and water, mixing and fusing with the natural beauty of Kefalonia.

OUR AIM

Our aim is to show you the elements of earth and water, mixing and fusing with the natural beauty of Kefalonia. Through our quality adventures and tours (sea kayaking, jeep safaris, caving canyoning and more,) you will discover the national park which includes Ainos, the Black Mountain. In the shadow of this great mountain a rich nature of both plant and animal life will be uncovered, leaving you with lasting and memorable impressions of an island which was once called the umbilical cord of Europe, a relatively small, rare island which offers so many beautiful, interesting and varied things to its visitor.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

Our philosophy is to work with and amongst nature whilst showing the utmost respect for and protecting the environment.

ENJOY

Enjoy views that will leave you breathless, swim at secret, unknown beaches and let the cool, refreshing Ionian Sea wash over and relax you.

LIE BACK

Lie back in waters surrounded by lush greenery, endless blue skies and the unique ‘light’ of Kefalonia; discover a truly poetic place.

ESCAPE

Escape to an island steeped in tradition, culture, legend and mythology, an island that also has important historical significance and stories to tell you. All these experiences can be revealed to you by local people, who have a passion and respect for the island and will show you an untouched, unspoilt traditional island away from the usual tourist traps.

The island



My Kefalonia, the most westerly island of Greece, lies in the Ionian Sea, in the channel leading into the Gulf of Patras. With its ca. 780 square kilometres, the island is the largest of the Eptanisa (the Seven Islands). Turquoise seas, lush green vegetation, wild and sheer mountain scenery and a fascinating variegated geological profile have given Kefalonia a special atmosphere and beauty. Broad sandy beaches, small coves, and steep cliffs, steppe-like plains, fertile valleys, dense black forests of fir, a unique complex of caves and the highest mountain in the Ionian Islands, Mount. Aenos, standing at 1628m, are the most striking features of the island.

Kefalonia is characterized by the creative forces of nature and three thousand years of cultural history. In 1953 there was a devastating catastrophe, of a type that affects the Ionian Islands, located on the edge of the Eurasian continental shelf, a massive earthquake destroyed nearly 90 per cent of buildings on the island, roads disappeared and houses lay in ruins. The architecture, once predominantly Venetian in style was adjusted to modern conditions and now all Kefalonia’s building are built to strict standards making them earthquake safe.

In 2008, the economic magazine Forbes ranked Kefalonia as the fourth most idyllic places in Europe, rich in natural beauty and with the qualities of a relaxed and comfortable life. The island of Kefalonia is a place of special attraction and magic.



USEFUL LOCAL TELEPHONE NUMBERS


FIRE DEPARTMENT

199

POLICE STATION

100

BUS SERVICES

210 515 0785

AIRPORT

26710 28808

HOSPITAL

166

PORT

2671022224