Looking for your next vacation destination? Kefalonia Greece should be at the top of your list! This Ionian paradise has become popular for its beautiful scenery, stunning beaches, and historical sites. After spending a week exploring Kefalonia Island, we’re happy to share our experience and the best things to do. Here are the top 12 reasons you should consider Kefalonia Greece for your next island holiday.
12 Reasons to Visit Kefalonia Greece
1. It’s Easy to Get to Kefalonia Island
You’ll be happy to hear that Kefalonia Greece is very simple to get to. Also known as Anna Pollatou, Kefalonia Airport has direct international flights from all over Europe. We flew in, picked up our rental car, and we’re at the beach before noon.
There are also several ferry ports with easy connections to mainland Greece. One of the most popular routes is from the city of Patras to Sami town on Kefalonia.
The shortest ferry from Kyllini to Poros only takes 1.5 hours. This means it’s even possible to go to Kefalonia on a day trip. Just know that once you get there, you’re going to wish you had more days to discover this magical Island.
2. Kefalonia Greece is Massive
Did you know Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands? That’s right! We couldn’t believe the size of it after our one week road trip. While it may be intimidating at first, you’ll find it quite easy to get around with a rental car.
As we mentioned, we picked ours up directly at the airport after our flight. From there, we drove straight to our first accommodation and returned it to the same place when flying out.
Public transportation is available to get around Kefalonia Island. However, the bus system can be unreliable and has limited routes. The best way to get to all the amazing beaches and small villages is by renting a vehicle.
We always use this website when searching for rental cars around the world. It allows you to compare prices with various companies and find a great deal.
3. Wild, Beautiful, and Stunningly Green
The first thing that shocked us was how lush and green the island of Kefalonia is. All the Greek Islands are gorgeous in their own way, but much of the Cyclades and Dodecanese Islands can be rocky and barren.
Well, that’s not the case in Kefalonia Greece. We had been to Corfu before on a quick trip to the historic old town. This was our first real experience in the Ionian Islands, and the nature really blew us away.
Once you see the crystal clear water of the Ionian Sea underneath the bright green mountains, you’re sure to agree!
4. Kefalonia Greece is Great For Families & Couples
Another awesome reason to visit Kefalonia is it’s the perfect place for a family vacation or romantic holiday. You’ll find a wide range of accommodations, from luxury villas and beach resorts to boutique hotels and bed & breakfasts.
The beaches and local restaurants also cater to kids with plenty of sun beds, boat rides, and other fun things to do in Kefalonia. The popular beach town of Skala is great for the older crowd, and caters to a more relaxing vacation.
You’ll also find exciting spots for couples to stay with epic views that are worthy of a honeymoon. We recommend looking at accommodations in Sami, Agia Effimia, Lixouri or Assos for your first visit!
5. Endless Kefalonia Beaches
Now to one of the main attractions! The beaches are something that draws travelers from all over the world to the Greek Islands… And that’s no different in Kefalonia Greece!
While exploring Kefalonia island, you’ll come across everything from small pebbly coves to long stretches of sand that seem to go on for miles.
The most famous of them all is Myrtos Beach which has gained worldwide recognition for being one of the best in Greece.
If the view from above doesn’t amaze you, wait until you get down to the sparkling blue water! Our morning at Myrtos was definitely a highlight of our visit and something that shouldn’t be missed.
If you’re looking for a more organized beach on Kefalonia, be sure to check out Antisamos Beach. Here you’ll find sun beds, lively bars, and a place to truly relax for the day.
Just know that you don’t have to limit yourself to the tourist beaches in Kefalonia Greece. Some of our favorite swimming spots were unnamed coves nearby to the small towns and villages.
6. Incredible Small Villages of Kefalonia Greece
The picturesque villages of Kefalonia Island seem straight out of a fairy tale. We were always taken aback by the natural beauty of the island and how it blended perfectly with the small towns.
One that we loved in particular is called Assos. We combined it with our day at Myrtos Beach as it wasn’t too far of a drive.
In Assos Village, we hiked to the historic fortress and then went for a swim at the bottom of the hill. The colorful little town felt like it was out of a dream and somewhere to add to your itinerary.
