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 April until the end of October/early November. 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 have beach to youself!
There are regular bus routes island wide provided by KTEL, and their prices are very reasonable. With some planning you can tour most of the island by bus, check out their website here. 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).
Take a look at our regional Travel Guides, they contain lots of information about attractions and things to do whilst you are here!
Travel Guide to Kefalonia
Travel Guide to Argostoli Region (central)
Travel Guide to Paliki (west)
Travel Guide to Livathos (south)
Travel Guide to Pylaros (north-central)
Travel Guide to Sami (east)
Travel Guide to Ainos & Omala (central)
Travel Guide to Elios-Pronnoi (south-east)
Travel Guide to Erissos (north)
Keep checking my website for added tours, unique local experiences and new guides.
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 22.00pm (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 2018 season you could expect to spend on average approx. €18-22 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.
Unfortunately paper products (toilet paper, sanitary items and so on) can not be flushed down the majority of toilets on the island due to the restricted sewerage system. Flushing these items can cause serious blockages so bins are provided next to the toilet for them and are emptied regularly. Please check before flushing!
There are several groups on the island that are involved in environmental protection and education, some of which are organised and run by volunteers. There are also groups that you can volunteer to help!
- Environmental Centre of Mountain Ainos The Environmental Center Of Mount Ainos is responsible for the protection and conservation of the National Park.
- The Katelios Group for the Research and Protection of Marine and Terrestrial Life is concerned with researching and protecting the dramatically declining physical environment and aims through its activities to find solutions to local environmental problems and to promote sustainable development, by working with interested organisations and individuals.
- Wildlife Sense is a sea turtle research & conservation organization with a mission to protect endangered sea turtles and their natural habitats, offer a unique learning experience to the volunteers who join our efforts, and promote public awareness.
- Kefalonia Botanica was established in 1998 at the initiative of the Focas-Cosmetatos Foundation. Its original aims were the preservation and display of the wild and endemic plants of Kefalonia and the promotion of environmental issues.
- The Nautical and Environmental Museum in Fiscardo is the result of various collaborative projects aimed at the preservation of the island’s natural inheritance, as well as the promotion of environmental awareness in the general public.
- Animal Rescue Kefalonia (ARK) was founded on October 2011, by a team of animal loving people that live in Argostoli with the collaboration and help of the municipality of Kefalonia who provided the land for the shelter.
- Traverso - Social Workshop & Festival Traverso aims to provide an opportunity for people to meet, socialize, exchange ideas, skills, experiences and feelings. They believe that communication and coiling is the best way to solve problems and enjoy life at the same time. Therefore, they are open to co-operation with individuals and communities, provided that they share our vision and pursue similar goals. They call all like-minded people to join them, the more the better!
There are many pharmacies through-out the island and for minor problems the pharmacist can usually help. The staff are usually able to administer injections and help with most problems. They sell a wide variety of medicines and products.
The Argostoli General Hospital is the primary health care facility of the island, providing both inpatient and outpatient care.
Souidias st., Argostoli
Tel: +30 2671 361100
The Health Centre of Sami provides primary care and prevention services.
Tel: +30 26740 22222
Mantzavinateio Hospital in Lixouri
Tel: +26713 60308
In an emergency call
First Aid: 166