Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions I receive. If you have a question that can’t be answered here please contact me.
During the tourist season, generally May-October, the weather is usually sunny with temperatures rising to their peak in August. You can find out more details of average hours of sunshine, average amounts of rainfall, and average daily temperatures here
Direct international flights to the island start from late April until the end of October. High season occurs from mid-July to the end of August, during this period the island is very busy and beaches, tavernas and other places get very crowded. I would suggest coming before, or after high season to make the most of the island, it's more relaxed and peaceful, and sometimes you can beach to youself!
There are limited options for public transport on the island, the bus network routes and timetables are available at KTEL online. To get the most out of your visit I strongly recommend hiring a car, although you can find cycle hire, land and sea taxi services, and other options here
Kefalonia is a mountainous island, so there are some high coastal roads, however the main roads are usually in good condition and the road system is easy to follow as signs are in Greek and English. Extra care should be taken if it has rained, also you have to keep a look out for the lazy goats sunbathing on the asphalt! Parking is usually easy and free, but as the season reaches it's peak it is sometimes difficult to find spaces near to busy areas and beaches.
The accommodation that I have on my website is personally visited and the owner's carefully selected so I can feel confident in recommending them to you - please see my disclaimer for more details
Generally the beaches on the south coast of the island are sandy, many with shallow water. From the center to the north the beaches become pebbly with extremely clear water, I would suggest bringing some sea shoes with you (if you have sensitive feet).
I have several suggested itineraries for self guided tours, both for driving and walking/hiking. You can also browse the 'Things to Do' menus for more ideas.
Kefalonia has a very safe and friendly environment, children especially are welcomed everywhere! Normal precautions should be taken, particular in reference to swimming and hitch hiking. Have a look at how Emily found it, traveling solo on her scooter.
Most of the shops are open 7 days a week between 09.00am to 21.00pm (some even longer). Very few shops may close on a Sunday during the season. General opening hours are between 9am and 10pm , some more traditional shops may close for siesta between the hours of 2pm and 5pm. Many shop keepers speak English and you will find that they are all friendly and very helpful. Food stores, bakeries and tavernas tend to have longer opening hours.
Many of the islanders speak fluent English, especially those who work in the tourist areas. Some of the older residents may not speak English but will try to talk to you anyway! Don't be afraid, and if you can learn some simple greetings in Greek before you arrived it is always welcomed. Other languages wildly spoken here include Italian.
In Argostoli and Lixouri, and in one or two smaller locations, you will find major Greek bank branches offering over the counter bank services. There are many cash machines and foreign money exchanges dotted around, particularly in tourist areas and larger villages. Post Offices generally have cash machines, there is also one at the airport.
Many restaurants add a service fee - check on their menu, it should be displayed. Tips are not obligatory but wages in Greece are low compared to many European countries and many locals only gain employment during the tourist season, so tipping is always welcomed, especially if you have received good service. Leave the tip on the table so that it is clear it is for the staff.
During the 2017 season you could expect to spend on average approx. €15-20 p.p. for a starter, main and drinks. Of course if you choose fresh fish, or steak the prices will vary! Local wine is a good option and is much cheaper than bottled wine.
Greek food is an excellent choice for those with special dietary requirements, as it is rich in vegetables and fruits, and usually the dishes are simply and freshly prepared to contain only what is in the description. If you are in any doubt ask directly if the dish contains the specific thing you can't have. Most kitchens welcome you to take a look or ask about the dishes, many can be cooked to your liking, for example without salt. Bread is served with every meal, if you don't want it just leave it, or ask not to be given it, it doesn't matter.
Have you ever wondered why Kefalonia has so many modern buildings? Well, Greece is amongst the most earthquake prone countries in Europe, and since Kefalonia lies just to the east of a major tectonic fault (European and Aegean plates) it experiences many of them.
Any visitor to our beautiful island has no doubt heard about the devastating earthquake that rocked Kefalonia in 1953. The majority of the island suffered irreparable damage to its buildings, and whole areas were destroyed effecting home and work life. For example the sea mills at Katovothres became redundant as the ground was raised by approximately 60cm at the southern tip of the island.
The phrase “pre-earthquake” is frequently used to describe areas that retain the Venetian style traditional stone buildings, such as the village of Fiskardo. You can also see many ghosts of pre-earthquake architecture around the island - in some areas substantial remains exist giving the visitor a glimpse into the past.
Earthquakes occur frequently on the island but most are over before you’ve even noticed them. There have been several notable earthquakes since 1953 but because of strict regulations on buildings the damaged caused by them has had less impact and with no serious injuries reported.
You can be assured that all modern building work carried out is legally bound to adhere to strict guidelines to withstand major seismic activity – all buildings must have concrete foundations and be reinforced with steelwork in their structures.
It is indeed impossible to predict earthquakes but planning for them is key. As all new buildings have these strict regulations you can be sure that you are in safe hands on the island.
In a word, No! There are a few nightclubs on the island usually situated in the capital of Argostoli, or just on the outskirts of some towns and villages. Most of the towns and villages have cafes and bars that stay open late with low key atmosphere. It is as easy to find non-alcoholic drinks as it is to find alcoholic ones. Greek nightlife tends to centre on eating out, listening to traditional music and having coffee or a beer with friends. You can find a more lively nightlife vibe in areas such as Argostoli, Skala and Lassi.
The majority of accommodation offered on Kefalonia will provide free WiFi access with your stay. Cafes, bars, restaurants and tavernas usually offer free access to but make sure to buy something from them. Some areas have poor access due to mountainous terrain and you should expect a slower connection that what you are used to!
There are mosquitos and other biting/stinging insects on the island. Pharmacies, grocery stores, and kiosks stock a number of repellents, both natural and chemical, as well as bite relief creams and other remedies. You can purchase plug in repellents and light coils. Wasps can be a problem on some beaches, it is best to avoid sitting near to trash cans.
Because of the varied terrains between towns and villages it is a good idea to check with the accommodation that you are considering whether there might be an issue. Some properties are located in town, some off the beaten track, either way they could have steps and steep inclines.
I am currently researching accessibility to beaches, services etc.
Mobility Kefalonia are an island based company offering daily, weekly or longer rentals of mobility equipment.