There are so many great reasons to visit Kefalonia we couldn’t possibly mention them all! These five categories are just a small sample for inspiration. Explore my website for a fuller picture, and for specific details for the activities mentioned.
1. The Beaches
Blue flag award beaches, secluded beaches, rough waves, calm waters, pebbles, sand and clay… we are surrounded by a magnificent and varied coastline! From small secluded coves to large organised beaches with umbrellas, sunbeds and beach bars the water is always crystal clear and great for snorkelling. Myrtos, said to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world proudly stands amid a rugged coastline, enjoy its splendour by renting a sunbed at one end of the beach, or walking a little further for some seclusion. Petani beach also offers a rugged landscape with some breath-taking scenery, it is partly organised with umbrellas and sunbeds. Antisamos, Makris Gyalos and Skala beaches all offer watersports for the more adventurous! Take in the wild beauties of Platia Ammos , Fteri and Koutsoupia to name but a few, only to be reached by boat. There are many child friendly beaches including Lepeda, Saint Thomas and Vatsa with sand and calm, shallow waters. Xi offers a dramatic contrast to Kefalonia’s other beaches with its gray rock formations and red sand, and is also family friendly.
2. Local Produce
Kefalonia is famous for its feta cheese and its derivatives such as stouba and mizithra cheeses, and also the harder Graviera and Kefalotyri (the cheeses used in delicious fried Saganaki). Made from local milk in diaries around the island it’s totally different from pre-packed processed varieties. If you come early in the season, contact us to visit a local factory.
Goat breeding provides the most employment in farming; try it in delicious Kefalonian meat pie. Other island specialities include riganada; a toasted bread topped with chopped tomato, oregano, olive oil and in the modern version you can find feta; delicious cod pie or cod with skordalia (garlic sauce) and tsigaridia from our locally farmed vegetables.
Olive oil and honey (often flavoured from thyme flowers) are other superb products of our island. Often 100% organic and pure, they’re great items to take home.
Local wine is a staple at any Greek table, Kefalonia is no exception. Famous for its Robola wine, which you can buy from the cooperative or from local establishments, is an award winning white. Muscat and Mavrodafni are also produced. There are many wine producers on the island, try ‘local wine’ at a taverna or bar and see for yourself their high quality.
Traditional Kefalonian sweets such as mandoles with honey, sesame snacks, comfeto (kind of quince paste), nougat, almond macaroons, soft nougat and nougat pies also make excellent gifts, picnic items or treats for yourself!
3. Diverse Activities
Due to our varied landscape there are many activities to occupy your time. Land based activities include extreme sports like paragliding and caving in our subterranean systems. For more relaxing days laze around on the beaches, visit a museum or enjoy the café scene. There are also many family orientated activities such as horse riding and donkey trekking.
If you enjoy spending time on the water there are organized day trips where you can try fishing, have a BBQ, explore underwater wildlife, or you can hire your own small motor boat to explore the coastline or the neighboring islands. There are various accompanied routes for sea kayaking around the coast, or go scuba diving and explore our underwater world. Take a look at my previous blog post about diving and explore the ‘Things to Do‘ section for more details and further inspiration.
4. Unspoilt areas of outstanding natural beauty
There are large swaths of semi-wild and wild areas to explore on Kefalonia which makes it perfect for walkers and hikers. The largest and most famous area of outstanding natural beauty has to be Mount Ainos. It is the tallest mountain on the Ionian Sea (at an elevation of 1,628 metres) and most of it is designated National Park. Mount Ainos is resplendent, covered in black pine and fir tree forest. Semi wild horses inhabit the forest on the lower slopes.
Another wild area to explore can be found between Sami and Poros. Many areas between these villages can only be reached by foot or by boat. The backdrop of green lush forests contrasts beautifully with the turquoise water of the sea. Also don’t forget the caves at Drogarati and Mellisani in the Sami region.
In the northern region of Erissos you can find striking and rugged landscapes and seashores, Fiskardo is protected by Greek law as an area of outstanding natural beauty. The area is characterized by rolling hills covered with olive and impressive cypress trees and unusual rock formations. There are several sign posted walking trails in Fiskardo, including a flat walk to the Venetian light house and basilica, and a longer hike taking in the Venetian Castle at Assos. The castle sits majestically at the end of the peninsula at Assos, surrounded by steep cliffs and lush vegetation and is well worth exploring.
Take a look at my previous blogs about out of season walking & hiking and bird watching.
5. Villages & Towns
Most visitors will at some point visit the capitol of the island, Argostoli. Here you will find many shops, cafes, restaurants, museums and services. Along the seafront there is a palm lined pedestrian sidewalk where you might see the Loggerhead turtles alongside the traditional fishing boats. At the entrance of the town visit the Koutavos lagoon (a nature reserve) and the impressive De Bosset bridge.
Fiskardo and Assos both retain many traditional features from before the 1953 earthquake, making them ideal destinations for romantics and history lovers. Fiskardo offers a cosmopolitan atmosphere, attracting expensive yachts and luxury boats, whilst Assos is lower key with its Venetian Castle and small bay.
Agia Efimia is centred around a harbour. Yachting flotillas sail here to experience it’s laid back, friendly atmosphere. You can find beautiful, white, pebble coves in which to swim and a host of cafes and tavernas.
Sami is connected directly with the Greek mainland and Italy by ferry. Don’t miss the ancient acropolis, the watermills, or strolling along the harbourside taking in the amazing views which surround the town. Locals come out to socialise in the evening making a friendly and lively place to have dinner or a drink.
Katelios is a small, quiet and traditional destination, offering safe bathing, cafes and great tavernas who offer a variety of local dishes as well as fresh fish. There is a great walking trail to Pastra, or you can visit the Environmental and Cultural Centre for the Research and Protection of Marine and Terrestrial Life.
Lixouri town is centred around its bustling square full of tavernas, cafes and snack bars. It’s a great place to while away a few hours with a coffee and sweet whilst watching the local ferry to Argostoli load and unload every half an hour or so. It is Kefalonia’s second largest settlement, musically inclined and some say has the best the nightlife!
Skala is a popular and lively resort located on the south east coast. It has a huge stretch of sandy beach offering organised facilities and water sports, dotted with tavernas, cafes and nightclubs, but also some quieter areas to relax. Skala also boasts some wonderful Roman Mosaics in a villa just outside of town.