As the locals will proudly exclaim to all those who visit, Kefalonia is the largest and most remarkable of the Ionian Islands. Kefalonia offers travellers incredible scenes taken straight from paradise. Dramatic mountain landscapes and pine forests thread through to the crystal clear waters of the Ionian Sea, all of which provides a stunning backdrop to the fishing villages, taverns and bright Venetian buildings. Hire your car for Kefalonia with easyCar and make the 4 things on our to-do-list become an exciting reality when you arrive on Kefalonia’s sparkling shores.
Melissani Cave isn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill, bat-filled cavern, but a gateway to another world. Discovered in 1951 when an earthquake collapsed its roof, this cave houses not only two large lakes, around 30m in depth and 3.5km in length, but also their surrounding forests.
When the sun hits at noon, the turquoise water flowing gently through the cavern reflects a magical colour and illuminates the surrounding walls with blue light. Located 45 minutes east from Kefalonia Airport in the town of Karavomylos, you can experience Melissani from the railings of a boat or by looking down from the edge of a manmade balcony; whichever you opt for, it’ll be a sight you won’t forget.
Argostoli Bay: cruises, kayaking and turtles
Take a trip to Argostoli Bay, 30 minutes north from the island’s airport, for the opportunity to see deep into Kefalonia’s crystal clear ocean from one of the bay’s many glass bottomed boat trips. On top of this, there are a huge collection of activities to enjoy, including snorkeling classes, beach karaoke and various water sports, the most popular of which is sea kayaking.
Argostoli offers an additional incentive for visiting: it’s home to a healthy population of loggerhead turtles! Every morning, they patrol the shoreline for discarded produce from the local fishermen, so don’t miss out on the chance to be within inches of them in the wild.
Located only 50 minutes in the car from Kefalonia International Airport, Myrtos Beach is renowned as being the location for the mine explosion in the film adaptation of ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’(the locals will make sure to repeatedly remind you of this). This sweeping arc of dazzling white pebbles and sand cuts deep into the towering limestone cliffs and verdant hills of Kefalonia’s northwest coast. A trip will show to you how it has earned its fame as one of the most photographed beaches in the world.
Numerous celebrity visits, awards for immaculate cleanliness, and a glorious sunset view mean that sun worshippers flock to Myrtos Beach from across the globe. Watersports aren’t welcome and there are as limited umbrellas as there is natural shade, so be prepared to soak up the sun in as peaceful a setting as you’ll find on the island!
Places to eat and go out: Argostoli, Fiskardo and turtles!
Argostoli has been the capital of Kefalonia since 1757 and, during this time, has managed to develop a very particular set of hot spots for the evening. The undisputed champion of them all is Bass Club, located in the main square with a non-stop, into-the-early-hours attitude. The club blends an audible treat of dance, Greek and various pieces of foreign music, often with guest DJs and live musicians. Stavento Bar, also along Argostoli’s beachfront, offers spectacular sunset views of the ocean and an incredibly relaxed vibe.
Further north on the island, in the picturesque village of Fiskardio, sits the Kastro Club, built into an old mine and surrounded by lush vegetation and greenery. Its amphitheatre shape circles around the dance floor and all music genres are pretty much covered: from reggae and hip-hop, to rock and soul.
Food will vary significantly depending on your location in the island; the majority are family-owned restaurants with traditional, authentic Greek food. One such place is Assos Restaurant, named after the village it is located in. The restaurant can be found on the northwest coast of Kefalonia, just an hour’s drive north from the island’s airport. The resident cook, Anthoula, ensures you receive the best of ‘mama’s food’ and healthy portions for a reasonable price; you’ll be tucking in to meat pie, rabbit, seafood and stone baked pizza in no time! Andromeda is also on offer, located close to Lourdas Bay along the south of the island (a 20 minute drive at most) with a beautiful view of the ocean and mountainside, offering locally grown, fresh produce throughout the year.
The island itself is not easily traversable without a set of your own wheels. So be sure to pick up your car rental from Kefalonia Aiport.