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Der Strand Myrtos auf Kefalonia, Bild: Roman Safonov / shutterstock

Kefalonia – Hot travel tip for sun worshippers and culture fans

Far less known than Corfu and Ithaca, the home of Odysseus, Kefalonia is a pearl in the Ionian Sea. The island offers a varied nature, beautiful beaches and monuments and villages that are absolutely worth seeing. The coast is characterized by narrow bays and rugged headlands. There are hidden pebble beaches and popular seaside resorts. Fascinating caves and mysterious grottos are waiting to be discovered. The 1628-meter-high Mount Enos rises in the middle of beautiful fir forests. When island hopping in the Ionian Sea, Kefalonia is definitely not to be missed!

Getting to Kefalonia

Kefalonia has one airport, which is mainly served by flights from Athens . But most guests come by ferry: they start in Patras or Kyllini in the Peloponnese. There are also ferry connections with the neighboring island of Ithaca. Only a narrow strait separates the two Ionian Islands, whose visit can be wonderfully combined.

Argostoli – Tidy island capital with seawater mill

Melissani Lake, Kefalonia
Melissani Cave, Image: Piotr Krzeslak / shutterstock

Argostoli, the capital, has 9,000 inhabitants, which spreads out in a deeply cut bay. From here, the sea looks like a lake. After a severe earthquake in 1953, which left large parts of the island in ruins, the city was rebuilt in a modern way. In summer, many yachts are anchored here, which gives the town a sophisticated character. People already lived here in Mycenaean and ancient times, as the interesting Archaeological Museum conveys. The Historical Museum is also worthwhile if you want to explore what everyday life was like here 100 years ago. Near the main town stretches the peninsula of Lassi with its beautiful sandy bays, which is absolutely suitable for a beach holiday. From Argostoli you can reach almost all the villages of the island by public bus.

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Seawater mills and an underground lake

Just a few kilometers from Argostoli, it is exciting to visit the mill wheel of a seawater mill. The water that drives the mill disappears into a chasm to reappear on the other side of the island at the Melissani Cave. There, near Sami, there is an underground lake, whose water glitters turquoise at noon.

Fascinating landscapes and monuments on Mount Enos

Assos, Kefalonia
The picturesque village of Assos, Image: leoks / shutterstock

At the foot of the island mountain Enos, Kefalonia shows its most fertile side: gnarled olive groves and beautiful gardens stretch along its slopes. Pines, firs and cypresses give rise to an almost southern alpine feeling. The largest monastery on the island, Agiou Gerasimou, could be the destination of a worthwhile hike. The island’s saint is buried here, and the baroque church tower greets you from afar. In the vicinity of the monastery there are several picturesque wine villages. Here you can enjoy the Robola , the white wine variety typical of Kefalonia, which gets its tart, dry aroma from the stony soils. Climb the mountain, the island and the Ionian Sea are at your feet.

Agios Georgios – fortress and old island capital

At Livathos you can visit the old island capital Agios Georgios, which stretched around a Byzantine fortress on a bare hill. Here you can marvel at the ruins of a church and an old Venetian powder magazine. The most beautiful thing up here is the fantastic view of the coast and the sea. In the impressively simple nunnery of Agios Andreas, just below the mountain, you can admire murals from the 12th century.

Poros and Nea Skala. Pretty seaside resorts in the southeast

If you arrive by ferry from the mainland, you will probably enter the island in Poros. The small harbour nestles against the steep slopes. Beautiful pebble beaches with offshore uninhabited islands surround the village. Swimming is a pleasure here. Plus, you can snorkel and explore the underwater world. Poros is a great place to spend your holidays, even if you won’t be alone, of course. The tourist infrastructure is well developed, but not overwhelming. Further south is Nea Skala. The modern rebuilt village has extensive and very popular sandy beaches. A Roman villa has interesting mosaics that can be visited.

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The Bay of Sami – Explore an underground cave system

Fiskardo Lighthouse, Kefalonia
Lighthouse in Fiskardo, Image: s_kaisu / shutterstock

The island around the port town of Sami is barren. It is worth coming here to experience the fascinating stalactite caves. The Drongarati cave opens suddenly when you walk along an olive grove. There are 3-meter-long stalactites to admire and an underground hall that is even suitable for concerts. The most fascinating attraction on Kefalonia is at Sami: Here, the water from the other side of the island resurfaces after an underground stream has flowed through the island. A beautiful boat trip can be taken in the cave-like Melissani Lake, which glows magically in the sunlight. In ancient times, people paid homage to the shepherd god Pan here.

Fiskardo and the North. Idyllic pebble beaches and a picturesque village

In the northeast of the island, Fiskardo offers a view of the neighbouring island of Ithaca, which seems to be within reach. Cypresses and pines surround the village, which is the only one to have survived the severe earthquake unscathed. Here you can get a glimpse of the former village life on a Greek island. Pretty facades with shutters that shine in all colors invite you to take a walk. A blue and white church tower greets hikers from afar. Near the fishing village of Assos there is a very special gem: At Myrtos Beach, the white pebble beach stretches out surrounded by rugged rock faces. These pebbles make the water glitter magnificently in blue and turquoise, because they reflect the sunlight in the finest way. It is most beautiful here in the low season