“Have a look at the color of the water, these seashores are superb!” Nick and I had been grinning ear to ear on the drive from the ferry terminal to our lodge. Passing by quite a few little sandy coves, we had been in awe of the pristine shoreline. Our good friend and driver, Jerry, responded with “Actually? That’s nothing. Wait till you see Myrtos”.
We had been about to be spoiled for alternative when it got here to the seashores of Kefalonia.
The most important of the Ionian Islands, Kefalonia is as numerous as it’s huge. From the farmland and vineyards of the Paliki Peninsula, to the sheer cliffs and rocky shoreline of the north, this island is crammed with surprises. With simply four nights to get below the pores and skin of Kefalonia, we consulted our map and got here up with a recreation plan to deal with the island.
Don’t miss the traveller suggestions & recommendation on the backside of every part.
Lassi & Argostoli
As with our travels on Zakynthos Island, our first cease was to select up a rental automobile. Kefalonia is extraordinarily mountainous and most of the pure websites and quaint cities are unfold out. For my part, having a automobile right here (and in most of Greece) is a should with a purpose to see all the fantastic locations on provide.
Pulling up at White Rocks Resort in Lassi, we couldn’t imagine this might be our lodging for the subsequent four nights. An especially pleasant porter greeted us and took our backpacks as much as the room. Opening the door, we had been blown away by the views from our non-public balcony! We had been overlooking the beautiful Platis Gialos seaside, which has been awarded blue flag standing.
The room was fashionable and tastefully adorned, with an ensuite lavatory full with a tub. The bed room was beautiful, however we had been mesmerized by the view.
The complete property was set on a cliff above the blue sea. Not solely was the blue flag seaside proper beneath our room, however the non-public Tourkopodaro Seaside was simply steps away. Tables and chairs lined the cement walkway on the cliffside, making it the proper spot for breakfast, or a romantic dinner.
We discovered it tough to peel ourselves away from these two seashores, however there was far more of the realm to find. First up, the capital!
The capital metropolis of Argostoli has some pretty plazas, quite a few cafes & eating places, strolling streets and a waterfront promenade which is a good place for a stroll. There’s a footbridge (The De Bosset Bridge / Drapano Bridge), which connects Argostoli with the alternative facet of the bay. This bridge is definitely the most important stone bridge over a sea on the planet and is a good place for a stroll within the late afternoon. If you happen to’re fortunate, you’ll be capable of spot some loggerhead turtles within the water, in addition to many sea birds.
Lassi turned out to be a wonderful place to base ourselves for the four nights on Kefalonia. Not solely was the capital metropolis simply 2 kilometers away, however Lassi itself had beautiful seashores, many outlets and a very good tavern, Sto Psito, which we checked out on our first night time on the island.
We entered by way of a flowery archway and made our option to the tables with a view of the ocean. The open air patio was the final word eating spot, with a light-weight breeze and unobscured views of the sundown. The proprietor, Christo, greeted us with a bottle of wine from the Sklavos Vineyard (extra about that vineyard beneath!), adopted by his suggestions for typical Kefalonian meals.
We sampled strapatsada (scrambled eggs with tomato and feta), conventional stewed goat with potatoes and a Mediterranean hen with basil, sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese. The substances had been all domestically sourced, freshly made and completely scrumptious! If you happen to’re searching for a restaurant in Lassi / Argostoli, don’t miss this place.
The Paliki Peninsula
Kefalonia is an oddly formed, puzzle-piece-looking island with a mass of land dangling off of the western facet referred to as the Paliki Peninsula. As a way to recover from to the Peninsula, you should both take a ferry-boat throughout the channel from the capital of Argostoli, or you possibly can drive (like we did) and make a day trip of it.
Driving gave us the chance to witness the countryside morph from towering rocky shoreline into flat farmland, marshy grasslands, vineyards and clay cliffs!
