If you want to travel during the busiest summer months but still want to avoid the huge crowds of travelers, you have to think about some less commercialized and more isolated place to visit.
One of the first spots to think about should be the Ionian Islands.
Even if located at the very heart of the Mediterranean, most of them are still surprisingly quiet and ecologically clean.
They offer wonderful landscapes, warm climate and plenty of things to do.
One of them, Kefalonia, is considered the most secluded and quiet of the bigger Greek islands.
Because of its turquoise coves, white pristine beaches and green interior, it is a dream holiday destination.
If you decide to spend your next vacation there, take a look at our list of best things to do (and see) there:
1. Visit the most extraordinary cave in Greece
There are more than 8500 caves in Greece, but one of them enjoys an incredible popularity all around the world.
It comes to Melissani Cave, which is located 250 meters from the coast and 2 km from the village of Sami, in the northeastern part of Kefalonia.
Actually, what makes Melissani different from all the caves you have ever seen in your life is the huge rounded hole in the roof.
The other interesting feature of Melissani is the fact that the bottom of the cave is covered with a mixture of salt and fresh water.
2. Enjoy a day trip to Ithaca
Ithaca, the island of Odysseus, is only 3 and a half kilometers from Kefalonia.
For this reason, it takes about 40 minutes to overcome the distance from Sami to the neighbouring island.
Actually, it is not a bad idea to spend the night in Ithaca so you will be able to visit all the most important sights without being in a hurry.
3. Swimming at Petani Beach
Petani Beach is one of the top attractions of Kefalonia.
This is a gorgeous stripe of white coarse sand and clear turquoise water.
It is considered one of the best spots to swim on the island.
The beach is located in a relatively isolated area on the west coast, which easily explains why it is relatively calm and quiet, even during the busiest months of the year.
4. The most picturesque town
Assos is definitely the most easily recognizable village in Kefalonia.
Considered to be the business card of the island, it is popular mostly for its picturesque location in the north of the island.
It is situated on the sea shore, just next to a small and hilly green peninsula.
It combines colorful houses, azure blue smooth waters, Greek charm and Italian atmosphere.
5. Visit Antisamos Beach
Antisamos Beach is definitely one of the most beautiful in Kefalonia.
It is famous for its turquoise waters and white sands.
But this place is much more than just a wonderful beach.
This is one of the places where parts of the movie “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” were filmed.
6. Snorkeling at Foki Beach
Foki Beach is located in the northernmost part of Kefalonia.
It is nestled in a lovely small bay and is a magnet for wildlife lovers from around the world.
It offers the opportunity to enjoy the combination of sea and forest.
The lush vegetation reaches almost the crystal water of the bay itself.
The place is a top scuba diving and snorkeling location, as it offers extremely clear and smooth emerald waters.
The underwater biodiversity is impressive.
7. Climb Mount Ainos
Mount Ainos is 1628 meters high, and is the highest point on the island of Kefalonia.
It is relatively easy to climb because you can reach by car almost the peak itself.
In fact, you have to climb by your own efforts only the last few hundred meters.
Visiting Mount Ainos has two main advantages:
– The fresh weather
It is usually much colder than on the seashore itself, and it is very pleasant to spend some time here during the hottest months of the year.
– Just don’t forget your sunscreen;
– The beautiful view
The peak reveals a beautiful view toward the charming coastal villages, emerald waters and white sands along the coast as well as toward the green slopes of the island.
8. Spend a day in Argostolion
Argostoli (or Argostolion) is the capital of Kefalonia.
It is comfortably situated in a very big natural harbour on the west coast.
The city offers very good opportunities to diversify your stay on the island.
The city is also considered to be the best place to buy souvenirs.
9. Take a culinary tour of the island
As one of the more provincial and unspoiled Greek islands, Kefalonia is a place to discover amazing tastes and flavours.
If you want to take a true culinary tour around the island, you need to rent a car.
This is a great way to reach some of the quieter and more isolated corners of the island.
Similarly to any other part of Greece, here you can find fantastic olives and olive oil, cheese, real herbal honey, juicy citrus fruits and incredible wines, but the island offers much more.
Kefalonia is a place to taste authentic Greek dishes such as moussaka or meatballs with cheese, breaded squid and octopus with fresh vegetables, local gyros with potatoes and many others.
10. Visit and take photos of the Saint Theodore lighthouse
With its height of 8 meter, the white structure of the Lighthouse of Saint Theodore is one of Kefalonia’s most important landmarks.
