This Kefalonia travel guide will take you through some of the best places to visit in Kefalonia, the best things to do in Kefalonia, the best things to see in Kefalonia and the best Kefalonia attractions to help you plan the perfect visit.
As the largest of the Ionian islands and the 6th largest island of Greece, Kefalonia seems somewhat less developed than its neighbours of Zakynthos and Corfu, with plenty of places to explore. From the picturesque fishing village of Fiscardoto underground lake of Mellisani, there’s truly something for everyone to do in Kefalonia.
Many people don’t know about the beauty of Kefalonia. The island is less advertised than its more developed neighbour Zakynthos with its booming party scene of Laganas and the famous ‘Shipwreck beach’. I first discovered Kefalonia as part of a day trip from Zakynthos.
Kefalonia is packed with a dramatic coastline, magical caves and beautiful sandy beaches. Inland Kefalonia is mountainous, with the highest peak being Mount Ainos which rises 1628m above sea level.
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Map of Kefalonia Greece
Things to Do in Kefalonia | The Ultimate Guide
1. Visit Melissani Lake
No visit to Kefalonia is complete without a visit to Melissani Lake. It’s one of the main places to see in Kefalonia.
The cave’s roof once caved in, revealing Melissani lake, which was unknown at the time. When the sun hits the lake’s waters, it creates an illusion that the water is a perfect shade of blue.
Visitors can take a boat into the second chamber of the cave, where you will see stalactites. It’s a must-do experience when visiting Kefalonia.
The lake is located just outside the village of Sami. Many visitors visit Mellisini lake as part of a tour of Kefalonia. Alternatively, visitors can arrive by hire car or catch the bus from Kefalonia’s capital, Argostoli.
Why not check out this private tour of both Melisini lake and Antisamos. Swim in the turquoise waters and hop aboard a luxury minivan with a professional local driver and discover the island’s true beauty. View prices and availability for your dates here.
Entrance is 7 Euro
2. Explore Dragorati Cave
Dragorati cave was also uncovered after an earthquake which revealed the cave’s entrance. Visitors can view fantastic stalactite and stalagmite formations. Also inside the cave is the chamber of Exaltation with fantastic acoustics.
Dragorati cave is also located in Sami village. Buses travel to Sami from the capital, Argostoli. Many people visit as part of a day-tour of Kefalonia. The best way to reach Dragorati cave is by hire car.
Entrance is 5 Euro per adult and 3 Euro per child
3. Visit Argistoli | Kefalonia Town
As the capital of Kefalonia, there’s plenty to do and see here. Being both a port and cruise terminal set in Greece’s 4th largest natural harbour, the city has plenty of visitors. Being the hub of Kefalonia, most of the main transport networks start here.
There are plenty of things to do in Argostoli to suit all ages and tastes. During my visit, I spent time walking along the main harbour and viewing the buzzing activity. I loved the little fruit shops scattered around. There’s plenty of shops and restaurants selling local produce too! The main square of Platia Valianou also has plenty of small shops and restaurants.
Be sure to look at De Bosset Bridge, the longest stone bridge over the sea in the world. Built in 1813, the bridge survived the great earthquake of 1953. Many people have spotted turtles when walking the bridge, so make sure you keep a lookout! In the summer months, it’s recommended to walk in the cooler times of morning and evening to fully enjoy the experience.
If you love Greek architecture, then why not visit the Archaeological Museum. The museum hosts findings from Kefalonia of the prehistoric era dating back to the palaeolithic and Neolithic periods. You can visit the museum 9:00AM – 2:00PM Monday-Friday.
If you’re planning on spending a more extended period in Argostoli, then there’s a collection of beaches walkable from the centre. These include Plati Yialos and Makri Yialos.
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4. Gaze at the view of Myrtos Beach
Whether it’s a quick photo stop or a full day at the beach, Myrtos beach is a Kefalonia must-see. The beach is one of Greece’s most famous photo spots, great for that perfect Instagram photo. It’s also been voted one of the top 10 beaches in the whole of Greece!
Sunbeds and umbrellas are readily available to rent, and there’s a range of local Tavernas and shops within walking distance. Why not stay to watch the fantastic sunset?
