Myrthos Beach Kefalonia Greece

The Ultimate Travel Guide For Kefalonia, Greece

Kefalonia a gem in the Ionian Sea. It carries a rich history in cultural tradition. It’s the biggest Ionian Island and the green of its mountains blend with the blue of the water making it truly unique and a beloved destination.

Myrthos Beach Kefalonia Greece

It’s home to some of the best beaches in all of Greece and a very dramatic landscape that I liken to a mini Crete. The food here is also phenomenal as is to be expected with food in Greece. They grow much products locally which means you’ll get the freshest of foods.

In addition, make sure to read my Ionian islands travel itinerary if you want to see how I structured my trip to see these beautiful islands.

Where is Kefalonia?


Kefalonia is the most middle island in the Ionian sea. It’s located on the north western corner of Greece with the main islands being Corfu, Lefkada, Kefalonia, and Zakynthos. Corfu actually is right on the Greece-Albania border whereas Zakynthos is quite far south.

Oskars accommodation – Maps of Kefalonia. | Kefalonia information

It’s easy to do a trip to all the islands mentioned by ferry which offer regular connections between the islands. I took the ferry from Zakynthos to Kefalonia to continue my Ionian adventure.

The island is considerably larger than Zakynthos and runs about 45km east to west. The main towns of Kefalonia are Argostolia, Sami, and Fiskardo in the north.

When to visit Kefalonia?


Perallia Patani Beach

Like most places in Greece, Kefalonia enjoys a mild year round Mediterranean climate. The summers are hot but not overbearing and the winters are cooler but never cold.

The high season in Kefalonia is mid June to End of August. This is the warmest time of year as well as when all the Europeans do their summer travels. All the restaurants will be open and hotels will be charging their peak rates.

Beautiful towns in Kefalonia

Since I visited Kefalonia in 2020 during the height of the Coronavirus, the summer months were still very quiet. However, during normal times, I’d recommend visiting Kefalonia during the shoulder months.

The drop off in tourists is very noticeable in the months between April and June, as well as September to October. The weather will also be slightly milder where you won’t be sweating profusely during the day but still warm enough to swim in the ocean. Prices for accommodation will also be lower.

Getting around Kefalonia


Kefalonia, like most Greek islands is a pretty sparsely populated island. It’s larger than Zakynthos but with even less people at around 35,000 full time residents with most living in around the main towns.

Kefalonia rent a car
Rent a car in Kefalonia to maximize your time
Kefalonia

If you are planning to stay in a resort with the all inclusive style options, then you won’t need much more than a taxi from the airport. You can book day trips and tours to visit the famous sights and you’ll be sorted.

Kefalonia

However, if you want to explore more of the island at your own pace, renting a car, scooter, or quadbike is a must. I rented a car for almost 2 weeks that I took to explore Zakynthos and Kefalonia. This is an absolute must in these islands if you want to do anything. As Kefalonia is much bigger with lots of steep hills, I’d recommend a car instead of a scooter/quadbike.

kefalonia

Driving in Kefalonia is very easy. The roads are more developed than the ones I had driven on in Zakynthos with actual lane markers and generally wide lanes. However, be careful which roads you choose because Google Maps often told me to go down roads which ended up being nothing but dirt roads! There are a lot of these so be very mindful which paths you choose!

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What to do in Kefalonia?


Like all Greek islands, you’ll never go bored traveling in Kefalonia. It’s an extremely geographically diverse island with huge mountains and the most idyllic beaches. In addition, there are the cutest little villages in Kefalonia left over from when the Venetians controlled the island.

Argostoli Kefalonia
View into the town of Argostoli in Kefalonia

As the island is quite big, I’d recommend really planning out where you’re going for the day as it can take 1h+ to get from place to place.

My biggest advice for Kefalonia is not to rush it. The island might look small on a map but there’s so much to see. It’s all about relaxing and enjoying the natural beauty of the island and two days will not be enough. I’d recommend at least 4 nights here to really unwind and enjoy it.

Myrthos Beach

Without a doubt, this is the most well known and most beautiful beach in Kefalonia. It’s ranked up there with the Shipwreck beach in Zakynthos for must visit sights and natural beauty. It’s consistently ranked as one of the top beaches in Greece and it’s not hard to see why!