It is also considered one of the most beautiful lighthouses in Greece as a whole, so it is really recommended to take some pictures of it.
The main accent of the structure are its 20 columns, which are arranged in a circle.
It is located not far from Argostoli and was built in the late 19th century.
11. Enjoy one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece
Myrtos Beach is located in the northwestern part of Kefalonia.
It is considered one of the top beaches in Europe, and is definitely the most recommended place to visit while on the island.
The combination between ivory-colored sands and crystal clear sapphire waters is the secret behind its attractiveness.
In fact, this is a great place to swim, sunbathe, relax and to take some pictures.
12. Visit an authentic Byzantine castle
The Castle of Agios Georgios is located on a hilltop in the middle of a pastoral landscape in southwest Kefalonia.
It was built by the Byzantines in the 12th century, and today most of the massive stone structure still exists.
Observing the partially ruined walls, one can get a good idea of how the fortress looked like 9 centuries ago.
13. Spend a wonderful day in Agia Efimia
Agia Efimia is a lovely coastal village.
It is a very good choice if you want to spend a great day in every aspect.
This place is considered one of the top snorkeling destinations to visit on the island.
In addition, it is well known for its great tavernas along the coast.
Not to mention that the village is a preferred place to buy some souvenirs.
14. Visit the Mycenaean Tholos Tomb
The Mycenaean Tholos Tomb dates back to approximately 1300 BC, and is one of the most interesting and recommended archeological places to visit in Kefalonia.
Considered to be the place where Odyseus was buried, it is located at a walking distance from the lovely tourist town of Poros.
You can combine the visit of the tomb with a walk around Poros, which is nowadays the busiest port on the island.
15. Enjoy the most quiet beach
Kaminia is a beautiful golden beach located in the southernmost part of Kefalonia.
It is considered a great choice for people searching for some solitude and privacy.
It is famous for the fact that sea turtles can often be seen here.
The reason is that the loggerhead turtles use the golden sand stripe as one of the places to lay their eggs.
16. Visit the water-sports capital of Kefalonia
The combination of fine golden sands and sapphire seawater is the main advantage of one of the oldest and most popular tourist villages of Kefalonia.
Actually, Skala’s beach is Blue Flag awarded, which means it covers the highest eco and quality standards.
It is located in the southeast of the island, and is considered to be the water-sports capital of the island.
Here you will be able to enjoy a wide range of activities – from snorkeling and scuba diving to jet skiing and kite surfing.
17. Explore the Venetian Castle of Assos
One of the most interesting places to explore in Kefalonia is the Venetian Castle.
Also known as the Assos Castle, its construction started in 1593 and completed in 1596, 3 years later.
Nowadays, the ruins of the fortification still encircle most of the forested peninsula, west of Assos.
While walking around, you will be able to feel the spirit of the 16th century, enjoying the shade of the Mediterranean vegetation.
18. Enjoy the relaxing forest trails
Kefalonia is well known for its ecologically clean environment.
However, if you want to find the best part of the island, the area between Fiskardo and Foki Beach is probably the place for you.
The distance between the village and the beach is less than a kilometer and a half.
However, the variety of forest paths here is great.
The combination of short distance and easy terrain is what makes the forest in the area enjoyable, with no matter what your level of physical training is.
19. Visit the wall of the Cyclops
The Cyclopean wall is a very important archeological landmark in the eastern part of the island, not far from Argostolion.
It was built in 7th or 6th century BC (according to the legend, by the mythical giants, better known as Cyclops).
In fact, the reason behind such statements is the enormous size of the stones, which would be extremely difficult to move from one point to another even in modern times.
20. Experience the best scuba diving in Kefalonia
Located on the west coast of Kefalonia, Lassi is a small tourist village, which attracts visitors as a magnet.
Its sapphire blue waters are considered one of the best scuba diving spots along the coast of the island.
Safe, smooth and transparent, the shallows off the coast of Lassi attract both amateurs and advanced scuba divers.
21. Visit the Monastery of Agios Gerasimos
Situated amidst a pastoral rural area, the Monastery of Agios Gerasimos is a wonderful place to visit.
This is a majestic stone structure from the 16th century, which is located not far from the mountains.
The building is equally beautiful both from outside and inside.
This is a great place to spend a few minutes while just doing nothing, especially if you are searching for your inner peace.