Countless resorts stretch along the expanse of the island’s coastline, offering calm and clear waters, soft sands, top amenities and entertainment, and plenty of eateries and bars in which to spend your evenings in Greece. The island shot to fame after serving as the backdrop for much of the hit Hollywood film Captain Corelli's Mandolin, capitalising on Kefalonia’s diverse and dramatic landscapes to create an idyllic setting for the big screen. If it’s beach scenes and unbeatable vistas you’re after, many can’t look beyond Skala during their holidays to Kefalonia. The beach here is backed by fragrant pine trees and the views are as picturesque as they come, while top infrastructure will make your stay as comfortable and luxurious as you desire.
If it’s an active, exciting or relaxing beach retreat you’re in search of, you’ll be blessed when setting foot on this engrossing island. The weather will be the first treat, hitting a sizzling 30C in the summer months, promising that you get your tan coming along nicely as you spread out on the soft sands with nothing but a good book for company. Among the countless beach resorts available to those embarking on Kefalonia holidays, it is Myrtos Beach that grabs the headlines. This breath-taking white-pebble beach lapped by cobalt and turquoise waters is considered one of the most beautiful of all of Greece's many beaches, defined by its backdrop of sheer cliffs and green mountainous inclines.
If sitting on the sand isn’t for you, there are countless things to do around the beach resorts that can get you active during your stay. Try your hand at sea kayaking and see the island from a different perspective, or get beneath the water on a remarkable scuba diving trip to the depths, introducing you to the diverse life that dwells in the waters. At night, live it up across a range of top restaurants, bars and clubs dotted all over the island. Outside of Fiskardo there are some thriving nightclubs, while Stevento is home to a beachside bar popular with locals and tourists. If you are seeking a romantic meal during your holidays in Kefalonia where you can watch the sun set, try Lourdas Bay, blessed with incredible food and peaceful sea views.
When you're not busy luxuriating on gorgeous beaches and soaking up all that glorious sunshine, those seeking a window into the history and culture of Greece will find that there are many opportunities on offer across the island. Within the island’s capital, Argostoli, there are plenty of heritage buildings and cultural activities to explore in addition to some great eateries where you can enjoy divine local cuisine; an ideal combination for history buffs and culture vultures. Another great place to drop in on during your holidays to Kefalonia is the Archaeological Museum of Argostoli, providing a wonderful insight into the heritage and progression of the island’s history. The museum has a large collection of artefacts dating back to prehistoric times as well as from the Roman era, including ancient jewellery and pottery on display, as well as beautiful mosaics and tombstones.
Another big attraction in Kefalonia is the Drogorati Caves. Discovered 300 years ago and descending to around 60 metres, these impressive caves are a must-see if you fancy delving somewhere slightly out of your comfort zone during your time on the island. Located near to the village of Chaliotata, these caves possess an astonishing array of stalagmites and stalactites to discover, featuring breath-taking formations and chambers, providing a great alternative way of entertaining travellers on holidays in Kefalonia.
When you think of Kefalonia, the first thing that comes to mind is an unspoilt beach with tranquil, turquoise waters; the good news is that Kefalonia is brimming with these types of beaches. From horseback riding along the water to exploring the island from above, there are a multitude of things to do in Kefalonia.
The island’s history and stunning beauty have made it the setting for a famous Hollywood film and provide ample spots for exploration. Discover island life in bustling Argostoli and charming village life in Sami, both of which offer phenomenal food and stunning sights.
Kefalonia is a great place to enjoy traditional Greek food with an Ionian flavour. While on a Greek island holiday, one of the main things to do in Kefalonia is to try some of the freshly caught fish at a psarotaverna, a restaurant catering to seafood. You can find a great selection of tavernas throughout the island, such as Psistaria which specialises in chargrilled food. Enjoy a quiet meal in one of the restaurants in Lassi, where you will have gorgeous views of the beach as the sun sets!
Greeks have been cultivating grapes and turning them into delicious wine for over 5,000 years, and this Ionian island is no exception; make sure to visit some of its wineries and pick up a bottle or two.
If it’s water sports you’re after, then head to Makris Gialos Beach where you’ll find a great selection of water sports on offer like kayaking and snorkelling. For something as relaxing as it is exciting, take a cruise to the neighbouring islands or explore the seas with a glass bottom boat trip.
To explore Kefalonia in a different sort of fashion, the underground Drogorati Caves near Sami or the Melissani Cave are great places to start. Horse riding is popular in Kefalonia and is a great way to soak up the beautiful scenery; trot through the mountain trails and see some of the ancient sites. Hiking and canyoning are also to sports widely enjoyed on the island and some of the best things to do in Kefalonia.
