7 Day Family Itinerary
This itinerary is specially created with family-based activities in mind. It is ideal for travellers with children that are looking for some stress-free time connecting with their family whilst exploring the island. The itinerary is by no means exhaustive so check out other things to do on the menu also. Remember the sandy beaches are in the south of Kefalonia and there are a lot of great beaches, but if you have your special shoes the colour of the waters and underwater treasures are more at the beaches of the south.
Choose your accommodation, according to your budget and needs from our menu.
Day 1 EAST
Familiarise yourselves with the Sami region by starting your day in the underground magical world of Drogarati Cave. At the end of your visit to the cave go horse riding in the mountains or in the sea, take a donkey trek, or head off to the stunning Melissani Lake for a short boat tour – the best time of day to visit is around midday as the light comes through the open hole of the cave. Visit Odysseus Zoo Land and explore some Greek myths, and the Nautical Museum of Sami home to twenty-two hand made wooden model vessels, spanning a history of 3,500 years! Last year an Archeological museum was opened in the village The permanent exhibition presents evidence and finds of habitation of the area dated from the early Bronze Age until the early Byzantine times as well as you can admire a Roman mosaics’ exhibition in its surrounding area. There are daily tours to Ithaka fromSami or you can rent a self driven boat to explore the nearby beaches (Koutsoupia is one you shouldn’t miss)
Walk, or hire bicycles and cycle the off road seaside path from Sami to Karavomylos, it takes about 30 minutes. In the middle of the route there is a Camping site that has a shared pool for adults and two for smaller kids that can be used if you make an order at the bar. Or you can enjoy Sami beach with its shallow waters that when is calm can be very beautiful. A few meters further you will find at Karavomylos Lake with its ducks and goozes. Researchers have found that the waters from Katavothres on the western side of the island, end up here after traversing underground Kefalonia and mixed with fresh water of subsoil. You can circumnavigate the lake using a cobbled footpath, it’s a short walk that offers spectacular views.There is a playground after the watermill too. If you walk another 500 metres there is a house museum Casa-House Museum where you can have a glimpse into the past. You might also spot some tortoises in their traditional garden. Melissani Lake is in a walking distance from here if you want to combine it with this walk. Another little cave named Zervati is great to visit with your kids here, you just open the gate and go down to explore it (there is no entrance fee).
Just 6 km from Sami you can find one of the most beautiful organized pebbly beaches of the island.The family can enjoy a variety of watersport activities, here, at Antisamos, like Jet Ski, Wakeboard / Kneeboard, Water Ski, Tubes / Sliders, Banana Boat, Crazy Sofa, S.U.P, Windsurfing, Snorkeling, Canoe, or Pedal Boat. Relax on the sunbeds by the sea and enjoy a snack, have a massage or have a drink or an ice cream at one of the beach bars and tavernas. The sea here is beautifully clear and great for snorkelling. There is also a submarine boat tour available here to explore the underwater world, I haven’t joined it yet but I guess it is definitely a family activity!
On your way back, drive up to Ancient Sami to view the ruins and imagine what the old city would look like. If you like walking check out the Ancient Sami Trail, it offers great views of Sami port, the gulf and the mountainsides. Finish your day with a traditional dinner, snack or drink at one of the tavernas, restaurants, cafes or bars by the coast. A lot of local kids gather at the center of the coastal road next to Mangare grill house around the monument and play, if you want your kid to meet some local friends and there are also two playgrounds in the area, one at the back of Cafe Magnifico and one in Karavomylos.
Day 2 CENTRAL EAST
Wake up early, and take a stroll along Agia Efimia’s beautiful harbour to admire the sunrise. You can arrange to get a diving lesson at Agia Efimia with Makis at Aquatic Scuba Diving Club, he offers activities for children from 8 years old. If you want to explore the coast, you can rent a boat, and be your own captain for the day, from one of the boat rental companies – I suggest taking a picnic and stopping at the isolated beaches of Agia Sofia and Horgota.
