Taking a vacation amongst the gorgeous islands of Greece is always a good idea, and if you’re wondering what to do in Kefalonia, I’ve got you. The country is blessed with dozens of idyllic islands with sprawling beaches, villages with multi-layered histories, and a lot more. Kefalonia is one of those places you simply have to visit to truly experience with all of its grandeur and beautiful beaches. Topped with scenic views, and exciting caves, the Greek island of Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands.
If you’re looking for a vacation where you can get to relax, bask under the sun, learn a lot of culture, enjoy stunning scenery and of course – indulge in Greek gastronomic delights, then this is the place for you.
You will fall in love with this place immediately. Who wouldn’t love soaring mountains covered in lush vegetation and contrasted by the azure Ionian sea? In this Kefalonia guide I am going to tell you the best things you can do in the famous island where Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was filmed. (Looking for more Greek island inspiration? Check out this post on Greek Island Hopping)
What to do in Kefalonia: Beaches, Attractions and Villages
Wander around the capital Argostoli
Argostoli is the capital of Kefalonia, and obviously the largest village. What I loved about this village was the fact that it was not your typical Greek touristy destination. Instead, it allowed me to dive head-first in the Greek culture, the laidback vibe and the sense of tranquility all around.
Walking around the narrow streets and discovering all the taverns and boutique shops was incredible. You’ll also get a chance to actually mingle with the locals while strolling down the center at the evening, sipping on fine drinks and enjoying the Ionian breeze.
Take a boat trip to visit the Caretta Caretta Turtles
The Caretta Caretta Turtle is a specimen of turtle that lives in the Mediterranean and you can come right face to face with them on the Laganas Gulf beach, or Argostoli bay.
They grow up to be huge but remain fast and you will love being only inches away from these creatures. It’s like being on your own free open-air zoo as you watch the turtles look for scarps of fish from the fisherman.
Discover the breathtaking beaches
There are plenty of gorgeous beaches in Kefalonia. My favorites include:
Myrtos Beach – This beach is one of Greece’s most breathtaking beaches. From turquoise seas, to smooth white pebbles to stunning limestone cliffs – the beach is everything you could dream of, and the perfect Instagrammable location.
This is the beach (as the locals would constantly remind you) that had Captain Corelli’s Mandolin filmed at. Enjoy the clean, calm vibe of this crescent-shaped renowned beach.
Skala Beach – Skala Beach is located at the Skala fishing village. The long sandy beaches is unique due to the fact that it’s surrounded by lush hills, greenery and beautiful scenery that all act as gorgeous backdrops. It’s also a major spot for those of you wan to try snorkeling.
Platis Gialos Beach – The best thing about this beach is that you don’t need to bring anything with you because it pretty much has it all .There are sunbeds, umbrellas, showers and much more. You can even get a massage on the beach! The soft sands are lapped by turquoise waters and you can always indulge in water sports.
Sami Beach. Sami is basically the island’s main port and is an ancient down with fine views over the bay.
Leivathou Beach – The perfect place to chill, snorkel and relax by the long sandy shores and deep waters.
Xi Beach – This is a very famous beach in all of Greece due to the unique colors of its ruddy sand and turquoise waters.
Antisamos Beach – White pebbles, hills, pine woods and warm clear waters can be a summary of everything you’d want on your vacation.
Kefalonia island attractions: Visit the Castle of St. George
This is one of the best things to do in Kefalonia. The Greek Island has long lured in people with its mystical charm, and beautiful landscapes but what draws in even people to it is the rich history that is found in every corner of the island. The island is brimming with historical sites that date back to hundreds of years, so if you want to add a little bit of history to your sightseeing, Visit the gorgeous ruined castle of Saint George that was once held by the Venetians that offer panoramic vistas of the island. There are plenty of things to see apart from the views including historical relics, ruins of a church nearby, and exploring the quaint village or Peratata nearby.
Wine Tasting at Robola Winery
You cannot visit Kefalonia without going on a wine tasting adventure. The winery is nestled between picturesque rolling hills and valley that’s only 20 minutes away from the main town. Spend your day sipping on some fine wine, and don’t forget to take some back home!
Monastery of Agios Gerasimos
Named after the main patron saint of Kefalonia (Saint Gerasimos), this monastery is nothing less of impressive.
It is steeped with legend, mystique and charm and you can always learn about how thousands of people come to visit this place to get cured of this illnesses. Don’t forget to check out the tomb of Saint Gerasmios, and the Platanos Tree that was planted by Saint Gerasimos himself.
Explore the caves of Kefalonia
Kefalonia is quite a diverse place to be. You’ve seen the beaches, lived its nightlife, ate its food and learned about its history and now it’s time to explore its intriguing caves and explore the top ones at the island.
The fist cave you cannot miss is the Melissani Cave which has a history that dates back to thousands of years ago. As you walk down the steps, you’ll get on a small boat and you’ll experience the magical view of the cave illuminating from below.
You can take a gondola ride over the cave and enjoy it all from above.
The Drogarati Cave is another cave that is worth noting that’s only 40 minutes away from the center of the town.
Now imagine this – these caves are over 150 million years old! Yes, you heard that right. The dinosaurs were alive at that time.
Check out the traditional villages of Kefalonia
If you’re looking for quintessential Kefalonia, this is the place to go. The prettiest village was once an 18th century Venetian settlement so you’ll get to enjoy the architecture juxtaposed with the shimmering hues of the sun coloring the houses and reflecting unto the harbor.
This quaint and small village is filled with all types of winding alleyways, cobblestone streets and colorful houses.
My favorite part about this town is the abundance of white and pink flowers everywhere.
Extend your Greek holiday by visiting Ithaca or Zakynthos
You don’t need to limit yourself to things you can do in Kefalonia. You can always take a boat ride to the Ithaca Island where you can immerse yourself in the epitome of natural beauty and sightseeing attractions.
Zakynthos is also another island dominated by, both, shorelines and tourism. There is wilderness, traditional villages, and beautiful golden sands lapped by exotic waters. It is also a snorkelers paradise. If you are a fan of the underwater world check out the best snorkels for your next diving trip.
Best Places to stay in Kefalonia
F Zeen Retreat
This hotel is the definition of “barefoot luxury”. This is where you get pretty much everything that makes a hotel luxurious all while enjoying a non-pretentious vibes with outdoor yoga, beautiful gardens and of course – panoramic views of the sea.
A mixture of Greek hospitality, beautiful views, and an unparalleled lively Greek atmosphere right on the beach of Skala.
Aeolos Beach Hotel
It is blessed with an incredible location right in the middle of gardens and waters and surrounded by caves.
Kefalonia Grand Hotel
This hotel is a 1-minute walk from the beach and is filled with beautiful, modern rooms that offer incredible views of the beach. It has one of the best rated locations from all around Kefalonia.
Kefalonia is a destination you cannot miss out on. It offers a diverse range of options of things to do, and caters to all types of travelers. Whether you’re a history buff, scenic lover, adventure junkie, or just want a relaxing holiday – you’ll find it all there.