Visit the second largest town, Lixouri, set in a stunning elongated bay, with beaches of red sand and calm waters ideal for young ones. There are plenty of places just off shore to explore with a snorkel, and a waterproof camera will make your family holiday that much more memorable. Petani Beach in Lixouri also has fun aquatic sports for older children.
Makris Gialos Beach in Lassi is close to the airport and provides a great last-minute afternoon at the beach before heading home; plus, there is a beachside café and bar for the parents to relax in.
Skala Beach and Kaminia Beach are great spots if you’re looking to relax away from the crowds; they have clear, shallow waters are perfect for paddling and splashing around with the younger children. If the weather permits, you may even be able to see across to the Peloponnese or Zante!
This Ionian island was the setting for the famous story of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and the historical sites and scenery featured in the film are popular Kefalonia attractions. Based on a true story about the role of Kefalonia during World War II, the film used the village of Sami and Myrtos Beach as its main settings.
Visit Fiskardo, a pretty village with many historical Venetian buildings, and the old capital of Kefalonia, the imposing Venetian castle in Argostoli. The latter is surrounded by old Byzantine churches, and after you have finished exploring, there are great views to enjoy from the top. Moni Agiou Gerasmou, dedicated the St. Gerasmios, the island’s patron saint, is a monastery a short way’s away from Argostoli and a stunning sight in itself.
Argostoli is also home to the island’s Archaeological Museum and Korgialenio History and Folklore Museum, and discovering Greece’s pre-earthquake and Mycenaean past and culture is just one of the many necessary things to do in Kefalonia. Get to know modern Kefalonia in a pre-earthquake building, accompanied by a splendid botanical garden.
For a taste of paradise, Myrtos Beach is picture-perfect with its inviting white sands and clear turquoise seas. Antisamos Beach is Sami is excellent for snorkelling and just laying out and reading a good holiday book.
Assos is a small harbour village south of Fiskardo with stunning views and two charming tavernas for the small-town Greek charm that is essential in every Greek island holiday.
For a romantic day on the beach, try Platia Ammos Beach in Lixouri for a secluded cove with stunning sunsets and frequently named the most beautiful beach in all of Kefalonia.
One of Kefalonia’s most thriving local industries is the fishing industry, and the reason for this is the multitude of fish all around the island. The northern villages are the best place to take a fishing trip, with the village of Fiscardo in particular is a great place to try out. It is possible to book daily excursions out in the local fishing boats.
A great way to get out of the sun for the day is to visit one of the stunning caves on the Island. The Melissani cave is known locally as the Cave of the Nymphs, was excavated in 1962 to find some important Minoan relics including an ancient lamp that is now on display in the Achaelogical Museum of Argostoli. The cave can be visited by a boat trip that will take in the open topped hall as well as the second chamber full of stalagmites and stalagtites.
One of the best ways to check out the stunning scenery of the island is to go on a kayaking trip. There are several companies offering different trips to cater to different fitness levels. One popular trip starts at Agios Kiriaki bay and offers a seven hour paddle of the local caves and deserted coves, giving plenty of time to stop for breaks or have a gentle swim to cool down. If you are really lucky, you may even see a seal or two swimming by. It’s an exhausting trip but is a great opportunity to see a side of the island that is completely unspoilt by tourism.
The lush green scenery of the island means it is the perfect place to engage in a hiking or walking trip. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll along one of the idyllic harbours or want to climb one of Greece’s highest mountains, there is something for all abilities. Mount Ainos National Park hosts the third highest mountain in Greece at 1632 metres high. This may sound daunting, but the well laid out paths mean it is quite an easy climb, and once you’ve reached the top you’ll be rewarded with the most stunning views on the island. There are also a large number of different birds to spot, which nature lovers will enjoy.
Myrtos is the best loved of Kefalonia's many gorgeous beaches and was the site chosen to film the Hollywood film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. The crisp white sand is contrasted with the deep turquoise waters and surrounded by dramatically jutting cliffs. The steep climb down to the beach only adds to the charm and keeps out some of the tourists. If you’re after something easier to get to, the beaches around around Argostoli and Lassi are really popular sun worshiping spots. Platys Gialos and Makris Gialos both have long white sandy beaches and calm water.
If you’re a lover of traditional Greek food, Kefalonia will not disappoint. As fishing is such a big industry on the island, expect lots of delicious freshly caught seafood including halibut and mussels. Meat lovers will find an array of dishes straight from the grill, which are usually served with traditional Greek pitta bread and dips. If you’re in the mood for something special, Tassia in Fiskardo is one of the most famous restaurants on the island and is known to host A-list stars.
