The unspoiled Kefalonia, or Cephalonia, is one of the few islands which, no matter how long you spend exploring them or how many days you stay there, you will never have enough time to see all its beauty because; every single trip there has something new to reveal.

Kefalonia is the 6th biggest island of Greece. It is about 786 sq m. It is the biggest island of the Ionian Greek Islands but it comes second in population with 36,527 inhabitants.

Take a look at some of the reasons Kefalonia is rivaling the likes of Corfu and Rhodes and becoming one of Greece’s primary travel pearls!


Why Kefalonia?

#1. Because of the incredible beaches

Whether you prefer sand or pebbles, coves or facilities, Kefalonia’s beaches cater for a diverse mix of preferences.

Myrtos Beach
Myrtos Beach


Myrtos is Kefalonia’s trademark beach which has won a myriad of award and has been dubbed as one of the ‘best beaches in the world.’ Each year this long, pebbly beach lapped by turquoise water and set against a background of steep cliffs and fragrant pine trees, is awarded the Blue Flag by the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO).

 

Beauté on the beach

15 reasons why your next holiday should be to the Greek island of Kefalonia

By contrast, instead of pebbles, Xi Beach is made up of reddish coloured sand. With a clay-composition under your feet, just walking along this unique sand means you can enjoy a free and 100% natural massage. In fact Xi Beach is renowned for its cleansing and tightening effects on the skin.

 

A bit of Hollywood air

Beach of Horgota, along the east coastline, between Agia Efimia and Fiskardo

Another unique beach of Kefalonia is that of Horgota, along the east coastline, between Agia Efimia and Fiskardo In order to reach this beach, one must enter the Komitata settlement and follow the route to Agia Sofia. Horgota is a pebbled beach, with wonderful crystal clear waters and with a wild natural beauty.

It isn’t a particularly organized beach but, as a location, it has other advantages. It became known as Pelagia’s beach in the movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, thus obtaining a bit of Hollywood air.


Fairy-tale scenery

Kefalonia - Fairy tale scenery

The Agia Sofia Beach is easily accessible from the mainland by a paved road from the village Komitata. From there, the beach is around 8km.

The scenery is absolutely beautiful. In the middle of the beach lies an old fishermans house which nowadays is uninhabited. Do not expect a huge beach, umbrellas or any other luxuries.

It is a bay for relaxing, mainly preferred by visitors coming with a boat.


#2. Because of the picturesque villages

Its picturesque villages , sandy or rocky braches, vibrant towns, wordly caves; everything contributes to the creation of an ideal setting for your holidays in such a magical way you always find yourself promising to come back for more.

Kefalonia - Picturesque Vilagges

Agia Efimia

Kefalonia is definitely worth two weeks. Hire a car to enjoy your stay. Based at picturesque Agia Efimia it is a central village to reach the rest of the island.

Kefalonia - Picturesque Vilagges
Ithaca the mythical island of Ulysses and Piso Aetos bay is a 35 minute ferry crossing from Sami (9Km from Agia Efimia or 7minutes by car).


#3. Because of the island’s geological strange phenomena


Few places in the world gather so many geologically “strange” phenomena as the island of Kefalonia. Besides the natural beauty, the landscape of Myrtos with the wild beauty, Ainos, the “black mountain”, covered with Kefalonia’s fir, this very special species, the geology of the island attracts the interest of the scientists worldwide.

Geologists closely study the groundwater and various phenomena associated with them. The majority of them are explained due to Kefalonia’s position in the union of the tectonic plates of the Earth, but they do not cease to compose a mysterious and unique setting on the island.


Katavothres

Katavothres - Kefalonia

Katavothres are in the cape Agion Theodoron, next to the lighthouse of Argostoli, Fanari. There the sea water violently floes into the ground. This is what ‘katavothres’ are: splits in the ground where water comes in. The first one that noticed and observed this phenomenon was the Englishman Stevens in the 19th century. He also decided to take advantage of the momentum of the water and built a watermill at the spot, which survives to the present day. The case of Kefalonia is unique because the Katavothres which are under the surface of the sea, cross the entire island underground, from the west to the east, a distance of about 15 km! The experiment that confirmed the suspicions of many scientists took place in 1963: Geologists threw 160 kilos of dye and two weeks later, traces of this dye were found in the waters of the other side of the island, the bay of Sami, Karavomylos and the Melissani lake cave.

 

Melissani Cave: Boating with the nymphs
Melissani Cave: Boating with the nymphs

One of the most beautiful places on the island, Melissani Lake , the unparalleled natural sculpture of Cephalonia, will set aside your expectations as much as possible with regard to what the island has to offer you as an experience. Enjoy your boating in the lake and catch a chat with the boatman. He will definitely want to tell you even more about the history of the lake and the cave, and rather a little later you will hear a short canda!