Myrtos beach is located in the North-West of Kefalonia. To reach the beach, you have several options. The cheapest way is by bus from Argostoli. The journey will take you just over 1 hour and cost 4 Euro. A taxi will set you back around 35-50 Euro, a great idea if you’re travelling as a bigger group.
5. Visit Lassi Beach
Located North-West of Argostoli, the resort of Lassi is popular with package holiday tourists and families for its long beaches and clear seas. The resort has all the facilities you’ll need, including beach bars and sunbeds to hire.
Getting to Lassi | A taxi from Kefalonia airport will cost you 20 Euro. Buses run from Argostoli. It’s also possible to arrange a transfer in advance with Holiday Taxis.
6. A visit to the fishing village of Fiscardo
This former fishing village is now an upmarket resort. There are plenty of things to do in Fiscardo, including spotting the superyachts lining the promenade and visiting all the unique shops and tavernas.
As Fiscardo was almost untouched by the great earthquake in 1953, it’s a great insight into how Kefalonia used to be. You’ll feel like a time traveller.
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7. Visit Skala Beach
In the South of Kefalonia lies Skala beach, a picturesque sandy beach popular with families and surrounded by the resort town of Skala. There are plenty of things to do in Skala. Take your pick of the watersports available on the beach to keep all the family happy, from jet-skis to banana boating. There are lots of sun loungers to hire too!
Skala beach can get crowded, but it shouldn’t be a problem due to its vast size.
How to get to Skala, Kefalonia | Buses run from the capital Argostoli. The journey is 1 hour, 40 minutes and will cost 4 Euro. You will need to catch a half-hour bus to Argostoli to board the bus to Skala from the airport. Taxis can get you to Skala from anywhere on the island. From Argostoli, expect to pay 45-55 Euro. If you’ve hired a car, the drive from Argostoli will take around 37 minutes. It’s also possible to book a taxi in advance with Holiday Taxis.
8. A visit to an olive oil mill in Keramies
Olive oil production is a massive part of the economy in Kefalonia, spurred on by the perfect climate to grow olive trees. You can learn about how oil is produced. If you visit in October, you can even see the mill in action! First, an expert will tell you exactly how the oil is made, followed by a tasting session. To visit the olive mill, it’s best if you have your own vehicle. You can check out car hire prices and availability here.
9. Climb Mount Ainos
Towering above Kefalonia lies Mount Ainos on the main road between Argostoli and Sami is the tallest mountain on the Ionian islands, reaching 1628m. It’s well worth a visit, if not a quick look.
It’s possible to drive to a point nearly at the summit. Leave your car at the transmitter station on Mount Ainos road and proceed to climb up some steps for 10 minutes to reach the top. The highest peak is Megs Soros.
The views are sensational! You’ll see vast expanses of the Ionian sea and the mainland. There’s a vast array of flora and fauna to spot, from the fir oak and wild horses to tortoises.
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10. Go Turtle spotting
There are a few beaches in Kefalonia where you can spot loggerhead turtles and their nesting sites.
The main site to spot nesting sites is below Ratzakli at Mounda bay between Skala and Katelios.
If you want to spot adult Loggerhead turtles in their natural environment, try Koutavos Lagoon in Argostoli near De Rosset bridge. They often tail fishermen in search of food.
Things to do in Kefalonia Recap:
- Melissani Lake
- Dragorati Cave
- Myrtos Beach
- Keramies Olive Mill
- Mount Ainos
- Turtle Spotting
Daytrips from Kefalonia
11. A day trip to the neighbouring island of Ithaki
Only a short boat ride away and visible from the cliffs of Kefalonia lies the small island of Ithaki to the North-East. Kefalonia and Ithaki are separated by a 22km long straight which is only 3.4-5km wide. Ithaki is the 5th biggest Ionian island.
Famous for its wilderness walks and tiny harbour villages, as well as the stunning coastline, it’s well worth a visit. A boat tour from Kefalonia will take you from the port of Agia Effima. On the way, you might see turtles, dolphins and rare seabirds. Enjoy views of Itaki’s Vathy Bay as well as other charming beaches.
