Holidays in Kefalonia island

Stunning beach of Myrtos with the deep blue colour variations in Kefalonia island, Greece

Located on the western side of Greece, Kefalonia island is the largest in the Ionian Sea. Over the last years, Kefalonia tourism is gradually developing and even charter flights fly directly to the local airport from European countries. However, due to its large size, Kefalonia Greece has not lost at all its traditional style and authentic character.

As you have certainly noticed, Kefalonia island in Greece features frequently in world magazines and travel guides for its stunning beaches and natural beauty. In particular, Myrtos beach is frequently voted among the best beaches in the Mediterranean Sea. Another gorgeous beach is Antisamos, where some scenes of the Hollywood movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin were also filmed.

Kefalonia island in the Ionian Sea is an ideal destination for couples, families with kids, hikers and also groups of friends. Everyone will find something special to do during holidays in Kefalonia. Couples can enjoy the long beaches, the amazing sunsets and the beautiful seaside villages. Families can leave their kids play safely at the gorgeous, sandy and shallow beaches.

Hikers will find amazing trekking trails crossing the countryside of Kefalonia island, passing from secluded villages, old monasteries and ending in amazing beaches. Friends will enjoy long drinks at the lounge bars of Fiscardo, Argostoli or Skala and can explore secret beaches on rental boat or jeep. If you enjoy natural beauty and relaxing atmosphere, you will meet the destination of your lifetime in Kefalonia Greece!

Kefalonia hotels

Hotels in Kefalonia are spread all around the island. Some places are more tourism-developed, such as Skala, Lassi, Fiscardo, Sami and Lixouri, while other regions are more secluded. In any case, Kefalonia hotels and tourist resorts are not busy but ideal for family, relaxing holidays. Even in August, which is peak season for Greece, there are fantastic places in Kefalonia to enjoy quiet days on the beach.

Surely the best Kefalonia hotels to stay are the beach hotels. Choose a hotel close to the sea, so that you enjoy swimming any part of the day, without the need to rely on transport. Also is there a better sound to relax in the evenings than the sound of the wave? If you have a means of transport, you can also find a Kefalonia hotel on the hill, offering fantastic sea view from the balcony.

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Beaches

Beaches are the highlight of Kefalonia. This is what the island is mostly famous of! Indeed, Kefalonia Greece has some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world, with exotic blue colour and totally relaxing atmosphere. The most famous Kefalonia beaches are Myrtos and Antisamos. Other great beaches in Kefalonia are Skala, Lourdas, Makris Gialos, Platis Gialos, Ammes and Ai-Helis.

In the peninsula of Lixouri, the most beautiful beaches are Xi with the red sand, Petani beach that looks very much like Myrtos, and the amazing beach of Platia Ammos that can be accessed climbing down many steps. The region of Fiscardo, on the northern side, does not have large beaches but small coves with blue green water. Such nice coves are Foki and Emblissi, both located in 5 min drive from Fiscardo.

There are many more beaches in Kefalonia, small or large in size. Some are organized and lined up with Kefalonia hotels, restaurants or bars, while others are totally secluded and accessible only by boat, foot or jeep. In any case, all Kefalonia beaches have amazing crystal waters and a fabulous environment.

Villages

Although visited by thousands of tourists every summer, villages in Kefalonia keep intact their authentic style. Most Kefalonia villages were highly affected by the severe earthquake of 1953 that demolished many residences and public buildings. Only the village of Fiscardo, on the northern side of the island, survived this catastrophic earthquake. All the other villages witnessed serious damages.

The capital town of Kefalonia is Argostoli, a large town constructed along a bay. This town has evident Venetian architecture due to the long Venetian occupation of the Ionian islands in the Medieval times. Opposite the gulf of Argostoli is Lixouri, the second largest town on the island but with more modern buildings, as this town suffered the greatest damage from the 1953 earthquake, a cornerstone event in the history of Kefalonia.

The most picturesque villages in Kefalonia are Assos and Fiscardo. These two places are constructed around small bays and give a smooth feeling. A drive around Kefalonia island will also bring you to many mountainous and seaside traditional places.

Sightseeing

Kefalonia island has many interesting attractions to visit. The most impressive sights are the two caves close to Sami, on the eastern side of the island. Drogarati Cave has gorgeous stalactites and stalagmites and fantastic acoustics. In fact, important musical concerts take place frequently inside this cave, whose humidity reaches 90%.

In close distance to Drogarati is the Lake Cave of Melissani, which was discovered by accident when the roof collapsed due to an earthquake. Boat rides take place in Melissani Cave and occasionally scuba diving is permitted upon special license by the local municipality. As scientists say, the water of Melissani is the sea water that enters the Katavothres in Argostoli, runs all through the island at the underground, reach Melissani and is again poured into the sea at the close village of Karavomylos.

Another interesting site in Kefalonia Greece is the Medieval Castle of Saint George, on the hill above Peratata village. This castle offers amazing view to the southern side of the island and the Ionian Sea. If you are fond of history, make sure you visit the interesting Archaeological Museum in Argostoli. Kefalonia island also has many monasteries worth to visit, including the Monastery of Saint Gerasimos, the protector of the island, the Monastery of Kipoureon with the amazing view to the sea and the Monastery of Themata close to Agia Efimia.

