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Holidays in Kefalonia
Paradise for beach enthusiasts with an array of beaches set against aquamarine seas. Dramatic mountain landscapes and pine forests serve as a backdrop to fishing villages with traditional tavernas and modern resorts with a lively pace. A popular choice with couples and families all around the world, Kefalonia holidays still manage to maintain a quiet, traditional charm.
The best time to visit Kefalonia is Spring when you’ll be spoilt with dry, mild weather (18-20°C) and a daily average of 8 hours of sunshine
Kefalonia International Airport (LGKF / EFL) islocated 8 km from Kefalonia’s capital, Argostoli.
Book your Thomas Cook Kefalonia holiday now and get ready for a holiday full of sea, sun and adventure!
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Just 3km from the island’s lively capital town Argostoli, you’ll find the purpose-built resort of Lassi. Take your pick from the sandy, untouched beaches nearby or just head straight to Lassi’s Blue Flag beach. The peaceful fishing village of Katelios remains a nature-lover’s favourite: it’s ringed by the turquoise-coloured sea on one side and a green hiking trail on the other, complete with old water mills and natural springs. Sunset in harbour-side Sami gathers couples and families together at its pretty lighthouse. The orange-coloured horizon and swimming dolphins steal the show here, right before the sun dips into the waters off Kefalonia’s west coast.
Underground lakes and caves steeped in Greek mythology and contemporary culture are the best place to discover Kefalonia’s natural beauty. Cave Drogarati’s exquisite acoustics and size offer an otherworldly experience for up to 500 spectators during the musical events held inside its special chamber. Mount Ainos, home to some of Greece’s most incredible mountain caves, wildlife and scenery, is perfect for hiking and exploring its forest. Or, if you would rather just relax and indulge in the island’s cuisine, you can count on the welcoming locals to treat you to a taste of authentic Greece.
Roofed by million-year-old, light-reflecting stalactites and over 90m deep, Cave Drogarati is one the oldest and largest caves in Greece. Just 2km away from Sami is the Lake Cave of Melissani – one of the biggest attractions in Kefalonia. Once chosen as the place of worship for the Greek god of nature and his companion nymphs, it is still characterised by a dense forest setting today. Hop aboard one of the colourful lake-boats (running May to October) for a tour around the cave’s sunlit, open-roof chamber. Your guide will tell you all about the folktales inspired by Melissani’s luminous waters.
One of the top things to do in Kefalonia for hikers is “conquer” Mount Ainos - the Ionian Islands’ tallest mountain. Over 1,600m high, Ainos is veiled by Kefalonia’s National Park - home to wild white ponies as well as a type of fir tree that only grows here. The feast of colours and the views over neighbouring Zante island seen from its summit are worth the 3-4 hour hike. On your way up, make sure you stop at the remains of the temple dedicated to “Ainosius” Zeus, the mythological god that was said to protect the mountain.
Don’t miss out on a traditional “kantada night” where you can eat and drink at Kefalonia’s seafront tavernas, accompanied by romantic folk songs and gentle mandolin melodies. Homemade pies are the island’s delicacy: freshly baked meat pies, spinach pies and local favourite cod-pie, bakaliaropita, will get your taste buds dancing. For a true culinary treat, head to the northern, cosmopolitan village of Fiskardo; yachts from all over the world anchor here just to try its garido-makaronada made with spaghetti, giant prawns and a sundried tomato and ouzo sauce.
Beach lovers: Myrtos Beach with its white sand and pebbles, azure waters and lush forest.
Movie fans: Sami, the seafront town that starred in Captain Correli’s Mandolin.
Island hoppers: Visit Lefkas island, see the breathtaking views from Meganissi and visit the famous cave of Papanikolis.
Language: The language spoken in Kefalonia is Greek.
Currency: The currency used in Kefalonia is Euro (€).
Local time: Kefalonia is 2 hours ahead of GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Kefalonia International Airport (LGKF / EFL), located 8 km from Kefalonia’s capital, Argostoli.
Flight time from UK: Just under 3.5 hours.
Tourist Information: Further Kefalonia tourist information can be found at www.visitgreece.gr/en/greek_islands/ionian_islands/kefalonia
Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Kefalonia.
Temperature: Heating up to the low 30s (°C) in July and August.
Best time to visit Kefalonia: Spring when you’ll be spoilt with dry, mild weather (18-20°C) and a daily average of 8 hours of sunshine.
Kefalonia’s typically Mediterranean climate and weather ensures that summers are hot and dry. Its waters also maintain a warm average of 20°C, making its sea ideal for kids and watersports fans. The island’s lush, green scenery is all thanks to some significant rainfall in winter; but temperatures remain mild.
By car: The best way to explore Kefalonia’s 237km-long coastline is by car.
By motor-cruiser: Another fun alternative is hopping onto a traditional motor-cruiser which will take you around the island’s secret spots and untouched beaches.
By boat: Vatsa Bay on the southern tip also offers traditional fishing trips while daily boat safaris are available from Lixouri harbour.
15th August: The 15th of August is the biggest religious holiday in Greece. Kefalonians celebrate with an excess of dancing, drinking and eating as they gather together in tavernas and squares. Head to Markopoulo in the south-east and witness the mysterious phenomenon of the “sacred” baby snakes that appear around the village church every year.
Robola wine: Pencil in the third weekend of August when the island’s regional wine, Robola, gets its own festival, attracting thousands of visitors each year – free Robola, local delicacies and live music for everyone.
Music festival: Head to Argostoli, the island’s capital, for the International Music Festival held in various music venues, at the end of August.