Kefalonia Travel Guide for 2024

Written by James
 Last updated: February 11, 2024

Welcome to Kefalonia

Picture an island gem in the Ionian Sea, with lush mountains, idyllic villages, and mesmerising beaches. Welcome to Kefalonia. Rich in history, this Greek paradise, the largest in the Ionian islands, was the setting for the Hollywood film 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin'. Its charisma lies in its natural beauty, vibrant culture, and intriguing past, from its role in the Homeric legends to its resilience through the devastating earthquake of 1953.

Why visit Kefalonia?

Kefalonia is a treasure trove of wonders, perfect for the curious traveller. From hidden caves to enchanting castles, there's always something to discover.

  • Myrtos Beach: A visit to Kefalonia isn't complete without experiencing the striking beauty of Myrtos Beach, renowned for its turquoise waters and white pebble shore.
  • Melissani Cave: Sail into the heart of this mystical cave, where the sunlight illuminates the azure waters, creating a magical atmosphere.
  • Assos Village: A charming hamlet, the perfect place to unwind amidst Venetian architecture, vibrant bougainvillaea, and stunning sea views.
  • Mount Ainos: Reach the island's highest peak, home to the unique Kefalonian fir tree and breathtaking vistas.
  • Agios Gerasimos Monastery: A serene spiritual retreat with a rich historical background, visited by thousands for its annual festival.

Reasons to Love Kefalonia

It's easy to fall in love with Kefalonia. Its incredible natural beauty, rich history, and warm hospitality make it unforgettable.

  • Greek Hospitality: The locals are known for their "philoxenia" – warm and genuine hospitality, you'll feel right at home.
  • Historical Richness: Kefalonia's storied past echoes in its ancient ruins and traditional villages.
  • Breathtaking Landscapes: Kefalonia's natural beauty is awe-inspiring, from the azure sea to the verdant mountains.
  • Unique Wildlife: Spot the endangered loggerhead turtles in Argostoli Harbour or the wild horses of Mount Ainos.
  • Incredible Cuisine: Kefalonian food, rich in Mediterranean flavours, is a gastronomic delight.

Where to go

Kefalonia's diverse landscapes offer a wide range of experiences. Whether you're a history buff or a nature lover, there's a place for you.

  • Argostoli: The bustling capital, brimming with shops, restaurants, and a fascinating archaeological museum.
  • Fiskardo: A quaint village untouched by the 1953 earthquake, offering a glimpse into Kefalonia's past.
  • Antisamos Beach: A tranquil paradise, featured in 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin'.
  • Drogarati Cave: A spectacular geological wonder renowned for its excellent acoustics.
  • Saint George's Castle: A relic from the Byzantine era offering panoramic island views.

What to do

There's an array of activities to suit all tastes. From water sports to wine tasting, Kefalonia has it all.

  • Boat Tours: Explore Kefalonia's hidden coves and stunning coastline on a memorable boat tour.
  • Wine Tasting: Savour the distinctive Robola wine at a local vineyard.
  • Hiking: Discover Kefalonia's natural beauty through its numerous hiking trails.
  • Scuba Diving: Dive into the Ionian Sea's clear waters to experience its rich marine life.
  • Visit a Monastery: Experience tranquillity and spiritual beauty at the Monastery of Agios Andreas or the Monastery of Agios Gerasimos.

Flights to Kefalonia

Where to Stay

Apostolata Island Resort & Spa - This luxury hotel is a 10-minute from the Ionian Sea and Skala Beach. It offers a health club and spa tub for ultimate relaxation. Guests have rated it 8.4 out of 10. The average cost per night is approximately £95. Book here

Kefalonia Bay Palace - This family-friendly hotel is on the boardwalk, steps away from the Ionian Sea and Eliés. It offers 2 outdoor pools and a children's pool. Guests have rated it 8.0 out of 10. The average cost per night is around £105. Book here

Calioanas Suites - Situated in the mountains, this villa offers a seasonal outdoor pool and free WiFi. It's within 6 miles (9.7 km) of the Ionian Sea and Vassiliki Beach. The average cost per night is approximately £65. Book here

Volidiera Guesthouse - This smoke-free guesthouse features a restaurant, a bar/lounge, and a snack bar/deli. It's located 5.9 miles (9.5 km) from Xi Beach and 7 miles (11.3 km) from Petani Beach. Guests have given it a perfect rating of 10.0 out of 10. The average cost per night is around £60. Book here

Grand TheoNi Boutique Hotel & Spa - This spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Port of Vasiliki and Vassiliki Beach. It offers a full-service spa, an outdoor pool, and a 24-hour fitness centre. Guests have rated it 8.2 out of 10. The average cost per night is approximately £65. Book here

Local foods to try

Kefalonian cuisine is a delight for foodies, offering a unique blend of fresh, local ingredients and traditional recipes.