Alternatively, spend a few hours at the stunning Myrtos Beach (note that the sea is very deep and can be dangerous when windy). Stop at one of the viewing points before driving or walking down to check also if it is calm- the views are breathtaking. There are a few cave at one end to explore, but please don’t go close as there are stones falling from the goats that walk above. The beach is mainly pebbly but has a lot of sand at the back and on the right end for the kids to play. For the center and north of the island you may need special sea shoes if your feet are sensitive to the pebbles and you will definitely need an umbrella if you don’t want to pay for the ones they rent. If there is time spare before returning to Myrtos for the exceptional sunset, you can drive up to the Monastery of Themata to see the thick woodland and admire the stunning views of Agia Efimia bay, a lot of goats will be seen in all routes, most of the kids find them very funny especially when they climb high to eat leaves. Goats are generally afraid of people and safe to approach!
For more adventurous families contact these two companies that run an excellent programme of activities – Caving, canyoning, and jeep Safari is definitely a striking and exciting way to discover some of the island’s hidden treasures. Outdoor Kefalonia Kefalonia or Wild Nature Expeditions.
We also arrange some cooking lessons in the area, if your family wants to put their hands on creating some local recipes. Finish your day by enjoying dinner, snacks or drinks at one of the restaurants, tavernas or bars in the region Agia Efimia, Makriotika or Divarata. Join the local kids and jump from the white rocks into the sea, or continue your adventure and go star gazing on Agia Dinati Mountain.
Day 3 WEST
Explore Paliki peninsula, first visiting Xi Beach with its great red sand. Xi an ideal place to spend a few hours with your kids as it also has facilities for snacks and lunch as well as watersports. Alternatively, visit the water park that also has kids activities and refreshments. Grab your binoculars and bird watch at Livadi Marshes, or have your lunch and swim at the sandy, shallow and safe beaches of Lepeda, Vatsa, my son loves these two beaches as he can play safely as well as the tavernas on the sand are delicious! At Lepeda there is a natural kind of little lake on the one end of the beach that can be amazing for smaller kids and at Vatsa there is a river with a small platform that you can use as a “custom made boat” to go to the other side of the rocks.
You’ll not want to miss Petani beach. It has some sandy areas, plenty of rock pools and a rocky shoreline to explore, it’s dramatic and wild! If you are looking for the best boat tour on the island, get an organised boat tour or a self-driven boat or even a taxi from Agia Kyriaki to get to the isolated beaches of Fteri and Amidi. Another child-friendly option is Porto Atheras a beautiful secluded gulf on the north of the peninsula, most days protected by the wind, a couple of nice tavernas can be found on the beach too.
Day 4 SOUTH
Erissos is my favourite region of Kefalonia. You can spend the majority of the day at the stunning Assos village and the Venetian castle. Take the footpath and climb up to Assos Castle and explore 2km of Venetian walls, the rocks, a couple of cannons, churches and wild nature (this is one of the best walks on the island, read a little about the story of the castle and share it to the kids, they would love it). Return from your walk and take a nice swim in the peaceful bay which is calm and very safe for children. From the harbour, you can rent a self-driven or skippered boat to explore the nearby beaches.
The afternoon is another opportunity to visit Myrtos Beach, or head up further north from Assos and stop at beautiful Alaties Beach where there are some interesting rock formations you can climb to discover the salt holes, where the locals were collecting their salt and a lot of interesting fossils.
If your kids love treasure hunting, contact the team that organizes them and join a group or if you are a big family you can also do it privately. This area is ideal for that kind of adventure.
Day 5 SOUTH
Continue exploring Erissos today. Begin your day at the cosmopolitan, picturesque village of Fiskardo. Fiskardo has many signposted walking trails to choose from; an easy, beautiful route is the walk to the lighthouse that you can see on the opposite side of the bay, there are also longer and more active routes to choose. Explore the Roman Cemetery which was only discovered in 2006. There are many beautiful beaches to take a cooling swim at, such as Foki beach, Emblissi, or take a 1km or so walk along a dreamy path to Dafnoudi beach. An alternative way to explore the beaches and coastline is by renting a motor boat from Fiskardo or join a daily cruise or hiring a kayak from Fiskardo Kayaking, who also run organised tours. If you are interested in marine life book a tour with Ionian Discoveries Marine Experience for the day in their traditional wooden boat. Here is the base of the Ionian bike tours that rent e-bikes and organize group tours. They also rent sups and the area is ideal for such an activity.
