The Very Best Things to Do in Kefalonia
From artichoke pies to endless blue skies
If you like beaches, you’re in for a treat. That’s because this island off the west coast of Greece is basically an open-air factory for beaches. Its circumference is like a stagnant conveyer belt of sandy strands and rugged coastline (it's far prettier than the factory analogy). Loggerhead turtles crawl at a leisurely place beside the caves and historic harbours of this ancient Greek island. In this journal post, we’ll take you on a ride up the mountains of a national park, and back down to a monastery, a war monument, and other highlights in the towns. And as if all of that weren’t enough, some of our most deluxe and impressive homes can be found hanging out in the oasis of beaches that is Kefalonia. Oh, and did we mention the wine? The island is renowned for its local grape varieties, Robola and Mavrodaphne. We will be asking you to spell them once you’ve had a few bottles, so do pay attention. And pay attention to this guide, because here at Plum Guide, we've gone above and beyond to provide the ultimate list of things to do in Kefalonia, so sit back and read on to discover how to enjoy the trip of a lifetime.
Start with some wine
We may have left the wine until the end of the introduction, but we don’t intend to make that mistake again. The Kefalonian Moschato joins the Robola and the Mavrodaphne wine varieties as some of the most admired in Greece. If you’re into your wine, then a trip to one of the wineries is a must-do, whether it be the Sarris Winery, the Robola Winery, or the Gentilini Winery & Vineyards, among others on the landmass. Let’s make this island spin.
Explore the natural parks
We’ll get to the beaches, hold your horses. The Mount Ainos National Park is one of the top highlights on the island. Clamber up the trails that meander around its central peak (or just drive up there, as we’d do). At the top, you’ll be greeted by a truly spectacular view of the entire island (well, a large portion of it). Back down at ground level, you can get hiking around the Melissani Cave, taking a boat ride inside and shouting to see how your voice echoes. That’ll be fun for your guide.
Sunbathe on the beaches
Even though there are many other things to do in Kefalonia, we could have devoted an entire journal post to these stretches of sand, such is the abundance of beaches on this island. We didn’t do that. But we could have. Among the highlights is Myrtos Beach, with its turquoise water and secluded bay between mossy mountains. Other top beaches include Antisamos Beach, Skalas Beach (with its giant chess), and Petani Beach.
Visit the old-world sights
This is Greece after all, so don’t think for a minute you’re going to get away with just lying on the beach all day. People are going to ask you upon your return about ruins and historical attractions and what-not. Hit up the Monastery of Agios Gerasimos, with its impressive dome and eerie crypt. Visit the Memorial Acqui Division, which makes for a poignant Second World War monument.
Treat yourself to Greek cuisine
Time for some succulent Greek cuisine (don’t go smashing plates, the restaurants won’t appreciate it). The Katavothres Club-Restaurant is one of the most exclusive culinary hubs (which is just a fancy synonym for a restaurant) on the island. You’ll also get great seafood in upscale surroundings at the Tratamento Sea Food Restaurant. It may be a small island, but it has its own unique cuisine, with artichoke pie, hake pie and cheese pie (they like pie) among the top dishes. Feeling carnivorous? Try the rabbit with red sauce.
Pop down to the ports
Rounding off our list of the best things to do in Kefalonia, we recommend visiting the ports. Ports in these parts played a huge role in the development and history of the Greek Islands. See the Loggerhead turtles crawling around the Argostoli Harbour, where you’ll encounter the many local fishermen and fishing boats that decorate the bay. The Port of Sami is another impressive spot from which to watch the sunset, while picking out your favourites from the rows of boats. Take a trip out onto the water and consider never returning from your holiday. (Not in a morose way, just like…remaining in beautiful Greece).