With its dramatic mountain ranges, sprawling vineyards, picturesque villages, Roman ruins, venerated monasteries, good walking trails and some of Greece’s best beaches, Kefalonia (also spelt Cephalonia) offers all the ingredients you need for a wonderful Greek Island honeymoon holiday or romantic getaway.
Best known as the movie setting for Louis de Bernières’ Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Kefalonia is easy to explore on foot and by car.
Explore picturesque mountain villages such as Lixouri and Assos, well known for its picturesque castle, as well as Fiskardo, a fishing village that was spared the carnage of the 1953 earthquake that devastated most of Kefalonia’s buildings. Here, stroll narrow stone-paved streets lined with 18th century structures and traditional whitewashed houses.
In Omala, visit the impressive 16th century Monastery of Agios Gerassimos, home to various relics and built over a cave once used by the saint for prayer and meditation. See wall paintings, icons and frescoes at the church of Milapedia and religious relics at the adjoining Monastery of St Andreas – one of the few buildings to survive the 1953 earthquake.
At Perata, visit the 16th century Venetian-built St George’s Castle (Agios Georgios).
Hike through a forest of rare fir species in the national park then climb Mount Enos (1632m) to savour panoramic views from the highest point on the island. Get close to remarkable formations of stalactites and stalagmites in the huge caverns of the Drogarati Cave.
Take a boat trip into the uniquely washed floodlit lake that sits inside the remarkable Cave of Melissani, where artefacts dating to the 3rd and 4th century BC have been found.
In Argostoli, see archaeological finds from the Mycenaean, Hellenistic and Roman periods in the Archaeological Museum then pop into the fascinating Folk Art Museum. Cool off with a swim at the nearby beaches of Makris and Platis Gialos.
Kefalonia has some of the best beaches in Greece, including the famous golden sands of Myrtos Beach. The best beaches in Kefalonia, include …
Discover this picture-perfect, 1.6km-long white-shingle and golden-sand beach that nestles beneath towering vertical limestone cliffs and shelves steeply into astonishingly blue waters.
Considered one of the most beautiful beaches of the entire Ionian Islands group and featured in the movie, Captain Corelli's Mandolin starring Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz, Myrtos is located at the end of a 3km stretch of hairpin bends north of Argostoli, on the northwest coast of Kefalonia.
Facilities include a beach bar, sun beds and umbrellas. The nearby fishing village of Assos offers tavernas as well as a 16th century Venetian fortress to explore.
This white-pebble beach is surrounded by bush-covered hills and faces the turquoise waters of a picture-perfect half-moon shaped bay.
Considered one of the beast beaches of Kefalonia, facilities include a snack bar, sun beds and umbrellas.
The monastery of Agrilion overlooks the beach and offers excellent views. Antisamos Beach is located 22km from Argostoli.
Unwind on this long and wide white-sand and shingle beach that shelves into crystalline waters perfect for swimming.
Facilities include sun beds, umbrellas and beachside tavernas. A range of accommodation options can be found nearby.
Lourdas Beach is located on the south coast of Kefalonia.
This popular long golden-sand beach is usually very busy and offers facilities such as sun beds, umbrellas and jet skis for hire.
Makris Gialos Beach is located just south of Argostoli.
The small stretch of golden sand stretches to cliffs and sandstone caves and offers a less-crowded alternative to neighbouring Makris Gialos Beach.
Facilities include a snack bar, sun beds and umbrellas.
Pick a secluded spot to sunbathe on this long tree-fringed crescent of white shingle and golden sand that flows around huge boulders into clear turquoise waters great for swimming and snorkelling.
Facilities include sun beds, umbrellas and tavernas along the main section of the beach near Skala village, which is located on the southern tip of Kefalonia.
This crescent of orange and golden sand offers good swimming in shallow turquoise waters and is edged by low cliffs of green vegetation.
Facilities include sun beds and umbrellas just behind the beach and a taverna just a short walk away.
The nearby village of Svoronata offers a range of taverns, cafes and accommodation options. Ammes Beach is located 2km from Argostoli.
Unwind on this pocket of white sand that nestles between dramatic bush-covered cliffs and a turquoise bay perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
There are no facilities here so you may need to bring your own food and drinks. Shade can be found beneath the cliffs.
Pessada Beach is located on the south coast of Kefalonia.
Pick your own spot to sunbathe on this long and mainly secluded golden-sand beach renowned as a major nesting spot for loggerhead turtles.
The beach is protected by the WWF and certain parts of the beach are closed during the nesting period during the nights of May and August. A small beachside taverna offers refreshments and sun beds.
Kaminia Beach is located near Skala on the southern tip of Kefalonia.
This picture-perfect small golden-sand beach sits beneath soaring bush-clad hills and cliffs facing Mounda Bay. Facilities include sun beds, umbrellas and a small tavern.
Climb to the top of the cliffs for panoramic views of the cape. The nearby village of Thiromnas offers a choice of taverns and shops.
Koroni Beach is located on the southern tip of Kefalonia near Kato Katelios.
Kefalonia offers a diverse range of accommodation options, especially in Argostoli. As the island was devastated in the 1953 earthquake, most structures in the island’s capital are new.
Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about hotels in Cephalonia at TripAdvisor.
The best time to visit Kefalonia is during summer – from late June to early September – when the days are dry and hot averaging 28°C (82°F).
Kefalonia enjoys a Mediterranean climate with long hot summers and mild, wet winters. The mountainous areas are generally cooler.
Kefalonia and the Ionian Islands in general escape the heat found in mainland Greece and the strong meltemia wind that blows across the Aegean Islands.
Kefalonia, also known as Cephalonia, is the largest of the Ionian Islands and is located between the islands of Lefkada and Zakynthos.
The Ionian Islands sit off the west coast of mainland Greece and comprise the islands of Corfu, Kefalonia, Ithaki, Zakynthos (or Zante), Paxos, Kithira and Levkas.
The most convenient route to Kefalonia is by air to Kefalonia International Airport (EFL), also known as Anna Pollatou, located about 10km (6mi) south of Argostoli.
Most scheduled flights to Kefalonia Airport are from Athens with Olympic Air. Direct flights from European capital cities are mainly seasonal, during the summer holiday period.
By ferry, Kefalonia is 1 hour from Ithaca, 2 hours 15 minutes from Lefkadha, 1 hour 30 minutes from Zakynthos, 3 hours 30 minutes from the Peloponnese port of Patras and 14 hours from Brindisi in Italy.
Latest update: Kefalonia Honeymoon Guide: 28 November, 2019
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