Kefalonia is the largest Ionian island in Western Greece. The island offers a diverse range of natural beauty, including beaches and caves. Its coastline is stunning with dramatic cave formations, lush green vegetation and pristine turquoise waters. It is more than likely that you have seen pictures of Myrtos beach on some travel website or social media.
Although Kefalonia is mostly famous for Melissani Cave and Myrtos Beach, the island has so much more to offer. Picturesque fishing villages decorate the coastline, Ainos National Park, which is the only national park on a Greek Island and stunning beaches that can only be reached either by foot or by boat.
The food, history and culture also add to an amazing Greek island experience. There are plenty of things to do in Kefalonia, no matter your preferred vacation style. Whether you are on a family trip and looking for more peaceful moments, or you are after a holiday full of adventure and fun, you will find it here.
According to mythology, the first king of the island was the hero Kefalos (known as Cephalus) son of Hermes, who gave his name to the island after pushing out the Televoans.
History has shown us that the island of Kefalonia has been inhabited continuously since the Paleolithic age. The first inhabitants of Kefalonia were the so-called “Leleges” (https://www.kefalonia-island.com/history) and used to worship the ancient Greek god of the sea, Poseidon and they were followed by the Televoans.
What not to miss when in Kefalonia:
1. Hiking to Mount Ainos
2. Explore Drogarati Cave
3. Gondola ride to Melissani cave
4. Walk in the alleys of Fiskardo Village
5. Stroll Around Assos Village
6. Dive into Myrtos Beach turquoise waters
7. Experience the local, authentic food
8. Explore the hidden gems of the Kefalonian coastline
- Hiking to Mount AinosMount Ainos is known as Monte Nero (“Black Mountain”) due to its thick forestation of the dark Kefalonian fir trees (“abies cephalonica”) which are one of the rarest fir trees in Europe and the only fir tree forest on a Greek island. It is the tallest point of the Ionian Islands with an elevation of 5,341 ft. (1,628 m.) and it was first declared as a National Park in 1962. It is home to wild horses, goats and many other animals. There are plenty of hiking trails throughout the park and a well-paved road leading to the mountain’s summit. On clear days you will able to see as far as the Peloponnese, Ithaca and Zakynthos. Enjoy breathtaking views from the top.
- Explore Drogarati CaveDrogarati Cave is located on the edge of Sami village on the eastern coast of Kefalonia and can be reached by car or any other way of transportation. Nature has created beautiful formations of stalactites and stalagmites that have been growing here for years. It is thought to be around 150 million years old, despite only having been discovered by humans around 300 years ago. A strong earthquake revealed the entrance of the cave.Drogarati Cave in Kefalonia is a magical attraction that is a must-visit spot for travellers who love to explore the natural world.
- Gondola ride to Melissani CaveNearby the Drogarati cave lies the Melissani cave and lake, the highlight of the island according to the locals. It is one of Kefalonia’s well-known and most significant geological phenomena. It was said to have been discovered in 1950 by a Greek speleologist named Ioannis Petrocheilos, after a part of the roof collapsed. Now, beautiful deep water, with a maximum depth of 30 m., dazzles in changing shades of blue as the sun enters through the cave’s open roof. The sunrays enter this subterranean world, giving it magical colour hues as the sunlight is reflected off the cave walls and the lake waters. The colored walls and numerous stalactites create a mystical feel. The cave is host to stalactites and stalagmites over 20.000 years old. It is famous for its hydrogeology. It forms a kind of cenote as described in the Yucatan peninsula (Mexico).
- Walk in the alleys of Fiskardo VillageFiskardo is a colourful fishing village and port on the Northern part of the island. This village is the only town on the entire island that has survived the massive earthquake of 1953. Uniquely in Kefalonia, Fiscardo retains the original Venetian architecture– a time when the Venetians ruled Kefalonia.Numerous Roman finds have also been excavated in this little village.
- Stroll around Assos VillageThe village of Assos Kefalonia is a charming village perched on the water’s edge. It is full of Venetian ruins, most notably the ruins of an old venetian castle. Assos is made up of pebbled beach, traditional buildings and colourful houses. It is a beautiful village with narrow alleys full of flowering foliage and old churches. Pretty coloured houses nestling in the craggy hillside, dot the scenery with colours and makes Assos one of the most ‘instagrammable’ spots on the island. Assos Castle, which is located on a promontory above the village, is the ideal place to enjoy spectacular views of the island. The best time to visit the castle is at sunset to admire the sky’s colour palette.
- Dive into Myrtos Beach turquoise watersNo matter how many photos of it you’ve seen or how much you’ve heard about it, nothing can prepare you for the allure of the endless blue of its water, which changes colour depending on the angle of the sun. Myrtos beach is at the top of the list of the best Greek beaches and ranks amongst the best worldwide. Deep turquoise blue waters embraced by white sand leading to dazzling white pebbles, in a long strip of dramatic beauty surrounded by verdant hills. The waves on this beach pick up tiny pieces of Marble, creating a magical effect and illuminating the water. This effect makes the water a shade of turquoise so stunning you will want to instantly dive into it. Do not miss the best viewpoint of Kefalonia. This beach is the perfect spot to watch the sunset which is believed to be the best in the Ionian.
- Experience the local, authentic foodKefalonia is a region with interesting culinary traditions. When it comes to food, Kefalonia is a top choice. Local products and traditional recipes join forces to create some of the most delicious dishes you’ve ever tasted! The local cuisine of Kefalonia is excellent and visitors of the island should look to grab every opportunity they have to try it. To elevate your experience, combine the delectable dishes with fine Kefalonian wines and a wonderful view of the endless blue of the Ionian Sea. Robola is a grape variety that grows on the slopes of the highest mountain in Kefalonia, Ainos.
- Explore the hidden gems of Kefalonian coastlineExplore Kefalonia’s enchanting coastline and untouched natural landscapes by renting a luxury boat. Sailing along the beautiful coastline you will come across rocky formations, coral reefs, secret coves, small water caves and beaches which are accessible only by boat. The serene transparent waters make them the perfect spot for snorkeling and swimming. Discover the isolated majestic landscapes against a background of green hillsides and mountainous landscapes.