The cave is located 2 kilometers northwest of Sami, in Karavomylos. The natural entrance of the cave is vertical (40 × 50 m) and was created by the fall of a section of the roof, probably from an earthquake. In Melissani you will admire a rare geological phenomenon. The cave lake is 20 meters below the ground, has a length of about 160 meters and a depth from 10 to 40 meters. Stalactites 20,000 years old with strange shapes adorn most of the cave. In the middle there is a small island, on which cult objects of the god Panas were found, certifying the use of the cave as a place of worship in prehistoric times. The cave took its name either the myth of Nymph Melissani who committed suicide here because the god Panas denied her, or the tradition that Melissanthi got killed by falling into the lake while hunting one of her sheep. Today, it is accessible from an artificial entrance, which leads through the underground tunnel to the main hall. The guided tour takes place along the entire length of the lake, while the unobstructed spot in the main room allows sunlight to enter the cave and show visitors unique colors, especially at noon.


Karavomylos

Karavomylos Kefalonia

It is the picturesque seaside village where the Melissani Cave is. According to the experiment carried out by the Austrian geologists in 1963, Karavomylos is the point where the waters come from the Katavothres of Argostoli, since they cross underground half of the island. The traditional watermill at the edge of Karavomylos beach is one of the most typical pictures of the area. Behind it, an artificial lake surrounded by lush, green vegetation complements the unique landscape. It is certain that in the calm waters you will find ducks and swans, who will gladly eat what you offer them!


Avythos

Avythos lake - Kefalonia

It is the only lake of Kefalonia and is located in the southeastern part of the island, near the village of Agios Nikolaos in the province of Poros. Previously there was the notion that the lake was so deep that no one could find its bottom – that’s why it was named Avythos which in Greek means without bottom. As no one attempted it, or no one successfully managed to measure its depth, thousands of beliefs and local stories were created referring to this mystery of the lake… Until someone took it seriously and decided to unravel the mystery: He threw an iron ball in the water, tied to a rope. The results were surprising: just 11 meters deep! The landscape is still unique. Green nature, proud cypress trees and the mountain, will fascinate you! Scientists, however, have confirmed that the waters of Lake Avithos communicate underground with the waters that come from other areas of the island, such as from the Argostoli Katavothres and Melissani – linking it to the other, greater mystery of the natural and geological phenomena of Kefalonia !

 

Kounopetra

Koynopetra - Kefalonia

At the other side of Kefalonia, in the southernmost part of the cape of Paliki, a large rock stands out in the sea. The name Kounopetra means the moving rock. A huge rock in a very slow, unstoppable movement, a phenomenon observed with naked eyes for hundreds of years! The movement was not so intense to change its location but scientists could not give a logical explanation until recently. After the earthquake of 1953 the movement was significantly reduced to the point it is hardly noticeable with a naked eye. Geologists and specialists who examined Kounopetra concluded that perpetual motion is due to the unstable rocks at the bottom and the base of the rock, but also in the air and the sea surrounding it. Kounopetra is within easy reach from the coast, so visitors can easily see it in the specially designed area with beach benches. An informative plaque of the Matzavinon Cultural Association guides the observers, who nowadays need to be alert to be able to observe the phenomenon.

 

Drogarati

Drogkarati Kefalonia

The only cave in Greece where concerts take place is the Drogarati Cave in Kefalonia. Its central room is very large with dimensions of 65 × 45 meters and a height of about 20 meters and the acoustics of the space is unique. Geologically, it is ranked among the most valued caves in the Greek area: stalactites and stalagmites over one hundred million years old compose the unique landscape while the temperature does not exceed 18 degrees Celsius. The depth of the cave reaches 95 meters. You can see for yourself that the cave is “alive” and is still formed: drops of moisture flow from its stalactites to make them grow about one centimeter in a hundred years! Its entrance is located in Chaliotata, in the area of Sami and is open daily.

 

Aggalaki Cave

Aggalaki Cave Kefalonia

It is located in Poulata of Sami province and is part of a larger complex of caves -estimated to be a total of seventeen – which are very close to each other and most of them form underground ponds with sweet or brackish water. Scientists who studied this phenomenon concluded that the waters of these caves communicate with each other for the most part, through narrow underground passages. The Aggalaki cave is the largest and most accessible of them, while you can visit it by walking through one of the most famous routes of the area, from the Monastery Thematon, to Mount Agia Dynati in Pylaros, to Karavomylos.


#4. Because Kefalonia has a Saint who is pretty much the patron of crazy!

Saint Gerasimos Kefalonia

Saint Gerasimos was an aristocrat who gave it all up to live in a cave and heal people. Monastry of Saint-Gearsimos and all the area around it, is a place not to be missed.


#5. Because of the true connection to Captain Corellis

Memorial to Italian Soldiers - Kefalonia
There is a Memorial to the Italian soldiers who were murdered by the German army during the Second World War – a very true connection to the Captain Corelli story.


#6. Because of the local flavors and gastronomic discoveries Kefalonia has to offer

Mandola Kefalonia
We hope you like the wine because Kefalonia is a place that produces a lot! This means you have to try Robola. At the same time, do not forget to try local products such as the mandola (red coloured sugar almonds) and the mandolato.