On the northern finish of the peninsula, there are nonetheless some very dramatic cliffs. Most notably is Petani Seaside with its aquamarine water and beachside taverns. It was a stormy afternoon once we visited, however this was nonetheless a surprising lunch spot – and an important place to pattern the native seafood.
Will full bellies, we continued south to the jap facet of the peninsula to the village of Lixouri, which is the second largest on Kefalonia. This place is generally pretty busy and bustling, however once we visited, it was like a ghost city! three,00zero folks inhabit Lixouri, but there as nobody round. It was Sunday, it was the shoulder season and it was additionally the time of day when the residents can be resting.
Feeling as if we had the place to ourselves, we strolled across the streets and loved the peace and quiet. The principle sq. of Plateia Petritsi is surrounded by cute cafes with views over the water. Additional again from the plaza you’ll discover slender alleyways with church buildings, whereas simply 15 kilometers away you will discover the remoted Monastery of Kipoureon.
Persevering with south for 7 kilometers, we arrived on the rust-coloured seaside of Xi, which was backed by white clay cliffs and had the calmest water we’d seen to this point. This four kilometer seaside is a sort-of DIY spa. Rub the mud from the cliffs throughout your physique and let it dry within the solar. As soon as it’s hardened, go for a swim to take away the clay and luxuriate in your delicate pores and skin!
Xi Seaside was one other distinctive stretch of sand that we added to our checklist of favourites on Kefalonia.
After consuming and lazing on the seaside, we had been feeling a bit thirsty and determined to go to a close-by vineyard and winery.
Over the previous few years, we’ve grow to be serious about wine and wine manufacturing. Having visited quite a few wineries and vineyards within the close by international locations of Malta, Italy and Bulgaria, it was time to take a look at what Greece needed to provide!
Up to now, we had been very impressed by the desk wines within the nation, and will solely think about what an oaked, aged bottle would style like.
We met up with Mr. Sklavos, who is kind of presumably essentially the most laid-back particular person we’ve ever come throughout. We greeted him and inside one minute, he had picked up a worm that was on the driveway, washed it off with water and gently positioned it subsequent to a vine.
This was our introduction to the vineyard, the proprietor, and the biodynamic practices happening right here.
Worms are used to naturally aerate the soil and fairly than utilizing chemical substances, the worms additionally support within the removing of dangerous minerals from the soil. They take within the minerals, course of them, and “poop” them out as a wholesome combination of clay and humus.
The strategies used right here had been fascinating! Not solely the usage of worms, however the truth that planting and harvesting is finished based mostly on The Maria Thun astronomical calendar.
Mr. Sklavos has simply moved in right here and can have excursions prepared inside a month or so, however we had been capable of get an insider look into the manufacturing, the vineyards and naturally, the wine itself. We sampled the native kinds of Mavrodaphne and Vostilidi, wandered across the pristine winery and loved chatting with the proprietor about his life and use of biodynamic strategies.
The North: Myrtos, Assos & Fiskardo
We’ve been travelling the world for eight years and have seen a number of stunning locations. Besides, we had been completely blown away by Myrtos Seaside and the seaside cities of Assos and Fiskardo. These really are a number of the most superb spots in Greece.
Rounding the ultimate bend on our drive to Myrtos Seaside, Nick slammed on the breaks and introduced the automobile to a screeching halt.
Beneath us was the seaside that we had heard a lot about. The water was so extremely vibrant and neon, that it appeared as if there was a highlight beneath it, illuminating the ocean! There was hardly any sand, however the rocks had been blindingly white, and the sheer cliffs backing the seaside solely added to its magnificence.
We floated in ecstasy within the powder blue water earlier than heading off. With no umbrellas or timber right here, by noon the solar was at its most intense and we wanted to hunt out some shade, and a few lunch.
Shifting additional north alongside the scenic shoreline, we arrived at Assos. This vibrant, quaint village is without doubt one of the most picturesque spots we’ve seen. With simply 100 inhabitants, the Venetian-styled village is a good place to spend a lazy afternoon – which is precisely what we did.