Fiskardo is great for a lazy evening stroll, which you could combine with some shopping (remember everything is more expensive here). Stop and have a look at the fish and the giant frog in the pond by the square. Go for a soft drink, cold beer or cocktail at one of the cafes on the coast. For dinner, I would suggest trying one of the tavernas in the inner villages like Maganos and Vassilikades.
Day 6 NORTH
Head to the islands capital of Argostoli and have some fun at the Koutavos Lagoon; feed the ducks and swans, or take a pedal boat, hydro bike or motor boat out onto the water with Argostoli Lagoon Activities. Take a stroll over the De Bosset Bridge, see if you can spot the turtles (often in the fishing harbour), and then cut back into town and take a stroll down the paved street of Lithostroto – there are lots of shops offering gifts and jewellery. You could rent bicycles from Ainos Bikes and take a picnic to Fanari Lighthouse, but on the way make sure to stop at one of nature’s rare phenomena at the Katavothres sink holes. The statue of Nikos Kavadias, a famous Greek poet, can be found gazing out to see at the harbour, which is quite apt as he was known as “The Poet of the Sea”. There are also three little beaches nearby. The Kotsanas Museum Of Ancient Greek Technology is also an interesting place to visit. Back in town the Corgialenios Museum of Folklore and Cultural History is a great museum to get an idea of the capital before the earthquakes and the way the locals lived. Another great place for visitng with family is the Botanical Gardens – both places run children’s activities during summer.
Leaving the city centre follow the signs to the Monastery of Saint Gerassimos, where you can view his remains kept in a impressive glass and silver casket in the old church, or climb down the iron ladder into St Gerassimos hermitage hole / cave (not for the claustrophobic!).
On the way don’t miss Saint George Castle and the area that offers great views and historic traces, read the story of it to your kids, they would love it. If you don’t have a car, or want a more relaxing day, take a boat tour and visit the White Rocks, Vardiani island and Manias beach (the extension of Xi beach on Paliki peninsula). You can select a traditional boat Dreamy Cruises and Queen B or a modern one with Lady O!
From Agia Pelagia Port you can take a fishing trip and you will cook and enjoy what you caught on board! The route passes from Dias islet. Spend some time at Elitiko and learn how to make soap and wax ointments and hear all about their small holding, you can buy their goods to take home too. In the evening have a stroll around the paved roads of Argostoli and stop at the large square where all the local kids play and enjoy a coffee or dinner.
Day 7 NORTH
Explore the south and south east of Kefalonia, beginning with a walk along the front at Poros, or by visiting some of the nearby archaeological sites, the Tzanata tombs are rare and impressive. Drive along the coastal road towards Skala and you will see some strange mushroom-shaped rocks in the sea, called Limenia – this is a good time to stop for a swim, a climb and a snorkel. If you are here before the end of Spring the Potisti and Gradou waterfalls are definitely worth walking too but bear in mind they are only active depending on rainfall.
Skala village has a long sandy beach where you can try a variety of watersports, swim or take a day trip on a boat. If you prefer a more tranquil destination visit Katelios village and Katelios Group to learn about endangered loggerhead turtles, if you are visiting in late August or September you may be lucky to participate in one of the hatchings, where you can see the eggs and if you are lucky some of the newborn babies that will find their way to the sea. In the village, you can also take a fishing trip and have lunch on board with the catch!
Moving along the coastline you can get to the beaches of Ammes, Trapezaki and Lourdas where there are several watersport activities as well as boat rental to explore the nearby beaches. Kayaking is another family-friendly activity that you can enjoy in this area. All the above beaches have either a taverna or beach bar available close-by.
If your family enjoys sandy beaches more and less activities you can spend a few days at the south more!
Depending on your travel dates, it would be great for your family to take part in one of the religious or local celebrations or festivals organised in different locations every summer! (check our list for upcoming events).
If you want me to create an authentic, imaginative, romantic, tailor-made itinerary just for you and your loved one, send me an e-mail.
The following services can be included on your plan, just contact us: grocery shopping, private chef, butler, massage, daily maid, yoga, wine tasting, delivery of organic products, taxi, water taxi and of course any activity from our site menu!