  • Kreatopita: Try this local meat pie, a delicious combination of lamb, rice, and herbs.
  • Robola Wine: A native white grape variety produces a crisp and aromatic wine.
  • Baklava: A sweet pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey.
  • Aliada: A tasty garlic sauce served with fish or potatoes.
  • Mandola: A traditional sweet made from almonds and caramel.

Souvenirs to buy

Remember your Kefalonian holiday with these unique souvenirs:

  • Olive Oil: Kefalonia's extra virgin olive oil is renowned for its quality.
  • Local Wine: Bring back a bottle of the famous Robola wine.
  • Handmade Soap: Local artisans create soaps infused with natural ingredients like olive oil and honey.
  • Thyme Honey: Known for its distinct flavour and health benefits.
  • Local Artwork: Support local artists by purchasing a unique piece of art.

Is Kefalonia expensive?

While Kefalonia isn't the cheapest Greek island, it offers a range of options to suit different budgets. Plan and book ahead for better deals on accommodation and flights.

Helpful recommendations

  • Rent a Car: The island's size makes a car the most convenient mode of transport.
  • Pack Light Layers: Evenings can get chilly, especially in the mountains.
  • Respect the Environment: Help maintain Kefalonia's natural beauty by leaving no trace.
  • Try Local Delicacies: Don't miss the opportunity to savour the local cuisine.
  • Learn Basic Greek Phrases: A little Greek can go a long way in connecting with the locals.

Nearby locations

Consider exploring these nearby gems:

  • Ithaca: The legendary home of Odysseus, just a short ferry ride away.
  • Zakynthos: Famous for its stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife.
  • Lefkada: Known for its turquoise waters and windsurfing opportunities.
  • Athens: Greece's capital, rich in history and culture.
  • Meteora: A unique landscape of towering rock formations topped with ancient monasteries.

Kefalonia is an island that captures the heart with its stunning landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality. It invites you to explore, relax, and immerse in its unique Greek charm. So why wait? Plan your unforgettable trip to Kefalonia today!

Kefalonia FAQ

Where is Kefalonia?

Kefalonia is a picturesque island located in the Ionian Sea, off the west coast of mainland Greece. It's the largest of the Ionian Islands and is known for its stunning natural beauty.

What is the capital of Kefalonia?

The capital of Kefalonia is Argostoli. This charming town is situated on a natural harbour and is a hub of activity with shops, cafes, and a beautiful waterfront promenade.

What do I need to travel to Kefalonia?

For UK citizens, a valid passport is required to travel to Kefalonia. As of 2023, the UK is not part of the EU, so check for any additional visa requirements. Don't forget travel insurance!

Where to stay in Kefalonia?

Kefalonia offers a range of accommodation options. Fiscardo and Assos are popular for their quaint charm, while Skala is known for its lovely beaches. For a lively atmosphere, consider Argostoli.

How big is Kefalonia?

Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands, covering an area of about 786 square kilometres. Despite its size, it maintains a relaxed, unhurried atmosphere.

What languages do they speak in Kefalonia?

While Greek is the official language in Kefalonia, English is widely spoken in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants. A few Greek phrases, though, will always be appreciated!

How long is the flight to Kefalonia from the UK?

Direct flights from the UK to Kefalonia typically take around 3 hours. However, flight times can vary depending on your departure airport and the airline.

What plugs are used in Kefalonia?

In Kefalonia, the power plugs and sockets are of type F. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. Don't forget your travel adapter!

How hot does Kefalonia get?

Kefalonia enjoys a Mediterranean climate. In summer, temperatures can reach up to 30°C. The island is also blessed with plenty of sunshine, perfect for beach days!

What currency is used in Kefalonia?

The currency used in Kefalonia is the Euro (€). It's always handy to have some cash, but credit and debit cards are widely accepted.

 

Kefalonia Weather

Kefalonia offers a Mediterranean climate with warm summers and mild winters. The sunniest months are June and July, perfect for beach activities. If you're keen on swimming, the sea temperature peaks in July and August. However, November and December are the rainiest months.

JAN

13.4°C / 56°F

9 days rain

FEB

13.9°C / 57°F

8 days rain

MAR

15.0°C / 59°F

7 days rain

APR

18.7°C / 66°F

6 days rain

MAY

23.2°C / 74°F

4 days rain

JUN

27.8°C / 82°F

2 days rain

JUL

29.7°C / 85°F

1 days rain

AUG

29.1°C / 84°F

2 days rain

SEP

26.6°C / 80°F

3 days rain

OCT

22.7°C / 73°F

7 days rain

NOV

19.1°C / 66°F

8 days rain

DEC

15.3°C / 60°F

8 days rain

Best time to visit Kefalonia

The best time to visit Kefalonia is from May to September when the weather is warm and the sea temperatures are ideal for swimming. These months offer a perfect blend of sunny days and minimal rainfall, making it an excellent destination for outdoor activities and beach relaxation.

Samos
Argostoli
Lassi
Tigaki
Kassandra
Macedonia
Halkidiki
Malta
Heraklion
Athens
Attica
Lesbos