Vines and flowers cling to pastel-coloured houses, low-rise buildings line the waterfront promenade and quiet little lanes present a shady stroll. There’s one small bay right here with crystal-clear water and a few eating places. That is the proper spot for cooling off after climbing to the stays of the close by 16th century Venetian Fortress.
Other than the primary bay, there are quite a few little hidden coves across the space, simply take your decide!
Lastly, after lazing on two beautiful seashores, we made our option to the very northern half of the island to the extra upscale crusing village of Fiskardo, which was fortunate to flee harm from the 1953 earthquake (the remainder of Kefalonia didn’t fare so nicely).
Nicely-known by sailors and yachties, this stunning village is rising in popularity with vacationers as nicely. The development of resorts and a shopping mall uncovered quite a few, well-preserved stays from the Roman period – together with graves, a bathhouse, a theatre and homes.
As quickly as we arrived, we made a wardrobe change from our seaside sarong and board shorts into one thing extra applicable for dinner on this space!
Fortunately, the meals wasn’t pretentious or overly priced and the folks we encountered had been simply as pleasant as in every single place else on the island.
We settled in for a romantic dinner on the water at Vasso’s Restaurant, a advice from our good friend Jerry. A bubbly waiter arrived with recommendations of the chef. As a result of we all know Greek parts are large, we had been mentally making ready ourselves for the upcoming feast!
To begin with, we had a recent Greek salad, a platter of native dips made with cheese and spices, yogurt and dill, and whipped potato with garlic. We moved on to fried native cheese, zucchini balls, tomato courgettes, and pastry full of cheese. From there, a platter of deep-fried anchovies and squid arrived, adopted by conventional meatballs and pasta.
It was pure gluttony and we didn’t care. The meals at Vasso’s was superb!
Although we had been in a meals coma, it was time to drive the 1.5 hours again to White Rocks Resort the place we promptly handed out after a memorable day.
Melissani Cave & Sami
The variety of Kefalonia stored on coming! Once we heard that there was an underground river and cave positioned within the heart of the island (like a cenote in Mexico), we needed to test it out. Along with different vacationers, we hopped on a bit of picket boat and had been paddled round by a information.
An earthquake 5,00zero years in the past had an impact on this cave. Wanting up, there was an enormous opening within the ceiling, permitting beams of daylight to penetrate the in any other case darkish cavity. The illuminated, brackish water was so clear that we might spot eels down beneath.
The water within the cave travels for 19 kilometers over the course of two weeks from close to town of Argostoli, earlier than passing by way of this cave and emptying out into the ocean. Though the boat tour was brief, perhaps about 10 minutes on the boat in complete, the information was informative and the location was stunning.
From right here, the small harbour city of Sami is only a 2 kilometer drive away. That is the place the 2001 film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was filmed. For us, this was just a bit pit cease on our manner again to our lodge, and although it was a fairly place, we a lot most popular Assos and Fiskardo when it comes to aesthetics.
Give Your self Some Time
Kefalonia is giant, mountainous and really numerous. There are quite a few cities, seashores and websites to discover. To actually get a really feel for the magic of this Ionian Island, be sure that to present your self a while, at the least every week. Our journey was a lot to brief (as a result of ferry strikes, we misplaced a few days) and as we headed to the airport for our Aegean Airways flight to Corfu Island, we had been unhappy to say goodbye to this stunning place, however are sure that we’ll be again to find extra of the hidden gems on provide.
An enormous thank-you to Uncover Greece for helping us with our travels on Kefalonia Island! For extra helpful recommendation and knowledge on travelling to Greece, take a look at the fantastic Uncover Greece journey portal.
Keep tuned for extra from our superb month spent travelling across the islands of Zakynthos, Kefalonia, Corfu, Chios and Lesvos!