Best beaches in Kefalonia

The largest island in the Ionian Sea, Kefalonia is famous around the world for its large beaches with the exotic waters. In fact, Kefalonia beaches are among the most photographed spots of Greece. Sandy or pebbled, organized or secluded, the beaches in Kefalonia offer precious moments of relaxation during your holidays. Actually you’d better stay in a Kefalonia hotel by the sea, so that you reach the water any time of the day… or the night!

Myrtos

Best beaches in Kefalonia: Myrtos Beach

No doubt Myrtos is the most famous beach of Kefalonia. This large bay with the exotic deep blue water is surrounded by a high cliff. Located on the northern side of the island, about 10 min drive from the picturesque village of Assos, Myrtos can be reached driving down a steep hill. The coast has white pebbles, the water deepens quickly and at one side of the beach is a small cave. Only one part of Myrtos beach in Kefalonia is organized with sun beds, umbrellas and a small beach bar.

Antisamos

Best beaches in Kefalonia: Antisamos beach

Antisamos beach is found on the eastern side of Kefalonia island, only 10 min drive from the port town of Sami. This is a large, white-pebbled beach surrounded by a green cliff, which is why the waters have this nice blue-green colour. Antisamos became world famous when scenes of the Hollywood movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin were filmed there (2001). Part of the beach is organized with sun lounges and umbrellas, while there is also a beach bar and a water sports centre with fun games.

Skala

Best beaches in Kefalonia: Skala beach

The 3km beach of Skala is among the most impressive beaches in Kefalonia. Due to its large size, the beach has sandy and rocky parts, organized or remote. This beach is found in a walking distance from the tourist, seaside village of Skala with the many shops, restaurants and hotels. In fact, this place is among the best holiday resorts for families in Kefalonia island, Greece. Very impressive is also the crystal, exotic water of Skala beach.

Lourdas

Kefalonia best beaches: Lourdas beach

Less tourist than Skala, but with nice beach hotels and restaurants, Lourdas beach extends for about 2 km. This is a sandy beach with fantastic crystal waters. Part of the beach is organized with sun lounges and umbrellas, while there are also some beach bars and cafeterias. This is a great place to stay for families with kids and people who want to be very close to the beach.

Xi beach

Kefalonia best beaches: Xi beach

Located at the peninsula of Paliki, close to Lixouri town, Xi is a very special beach. The red sand of the beach is said to have healing powers, which is why many people come to Xi for mud therapy. You will actually see many visitors getting covered with mud at the coast of Xi. This bay is fully organized with sun beds, umbrellas, water sports, restaurants and cafeterias, while few hotels are found in a walking distance from the beach.

Holidays in Kefalonia and Ithaca, the sister islands

Located in the Ionian Sea, one island side by side to the other, the islands of Kefalonia and Ithaca can be perfectly combined for vacations. With easy ferry connection and similar landscape, holidays in Kefalonia and Ithaca is perfect for all ages: from romantic couples looking for a secluded retreat to families with kids and other visitors longing for beach holidays.

Holidays in Kefalonia

Holidays in Kefalonia island, Greece

Kefalonia became widely known after the Hollywood movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was filmed there in 2001. Shooting locations were mostly restricted to Sami and Antisamos Beach, however this was a perfect chance for people around the world to hear about the beauty of the island and come to spend vacations.

Holidays in Kefalonia are especially popular among families with kids, due to the sandy and safe beaches of the island. The shallow and clean waters are important factors for a family to pick up a holiday destination. Myrtos, Antisamos, Skala and Lourdas are the most popular beaches in Kefalonia, while equally frequented are Makris Gialos Beach, Platis Gialos and Xi Beach. Except for Myrtos and Antisamos, which are secluded places to swim, all the other mentioned beaches are also tourist-developed places where you can choose your perfect beach hotel in Kefalonia. Some tourist places are very developed (like Skala and Makris Gialos) and others are less developed (like Lourdas or Xi).

Apart from wonderful beaches, holidays in Kefalonia should definitely include a visit to the picturesque villages and interesting sights of the island. Fiscardo and Assos are the most fantastic villages of Kefalonia, with cozy architecture and lovely ports. As for Kefalonia sightseeing, the most impressive is the Lake Cave of Melissani and the Cave of Drogarati, with impressive stalactites and stalagmites.

Holidays in Ithaca

Holidays in Ithaca island, Greece

Even more secluded and quiet than Kefalonia, Ithaca island is a fantastic place for absolute relaxation. Holidays in Ithaca are a unique experience. Upon your first step on the island, you feel the special vibrations in the air and the fresh breeze of the Ionian Sea. Ithaca is famous all over the world as the beloved homeland of Ulysses, the famous Homeric hero. Since then, in literature the word Ithacastands for the purpose of life, an important desire that we must fulfill in order to find peace.

