I hope you are all happy and well as you read this post. As some of you are aware, I travelled to Kefalonia back in June, where Mr Fabulous and I spend two wonderful weeks. We also visited Zakynthos for four days, but that trip deserves it's own post, which will follow after this one. I'm going to share my itinerary with you here, where we stayed, what we saw and what we ate. First off: You need a car if you want to see the island. Not just some days, every day! There is no public transport and hiring taxis will end up costing more than renting your own car.
We spent our days visiting beaches and sight seeing, evenings eating good food and by bed time we were too tired for anything else.
The temperature was just perfect at the beginning of June. The mornings start cool and it gets hotter in the late afternoon. For as long as we were there, it was always a little cloudy in the morning, and with the clouds kissing the tops of the mountains and hills, you feel like you are in a mythological setting, where lush green forests on high mountains drop onto white beaches and seamless blue horizons. Kefalonia is one of the largest islands in Greece and the largest in the Ionian sea.
Lassi & Argostoli
Where we stayed: Silo Hotel Apartments
We spent the couple of days walking around Lassi. This is literally just one small strip of shops, mostly low quality souvenir shops and restaurants. In Argostoli, which is the island's capital, there are many more shops, with some beautiful boutiques stocking Greek designer products.
Beaches: Costa Costa beach bar in Makris Gialos
This beach bar serves decent food, is clean and organised, with beds, toilets and showers. In the peak summer they also have a pop up shop which sells boho style products. A short drive away is the White Rocks Hotel, which is a classy upmarket hotel. The best in Kefalonia, it also has a private beach and a small boutique selling Greek designer clothing and jewellery. The interior of the hotel is immaculate and the terrace offers beautiful views over looking the sea, if you sit for a coffee here.
Argostoli is the island's capital, and a stroll in the high street you will feel you are in the busiest part of the island. I found Argostoli and Fiscardo too commercial for my taste, but the high street in Argostoli has a few lovely boutiques, if you are patient enough to look for them amongst the souvenir stores.
In the mornings, you can catch the Caretta Caretta turtles in the harbour, where they will wait for food from the fishermen. Between 9 - 12 am, the fish mongers will sell their catch at the fish market. Some fishermen clean and gut their fish on their boats where they sell from, and the turtles and seagulls gather for the spoils.
Where we stayed: Pension Gerania
This is the most beautiful village I have ever visited. The Italian-influenced architecture with the colourful little houses stacked on hills makes this little village picture perfect. The village has two small beaches, in the bay that few private yachts park. There are three taverns here, and as we spent three nights we ate at all three. My personal favourite, because of the service and food combined is Nefeli. Their house wine (I tried Rose) is delicious and smells like jasmine. Here we ate meat dishes, and also had a yummy Greek yoghurt pot for brunch.
The last night we ate the most delicious fish our last night at Molos Tavern. The service was average, but the fresh fish was delicious, although it was our priciest meal during our whole trip, at 55 Euros (large fish for two, salads and sides with wine).
This is a romantic little village and the left part of the village is like a peninsula that connects Assos village with its old Venetian castle. This fortress was built in the end of 1500 to protect this part of Kefalonia island from the pirates of Mediterranean sea. You can hike up the hill, we took the shorter more scenic route, towards the ruins.
We visited Fiscardo village, which is nearby. It's more popular because it has a bigger harbour and this is where all the yachts park. The harbour is full of adorable boutiques offering Greek and international brands. The gems definitely stand out because they offer more unique products. There are many restaurants, taverns, bars and shops here to eat and drink and be merry. If felt much more commercial to us, so we did not stay for food. We preferred to try the one of three taverns in Assos, which is much quieter and romantic.
Beaches: Assos beaches, Dafnoudi and Myrtos Beach
Assos has two very small little beaches, with pebbles and a beautiful view of the bay.
