This green island with its breathtaking beaches and crystal clear waters of greenish-blue colours will take your breath away. Kefalonia is like a gem in the Ionian Sea. It carries a rich history in cultural tradition. It’s the biggest Ionian Island and the green of its mountains blend with the blue of the water making it truly unique and a beloved destination. Pine, cypress and olive trees cover Mt. Ainos' peak, while at its foot you’ll come across vineyards where the popular Kefalonian Robola wine variety is produced.
Cephalonia lies in the heart of an earthquake zone, and dozens of minor, unrecorded tremors occur each year.
The biggest town and capital of the island is Argostoli. It is a town built around a hill, with a city-like life, filled with various types of entertainment: shops for you shopping lovers, cafes to sit back and relax, bars and beaches nearby. Argostoli was totally ruined by the earthquake in 1953, there are still sites that depict the old venetian architecture. You can see the old town Krani with the Cyclopean Walls; walk along the pedestrian street, where if you have the opportunity you may encounter the local philharmonic orchestra playing traditional Ionian Island songs; you can complete your promenade by the port.
Just behind (3km) Argostoli there is a small and charming tourist village, named Lassi. The village of Lassi is developed in front of the sea, is surrounded by a couple of hills and has never had a massive development, keeping the tourist building hidden in the Mediterranean nature. On Kefalonia island, we realized that Lassi is one of the best developed tourist center as it can offers a great combination of a clean beautiful sea and tourist attractions. Lassi with its amazing sunsets represents the ideal choice for couples, group of friends and families with children. The main beaches of this tourist village are anyhow two: Makris Yalos and Platis Yalos. Both beaches are very large and equipped for tourists with sunbeds and umbrellas as well as showers, beach bars and water sports.
Lixouri is the second biggest town of the island, however it is a peaceful town that is ideal for those who love peace and quiet. The westernmost of the two peninsulas of Kefalonia is the one of Paliki. The houses here were gravely damaged in the earthquake of 1953 but were rebuilt from scratch, taking into account traditional architecture. You can enjoy your coffee, your pastry sweets and the local cuisine at the port and at the square with the famous ficus plant. Visit the Kipouria Monastery where you can enjoy one of the most colourful sunsets on the island. It doesn’t matter though if nightlife in Lixouri isn’t as vivid as in Argostoli, since the dramatic coastline of the peninsula of Paliki will reward you with amazing sceneries, natural spas with reddish sand and emerald waters. Here is located the well-known Xi beach, which is exactly that: a natural spa! Lepeda beach with the impressive rocks is good for snorkelling whereas on the beach of Kounopetra you will see one of the landmarks of the island, the moving rock! The big rock found on this beach used to move in a rhythmic way, but no one could explain the reason of this strange phenomenon.
Fiscardo is a little known village on the northern most tip of Kefalonia. This is the only part of the island that survived the destructive earthquake of 1953. Most of the buildings preserve their traditional local colour that travels you back in time, the grand mansions with their elegant balconies, the old two-storey houses, the dark red tiled rooftops, the green mountainsides, the blue of the sea and the overall scenery is enchanting. This picturesque village is the home town of the Greek poet Nikos Kavvadias who usually wrote about the sea.
Assos is a charming little harbour village, north of Argostoli. The village seems to be ‘lost in time’ and gives off an almost mystical atmosphere. The basic original traditional Ionian architecture is retained, while the modern feel is gentle and slight, enough though to pleasantly surprise all visitors. In the late 15th century, a castle was built by the Venetian army, in order to protect the inhabitants from pirate raids. The stronghold was of great strategic importance and made Assos a capital city of the north side of the island. Nowadays, there are only remnants of the wall and other parts of Assos castle, as well as the church of San Marco.
The peaceful village of Lourdas sits on a steep hillside on the south coast of Kefalonia surrounded by the pine forest and cypress trees of Mount Ainos. An area of steep hillsides, which ends in a lovely beach with pale white sand and beautiful crystal clear waters. It’s a traditional picturesque village with a central square shaded by a plane tree, with little taverns and beach bars tucked into the streets around it. Lourdas is a coastal settlement and is quite popular for its well-organized beach. The combination of the crystalline waters and stunning mountain backdrop of Mount Aenos provides dream-like scenery that captivates all sights. Not far from the coast lies the Monastery of Sissia.