If you enjoy hiking, Kefalonia is your place! Many hiking trails cross the island and lead to beautiful natural spots, amazing beaches or hill tops. Such a trail leads to the top of Mount Ainos, offering gorgeous view to Valley Levatho on the southern side of the island. This mountain top can also be reached by car.

Kefalonia in a glance

Swim in: Myrtos, Antisamos, Skala, Lourdas, Makris Gialos, Xi and Emblissi.
Things to see and do: Swim in the beaches of Myrtos, Antisamos, Lourdas, Skala and Xi; visit the picturesque villages of Assos and Fiscardo; visit the caves of Drogarati and Melissani.
Do not miss: a swim in Myrtos and Antisamos; a boat trip to Melissani Lake Cave; rent a small boat from Fiscardo and visit small secluded bays in the region.
For a night out: Enjoy a drink in Fiscardo, Argostoli or Skala. In fact, a nice place for a lounge drink is Katavothres Bar in Argostoli. In any case, nightlife in Kefalonia is lounge and most bars close at 2-3 am.

A big thank you to the photographer Antonis Nikolopoulos from Photography Holidays for the fantastic photos

How to get to Kefalonia

Kefalonia can be accessed by ferry and plane. There are regular flights to Kefalonia from Athens and occasionally flights from Thessaloniki, northern Greece. In summer, there are also charter flights operated by the Greek charter company SkyExpress and connecting Kefalonia with Preveza/Aktion and Corfu. Over the last years, there are also direct flights to Kefalonia from European airports. In fact, many low-cost air companies, like RyanAir, serve flights to Kefalonia.

Kefalonia can also be accessed by ferry from the mainland ports of Killini and Patras, in western Greece. In summer, there are also ferries between Kefalonia and three other Ionian islands, Zakynthos, Lefkada and Ithaca. Ferries to Kefalonia depart from the port of Shinari in northern Zakynthos and arrive in the small port of Pessada in Kefalonia. Ferries from Vassiliki in Lefkada arrive in Fiscardo Kefalonia, and also ferries from Pisaetos in Ithaca arrive in Sami Kefalonia.

Villages and beaches
Night view of Argostoli, the capital town of Kefalonia island Greece

Argostoli is the capital town of Kefalonia island. With a population of about 14,000 permanent residents, this lovely town spreads around a large bay. Although Argostoli was originally established in the Medieval times, few monuments from the previous times survive today. The severe earthquake measured 7.2 on the Richter scale that hit Kefalonia in August 1953 sadly destroyed a large part of Argostoli,...


Port town of Sami in Kefalonia island

Sami is a nice port town located on the eastern side of Kefalonia. Due to the port and the nice beaches, Sami has developed in tourism with many apartments, studios, restaurants and shops. In summer, the port of Sami serves ferries from Patras, Ithaca and Astakos, while in high season there is also a ferry to Sami from Italy (ports of Bari and Brindisi). The port promenade of Sami is a great place...


Coffee tables at the port of Lixouri in Kefalonia island

Lixouri is the second largest town in Kefalonia island. Geographically it is found at the peninsula of Paliki, just across the town of Argostoli, on the other side of the bay. In fact, there is a very regular ferry (every 30 min) between Lixouri and Argostoli, operating every day from early morning until late evening. The modern town of Lixouri is constructed on the location of the ancient town...


Sightseeing in Kefalonia
Impressive Melissani Cave in Kefalonia island, a wonderful destination in the Ionian Sea

Close to the town of Sami, on the eastern side of Kefalonia, there is the impressive Lake Cave Melissani. This underground lake was discovered in the 1950s, when the roof collapsed after an earthquake. This is when scientists discovered a fantastic cave with stalactites and stalagmites, filled in with both fresh and sea water. According to geologists, the sea water of Mellisani...

The wonderful cave of Drogarati in Kefalonia is full of stalactites and stalagmites

At a distance of 5 km from Sami town, Drogarati Cave is a true miracle of nature. Although this cave with the fantastic stalactites and stalagmites was discovered in the 18th century, when an earthquake revealed its entrance, it was as early as 1963 that it opened to the public. The stalactites and stalagmites inside the cave, formed after millions of years of procedure, have wonderful...

At a distance of 7 km from Argostoli, just on the hill top above the village of Peratata, is the Medieval Castle of Saint George. Originally constructed in the 12th century by the Byzantines, this Castle was given its present form by the Venetians, who also built the external walls in 1504. The Castle of Saint George in Kefalonia is polygonal in shape and covers an area of 16,000...

Additional information
The Medieval Castle of Kefalonia, located in the village of Peratata. It is also known as the Castle of Saint George

The island took its name from Kefalos, the first mythological king. According to excavations, Kefalonia Greece was largely developed in the Mycenaean and the ancient times. In fact, above the modern town of Sami, there is an ancient acropolis with interesting remains from many historical periods. Due to its strategic location, the Romans and Venetians used Kefalonia island as a base for war trips to the mainland of Greece. During the Venetian occupation in the Medieval times, Kefalonia developed...