Myrthos Beach Kefalonia
Paradise at Myrthos Beach
Myrtos beach

Located in the northwest of the island, this beach is nestled between two cliffs and boasts 1km of white pebbly beach front. The water is the deepest shade of turquoise you can imagine.

Myrtos beach

From the main highway, you can pull over and take some amazing pictures of the beach from above. This is for sure the ultimate Instagram location if that’s something you care about.

Expect huge crowds here in the summer months as it is very popular. However, traveling during Coronavirus ensured that the crowds were never too bad. As well, travel here in the offseason in the months of October or November and while the water won’t be super warm, the surface temperature will still be plenty warm to enjoy the natural beauty.

Melassani Caves

Melassani Caves

Another must visit are the Melassani Caves in Kefalonia. Located near the port town of Sami, the caves are as enchanting as they are beautiful.

Myrtos beach

The cave lake is the result of geological process called karstification, in which the limestone bedrock is dissolved by groundwater creating subterranean caverns. The existence of a karstic network across the island was proven in a 1963 experiment, in which green dye dumped into sinkholes on the other side of the island (Katavothres) resurfaced 14 days later in Melissani lake.

Nowadays, the lake is easily visited by tourists and a ticket gets you into a rowboat that takes you around the cake and its absolutely crystal clear waters. The cost is €6 per person and the boats depart quite regularly as they just wait until it fills up. The whole boat ride only takes 15 minutes.

Melassani Caves
Melassani Caves

Try to visit the caves in the middle of the day so the sun shines straight down giving the water that intense turquoise color.

Fiskardo

Fiskardo Kefalonia
Fiskardo Kefalonia

The fishing town of Fiscardo is a favorite of yachters and flotillas and is also an artist colony and was the only village not devastated by the 1953 earthquake. Once a quiet village it has now been ‘discovered’ and the lobsters which were so easily found and caught by anyone with a mask and snorkel and flippers have now become rare and only found in the local fish restaurants.

Fiskardo Kefalonia

Because it was spared the destruction of the earthquake many of the old Venetian buildings still survive and in the off-season it is a beautiful and enjoyable place to visit. But like most of the island, July and August can be a frustrating time to be here.(more on that later). Hotels are a little expensive and generally unavailable during the tourist season.

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Fiskardo Kefalonia

Restaurants are reasonably priced and most are around the waterfront. Frommers recommends the Faros, while Lonely Planet recommends The Captain’s Cabin and Taverna Nicolas, but hint at the near impossibility of finding a table in the summer unless you get there early.

Assos

Assos Kefalonia

The west coast ofthe island is known for having the best beaches as well as the most beautiful landscape. If you start at Fiscardo and travel south you will come to the village of Assos with it’s port, one of the most picturesque in Greece, pastel colored houses and it’s Venetian fortress.

Assos Kefalonia
Assos Kefalonia

Assos is located only a few kilometers from Myrtos Beach so be sure to visit both together. Assos is an even smaller place than Fiskardo and there really isn’t much to do here besides admire the perfect little houses. I think there are better options to be had if you are looking for a place to eat.

Make sure to also admire the beauty of Assos from the main road high above the town!

Perallia Patani Beach

Perallia Patani Beach
Perallia Patani Beach

If you liked Myrtos Beach, then you will for sure also love Patani Beach. Located on the little peninsula to the west of the mainland, this beach is almost like a sister to Myrtos Beach. It is usually less crowded than Myrtos but also has the stunning water colors.

Perallia Patani Beach

Go to the far left side of the beach for beautiful caves, and beach.

Ferry to Ithaki for the Day


Stunning views of Ithaca

If you have more than a few days to spare for Kefalonia, definitely consider doing a day trip to Ithaki, or Ithaca. In Homer’s “The Odyssey”, it is the mythological home of Odysseus after he was stranded following the battle of Troy. I actually remembered reading these stories while I was in school and it’s always amazing to be able to pair these stories with reality.

Ithaki is another island, much smaller in size, located to Kefalonia’s northeast. It is known for its lush green landscapes as well as its beaches that are both stunning and undiscovered. It’s even more sparsely populated compared to Kefalonia so you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere at times.

Ithaki Greece
Green island for days.