Sami, is placed along the north west coast of Kefalonia island. From the port of Sami, even if is small with clear blue water, ferry-boats towards Ithaka, Patras, Corfu and Italy leave every day. The area near Sami is really picturesque with very nice spots. Here high green mountains are in contrast with the deep blue color of the sea creating an amazing scenery. Sami area is also reach of natural beauties such as the Drogarati caves, Melissani lake and the small lake of Karavomilos. Above the modern part of the village we can see the ruins of the old Sami, where we suggest you to have a walk and a visit to Agrillion Monastery. Don’t forget your camera, from here you have a really nice view! Sami village and the famous Antisamos beach has been used by Hollywood as a natural setting for the movie “Captain Corelli”.
The cave lake of Melissani is a wonder of nature and one of the most impressive sights on Kefalonia which is located in Karavomylos, an area close to Sami town. Melissani was discovered in 1951 and following construction works in order to make it accessible it has become one of the most famous tourist attractions. The magic of the landscape is partly because of the roof that has collapsed and you have a view of the sky while being in a cave. If you visit during the day when the sun is high and the sunshine drops on the lake it makes the light blue waters shine giving off a magical soothing feeling.
If you decide to visit Melissani lake, you can’t miss visiting Drogaratti cave. The grandiosity of nature has created here a unique work of art. Once inside the cave, the visitor is instantly captivated by this remarkable workshop of the earth, where stalactites and stalagmites have been forming for thousands of years. The reflection of sunlight on the stalactites creates an unrealistic atmosphere. The latter, decorated with multi-hued stalactites and stalagmites, is renowned for its excellent acoustics and is prearranged for concerts on a special platform which is along the back wall of the cave. Its domed roof is intact and is of a unique, magical formation.
St. Gerasimos is the patron saint of Kefalonia, so the Monastery of St. Gerasimos is a sacred place for every citizen of Kefalonia. The relics of the Saint are kept in a glass case which is placed above the Saint’s tomb. Gerasimos (1506–1579) arrived on Kefalonia in 1555, where he spent the first 5 years in a cave in the area known as Lassi. He subsequently cultivated the area where the monastery of Saint Gerasimos now exists near Valsamata. He established a monastery which cared for the poor people and became a center for charity. The body of Saint Gerasimos is guarded and protected in a glass casement at the monastery as it has never decomposed. During the feast of Saint Gerasimos on August 16th, his body is passed over ill and sick persons for the purpose of healing them. His body is also displayed in the church during liturgy at the monastery on many occasions.
Skala, placed on the south east end of Kefalonia island, was a simple village of fishermen and farmer. During last 20 years, due to its amazing position in front of the sea and its marvelous sandy beach, Skala turned into a relaxing tourist village. Skala has a really wonderful beach that offers both sand and small white pebbles. Skala beach is long over than 3 kilometers where you can find areas equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas and wild areas where you can have your privacy also during the high season. If you book your holidays in Kefalonia in Skala, during the hottest hours we suggest you to have a break in the pine forest just behind the beach. The pine forest has very large and ancient trees and nearby you can find a huge choice of street food. Having a break under the shadow while looking at the blue sea below will be really unforgettable!
Poros is placed along the south east coast of Kefalonia and is the principal village of the Pronnoi region.This region ofKefalonia is characterized by thick green Mediterranean vegetation, deep canyons, natural springs and white pebbles beaches. Poros is a small village with in front the blue sea and just behind the mountain of Atros full of vegetation.Poros is famous in Kafalonia island as one of the first villages to welcome the tourists coming with private boats in the end of the 80’s. Still today Poros attracts many young couples and families with children from all Europe.Poros has a port where the ferries from the mainland (Killini) arrived.For who want to enjoy a beautiful view of the village, the coast and the sea we recommend going to see the Monastery of Atrou which is in the mountains just behind Poros; unfortunately the road is unpaved but the setting is beautiful.
The mountain that prevails in Kefalonia is Ainos, whose peak reaches 1.628 meters, and is the only national park that can be found on a Greek Island. The fir tree grows natively on this mountain on Kefalonia. The black needles of the Kefalonian fir tree gives an impressive dark colour to the mountain. In the cliffs of the mountain you might also be lucky enough to see small wild horses. The mountain is ideal for excursions and hiking in its verdant nature around the paths that vary in difficulty.
During an holiday in Kefalonia, no one can miss to taste the most famous Greek dishes and some traditional food of the island. During all day and night the marvelous smell of food that fills the streets will take you for sure into a traditional restaurant, where you will discover an unforgettable Mediterranean cuisine. The Greek and Kefalonia cuisine is dominated by local products as meat, fish, olive oil, vegetables and cheese that will surprise you day by day for their quality. In all Kefalonia island are very important some traditional products as local honey, extra virgin olive oil and sheep yoghurt, but also some local recipes, like “Meat pie” and “Bakaliaros with agliada”, are really excellent.