You can visit the Robola Cooperative in Omala and taste the wine, a unique experience for wine lovers.

After the beaches, surely what makes Cephalonia stand out is the good food. Be prepared for much-and especially good-food! The dish for which the island is known is the meat pie that will surely fill your stomach with love, as this is probably the main ingredient (this taste is not explained otherwise!). As an island, however, obviously it also has excellent seafood, which must be tested without exception!


#7. Because it’s time we go back to nature

Mount Ainos Kefalonia

Beyond its beaches, Kefalonia also has magnificent mountains that can offer you pictures that you did not imagine you could find on an island. The island has its own organized mountaineering club that regularly explores the slopes of the Kefalonia Mountains, discovering wonderful paths, waterfalls and routes to the most beautiful parts of the island.

If you really like mountains and hiking, Ainos, the highest mountain on the island, is definitely one of the places that will charm you. If you are lucky, you will meet the semi-horses of Ainos, near the monastery of Zoodohos Pigi, on the sides of the so called “black mountain”. The slopes of Ainos are covered by the unique in the world Cephalonia pine tree, whose dark green and vegetation density made the Venetians name the mountain "Monte Nero".


#8. Because you’d love to dive into the void and experience all the extremes of the sea

Extreme Sports - Kefalonia

Enjoy the magnificent view of the beach in every way that is offered to you, even if it takes you a few meters from the ground!

Make paragliding in Myrtos and enjoy this wonderful beach from above. Kefalonia can be a relatively quiet destination in your mind, but do not be surprised when you suddenly find one of the many beach parties that take place very often on the island, raising the rhythm and the mood even more! However, rhythms can climb even higher if you choose to go deeper and leave the adrenalin hidden in the crystal clear and turquoise waters of the island.

Raise the beatings by making the water sports you prefer, at the beaches that are famous for them. Antisamos beach is one of them.


#9. Because it’s your chance to explore unexplored paths

Kefalonia Beaches

The beaches of Kefalonia are countless and there will always be new places to discover. The car and walks may not always be the right means to do it! By renting a small boat or arranging with some of the available boats to take you to some beaches that are only approached in this way, you will be able to find yourself on some of the most magical and clean shores you could imagine. If you are lucky, maybe for a few hours, let the beach be yours!

Visit small coves near Agia Efimia, only accessible by boat, or Fteri beach! The destination will enchant you ... somewhere you will leave a piece of your heart on the island and promise to come again.


#10. Because of the underwater Kefalonia

Kefalonia - Turtles Caretta Caretta

Kefalonia is an objectively beautiful island. Her loving beauties, however, are not limited to the beaches and mountains, they also meet on the bottom of it! So do not limit yourself to the sea water sports that keeps you on the surface of the sea, dive into the deep and prepare to discover points of the island and of yourself that you did not know, nor imagined!

Scuba diving, near Myrtos where you will see the shipwreck created by the sinking of Christine or the enchanting waters of Melissani!


#11. Because of the island’s cosmopolitan walks & private cruises

Kefalonia - Boat Rides

Are you ready to be enchanted by the picturesque beauty of Agia Efimia or Fiscardo the most cosmopolitan points of the island?

Agia Efimia Kefalonia
© Odyssey hotel, Agia Efimia

Visit Fiscardo and go for places that seem to prefer a variety of national and international celebrations during the summer months. Hire a boat or a yacht and enjoy your private daily cruise departing from Agia Efimia’s bay.

Fiskardo Kefalonia

 


#12. Because Kefalonia may host your most romantic nightlife

Kefalonia may not be known for its nightlife, but you can definitely find the shops that will host your most beautiful nightlife, with wonderful drinks, music that fits perfectly into the surrounding landscape and magnificent views.

Enjoy the finest cocktails or the full moon with a glass of Kefalonia wine.

Mnistires restaurant, Odyssey hotel
© Mnistires restaurant, Odyssey hotel

 

 

Kefalonia - Night Life


#13. Because of the pre-earthquake Kefalonia

The architecture of Kefalonia was one of its strongest aesthetic features before the great earthquake of 1953 that struck the island. The earthquake has led to the destruction of many buildings, but the splendor is clearly evident, making even now, so many years later, a walk in the villages that show how the island was pre-mysterious.

Visit the old Vlachata Sami, the village that hosts the Saristra Festival. Half-broken homes and village structure will function as a machine of the time.

Vlachata Samis

Vlachata Samis
© Jerry Apostolatos

#14. Because of the island’s tropical treasures

Another beach, a real treasure for those who visit it, is Ammos in the picturesque village of Pessada. You will feel that you are somewhere exotic and leave your every concern.

Ammos Beach - Kefalonia
© Jerry Apostolatos

 


#15. Because of the most amazing sunsets

Petani Bay sunset
Petani Bay sunset

 

Myrtos beach sunset
Myrtos beach sunset

 

Kefalonia is the island of natural masterpieces. Whatever you are looking for in a Greek holiday, the island of Kefalonia has it all!

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