Somewhat the superstar of the Ionian Islands, Kefalonia is often known as the location of the book and film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Whether you’re a fan or not, you’ll be blown away by the stunning cliff-faces, glittering azure seas and sprawling vineyards – all which lend themselves to your very own holiday love story.
Top Resorts and Hotels
The majority of Kefalonia was destroyed in a huge 1953 earthquake, leaving all the towns except Fiskardo levelled down to the ground. However, the island has done well to rebuild itself, transforming fishing villages into hotspots for adventurous sun-seekers.
Skala, to the southeast, is the main resort town when it comes to beach holidays. It’s down here that you’ll find the largest beach on the island, lined by pretty pine tree forests and boasting warm shallow waters. It’s an easy town to walk around, with plenty of interesting ruins not far from the city centre – Simon Pegg of ‘Shaun of The Dead’ fame is a regular visitor to Skala.
As the only remaining city from before the earthquake, Fiskardo has retained its ancient charm, complete with candy-coloured houses and a pretty harbour. Nowadays, it’s known as the St Tropez of Greece, thanks to its A-list residents. Go celebrity spotting and check out the luxury yachts and villas dotted along the shore.
If you haven’t got a Hollywood holiday budget, never fear. Lassi is one of the most popular villages with a variety of sandy beaches and local restaurants. It’s a fully equipped resort, located just near the airport and with all the usual hotels, tavernas and shops.
Attractions and Things to Do
While the cities may have been destroyed decades ago, Kefalonia’s stunning natural beauty has escaped untouched. One of the most famous attractions is Melissani Cave, a 30,000-year-old underground lake illuminated by a hole caused in the earthquake. The nearby Drogarati Caves are also worth a visit – there is actually a natural amphitheatre called the ‘Concert Cave’, a 150ft underground chamber used for functions and events.
The island is also home to several endangered animals, including the tiny loggerhead turtle population and the Mediterranean monk seal. There are over 200 different species of birds to be found on the island, so birdwatchers should be sure to bring their binoculars.
If you’re looking for a place steeped in history, you can also visit the town of Sami on Kefalonia’s eastern coast, boasting the ancient Acropolis and spectacular views from the citadel.
Annual Temperature and Rainfall
Kefalonia enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with long hot summers and mild wet winters. Summer temperatures frequently reach over 30C, with plentiful sun for over 12 hours of the day. The cooler weather sets in around November, dropping down to a low of 9C in the middle of winter.
Get an even broader insight into this wonderful place with our Kefalonia destination guide.