Welcome to the enchanting island of Kefalonia, Greece, where turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea glisten under the sun, and the beauty of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin comes to life. If you’re seeking travel advice and wondering about the top things to do on Kefalonia Island, you’re in the right place.
In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the must-visit sites of Kefalonia, sharing practical tips and recommendations along the way. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient ruins, indulging in local cuisine, or simply basking in the island’s natural wonders, we’ve got you covered.
Discover where to stay on Kefalonia Island for a comfortable and memorable getaway. From hidden gems to well-known attractions, Kefalonia promises an unforgettable experience. So, let’s dive into this captivating Greek paradise and make your Kefalonia adventure truly remarkable.
Kefalonia is one of Europe’s most undervalued islands. If you’re curious about what else to enjoy in Kefalonia besides touring its stunning beaches, keep reading and prepare to be impressed.
Kefalonia, also called Cephalonia, is the biggest Ionian island, located around 1 hour from Zante, another of the stunning travel destinations in Greece. Kefalonia’s geography is distinctive; it has several of Greece’s most pristine beaches and verdant mountainous terrain.
If you want to explore one of Greece’s scenic and lesser-known parts, Kefalonia is the best gateway and is well worth a stop, particularly if you’re on the hunt for the best travel destinations in Europe. This is your complete guide to Kefalonia Island, Greece.
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Best Months To Visit Kefalonia
The best period to visit Kefalonia Island, Greece, is during the summer, in June, July, and August. The weather gets hot in July and August, and you will also see more crowds on the island.
Alternatively, you can plan a visit to Kefalonia in May or September when hotels are slightly cheaper and the weather is still pleasant.
If you’ve been to other Southern European destinations like Spain, the best period to go for a vacation to Greece.
|Season||Avg. High Temps (°C / °F)||Avg. Low Temps (°C / °F)|
|Winter (Dec – Feb)||6°C / 42.8°F||-2°C / 28.4°F|
|Spring (Mar – May)||17°C / 62.6°F||4°C / 39.2°F|
|Summer (Jun – Aug)||29°C / 84.2°F||15°C / 59°F|
|Autumn (Sep – Nov)||18°C / 64.4°F||6°C / 42.8°F|
Best Place To Stay On Kefalonia Island, Greece
The island’s coast is 237 kilometers long, so going from one end to another requires some time. But if you choose the right location to stay, your vacation to Kefalonia will be more convenient.
The best areas to stay in Kefalonia are Argostoli, Lassi, and Sami – let’s go through them and see which is the best for you.
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Best Things To Do On Kefalonia Island, Greece
You’ll find a plethora of things to do in Kefalonia, including beaches with Caribbean-like waves, highlands with breathtaking views, and delectable typical Greek cuisine. You can’t miss out! Let’s cover the absolute best activities in Kefalonia.
Get Amazed At Melissani Cave
When visiting Kefalonia Island, Greece, a visit to Melissani Cave near Sami is mandatory. The lake is located within a cavern with an aperture at the summit. The sunlight enters the cave during various day periods, turning the water a brilliant teal!
A free parking lot is located at the entry to Karavomylos. When you arrive at the cavern with your passes, you will be met by a squadron of beautiful ancient rowboats drifting on the sea.
Expect to wait to ride a sailboat with others during peak tourist season. It is a real treat that lasts approximately an hour.
Visit Assos Village
Assos is a charming tiny town on the island’s west side. There aren’t many activities, but wander around the lanes and enjoy the gorgeous harbor and hillside houses.
Although Assos does not have many eateries, it is a pleasant area to enjoy a drink by the sea. You can find inner peace while strolling around Assos.
Discover Petani Beach
As you approach the beach from the top, prepare to come to a halt. The beach is beautiful, with plenty of sunbeds, not enough people to fill them all, and a lovely restaurant serving excellent food. You enter the parking lot and pay 5 EUR when you descend down.
There are some quite stunning cliffs on the island’s northernmost tip. With its azure ocean and beachfront restaurants, Petani Beach is particularly notable. It’s a lovely pebbly coastline with crystal-clear seas and rough settings. It’s also a fantastic place to try some of the fresh seafood.
Work On Your Tan At Myrtos Beach
Near Mount Agia Dynati & Mount Kalon Oros is Myrtos Beach, another scenic location. These two hills create the most stunning scenery. It makes a spectacular combination of foliage with the brilliant turquoise lake, with a landscape of green, pines, cedar, and orchards.
The coastline at Myrtos is famous for its breathtakingly gorgeous blue sea. The tides on this shoreline collect tiny marble fragments, lighting the water and producing a magnificent effect. This effect turns the water into a lovely hue of aquamarine that will inspire you to take the plunge.
There is a fantastic sea cavern and abundant boulders to jump out of once you arrive at Myrtos beach. You could spend an entire day literally on the sand, lapping in the sun.
Explore The St. Gerasimos Monastery
Saint Gerasimos is Kefalonia’s saint, and he is said to guard the island and treat illnesses. The church is elegant and gorgeous, and the monastery is where Saint Gerasimos’ remains are kept. Remember to dress a certain way; for women, we suggest having a long dress or skirt that wraps your legs.
Climb Mount Ainos
Mount Ainos (1,628 m) is the highest point in Kefalonia and the Greek Islands. And the majority of it is contained within a National Park.