Indeed, even today, the atmosphere of Ithaca gives something peaceful. You will not find the long, sandy beaches of Kefalonia in Ithaca or the large hotels with pools. Although this island is famous around the world, tourism is kept in low profile. The majority of beaches in Ithaca consist of small coves with blue green water, non-organized with sun lounges or umbrellas. Only two beaches are organized: Filiatro and Sarakiniko. A stunning beach is Gidaki, accessible only by boat from Vathy port.

The most picturesque villages of Ithaca are Vathy and Kioni, both seaside places with traditional architecture. Although many houses and buildings on the island were destroyed by the severe earthquake of 1953, most of these houses were later restored and today they host beautiful Ithaca hotels and boutique hotels.

Ferry connections

How to go to Kefalonia: Kefalonia has a local airport that receives internal flights from Athens 2-3 times per day. Also in summer there are charter and low cost flights to Kefalonia from many European airports.
Ferries from Kefalonia to Ithaca: The most popular ferry connection between Kefalonia and Ithaca is the ferry from Sami port in Kefalonia to Pisaetos port in Ithaca. These ferries are daily and the trip lasts for about 40 min.
Occasionally, in high season, there are ferries from the port of Fiscardo in northern Kefalonia to Frikes port in Ithaca. These ferries are run by the local company West Ferry, usually 3-4 times per week. Also there can be daily ferries from Poros port Kefalonia to Pisaetos port Ithaca. These ferries started operating last year (2014) and they may not run every year.

Top 5 things to see in Kefalonia

Among the most popular islands of Greece, Kefalonia is a fantastic destination for summer or spring vacations. Apart from wonderful beaches and nice seaside villages, Kefalonia island also offers many things to see. Its long and interesting history has left many monuments, spread all around the island. Here are the top 5 things to see in Kefalonia.

# Melissani Lake Cave

Top things to see in Kefalonia: Melissani Lake Cave

The lake cave of Melissani is probably the most impressive among all things to see in Kefalonia. Located just a couple of km from Sami town, on the eastern side of the island, this lake cave was actually discovered in 1951 when an earthquake made the roof to collapse. Many archaeological excavations followed and ancient statuettes were discovered. In fact, in the antiquity, this lake cave was known and people believed that it was the residence of nymph Melissani, which is how the cave took its name today.

The most interesting part of this lake cave is that the water comes from the region of Katavothres in Argostoli. Katavothres is a natural phenomenon close to Argostoli town, where sea water enters the underground, crosses Kefalonia for 30 km until the other side of the island, passes the Cave Lake of Melissani and reaches again the sea at the fishing port of Karavomylos, close to Melissani. This is why the water of the cave is actually sea water.

When visitors enter the cave, they walk few steps down until they reach the shore the lake and there are boats waiting to take them on a tour around the cave. This is a very interesting and impressive experience overall.

# Drogarati Cave

Top things to do in Kefalonia: Drogarati Cave

Another fantastic cave close to Sami town is Drogarati Cave. This large cave is a miracle of nature, with stalactites and stalagmites of impressive size and shape. Although it was discovered in the 18th century, it only opened to the public in 1963. Speleologists estimate that this is a 150 million years old cave, while the humidity reaches 90% inside. Due to its wonderful acoustics, concerts of classical music have taken place inside Drogarati Cave, which has the capacity of host 500 people.

# Lighthouse of Saint Theodore

Top things to see in Kefalonia: Lighthouse of Saint Theodore

The Lighthouse of Saint Theodore is located 2 km from Argostoli town, overlooking the bay between Argostoli and Lixouri. This lighthouse distinguishes for its architecture and is a popular wedding spot in Kefalonia, particularly in sunset time. This circular structure of 20 columns and an 8-meter tall tower was originally built in 1828, when Kefalonia and all the Ionian islands were under British rule.

The severe earthquake of 1953 caused large damages to the lighthouse but it was later reconstructed and works until today. Just few meters from the Lighthouse of Saint Theodore, visitors can see the Katavothres, the geological phenomenon where the sea water enters the underground of Kefalonia.

# Castle of Saint George

The Medieval Castle of Saint George is located 7 km from Argostoli, just above the village of Peratata. This castle was originally constructed by the Byzantines in the 12th century but got its present form during the Medieval era, when the Venetians ruled the island. Today the largest part of the Castle of Saint George is ruined, except for the remains of some buildings and the external walls that still survive.

In the Medieval times, this castle used to host the first capital of Kefalonia, an entire town with public buildings, storehouses, churches, private residences, mansions of noble families, hospitals, prisons and more. In 1757, this organized capital town was gradually moved to Argostoli to be closer to the port. The Castle of Saint George is open for visit in morning hours, until the early afternoon.

# Monastery of Kipoureon

The Monastery of Kipoureon is located on the western coasts of Kefalonia, in the peninsula of Paliki. At a distance of 15 km from Lixouri, this monastery is famous for its fantastic location that offers breathtaking view to the sea and the sunset. In fact, although this monastery is not among the most famous things to see in Kefalonia, watching the romantic sunset and the rocky cliffs reaching the sea from there is a wonderful experience. Today only one old monk lives there and you will probably see him sweeping the yard and lighting the candles during your visit.