- What to See and Do
Kefalonia or Cephalonia is the largest island of the Ionian archipelago with an area of 780 km2. It is located south of Lefkada and Ithaca and north of Zakynthos. The island is mostly mountainous on the west side with the shores sloping steeply into the water and with beautiful sandy beaches on the east side with a gradual entry into the water. The composition of the rocks is limestone, so erosion in the soil has created numerous caves and cracks. The coast is full of bays and capes. In Kefalonia, there is a unique phenomenon of open caves that are filled with water. Kefalonia is known for its exotic beaches, most of which are located on its east coast.
Mass tourism is still not felt in Kefalonia. So island is most often chosen by lovers of natural beauty, beautiful sea, even more beautiful beaches and trekking lovers.
From the top of the Ainos mountains there is an incredible view of the neighboring Ionian islands, and in fine weather you can see the outlines of the nearby mainland.
Fun in Kefalonia consists of numerous excursions organized by boat or excursions on land. You can explore the interior of the island by walking and discover the most beautiful and unusual landscapes.
During the exploration you will have the opportunity to see picturesque underground caves, monasteries, beautiful lakes, green valleys, a variety of flowers and dense forests.
One of the special features of the island are small scattered villages where you have the opportunity to meet ancient customs and habits, kind hosts and traditional way of life.
Argostoli is the capital of the island with a typically Ionian structure of the city center - the main square, which as the heart of the place determines the night and day rhythm of life of residents and casual travelers. It is a lively port, which offers everything a modern tourist could wish for. Argostoli is one of the most beautiful provincial cities in Greece, with its characteristic atmosphere, surrounded by greenery and wide streets.
Lassi has the longest tourist tradition. It is just 3 km from the capital Argostoli. It is surrounded by pine trees that provide refreshing shade in summer. Although it is a larger resort, you will easily find great local food in the taverns and restaurants there. Not far away is the cave of St. Gerasimos in which the patron saint of the island lived for five years. Lassi is a favorite of both hosts and tourists because of the beautiful sandy beaches in the area. It is a great choice for families and for all who want to explore the island because it has a rich tourist infrastructure. It only takes 15 minutes to reach the wild and untouched beaches. Distance from the airport is 11 km.
Skala is the largest summer resort in the southern part of the island and boasts the longest and most beautiful sandy beach, surrounded by green pine trees and pine trees. Along the coast of this pleasant tourist resort are many taverns, bars, restaurants and shops, and you can try your sports skills on the beach, which offers countless opportunities for entertainment and sports. Near the resort you can see some archaeological remains from antiquity, the remains of a Roman villa on the beach Kaminia (about 6 km), and with a little luck you will see the turtles Caretta caretta. Nearby is an old village with significant architecture and mills. Distance from the airport is 37 km.
Lixouri is the second largest town on the island. On one side of the large bay there is a view of the 33 km distant capital of the island - Argostoli. We suggest going to Argostoli by boat, because it takes less than driving by land. Lixouri is a popular resort where we offer the largest number of hotel facilities. It is the center of the Pali Peninsula, with many beautiful and diverse beaches - from several kilometers long beaches with reddish sand to quieter turquoise bays and white, pebble beaches. The ancient place of Pali used to flourish here. The fertile red soil on the peninsula allows the growth of olives, vines and vegetables. In Lixouri you will experience a lively atmosphere, the promenade is full of great taverns, bars and cafes. The hosts are widely known for their kindness, they create good festivals and music, so you might experience the performance of the oldest orchestra in Greece. Distance from the airport is 46 km.
Minies is a small town near the airport offers a quieter vacation and is a favorite destination primarily for couples. It offers 2 sandy beaches with gradual entrance to the sea and quiet surroundings. It is an ideal starting point for exploring the island due to its good connections with other parts of the island.
Svoronata is a quieter summer resort for true lovers of Greece. Old Venetian houses alternate with new ones, pink bougainvillea spreads on the rocks, you are surrounded by the scents of jasmine, lemon and hibiscus. The hosts sit in front of their houses and everything points to the famous Greek rhythm - siga, siga / slowly, slowly. Svoronata is located in the southwest of the island, near the capital Argostoli. It is a favorite among families with children and has several beautiful beaches nearby. You will not find a lively atmosphere, night parties and shopping malls here.
Zola is a smaller fishing village that is one of the quietest places on the island. Here will find a place on the beach Agia Kyriaki lovers of peace and complete relaxation. The town is also a great base for exploring the nearby hidden corners of the island, whether by renting a boat or exploring the beaches of Myrtos and Petani.
Caravados is a smaller, picturesque Greek village, located on a smaller hill. In the center is a colored church, surrounded by taverns, bars and shops. There is an intimate Greek atmosphere in the place, and the residents are great hosts. The place is perfect for anyone who wants to explore Kefalonia, and nearby is the eponymous beach Karavados.
Why visit Kefalonia?
- because home-made wine is drunk here and home-made specialties such as meat pie are eaten,
- because coffee is served with a marble cake,
- because there are many natural phenomena such as open caves filled with water,
- must see the monastery of St. Gerasimos, the miracle-worker and protector of Kefalonia,
- because on the slopes of Mount Ainos you can meet wild horses that are supposedly descendants of the favorite horse of Alexander the Great.
- Kefalonia will inspire you with its interesting past, rich culture, numerous natural phenomena caused by geological changes on the island, beautiful long beaches and intimate Greek kindness. And not least, you will find here the most sunny days in all of Greece.