Your next destination is Gidaki Beach, considered by many to be the best beach in Ithaca. The turquoise blue waters and the natural landscape with its beautiful, lush vegetation impress every visitor. Due to its remoteness, it’s well worth visiting Ithaki while nearby in Kefalonia!
12. A daytrip to Zakynthos Island
Zakynthos, known by most foreign tourists as ‘Zante’, is one of seven Ionian islands on the East coast of Greece. Zante is well known to European’s as a package holiday destination as well as one of the party capitals of Europe, with its famous Laganas strip and ‘white party. Zakynthos also has beautiful beaches and scenery for a more laid back trip!
For a day trip, the best option is to book a guided tour. Get your guide offers a competitive tour which includes a visit to the blue caves and shipwreck beach (photo below). Next, you’ll have lunch in the beautiful village of Alykanas before returning back to Kefalonia. Click here for more information.
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How to get around Kefalonia
Many of the top sights in Kefalonia are remote and spread out. Having a car will enable you to see much more and save money on booking tours every day.
You can hire a car in Kefalonia or take the car ferry from Zakynthos. If you’re planning an island-hopping adventure, I would recommend hiring a car in Greece’s capital Athens and reaching Kefalonia by car ferry from the mainland port of Kyllini. View the best hire car prices and availability here.
Seeing Kefalonia by Tour Bus
Bus tours are extremely popular with tourists in Kefalonia, especially if you’re on the island without a hire car.
Seeing Kefalonia by Boat
With a huge variety of beaches and most accommodation being based on the coast, it’s not surprising that locals and tourists get around by boat.
Water-Taxis run between popular coastal spots and the capital Argostoli. Many visitors like to hire their own boat and explore the coast at their own pace (and maybe a few more islands too!).
Public Transport in Kefalonia
Buses in Kefalonia are run by KTEL. Fares are cheap, but departures can be infrequent. Most buses depart from Argostoli and connect Lassi, Sami and Fiscardo.
Taxis in Kefalonia
Without a hire car, taxis are by far the quickest way to get around Kefalonia. They can be expensive, but with a group of people, it’s more affordable. Many fares between resorts and the airport are fixed. The journey from Sami to the airport is 55 Euro. Taxis can be arranged in advance with Holiday Taxis.
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Places to stay in Kefalonia
For a detailed guide on where to stay in Kefalonia for families, visit our full post below:
For the backpacker | Budget Private rooms can be booked for between 13-30 Euro. Many of these are in the capital, Argostoli. Cheaper-hotels are also widely available around the island for under 30 euros with private rooms. Some hotels even have pools!
For Families | Kefalonia is perfect for families, and accommodation is very welcoming. Most provide cots, and many have beach access and pools. Lassi is ideal for families with its long sandy beach, multiple activities and resort town.
Moving on from Kefalonia
Zakynthos | Only a short ferry ride away, Zakynthos is the natural next stop after Kefalonia. Although Zakynthos can be visited on a day trip, there’s so much to see and do over a longer period of time. Tempted? Take a look at what we recommend you do by reading ‘Things to do in Zakynthos‘.
Kyllini | Located on the Greek mainland to Kyllini is the nearest part of the Greek Mainland to Kefalonia. There are regular ferries to Kyllini, which take around 1.5 hours.
Athens | The capital of Greece and home of the ancient Acropolis, Athens is well worth visiting. As the gateway to mainland Greece’s Greek islands and Northern regions, all major transport links run from Athens.
I highly recommend exploring the beaches on the Athens Riviera and seeing a panoramic view of the city from the top of Mount Lycabettus. If you’re short for time in Athens, look at our 24 hours in Athens itinerary. To read EXACTLY how to get from Athens to Kefalonia, read our full post here.
The Cyclades Islands | The Cyclades are the best island group in Greece for island hopping. You’ll be in awe at the traditional Cycladic style blue and white buildings and the individual charm of each island. There’s plenty of islands to choose from – the well-known islands of Santorini. Mykonos and Ios, the island of beautiful beaches (perfect for a family trip to Greece) – Naxos or some hidden gems such as Amorgos, Serifos and Andros.
More Things to do in Kefalonia
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