Getting to Ithaki

From Kefalonia, you can drive to the port town of Sami. There is a regular ferry connection between Sami and Ithaki that leaves every day in the summer months. In 2020, it left at 08:15am in the morning from Sami port. On the return, there is a ferry from Ithaki to Sami at 16:15 and 22:15.

greek ferry
Ferry to the island of Ithaki

I think a day is all you really need to see Ithaki. Of course, if you have your own boat, there is so much to explore that you could easily make this a multiple day trip. We ended up taking the 08:15 ferry there and took the 16:15 ferry back.

What to do in Ithaki?

Ithaki is spoiled with an array of beaches easily accessible by car. However, the true gems can only be explored by boat so if you’re on a day trip, make sure to rent a boat well in advance.

Beautiful village of Kioni Ithaca
Kioni Ithaca

Otherwise the main towns of Kioni and Vathi are very beautiful and well worth the visit!

The island is known for its lush green landscapes and it’s a big contrast even from neighboring Kefalonia. If you come here during the offseason, it can feel like a sort of ghost town. Even during the peak of summer in July, it felt like there were very few people walking around.

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Ithaca Greece
Ruins of Homer Ithaca

In addition, a visit to the mythical home of Odysseus is also a must. They aren’t the most impressive ruins but it offers a great view of the island and is very cool if you’re any bit into Greek mythology.

Where to eat in Kefalonia?


What blog post about a Greek destination is complete without talking about food? Greece has some of the most amazing food in the world and quality of ingredients in this country is second to none.

kefalonia dining
Dining with a view

Kefalonia, as it is one of the larger islands in Greece, is blessed with fertile agricultural lands. They grow their own olives, vegetables, fruits, and amazing livestock like sheep and goats. The quality of food here, as is with Zakynthos and Crete (which was just mindblowing) is incredibly high here and you won’t go hungry. Best of all? It’s quite cheap and affordable.

Lorraine’s Magic Hill

Lorraine's Magic Hill Kefalonia

Without a doubt, this was our favorite meal of the island. It is located in Lourdata Beach on a small hill overlooking the beach and ocean. Lorraine’s restaurant is absolutely charming and she grows a lot of her own food, which is then used on the menu for the night. You can see her beachfront garden from the restaurant.

Lorraine's Magic Hill Kefalonia

The food here is delicious all around, especially their beetroot tzatziki dip. Make sure to book a table here for your visit!

Lorraine's Magic Hill Kefalonia
Lorraine's Magic Hill Kefalonia

We came here twice because we enjoyed the views and food so much.

Captain Nikolaos

Captain Nikolaos Kefalonia

This restaurant is an absolute institution on Kefalonia. It’s located really far out there in the little peninsula on the islands western side. We spent a day exploring this little peninsula and this restaurant was the highlight.

Captain Nikolaos Kefalonia

Located nearby to the beach, this taverna just oozes charm with its perfect stone floors and a stunning display of Greek bougainvillea trees. The food is, as expected with these tavernas, absolutely delicious. Had some of the best grilled chicken and shrimp saganaki of my life here.

Olive Lounge and Restaurant

Located next to Il Borgo on the top of the hill, Olive Lounge is a slighly modern twist on Greek food. The owner was a pleasure to speak to and the food here is fantastic. The Greek salad here was done to perfection as well as the grilled octopus which was the best I had in Kefalonia.

Olive Restaurant Kefalonia
What views!!!
Olive Restaurant Kefalonia

The view here is out of this world. In fact, I feel like most places I ate in Kefalonia had mind-boggling views.

Milos Taverna

Milos Tavern Kefalonia

We stopped here for a bite on the way back from exploring Myrtos Beach. Had easily one of the best Greek salads of my life here as well as delicious whole grilled seabream. They have a beautiful terrace as well that overlooks the valley.

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Johnny
Johnny

I'm a dual Canadian-American from NYC that moved to South Africa for work and ended up traveling all through the continent. I'm currently living the expat life in Frankfurt, Germany and traveling the world as much as I can. I'm a bit obsessed with scuba diving, churning credit cards so I never pay to fly, and eating the most questionable of foods in the most peculiar of places. My bucket list is the world, and some day I might make it there.

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  1. Thank you for the information on the Ionian islands! I want to visit it middle/end of October – Do you know if there ferries will run between Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Lefkade? I know the schedules will only be released later, but not sure if those routes are available in October at all.

    • Hi Mari, this ferry between Kefalonia and Zakynthos should be running in Oct as it is a pretty common route. Between Kefalonia and Lefkada I’m not so sure about.