The island’s capital of Argostoli is the vibrant heart of Kefalonia, known for its picturesque harbour. From morning to night it offers a delightful blend of Greek island tradition and modern amenities. Meander along the bustling promenade, where cafes, restaurants, and boutiques beckon, or explore the local market, brimming with fresh produce and artisanal treasures. Head to the main square, ‘Platia Vallianou’ to watch the world go by, and be sure to also stop off at De Bosset bridge – the longest stone bridge crossing the ocean in the world.
There’s bound to be a sunkissed spot where you’ll fall head over heels in love with Kefalonia. A paradise of diverse beauty, each beach along Kefalonia’s pristine coastline calls out to sunseekers with unique beauty. In scenic Skala, the main well-organised beach is known for its long stretch of golden sand and crystal-clear waters. Antisamos Beach, close to the port of Sami, is also a true stunner, with turquoise waters framed by green hills and lush vegetation, made famous by the Hollywood film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
No matter your beach style, no trip to Kefalonia is complete without visiting Myrtos; the island's most famous white pebbled beach, caressed by crystalline seas and embraced by two towering mountains. Xi Beach also boasts unusual charm and is well worth a visit, with distinctive reddish sands and unique rock formations.
Kefalonia’s villages are integral to the island’s stunning appeal. Assos, nestled between the hills and the sea, is famed as one of the most beautiful village communities on the island for all the right reasons. Pastel-hued houses are tucked around a Venetian castle, creating a scene of unparalleled beauty and historical intrigue. Fiscardo is another seafront gem, a charming little fishing village on the northern tip of the island, attracting travellers who congregate along its vibrant waterfront and pretty harbour to dine at upscale restaurants or indulge in a spot of boutique shopping.
A real haven for nature lovers and environmentalists, this national park stretches over 3,000 hectares. Its highest peak, Megas Soros, towers 1,682 metres above sea level. As you explore the area, keep your eyes peeled for an endemic species of fir named Abies Cephalonia which covers 2/3 of the park. Then, head out through one of the park’s designated nature trails to really make the most of this green sanctuary and the area’s incredible biodiversity.
Kefalonia’s religious heritage is deeply rooted in its history and culture, reflecting a rich tapestry of Greek Orthodox traditions and influences. From coast to countryside, historic churches and monasteries call out to spiritual travellers.
The most famous monastery on the island, that of Agios Gerasimos, is located near the capital of Argostoli, and is dedicated to the patron saint of Kefalonia. For a glimpse of beautiful frescoes and architecture, head to the Byzantine-era Agios Andreas Monastery. If you’re keen to discover the oldest monastery on the island, the Monastery of Panagia Atros sits 60 metres above Poros bay and combines history with an astounding view of Poros and its pretty harbour.
Dive deep into the island’s past and spend a day exploring fascinating relics that have stood the test of time. The Castle of Saint George is deeply linked with the island’s history, located on a 320-meter-high peak towering above Travliata and Peratata villages. The castle is a great spot to enjoy panoramic views and dates to the 12th century, erected before the Turks conquered the island. It then took its present form under Venetian rule in the early 16th century.
In the pretty village of Assos, another historic beauty commands attention. The namesake castle is a proclaimed European heritage site and is one of the largest castles in Greece, erected in the 16th century to protect the island from pirate attacks and invasions.
Holidays in Kefalonia can be as quiet or exuberant as you desire. Whether you love early dinners by the water’s edge or want to dance the night away on a roof terrace or a cool cocktail bar, countless establishments cater to your every whim around the island. Kefalonia also hosts cultural events and festivals throughout the year, including traditional celebrations.
The summer months on the island are particularly eventful. The Robola Wine Festival, usually held in August in the villages of Fragata and Valsamata is particularly popular, attracting thousands of visitors who indulge in free food, wine, and music. The Sarista Festival in Palia Vlahata village near Sami is also a cultural highlight, with a series of live performances in the main square.