Kefalonia: Unspoilt, Perfect Greek Island

Blue sky and crystal clear waters on Petani Beach. Lilo and Sandals <data:blog.pageName/> | <data:blog.title/> <data:blog.pageTitle/>

THE Brochure-Perfect Greek Island Holiday Experience!

An abundance of accessible diverse beaches, brightest blue ocean, stunning dramatic scenery, and intense Greek island culture. Kefalonia is one Greek island with the best of many things. You can’t get any better at relaxing and indulging in the delights of Greek cuisine than right here on this simply beautiful island.

Wonderful Kefalonia has a distinct lack of high-rise hotels and overkill tacky tourist scenes. Where the tourist traps do exist, they are confined to the resorts of Skala and Lourdas. The island is quiet and slow-paced with a wonderfully Greek feel despite the presence of many holiday-makers. Early July is an excellent time to visit as it is a few weeks before the peak season, and tavernas, hotels and tourist attractions are all open, with abundantly hot and sunny weather. The sea at this time is of course more than warm enough for swimming.

Getting Around on Kefalonia

It is best to hire a car if you want to see all of the island, as the attractions and best beaches are rather spread out. There is some wonderful mountain scenery to be seen on the island’s interior and hundreds of lovely secluded little beaches and coves to find. Car hire is usually cheap, especially from the local one-off locations, of which there are many to choose from at the bigger resorts. Many of these companies will deliver your car and pick it up, so it is very feasible to hire a car for just part of your holiday. The driving on the island is a little harum-scarum, to say the least, however expect the unexpected and you will be prepared. The island is very quiet so driving is rarely stressful. Something worth noting is that at roundabouts most Greek drivers will stop on the roundabout to give way to people approaching it. However there are only around three roundabouts on the island.

Petrol is not cheap (at the time of writing), however the island is small and you can usually get between the two furthest points on the island in well under four hours.

Beaches on Kefalonia

One of the best reasons to visit Kefalonia is its famed beaches. There is a fantastically wide range of excellent beaches to choose from - including pebble beaches, small coves, large expanses, secluded areas, and popular tourist resort beaches with water sports and an abundance of facilities.  All beaches are public and the busier ones all have parasols and sun-loungers for rent. The water is crystal-clear just about everywhere you go. Kefalonia is the island where the film Captain Corelli's Mandolin was filmed, so if you have seen this film you have some idea of what gorgeous beaches await.

Mirtos Beach

Mirtos beach - perfect turquoise beach greek islands, kefalonia
This beach is often said to be a famously photographed beach, and you may well recognise the distinctive sweeping arc of white pebbles and the bright, deep turquoise colour of the massive expanse of water as you drive the high winding road down the cliff-side to the beach. Try and stop for magnificent views of this beautiful attraction before you get to the bottom.

The beach has white pebbles and has a moderate gradient into the sea. There is an inexpensive beach bar at the middle of the beach, set back from the sea where the parasols are lined up.  North-West facing for a fantastic sunset.

Petani Beach

Petani beach - perfect beach greek islands, kefalonia
A fabulously bright blue blanket of ocean, framed by sharp cliffs and rocky outcrops extending into the sea. This beach is also a white pebble beach. The pebbles are small and soft, and easy to walk on. At the nearest end of the beach to the car park there is a smooth rock ledge (naturally formed) extending gently into the sea. Although slightly slippery, it makes getting in and out of the water very easy. There are a number of sun loungers for rent in this area, with a friendly beach bar directly behind. The Greeks who run this place will pop down to serve you and they will bring your drinks to you. Petani beach is similar to Mirtos beach in its size and the journey to it. Again, try to stop on the cliff top to get the best views of the sights below. Petani beach is also North-West facing for a fantastic sunset.

Sami Area

The beach in Sami also has pebbles and features fantastic 360 mountain scenery. If you travel North from Sami towards Karavomilos, after about ten minutes the road winds around the land by the sea. You should catch glimpses of various small white-pebble coves. These are excellent secluded little coves for swimming and there are parking areas by the side of the road.

Lepada Beach

Near to the town of Lixouri, this golden/reddish sandy beach is a fantastic place for children, as it is waist-deep for a great distance into the water. There are sun-loungers and parasols for hire and an inexpensive beach bar.

Lourdhata Beach

This resort has a nice friendly and authentic feel and is full of tourists from many different parts of Europe. Kayak and pedal-boat hire is available on the long expanse of sandy beach. A number of great bars and restaurants can be found in this area.

Skala Beach

This is a large purpose-built resort area with a great many restaurants and poolside bars to choose from across the road from the clean, sandy beach. There are excellent water sports, although this can be a little pricey in the peak seasons. Although friendly, clean and picturesque, this resort has a less authentic feel and is possibly the most gimmicky/touristy area on the island. There are many tourist bars and restaurants to choose from in Skala.

Activities on Kefalonia

Melissani Lake and Caves

Just a couple of miles past Sami to the North, these exquisite caves are found underground, just underneath an unassuming dusty car park. Pay at the tourist information desk (approx. 7 Euros per adult) and simply descend the steps down towards the shimmering blue jewel of water ahead. The lake itself is underground however the roof once caved in during an earthquake. The result is a shimmering underground lake with a natural sky-light. There is also a large, tall cave full of stalactites and stalagmites.
The price includes a boat ride around the lake and into the adjacent cave. The tour-guides are friendly and knowledgeable, and they will usually offer to take your photo for you on your camera.

It is best to visit the caves around midday so the sun shines directly down onto the water, illuminating it in deep blues, violets and aquas.  

Water Sports

Kefalonia is great for water sports due to the warm clear water and abundance of great beaches. Lourdhata and Skala are the best options for lots of choice including jet skis, pedal boats and kayaks. These are rather pricey in peak season, especially jet skiing, however there is a lot of choice so prices can be competitive and it is sometimes possible to haggle your way to a small discount. 

Restaurants and Tavernas on Kefalonia

Some of the best restaurants are located off the beaten track, or in the busier towns. Try to stay away from tourist resorts in order to experience varied Greek menus, however some of the Greek family-run hotels offer some excellent quality dishes. A recommended choice is the Pacifae Golden Village Resort in Katelios, at the top of the hill. The service is excellent and the food is divine.
A great restaurant with excellent service and a wonderful modern atmosphere is Katavothres in Argostoli. This restaurant/bar is something special and an excellent place to go for an upmarket dining experience. With a location directly on the rocks looking out to sea, and with floor to ceiling windows, it is a truly magical dining experience. The olive paste, feta cheese and tomato dips, with olives and freshly baked rolls are an excellent start to a meal at this beautiful restaurant.

Hotel on Kefalonia

The family-run Pacifae Golden Village Resort is a wonderful place to stay. The pool and bar are excellent, with very friendly staff and delicious food. Most hotels in Greece are quite a bit more basic when compared to the UK equivalent. The odd blown fuse and cold shower are part of the Greek experience, and are almost always put right straight away by a friendly member of staff.

Text and Images Copyright © Lise Griffiths, 2012
All Rights Reserved


  1. I would love visiting different hotels especially during holidays season.
    Hotels Kefalonia


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