Kefalonia is the largest and most mountainous island in the Ionian Sea. It features countless scenic bays with crystal clear turquoise waters, caves of great geological interest, the Mount Ainos National Park, and many small villages besides its two major cities, Argostoli and Lixouri.
With Assos as your base, there are several destinations that are not to be missed:
– The picturesque harbour of Fiskardo, Kefalonia’s most cosmopolitan town on the island’s northern tip, the only settlement that survived the big earthquake of 1953. It retains its traditional character, provides moorings to dozens of pleasure boats in its large sheltered bay, and offers visitors many different services, including fine dining and shopping. It is home to the Nautical and Environmental Museum. Nearby beaches include Emblissi and Foki.
– Agia Efimia, another favourite destination for pleasure boats, with crystal clear waters and flat rocks, offers many choices for excellent food.
– The port of Sami, near Agia Efimia, is one of the island’s major commercial centres. Antisamos beach, just a few minutes’ drive from Sami, offers a wide variety of motorized and non-motorized water sports. Within walking distance of Sami are Melissani Lake and Drogarati Cave, two geological formations that are trademarks of the island and must see attractions.
– Myrtos Beach, south of Assos, is famous all over the world for its blue, green and turquoise waters and is consistently voted one of Greece’s most beautiful beaches. The view of the bay from above, and especially from the two observation points on the main road, is truly breath-taking!
– Argostoli, in the southwest, is the capital of the island and its largest commercial centre. The city is built on the shores of Koutavos Lagoon, a feeding ground for the Caretta caretta turtle, many kinds of waterfowl, a variety of fish and a stop for many migratory birds. The beautiful De Bosset (Drapano) stone bridge spans the lagoon, connecting the city to the opposite side. Landmarks not to be missed are the Agii Theodori lighthouse and Katavothres, from where the sea water rushes in through cracks in the rocks, crosses the southern part of the island underground and arrives at Lake Melissani on the east. Besides numerous restaurants and shops, Argostoli is also home to the Archaeological Museum and the Historical-Folklore Museum.
– Kefalonia boasts many beautiful beaches apart from the ones mentioned above. These include Petani and Atheras in the west; Xi, Katelios and Skala in the south; and Agia Ierousalim and Alaties, both north of Assos, with their unique landscape and beautiful sunset views.
Things to do in Kefalonia
- Rent a boat with an outdoor motor in Fiskardo, Agia Efimia or Αssos and go for a swim at nearby beaches not accessible by land.
- Explore Kefalonia and Ithaki on a day-cruise from Fiskardo, Agia Efimia or Sami.
- Take a scuba diving or snorkelling class in Fiskardo or Agia Efimia.
- Go on a sea kayaking expedition.
- Hike through the Mount Ainos National Park.
- Visit the Kefalonia Robola Wine Cooperative or one of the several private wineries and vineyards in the south of the island.
- Make a stop at some of the island’s many churches and chapels featuring beautiful frescoes and Byzantine iconography.
- Go windsurfing (with your own gear) at Katelio, Sami, or Agios Dimitrios near Lixouri.