You can see Zakynthos, Ithaka, and Lefkada, all from the mountaintop. Moreover, you can travel a long way up the mountains to find a car park.
I propose climbing to Mount Ainos’ top from that. It’s a 30-minute climb with beautiful vistas that take about half an hour.
Spot The Turtles At De Bosset Bridge Argostoli
This is a magnificent bridge and the world’s biggest stone bridge across the sea. It’s an excellent spot for a stroll and a fascinating piece of construction.
Turtles are well-known in this area of the islands and appear commonly. The coast of Kefalonia is inhabited by two distinctive types of tortoises: Green sea turtles and loggerhead turtles.
When fishermen return from nighttime fishing, turtles frequently accompany them to the dock. To upsurge your chances of spotting them, come in early.
See Where Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Was Filmed
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, a novel by Louis de Bernières, brought fame to the picturesque Kefalonia island, where the story is set. While the book’s fictional narrative unfolds against the backdrop of World War II, Kefalonia’s real charm lies in its serene beauty and warm hospitality.
The novel has led many travelers to Kefalonia in search of the island’s enchanting landscapes and its connection to the story. You can visit the idyllic town of Sami, where parts of the film adaptation were shot, or explore the vibrant streets of Argostoli, the island’s capital, which inspired the book’s setting. Kefalonia offers a unique blend of history and natural wonders, with stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a rich cultural heritage waiting to be discovered.
While Captain Corelli’s Mandolin may have put Kefalonia on the cinematic map, it’s the island’s own beauty and character that will leave a lasting impression on any traveler who ventures here.
How Long To Stay In Kefalonia
Kefalonia is significantly bigger than other Greek islands and has much to offer. For this reason, I recommend spending four full days to a week on the island. You’ll find several day trips from neighboring islands to Kefalonia but staying for a few days will allow you to explore it fully.
Is Kefalonia Safe
Kefalonia, just like most other Greek travel destinations, is very safe. There’s just no crime happening here, and you can roam around during the day and night, even as a solo female traveler.
The locals you’ll meet here are the friendliest and most welcoming you’ve ever seen. Honestly, all the Greek islands you visit will give you a similar feel, but Kefalonia has something unique.
How To Get to Kefalonia
There are several ways to get there, but not all of them are equally convenient or affordable. Let’s elaborate on the different ways to get to Kefalonia Island, Greece.
Some Greek cities have direct flights to Kefalonia Airport. But if you stay in Athens, you will always have a direct flight available. It’s a direct flight, and it will only take an hour to reach Kefalonia Island.
Apart from that, you’ll also be able to reach Kefalonia from Corfu and Zakynthos, which is very convenient.
A few ferries go from the mainland to Kefalonia and other surrounding islands, such as Zakynthos, Corfu, and Lefkada. Ferry boats are available from Peloponnese Poros, Fiscardo, Sami, and Lixouri.
There are several ports in Kefalonia Island, Greece, so it’s good to check before you leave and book your hotel:
- Poros – With ferries from from Ithaca, Lefkada, Killini, and Zakynthos
- Fiscardo – With ferries from Ithaca and Lefkada
- Sami – With ferries from Patra, Ithaca, Paxi, and Brindisi
- Lixouri – With ferries from Killini
The average cost per person for the ferry to Kefalonia is about $15. While prices vary slightly depending on the port of departure, they’re all within the same price range.
Driving A Rental Car
If you’re willing to explore the Greek countryside on your way to Kefalonia Island, then renting a car in Athens and driving there is possible. From Athens, make your way to Killini, and once you get there, you can take a car ferry to Kefalonia.
This is arguably the best option to reach Kefalonia as you’ll be able to fully explore the island by car, which is a lifetime opportunity.
Join A Day Trip
If you want to stress-free walk through Kefalonia, then pre-arrange your tour with an agency – you’ll find many on the neighboring islands, especially Zante.
A day tour will take you to all the best places on the island and give you an excellent overview of what Kefalonia has to offer. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to meet other travelers and make new friends from around the world.
There are a variety of day tours to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that fits your interests and budget. Some popular day tours include visits to the capital city of Argostoli, the stunning Myrtos Beach, and being astonished at the Melissani Cave.
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Is Kefalonia Expensive
Being such a big island, Kefalonia has luxury hotels, cheaper properties, fine dining options, and local restaurants. But as a whole, Kefalonia is affordable, especially when compared to big European cities, and you can expect to spend about $100 per day as a solo traveler.
According to a report by Numbeo, you can eat a full meal at a local restaurant for about $15 per person or $50 for more exclusive options.
In addition, a hotel room in a 3-star hotel will set you back between $60 and $100 per night. While staying on Kefalonia Island isn’t very pricey, it’s worth considering the transportation, which is a big part of the budget – and this takes us to our following point.
Final Thoughts On Kefalonia, Greece
We’re confident you will quickly fall in love with isand of Kefalonia’s beautiful scenery, fantastic coastlines, and raw beauty.
While there are many Kefalonia activities, you won’t be judged if you spend your days lounging on the beaches, admiring the scenery, and dining across the island!
We sincerely hope you love this Kefalonia travel guide to discover more of what this beautiful paradise has to give.