The Drogarati Cave in Kefalonia was discovered 300 years ago and opened to the public in 1963. It was discovered when a strong earthquake caused a collapse that revealed the entrance to the cave. The Drogarati Cave is an impressive cave with exceptional stalactite and stalagmite formations. Speleologists say that this cave is about 150 million years old and represents a rare geological phenomenon. The cave is about 60 m deep, has a constant temperature of 18 degrees and humidity reaches as much as 90%. The Drogarati Cave consists of two parts. The part accessible to tourists consists of a long corridor leading to the Royal Balcony, natural stalactite platforms that perfectly reflect light creating a magical atmosphere. From there, visitors can see the Chamber of Enthusiasm, which has excellent acoustic properties and a capacity for 500 people, which is why it is sometimes used to hold local cultural events. Researchers have discovered that The Drogarati Cave has another part that cannot be accessed and they believe that it is connected to other sea caves through this extension. A large number of tourists visit the cave every year due to its accessible location: it is located on the main road connecting Sami and Argostoli, just 5 km south of the village of Sami on the east coast of Kefalonia.
Melisani - a magical lake in a cave
In the immediate vicinity of the village of Sami is Melisani Lake of miraculous attraction.
It is one of the most important natural attractions for tourists who come to the sea in Kefalonia. This 20 to 30 meters magic lake deep is located inside the cave and is surrounded by trees which makes it look like a magical forest. The cave itself is B-shaped consisting of two chambers or halls separated by a small island in the center. The roof of one of the halls collapsed several centuries ago and now allows the sun to illuminate the space with its rays. When the sun is in the right place at noon, the rays illuminate the turquoise blue water creating the magical illusion of floating ships and the whole cave is suddenly illuminated with blue light - this is the perfect time to visit the cave!
Geological phenomenon in Katavothers
There is another place in Kefalonia that is definitely worth a visit. This is one of the most fascinating geological phenomena in the world that has provoked much debate. The road to this place is not complicated because it is necessary to cross only 3 kilometers from Argostoli to Fanara. Here the seawater rushes through cracks in the rocks on the shore and then disappears underground.
The phenomenon is rare enough that in 1835 the English built corn mills for which they needed running water and thus took advantage of these rare geological formations. It is almost unbelievable that the earthquakes, which broke the mills, did not change the inflow and outflow of water.
The ruins of the city of Sami
Ancient Sami was a powerful fortified city whose remains are located on Mount Lapita near the port city of Sami. This city was an independent and self-sufficient polis inhabited since the Stone Age. A strong and densely populated city with a strong fortification, it was located at the top of a cliff. From the top of the cliff and the ruins there is a fantastic view of the surrounding mountains and the sea. The memory of the ancient city of Sami is also found in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, when the Sami fought in the Trojan War. Sami lost his autonomy and freedom after the Roman siege in 188 BC.
The combination of history, nature and views provided here really makes this place one of the most beautiful natural attractions of this island.
Mountains and windmills of Kefalonia
The high hills and mountains on the island are perfect for the development and use of natural energy - wind energy. In recent years, the island has attracted great interest from investors to build wind farms. The most famous wind farm on the island is located between Manolati and Xerolimpa in the municipality of Argostoli.
Those visitors who do not prioritize the magical beaches of Kefalonia, with fine white sand and crystal clear sea, can enjoy exploring Kefalonia in other ways. The winding roads, mountain landscape and views of the white sandy beaches are among the most beautiful you can find in Greece.
Cliffs of Agia Dinati
If you go for a walk on the cliffs of Agia Dinati in Pilaros on a sunny day, you might think that the sheep and chamois there have golden teeth. Of course, these are not real 24-carat teeth, but they are definitely golden in color due to the composition of the soil and the plants they eat.
The valley of Omala,
The valley of Omala is famous for its excellent local robola wine and you can visit the monastery of St. Gerasimosa.
Meet the legendary Odyssey Island, Ithaca. Visit the city of Vathy, which was founded by pirates in the Middle Ages, because this mighty bay provided them a perfect hiding place. In the city you can visit the Archaeological Museum or relax in one of the cafes along the coast. The northern part of Ithaca offers a beautiful view of the neighboring islands. Kioni is for many the most beautiful place on the island. Worth a visit is the picturesque place of Stavros, which many know because of the Odyssey and desserts prepared according to the recipe of the ancient Greeks.
The greatest wealth of the island is the large number of beautiful beaches. The most beautiful beach on the island and at the same time one of the most beautiful in Europe is certainly Mirtos. The view of the beach from the high mountain that surrounds it seems almost unreal. The snow-white sand, mixed with pebbles and the foam of the turquoise-blue sea waves, conquers forever. The northern part of the island, where Mirtos is located, hides some other small idyllic coves. In the east of the island, near one of the most interesting Greek underground caves Drongarati and the fascinating lake Melissani, you will find a long pebble beach Antisami, surrounded by lush vegetation.
The surroundings of Skala are full of intimate beaches that are often a refuge for the popular Caretta-Caretta turtles, a famous attraction of the island. On the Lassi peninsula, the most favorite and most picturesque part of the island, there are several golden-yellow sandy beaches Makris Yialos (Long Beach), Platis Yialos (Wide Beach), Gradakia and others, which in addition to enjoying pleasant shade offer many sports activities.
Antisamos is also one of the most beautiful beaches in Kefalonia and in Greece. The turquoise sea, white sand and greenery above make it irresistible.
South of Fiskardo, in the southern part of the Paliki peninsula is Xi beach. The shoal is long and the sand is golden orange. There is a lot of clay in this sand which is very beneficial for the skin. The beach has a lot of visitors, but 5 minutes around it there are a couple of small bays that are beautiful and deserted even in August.
Lourdas Beach is also located on the south coast of Kefalonia. It is located near Skala, has a private atmosphere, and one part is decorated with deck chairs for rent. In the village behind the beach there are restaurants, bars and taverns with live music. The resort itself is interesting, traditional, with a nice little square.
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