Kefalonia holidays

Stunning landscapes, secluded beaches, and charming towns: it’s all part and parcel of holidays to Kefalonia. This beautiful island is located off mainland Greece, and it’s the biggest of the Ionian Islands. The coastline is dotted with gorgeous fishing villages and sandy beaches (Skala is a firm favourite), ideal for relaxing. Spend your days basking in the hot sun or paddle in the sea to your heart’s content. With Kefalonia holidays, you’ll make memories to last a lifetime.

For the more adventurous, you’ll find lots of pine tree-covered hills and pretty vineyards waiting to be explored. With so much spectacular scenery to take in, it’s no wonder this place was chosen as the setting for the Hollywood blockbuster Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

So, where is Kefalonia? It’s located just off the west coast of mainland Greece, in the Ionian Sea. Take a look at a map of Kefalonia, and you’ll see that it’s the biggest of the cluster of Ionian Islands. Discover Kefalonia on foot as you hike through the verdant hillsides; take a boat trip to the underground Melissani Lake; or rent a sea kayak and make your way around the coastline.

Things to do

The island is indeed a beach lover’s paradise, but it has so much to offer beyond the shorelines. Kefalonia is a land of natural beauty, with underground lakes and caves steeped in Greek mythology; head to Cave Drogarati for an otherworldly experience, or discover some of Greece’s most incredible mountain caves over at Mount Ainos. If you’re feeling energetic, you could also climb to the top, and look out for an abundance of wildlife and exotic birds along the way. 

You’ll find plenty to keep you busy on holiday in Kefalonia, including all kinds of cultural and archaeological sites. Don’t forget to sample some authentic Greek cuisine; you’ll find lots of lovely local tavernas and restaurants serving up fresh seafood.

For a brilliant day out, take a trip to Myrtos Bay. One of Greece’s most picturesque beaches, Myrtos Bay is a mile-long arc of dazzling white pebble stones and striking limestone cliffs. The bay is a truly unspoilt spot, so it’s a great place to go if you want to get away from it all.

Kefalonia’s chalk-white beaches
 

Surrounded by bottle-green pine forests and calm turquoise water, the white beaches on Kefalonia’s coastline are among the most beautiful across all of the Ionian Islands. Perfect for relaxing, swimming, snorkeling or diving, there are plenty of reasons to take a holiday to one of Kefalonia’s beach resorts.

Characterised by tranquil waters and an impressive natural backdrop, Antisamos Beach is a particular favourite among visitors and holidaymakers. This sublime location is neatly organised with sunbeds and umbrellas where you can settle down and enjoy a cocktail or delve into a good book. Situated just a few kilometres from the Port of Sami, it offers unbeatable views and a glorious atmosphere.

Or spend a relaxing afternoon down at Makris Gialos Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Kefalonia. Here you can sample a range of exciting watersports or simply lie back on the soft sands and watch the world go by. Get stuck into some delicious food from one of the many bars scattered around the edge of the beach, some of which will deliver straight to your sunbed, so you won’t need to move a muscle.

For a truly memorable experience, take a stroll along Kaminia Beach where you may be lucky enough to witness the loggerhead turtles that this location is home to. Take a dip in the shallow waters or enjoy a picnic on the golden sands after a long day of sunbathing. This beach is ideal for young families and couples alike.

Rich culture in Argostoli
 

The island capital of Kefalonia is also its cultural centre. On the east coast, Argostoli is the place to experience colourful festivals, parades, and outdoor performances throughout the year. The annual International Music Festival of Argostoli is one of the highlights. This unique destination is also home to a fascinating archaeological museum, with artefacts from the Trojan Wars, and a folklore museum. The town square is bursting with charming tavernas, open-air cafés, and quaint hotels, and there’s a great atmosphere here in summer. Don’t forget to sample a glass of the famous Robola wine of Kefalonia.

Skala resort town


Take a trip to the south-east of the island and head for lively Skala Town. This former fishing village is brimming with authentic Greek charm, and it’s surrounded by beautiful scenery.

The three-kilometre beach is a haven for water sports enthusiasts, or you can grab a sun lounger if you’re taking things at a slower pace. Either way, you’ll be ready for a hearty dinner at the end of the day; choose one of the tavernas and restaurants lining the seafront for a taste of traditional Greek cuisine. There are plenty of hiking trails nearby that lead into the mountains and an ancient Roman ruins like the 3rd-century Roman villa.

Places to stay

Just three kilometres 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.

More Travel Guides

We also have travel guides available for destinations including Katelios, Koukounaries, Lassi, Sami, and Skala.

 

Map of Kefalonia

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Kefalonia’s Mediterranean climate makes it a favourite year-round destination.

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Kefalonia International Airport (LGKF / EFL).

Kefalonia is best for...

Beach lovers: With its pure-white sand and pebbles, azure waters and lush forest, Myrtos Bay is one of Greece’s most spectacular beaches. 

Couples: Watch the sun go down from a waterfront restaurant in Lassi and sample some fresh Greek cuisine, while sipping on a glass (or two) of local Robola wine. 

Explorers: Go for a hike in the hills near Katelios, or go island hopping to Lefkas, Meganissi and Paanikolis; there’s a wealth of stunning scenery to explore here.

Fast facts for Kefalonia

Language: The language spoken is Greek.

Currency: The currency used is Euro (€).

Local time: Kefalonia is 2 hours ahead of GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Kefalonia International Airport with transfers of up to 2 hours to the main resorts.

Flight time from UK: The flight time to Kefalonia is 3.5 hours.

Tourist information: For more tourist information about your Kefalonia holidays, visit www.visitgreece.gr/en/greek_islands/ionian_islands/kefalonia

Visa and health: Before your holiday, head to www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece for visa and health recommendations and advice.

 

Holiday destinations related to Kefalonia:

 

Getting around Kefalonia

By car: It’s the way to explore the island’s 237km-long coastline, so why not pick up a hire car at the airport? That way you’ll have the freedom to explore at your own pace.  

By motor-cruiser: Head out to sea on one of these small motor boats; they’ll get you around to some of the island’s secret spots and untouched beaches.

By boat: From Vatsa Bay on the southern tip, you can take a traditional fishing trip to see what you can catch; or book a daily boat safari from Lixouri harbour.

Events in Kefalonia

15 August: Did you know that 15 August is Greece’s biggest religious holiday? Kefalonians gather in tavernas and squares across the island to eat, drink and dance. Head to Markopoulo to see the ‘sacred’ baby snakes that appear around the village church every year.

Wine Festival: Pencil in the third weekend of August to celebrate the island’s famous Robola wine. It gets its own festival, which is held in the village of Fragata, and attracts thousands of visitors every year. How does free Robola, local delicacies and live music sound? 

International Music Festival: Head to the island capital of Argostoli for the International Music Festival, held across many music venues at the end of August.

Kefalonia weather

Temperature: 9-30°C 

Summer is the best time to explore the island’s stunning beaches. Temperatures regularly hit 30°C in July and August, when the sea is also at its warmest. It’s also worth bearing in mind that this is the busiest time of year. As we move through the autumn, the island starts to cool down slightly (and the crowds start to disappear), but the sea is still warm enough to swim in throughout October. Kefalonia’s lush, green scenery is all thanks to significant rainfall in winter, but temperatures very rarely drop below 9°C during this season. If you’re keen on hiking or caving, it’s a good idea to book your holiday for spring; you’ll be spoilt with a dry, mild climate and an average of eight hours of sunshine a day. 

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