In the Ionian Sea
, between other exotic islands
, stands grand Kefalonia. Much photographed, much talked about, much loved, by Greeks and foreigners alike. Not just because of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
, the 2001 film that attracted so much attention, but also because of its sheer beauty, its stately towns, its impressive attractions.
Argostoli, Lixouri, Fiskardo, Assos, Lake Melissani. This largest of the Ionian islands, with its sparkling azure waters, dazzling beaches and dark green mountains, has been a popular holiday spot for decades. The inhabitants of Kefalonia have a reputation for being the ‘quickest’ Greeks – always ready with a joke, a laugh, a helping hand. Their laid-back attitude toward life is infectious, and within hours of your arrival, you’ll feel as carefree as they do.
What to do in Kefalonia
Argostoli, the fun-loving capital
Set alongside a deep bay, Argostoli has a funky charm that grows on you as you sit in the lively main square with the locals, who are night owls. Rummage in the market. Stroll down its handsome flagstoned streets. And sip the famous Robola wine in its welcoming cafes and bars.
Explore a bit and you’ll find monuments left over from the 19th century British Protectorate period. And for an in-depth introduction to island culture from the 15th to the 20th century, pay a visit to the outstanding Corgialenios Historical and Cultural Museum, one of the finest in Greece, and to the Corgialenios library, one of the largest. The capital of Kefalonia will add a cultural flair to your holidays.
Mt. Enos: the ‘Black Mountain’
The highest mountain in the Ionian, Enos takes its name from the black pine (Abies Cephalonica) that once covered it completely and grows nowhere else. It has been a national park since 1962, known for its wealth of wild flowers. It’s also home to a special breed of pony, Equus cabalus.
You’ve probably seen these beaches before on posters and postcards or in scenes from films, because they’re among the most gorgeous in the Mediterranean. They cover all shades of blue and green water lapping against pure white sand or smooth round pebbles.
Myrtos, perhaps the most spectacular, lies at the bottom of towering limestone cliffs. But don’t miss Petani and Skala. Or Poros, where the forest is reflected in the sea, intensifying the colour. Makry Gialos, whose turquoise waters rock to the music of beach bars, gives a cosmopolitan touch. And Xi, where pale green waves meet fine red sand, offers an unforgettable change of pace. The beaches of Kefalonia are waiting to be discovered.
To enjoy everything Kefalonia has to offer, fly with Aegean.
Assos: perfection in miniature
Many people think this tiny port is the prettiest settlement on the island. You’ll catch your first glimpse of it from above. Built on a narrow strip of land, its few houses hug the shore, keeping their traditional Venetian-era character amidst a host of tall plane, poplar, palm and olive trees. The 16th century Venetian castle looming over it is well worth the climb up.
Fiskardo, sailors’ haven
Another enchanting miniature, the picturesque port of Fiskardo is hardly a secret to sailors and celebrity yacht owners. But landlubbers love it too for its charming 18th century buildings, which give it a feeling of timelessness that transcends the cheerful hubbub in its popular fish restaurants and boutiques.
Images of Kefalonia
Hidden gems of Kefalonia
Levitating in the depths of a cave
The 50 shades of turquoise in the underground Lake Melissani are mesmerising. Get into the boat for a tour and you’ll think you’re floating somewhere in space. With sunlight filtering in from above, the cavern reminds you of a cathedral. And then your boatman breaks the spell by singing a lilting Italianate cantada.
The ‘mysterious’ Sea Mills at Fanari, 2.5km from Argostoli
Once upon a time, the seawater disappeared into ‘swallow holes’, rock schisms, here at such a rate that it was used to power two flour mills. No one knew where it went until scientists traced a dye that ended up in Lake Melissani on the other side of the island. Kefalonia is full of such strange geological phenomena.
A paradise for sea activities
Kefalonia is the perfect island to explore by boat, with endless private beaches and bays of exceptional beauty, such as Myrto and Makri Gialos. Travel to coves that embrace the rare beauty of Kefalonia. For lovers of action and activities, Kefalonia offers all sorts of water sports at all the large organised beaches, as well as sea kayaking and scuba diving in impressive locations full of surprises such as little caves teeming with underwater life.