There are many Ionian islands you must have heard about like Corfu or Lefkada but did you know the biggest one is Kefalonia. Tourists from mainland Greece generally come here for a short weekend break but I would suggest you spend at least three to four days on the island as it’s quite big and you would want to relax while enjoying the Greek island of Kefalonia.
I would suggest you hire a car to see all the sites and beaches if you are in a rush, as it makes the islands accessible and you can reach some great viewpoints without any worry. The north and south of the island both have a very distinctive personalities and I would highly recommend you see both!
Argostoli and Lassi – This is two of the most popular areas to stay in, and being the centre it’s not too far from the port or the airport. Things to see around here are the Historical and Folk Art Museum, Cave of Agios Gerasimos which is a tiny church to honour the saint, the municipal theatre which hosts many events and performances, and the lighthouse of Saint Theodoroi which doesn’t look like a traditional lighthouse as it has around 20 columns.
There are plenty of restaurants, shops and cafés around this area but let me tell you that after the earthquake of 1953 many buildings here had to be redone so it might come across a bit modern! Also, if you like flora and fauna then I advise you to visit the Kefalonia Botanica, it is quite intriguing.
Visit Sami – Now this is one town you cannot skip on your visit to Kefalonia, it has two major attractions here which are Melissani Blue Cave and Drogarati Caves.
For Melissani Cave you can take a boat tour inside and it will be one of the most phenomenal experiences, the lake inside the cave would have a depth of about 20 to 30metres. When the sun rays hit the inside of the lake, the water is crystal clear and serene.
Drogarati Cave was discovered when an earthquake hit the island which led to a collapse leading to the revelation of the cave. This cave is 150milliom years old and is used up until today for concerts and events.
Apart from the two caves, you can even visit the Monastery of Argilion located above the bay of Sami. From here you get a magnificent view of the beach and the town below. Mount Ainos, is also another option if you like to admire the lovely view and get to see some flora and fauna, and it is the only National park here.
Day trip to the alluring villages – No trip to Kefalonia would be completed without visiting the delightful Fiskardo village, it’s beautiful because it still maintains its original Venetian charm and around the harbour, you can find cute restaurants, shops and cafes. I highly recommend you spend the afternoon here.
Just a few km away from Fiskardo is another quaint town of Assos, here you can visit the 16th-century Venetian castle or relax and sip on some Frappes!
Beaches of Kefalonia – You can’t leave Kefalonia without visiting its dramatic beaches and some of the most desirable beaches here are Antisamos which is very close to Sami, followed by Myrtos beach which is roughly around 30km away from Argostoli, and my favourite Foki Fiskardo which is a gorgeous pebble beach.
Island hopping – If you come to Kefalonia then island hopping is something you should consider, the famous day trip is to Ithaca and it takes around 2 and half hours, here you can tour the around the port of Pisatos, the town of Vathi or just relax at the many beaches. The next popular destination for a day trip is Zante, you will get to see the Blue Caves here, see the famed Shipwreck beach and indulge in a delicious lunch. Lastly, you can also visit the different beaches around and many tour companies are offering this.
While Kefalonia has a lot to see and do, I would suggest you take time to relax and be mesmerised by the natural beauty around you, also in terms of activities you can choose horse riding, scuba diving or wave boarding, there is no limit!
How to get there:-
You can easily take a 35min flight from Athens or any other European destination as this island is very popular among tourists. Unfortunately, there is no direct ferry from Athens, but there plenty of options from the western mainland.
Places to stay:-
Many people choose the North of Kefalonia especially if you are relying on buses or taxis, as this area is way more touristy than the South. You can decide between Argostoli, Lassi or if you wish Sami which is in the South.