Dafnoudi beach is a little trek away, on the road towards Fiscardo. It's a hidden gem, which requires a 10 minute hike into the forest, to get to it. Once you find it though, it's worth it. The beach has white small pebbles, and if you take a swim, you'll discover sea caves too. Not many people come here, which is why this was so perfect. No beds to rent, so take an umbrella and snacks if you plan to visit.
Myrtos beach is the thing that postcards are made of! This beautiful white beach strip is the island's largest beach, stretching 1km long and wide, with the bluest waters you'll ever see. The drive towards the beach is so exciting because once you see it, you keep stopping on the side of the road for photos. Every few hundred meters you think the view is better and you stop again. Although I've seen photos of umbrellas on the beach, this beach was not organised when I visited, so take snacks, umbrellas, hats and water, just in case. The super white beaches reflect alot of light and these are the days you will get sun burnt if you are not careful. The photos simply cannot capture the breathtaking views on the road down to the beach. It's like a dream seeing this before your eyes. I have never seen more shades of blue than I have in Kefalonia.
Where we stayed: Staggia Studios and Maria's Apartments
We stayed in accommodation which was walking distance from the harbour which was perfect. We walked along the strip of the harbour taking in the sights and sounds. Here we ate fish, and one tavern, Taverna Akrogiali specifically blew our minds. Not only was it the cheapest bill we paid, at only 25 Euros, we ate the most amount of food and drank wine too. We had a very large sea bream for two with salads and sides, and with the owner's mother in the kitchen, you really tasted the quality of the food and cooking was home-cooked goodness. We also ate at Paradise Beach Tavern in Agia Efimia one evening. The food was excellent here and the views overlooking the sea and the opposite villages twinkling on the hills at night is the perfect setting.
Beaches: Antisamos beach
This long white beach has two beach bars on it. They offer free-wifi and decent food too. The vibe is great with chill music. It was the location for some of the filming of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
Melissini Cave or Lake is an underwater lake, which in Greek mythology was the Cave of the Nymphs. The lake's bottom is covered with stones. Plants grow at the opening of the cave. The cave was rediscovered in 1951, when the roof of the cave fell in. A 10-minute boat ride around the cave, your guide will describe how the cave was discovered, the stalactites and the natural plant and animal life which lives in this beautiful setting. This is just a short drive between Sami and Agia Efimia.
Drogarati cave, a large stalagmitic cavern with magnificent acoustic. I did not go there, but you can quite easily visit both caves on the same day, as it's very near.
Spathis Bakery in Kefalonia offers the best selection of homemade ice creams, cakes and sweets, sandwiches and coffees. We did not find any other bakery or cafe with such great quality and variety. It's definitely worth the visit. They have a few shops around the island, and in Corfu. We would grab a coffee and a pastry here in the morning, and take a sandwich for a snack to the beach.
Ithaki day trip
We arranged a day trip by boat to Ithaki island. The island is most famously know for The Odyssey book, story of Odysseus king of Ithaca. Two beaches (Filiatro and Gidaki) and two harbours (Vathi and Kioni) are visited. There are many interesting gift shops and boutiques in Vathi and restaurants and tavernas for lunch in Kioni. All of these beaches and harbours are worth to visit and enjoy.
At Vathi harbour you will find artist Elpinor Markatos has a store where he sells wonderful pieces of his work. I bought clay fridge magnets and a map of the world as it was known in Homer's time.
Kefalonia surpassed my expectations. I never imagined the island would be as beautiful as it was, but also romantic. It's the perfect location to go with your lovers. There are many little adventures to be had, and it's fun discovering these places together. Mr Fabulous and I had a wonderful time here, and we ate our summer's worth of fresh fish on this trip. The Kefalonians are very welcoming and friendly, and chatting to locals they will suggest restaurants and beaches which they visit.
I highly recommend you change locations, even if you are only visiting for a week, so that you can see the other side of the island too. Although the distances are short, the windy mountain roads will tire the driver.