The island – named in three different ways, all sounding about the same: Kefallinia, Kefalonia, Cephallonia – is best known for being the setting of “Captain Corelli’s mandolin” . But fear not, you won’t be drowned in too much merchandise celebrating the movie.
Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands and is a very popular destination for those looking for the traditional Greek way of life.
How to get to Kefalonia
Kefalonia is served by a small airport which receives domestic flights. Olympic Air flies from directly from Athens. The busiest travel days on the airport are Tuesday and Sunday so for your own sanity, try to avoid them.
It is also possible to get to Kefalonia by ferry from the Greek mainland, other Greek Islands and even from Italy
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Weather in Kefalonia
Kefalonia is blessed with temperate climate with mild winters and hot summers. Here you can enjoy a lot of sunny days during the year.
The tourist season starts in May when temperatures already climb around 24C/75F. By June you can easily bake at 30C/86F while July and August are even hotter.
>>more information about Weather in Greece
What to do
Kefalonia offers a lot of things to do and it’s very hard to list them all. But here is a list of the most interesting places to check out while you are visiting:
St George Castle – it dates back to the Byzantine times. The current form is Venetian. After their liberated the fort from the Turks, some improvements were made. The castle offers stunning panoramic view of the surrounding villages. The entire area is well worth exploring.
Assos Castle – is located on the NW coast of the island. It is larger than the previously mentioned one. Construction started in 1593. The Venetians used it for centuries. Within the castle there are still the remains of the church of Agios Markos, which was a catholic church. Another church exists but it’s not well preserved. It is totally worth it to walk to the castle and capture the surrounding views.
Drogarati Caves – are located close to Sami and were discovered 300 years ago. The depth is 60 m and the temperature inside is 18C. Since 1963 it has been open for the public.
Also, it’s very interesting to attend one of the festivals taking place here.
Kefalonia is blessed with a lot of beaches and you’ll definitely find at least one to suit your needs. There are very popular beaches which are always crowded but you can easily find some hidden coves for those special moments.
Of course it would take too long to list all the beaches, but here are some ideas to get you started:
- Emblissi Beach – north of the island, secluded beach; shallow water excellent for swimming; stunning views across to Ithaca
- Assos Village beach – stunning views of the ruins of the Venetian castle
- Myrtos Bay – blue flag beach; probably the most photographed in Kefalonia; water is deep;
- Dafnoudi beach – small beach, hidden; there are no facilities here; excellent for a picnic
- Skala Beach – blue flag beach; sandy beach with shallow waters; sun beds and umbrellas for rent; one of the most popular beaches on the island
- Katelios beach – blue flag beach; dotted with tavernas which sell excellent fish dishes;
- Saint Barbara Beach – urban beach; possibility to rent boats; other activities possible
Many Greeks live abroad during the winter (November to April) because there isn’t enough work for them here. So don’t be confused to hear Greeks speak with an American accent. English is spoken everywhere. And Italian is widely recognized as well.