The region of Sami is located on the central east coast of Kefalonia, and is characterised by lush green mountains, rugged coastline, beautiful beaches and bustling traditional villages. The area is home to many natural phenomena as well as ancient and historical sites which make it an exciting region for adventurous visitors, whilst the beaches also make it attractive to the more sedate traveller. Amongst the highlights of this region you will find the magnificent Drogarati Cave, Melissani Lake, Antisamos Beach and Karavomylos Lake.
The town of Sami is the second major port of the island, offering both direct ferry routes to the mainland, Ithaka and Italy. Sami town, and its surrounding areas, provided many backdrops and scenery for the movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Sami is a modern village with everything you need from a pharmacy and a medical center, to ATMs, a post office, police, coastguard and a fire department. The harbor hosts car ferries, flotillas, yachts, super yachts, fishing boats and leisure vessels. There are a plenty of shops to buy souvenirs and jewellery, supermarkets and grocery stores and a wide variety of tavernas, snack bars, restaurants and bars.
Karavomilos is the second biggest village in the region, offering a quiet low key atmosphere, located along the coastline. You will find the Casa museum, Karavomylos lake, and couple of tavernas here, plus a bakery and mini market. Other notable villages in the region are Old Vlachata, Grizata, Pyrgi, Poulata (where you can find specialty grill houses) and Digaleto. There are plenty of things to do and see in the region of Sami, it covers a large area with a varied landscape.
The region of Sami offers terrific walking and hiking paths. You can drive to Ancient Sami and the monastery but there is a walking trail through some fabulous areas. The challenging hike to Koutsoupia beach is fabulous and less challenging the 7 mills trail takes you through historic areas with the remains of watermills and a beautiful arched stone bridge. A flat, easy, off road and sea-side path leads from Sami to Karavomilos, where you can stop off for swimming in the sea or at the pool at Karavomylos camping ground. You could hire a bicycle from Bikexpert – Contessina (located in the heart of Sami, at Contessina Restaurant) and explore the region on well maintained and modern mountain bikes.
From Sami you can rent a self-drive boat or take or a day trip on the Sami Star. Hop over to the neighbouring island of Ithaka for the day using a ferry boat.
Water-sports are available on Antisamos beach from quiet peddle boats to fast action inflatable rides and water skiing.
Food & Drink
The region of Sami offers some excellent dining options, with sea-side to tavernas, and great authentic cooking. It's also a good place to find traditional handicrafts. Here are our suggestions!
Dine right at the sea’s edge under eucalyptus trees at Karnagio Taverna. They serve traditional, homemade fare – it’s well known for its casseroles – and it’s exactly what comes to mind when you think of an idyllic Greek tavern right down to the blue chairs! Mingle with the locals at Contessina and enjoy a traditional, family run taverna with live Greek music, sea views, and a wide variety of homemade dishes. Elias extends a quiet but extremely friendly welcome at Melissani Taverna, he has a beautiful garden terrace and serves freshly prepared local dishes (including specials such as the delicious cod pie) and is vegetarian friendly. Robolis Taverna is located in the small village of Poulata and serves meat from goat, pigs and sheep raised in the village, it’s a very traditional place to experience. Mojito Beach Bar serves drinks and meals to their sunbeds on Antisamos beach or at a their tables with fabulous sea views and contemporary music! Summer beach parties are also held here. For a snack or lunch visit Mangiare in the square at Sami; they serve great souvlaki, gyros, snacks and drinks by the sea-side. A perfect location for people watching and boat watching, it’s popular with locals and visitors alike. In the back streets of Sami find Stoa, a bijou café selling traditional hand-made sweet and savoury pies and great coffee. Watch Anastasia make the pies from scratch in the kitchen. Vegetarian friendly.
ShoppingDana is the owner of the shop-gallery IN Gallery in Sami, she is an accomplished artist herself and she makes unique religious iconographies, original oils of Kefalonian scenes, custom paintings, hand painted ceramics and much more! Her shop is a fine art shop offering a huge selection of paintings, handicrafts, jewellery and ceramics all created or carefully chosen by it’s charismatic owner. Visit Kostas Annikas Deftereos at his shop-museum which is always full of colours, to admire his olive tree wood turning, wire and drift wood works of art. He has always an interesting story to tell, something surprising and a way to make you smile.
Car, Scooter, bicycle, boat, yacht, taxi hire
Rent a car Kefalonia is a family company and its members are always ready to welcome you with a smile and courtesy as well as to answer all your questions. You will have excellent friendly service, you will receive your car without time-consuming procedures and you will always find options depending on your needs.
Kefalonia Taxi Transfers is the oldest taxi company on the island. They have friendly drivers that can collect you on the spot or arrange an appointment for another hour or day. All taxis carry a maximum of four passengers and their luggage, mini-bus also available.
Kefalonia Taxi Service is a reliable Kefalonian taxi company with excellent service, the best executive cars, punctual and experienced drivers. They provide a reliable and good service, reasonable prices with helpful, English speaking drivers.
Kefalonia Yachts provide private yacht charter.
Viva Personal Chef; If you want to be pampered, relax and enjoy traditional Greek food without leaving your accommodation, Chef Viva is here to make your dream come true!
Beauty & Wellbeing
Take a class of Yoga with Marco and learn skills to be more peaceful, serene and to focus better on what it’s really important for you during your holidays; and after the holidays, at home, during your daily life: emotions, self love and positive attitude towards others.
Kefalonia massage Christina and her colleagues can indulge you with the complete relaxation of a professional massage! Choose from a range of styles and treatments, such as Release & Relax , Hot Stones, Deep Tissue, Thai, or Head-Back-Feet massage. Her team consists of three massage therapists who are able to provide other beauty services too.
One of the most beautiful beaches on Kefalonia can be found here – Antisamos beach is perfect for snorkeling and water sports and is just outside of Sami village. Other notable beaches in this region include Paliouras, Sami beach and Koutsoupia.
Towering above Sami is Ancient Sami, one of the most important archeological discoveries of Kefalonia, and Agrilia Monastery both offering fine views over Sami, towards Ithaka and the mainland. Close by you will also find the church and ruins of Agios Fanentes.
For those of you that love natural phenomena Sami offers three outstanding places to visit – Karavomylos Lake, Melissani Lake and Drogarati Caves. Seventeen cave sites have been recorded in the area – a rare occurrence in Greek geomorphology – and significant in tracing the area’s prehistoric period. Aggalaki Cave is close to Poulata and the stunning Zervati Cave can be found on the crossroads one block back from the main street of Karavomylos.
The village of Karavomilos is a gentle 25 minutes seas-side stroll from Sami village. There you will find the Casa-House Museum which emanates the look and feel of old Ionian Houses and Karavomilos Lake, which is part of strange geological phenomena observed in Kefalonia.
The ruins of Old Vlachata village are located on the hillside, 3km from Karavomilos village and can be reached on foot, by bike or by car following the signs to “Saristra Festival” from the main road of Sami – Karavomylos. In August the fabulous arts and music festival Saristra takes place over three days and nights.
Driving towards Poros you pass through the mountain villages of Pyrgi and Saint Nicholas. Just before the village of Saint Nicholas there is a sign post to the wonderful Avithos Lake.