After staying for the first couple of nights in the port of Sami, we found a lovely village named Agia Effimia. The small towns of Kefalonia Greece are the best way to relax and experience the local life of the island.
7. Interesting History of Kefalonia Island
Kefalonia has a fascinating history dating back thousands of years. Legend has it, the island is named after its first king Kephalos. The four major towns from ancient times were named after his sons Sami, Krani, Pahli, and Pronnoi.
It would go onto be conquered by several empires who dominated the Ionian region. This includes the Romans, Byzantines, Normans, and Ottomans to name a few.
During the Venetian rule, they used the Assos Castle as a strategic military point. The same structure actually became an infamous prison after World War I.
There are several great archaeological sites worth visiting on Kefalonia such as Sami Acropolis, Old Vlachata, the Roman Villa of Skala, and various Mycenaean Tombs. The real history lovers should also check out the Archeological Museum in Argostoli.
There has been a series of devastating earthquakes on the island of Kefalonia, with the most recent being 1953. The natural disaster was so bad it caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee Kefalonia Greece for other countries. Unfortunately, it destroyed many of the major villages which is why you see slightly newer construction today.
8. Local Specialties in Kefalonia Greece
Over the years, we’ve been fortunate to try so many delicious Greek dishes. We were actually on a road trip through Mainland Greece before this and thought there was no way an island could top what we ate. Wow, were we wrong!
Kefalonia is filled with local tavernas and restaurants that are the pride of each town. We got to taste some great local cuisine made with goat and lamb, as well as a traditional Kefalonian meat pie. Be sure to also try the sweet apple pie when stopping by a bakery.
Another thing you’ll notice about Greece is every island has its own take on popular meals. Honestly, we’re still thinking about that beef stifado we had at The Local restaurant in Agia Efimia!
9. Fun Capital City of Argostoli
After you’ve seen some of the small towns and villages of Kefalonia, you should stop into the capital. Argostoli has served as the capital of Kefalonia Greece since 1757.
It’s the only place you could really call a city on the Greek Island of Kefalonia and is home to 10,000 residents.
We recommend spending an afternoon here if you have time. It’s where you can find the tastiest Greek food and some of the best things to do in Kefalonia. Many fun boat trips leave from Argostoli and you can enjoy the lively nightlife scene.
10. Kefalonia Greece Caves
The caves of Kefalonia Greece are sure to impress! The two main caves to stop into are Drogarati Cave and Melissani.
Drogarati was actually discovered after a large earthquake opened an entrance over 300 years ago. Today you can walk into it an explore the 150 million year old rock formations and stalactites. In the biggest chamber, they even hold events for up to 500 people.
Melissani Cave will be a completely different experience. To see this one you can take the little boats through an underground lake.
11. Hiking & Boat Tours
By now you can tell that Kefalonia Island is the perfect destination for nature lovers. You’ll find amazing walk trails for all skill levels that go between towns and lead straight sandy beaches. For an amazing view, you can even climb to the highest peak of Mount Ainos in the National Park.
One of our favorite days in Kefalonia was when we rented our own private boat from Sami. After a quick lesson, we were off to cruise down the coast! We spent the entire day driving ourselves from cove to cove where we barely saw any other tourists.
If you’re not up for driving yourself, you can always take an actual boat tour from Kefalonia. These sell out quickly during the summer months so be sure to book in advance.
12. Day Trip From Kefalonia to Ithica Island
One of the best things to do in Kefalonia is actually a day trip to another island. You may know Ithica from Greek mythology, as it was where Homer’s hero Odysseus hails from.
If you have the time we definitely recommend spending the day (or even one night) on this island next to Kefalonia Greece. From Sami, it’s just a quick 25 minute ferry over. You can even bring your rental car with you to discover the beaches and scenery of this small island.
Have any questions about this article or want to share your own favorite things to do in Kefalonia Greece? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
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Greece Travel Planning
For island hopping use FerriesinGreece to compare different routes, prices, and companies. The fast ferries like Sea Jets will cost more but often takes half the time of slower ferries like Blue Star.
Rental Car: You can book a rental car for as little as $20 a day in Greece! We use Discover Cars to explore the larger islands with a vehicle.
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without insurance. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
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