Used as a backdrop for films such as Captain Corelli’s Mandolin this stunning island boasts many unique locations that will leave even the most avid traveller breathless.
Now, before I go on I must admit there is a little bias here (OK, a lot of bias) as this is my mothers birth place and I visit the island every time I’m in Greece.
Kefalonia( or Cephalonia) is situated west of mainland Greece in the Ionian Sea and is the largest island of the Ionian Islands, approximately 786.6 km² with the town of Argostoli being the islands capital.
Because the island is so big you’ll be spoiled for choice as to where to stay and what to do. Renting a car is a must if you’re planning on visiting.
There are so many places to see; amongst the biggest attractions are caves, villages ( approximately 365 of them) and beaches. Since there are so many – you can virtually write a book on the island, I’ve listed my favourite spots below.
Melissani Cave: This is truly one of natures greatest productions. The cave is located at Karavomylos near Sami and was discovered in the early 1950’s. Since then has become a popular tourist destination. The rays of sunshine that enter the cave through its collapsed roof glisten off the cool blue waters that fill the cave.There are boat rides that take you around allowing you to get a closer feel for this nymphs playground.
Drogarati Cave: A short distance from Melissani cave, this marvel of nature is filled with stalactites and stalagmites. You can walk through this cave and take in all its splendour. It also has great acoustics and has had many concerts held in its entrance chamber.
Assos: This small picturesque village is situated on the northern side of the island on cliffs along a peninsula with the same name not very far from Myrtos beach. The town is set amongst cypresses and pine trees with houses painted in many different colours. There aren’t many shops there, the village is small with a few local handcrafts. It’s charming and quiet, a nice place for a romantic over night stay. My tip is go for a day trip you swim and also have lunch at one of the few taverns that sit by the water. You’ll need a car or motor bike to get here.
Fiscardo: Another picturesque village situated on the northern tip of the island , and was built around a harbour. The village was left virtually unscathed from the earthquake of 1953. The buildings you see here are old, original and like Assos they are colourful. A stroll around the harbour will leave you breathless at the yachts of the rich that frequent the the place for its tranquility.
Myrtos: This has to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, it’s located 30kms north from the islands capital Argostoli. The white rock cliffs and hills that surround the beach provide a stunning back drop for the cool blue waters and white pebbles (no sand here folks) that make this beach one of the best in Greece. The best place to take a photo is at the top just before you head down to the beach.
Xi: OK, so this beach is a bit different to the others. Forget the whit sand or pebbly beaches, its sand is red and it has clay cliffs. But don’t let that deter you. This is your 2 in one day spa and beach experience. You can break the clay from the cliffs that surround it and rub it on your skin or face (as most of the locals do). The beach has water activities and hosts a few tavernas and cafes. This gorgeous beach is located about 10 km from the town of Lixouri or about 40 kms from Argostoli.
Makris Gialos and Platis Gialos: these beaches are right next to each other in Lassi which is south of Argostoli on the way to the airport. If you’re in Argostoli its a short cab ride away . Both beaches are surrounded by rich lush vegetation. Makris Gialos however is more for the party goer, it has a variety of water sports and beach bars – Costa Costa being the most popular. Platis Gialos is quieter and out of the two beaches most locals can be found there.
There are many more beaches, villages and attractions to visit and way too many to list .
Wherever you decide to stay in Kefalonia you will have a range of places to visit and activities to choose from.