Whether you’re history buffs, artists or just enjoy wondering around some beautiful sites, Kefalonia has some stunning attractions to suit everyone. The Melissani and Drongarati, and Agalaki caves offer the perfect romantic spot to check out some gorgeous scenery including glittering interiors full of ancient stalactites and stalagmites. Meanwhile the Mazarakata tombs are a gothic spot overgrown with wild flowers, perfect for a spot of sketching or just wandering around. St George’s castle and the Cyclopean Walls offer some beautiful historical sites.
The stunning blue waters and lush green scenery of Kefalonia offer the perfect background for a romantic trip such as a honeymoon or anniversary holiday. With an array of luxury and boutique hotels, Kefalonia is the perfect spot to take some time out together. Spend the days either lounging on a deserted beach or hiking through gorgeous scenery and enjoy long evenings in romantic restaurants with ocean views.
Fascinating historical sites set amongst lush green backdrops will greet you in Kefalonia. One site not to be missed is St George’s castle near the villages of Peratata and Travliata. Dating back to the Byzantine era, the castle was claimed by the Venetians who restored it in the 16th century. There are also several remains from houses and churches nearby, offering a great chance to get off the beaten track and do some exploring. The eerie the Mazarakata tombs are also a great place for history buffs to clamber about the ancient ruins and wild flowers that cover the area.
Greece has a rich religious history and there are some striking churches and monasteries around Kefalonia. Situated on the South East of the island, Markopoulo is a small village whose church is host to a strange phenomena. Every year on August 15th, several little snakes with black crosses on their heads appear at the church. The villagers aren’t scared however, but celebrate the occurrence as good luck. Local legend says that in 1705, the nuns prayed to be turned into snakes to escape the invading pirates. Even if you miss the yearly festival, the stunning church is worth visiting year round for its views and architecture.
If you get tired of clambering about historical sites, there are a number of museums in Kefalonia that give an interesting insight into the island’s past. The Argostoli Archaeological Museum houses antiquities ranging from the pre-historic to the Roman era. The museum is also known for its extensive collection of Mycenaean artefacts. The nearby Folklore Museum is a great way to learn about local life across the centuries, with a collection of tools and objects used in daily life. It also has photographs of the island pre and post the 1953 earthquake that dramatically reshaped the area.
Foodies will love the selection of authentic local Greek restaurants in Kefalonia. For those who enjoy seafood, the villages on the north of the island offer fresh caught local seafood in their waterfront tavernas every day. The tiny village of Assos is one of the most atmospheric places to grab a meal, with its scenic harbour and views of the Venetian castle looming overhead. Meals in Greece are taken very seriously, so expect long evening spent tucking into traditional Greek foods and mezze plates partnered with a carafe of local wine.
Kefalonia has some of the most stunning beaches in Greek and is famous for being the location for the Hollywood film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Poros beach is perhaps the most family friendly beach on the island, as some of the others can be difficult to get to. The crystal clear water is also fairly shallow and calm so is perfect for family swimming or a spot of snorkelling. Lepada, on the Paliki Peninsula, in the west of Kefalonia, is also pleasant, with its red sand sloping to the turquoise water. However it does involve climbing down a steep slope to reach it, so young families should avoid.
Families will love clambering about Kefalonia’s historical sites, which make for a great day out full of fun and exploration. Children will enjoy getting spooked at the Mazarakata tombs, which are now empty but still offer plenty of ruins and gorgeous surroundings to look around. The Cyclopean Walls are also well worth a visit, with ancient stone dating from 1,500 BC. The intriguing name comes from the fact that later generations came across the ancient wall and thought it had been built by a giant Cyclops.
The traditional Greek food likely to be found on the island includes lots of fresh seafood and meats, including kebabs and other grilled meats, which are usually served with pitta bread and dips. One of the local specialities is the Kefalonia Meat Pie, which is a tasty pie filled with lamb, beef, pork and rice. Families with fussy children don’t need to worry though, as most of the restaurants offer more child-friendly international food. Il Destino in Skala is a great Italian restaurant if you feel like a change from Greek food.
Adventure loving families will be spoilt for choice in the activities offered on the island. From horse riding, to hiking, to scuba diving, there really is something for everyone. For those who want to take in the stunning scenery while staying active, kayaking around theLixouri peninsula is a great way to do both. There are several great places to hike around such as St George’s castle near Peratata or the Mazarakata tombs but serious hikers should check out Mount Ainos National Park. Host to Greece’s third highest mountain, there are several well maintained paths on which to explore.