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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Kefalonia

AVERAGE CUSTOMER SAVING£261

Kefalonia Holidays

Though it's the largest of the Ionian Islands, holidays to Kefalonia enjoy a lack of crowds. Visitors come for the island's understated beauty and quiet beaches, as well as inland natural wonders such as lakes and caves. You can sample Kefalonia's unique cuisine and traditions on cheap package holidays to Greece, including the August snake festival.

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Unspoilt natural beauty

Those familiar with Kefalonia will most likely have struck upon its name either due to the book Captain Corelli's Mandolin or the subsequent film that were both based here. Indeed, prior to the movie's release in 2001, very few visitors troubled the island's shores at all.

Even now, Kefalonia still doesn't receive anything like the number of tourists visiting nearby Corfu. The island is a pleasing middle ground between undiscovered natural charm and tourist infrastructure, with restaurants and hotels meeting demand.

All Inclusive holidays to Kefalonia are proving more popular with couples and families than singles or party-goers. The plethora of beaches which encircle this pretty island offer ample opportunity to hit the sand. 11 of them are Blue Flag accredited, while the turquoise waters are perfect for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving.

Inland, a variety of different natural attractions keep visitors coming back for more. And to round it off, the island has its own brand of Ionian cooking, complete with enough bars and clubs to keep holidaymakers going into the early hours.

What type of holiday in Kefalonia are you looking for?

Cheap | Last Minute | Luxury | Family

Where to stay in Kefalonia

Fiskardo
FiskardoView on Map

You can expect luxurious accommodation that doesn't break the budget in sunny Fiskardo, with sea views and classical architecture surrounding you at all times. The rolling hills and famous hospitality of this destination speak to the rich tapestry of history around every corner, so make sure you soak plenty of it in alongside those sunny rays.

Katelios
KateliosView on Map

Shining white villas and comfortable hotels grace Katelios in abundance, each with easy access to the area's rolling hills, laid-back streets and, of course, those irresistible beaches. With such consistently welcome sunshine all day every day, make sure you pick somewhere to stay that's close to your favourite sunbathing spots.

Lassi
LassiView on Map

Close to the capital of Argostoli, Lassi is a popular town because it's close to airports and major tourism hubs, while still being secluded enough that it retains its traditional charm and character. The sprawling beaches, sunkissed and sublime, certainly help its reputation too. Villas, hotels and cosy resorts make Lassi a superb spot to hide from the world.

Lixouri
LixouriView on Map

As the second largest city on the island of Kefalonia, you can expect a rich variety of hotels and villas that will suit all budgets when you go to Lixouri. They'll also suit all styles of stay, whether you're immersed in a cultural city trip or after lazy days by the sea.

Lourdas
LourdasView on Map

The south coast of Kefalonia is mostly untouched by high-scale urban or tourist development, which means that Lourdas is a beautifully traditional town. Beaches are interlinked across a sprawling landscape ripe with sun and exploration potential, so expect quiet accommodation with good links to shops and quaint nightlife down at the taverna.

Sami
SamiView on Map

Tranquil and idyllic, Sami is a popular destination for those of you looking to leave the worries of the world behind. It's a close knit community, but don't think you won't be welcome in the many shops and tavernas here, not to mention those rolling white beaches. Hotels here are inexpensive, but they don't skimp on the personal touches.

Skala
SkalaView on Map

This pretty village has benefited from a renewed tourism focus, which has made it both secluded yet modern. Skala welcomes visitors to its hidden beaches and rolling countryside, while the high street has all the essentials, and ruins outside of town will slake your cultural thirst. Stays in town are inexpensive, with cosy hotels and villas to choose from.

Svoronata
SvoronataView on Map

Hotels and villas in Svoronata cater to everyone, from families and couples to adventurous spirits. The accommodation options are pretty spread out over this historic town, giving you the choice of a city centre stay, close to facilities, or an opulent suite with glorious views of the beach you'll soon be reclining on.

Quick Tips

  • Greek Orthadox
  • Euro
  • Greek
  • Approx 36,000
  • GMT +2

Recline on one of the most famous beaches in Europe

Antisamos beach has caught the eye of beach-lovers worldwide after it was used as the backdrop to the 2001 film Captain Corelli's Mandolin. Visitors to the island can grab a snapshot of the famous location, or simply lie back and soak up the rays in this sun-kissed idyll.

Due to the impressive number of beaches from which to choose, there are also places to escape and top up your tan in solitude. You can check out the natural skin-enhancing properties of the clay found on Xi, or see the loggerhead turtles which pay yearly visits to Kaminia. Meanwhile, the north-western oasis of Atheras Beach is the perfect place to dig out your snorkel and check out life beneath the waves. One thing's for sure, in Kefalonia there's a stretch of sand with your name on it.

Gorge yourself on Ionian cuisine

The Ionian Isles have their own particular method of cookery, distinct from the more traditional Greek styles found on the mainland and in other parts of the archipelago. Heavily influenced by Austrian and Italian - and particularly Venetian - styles, the cuisine uses simple recipes fortified with fresh ingredients and choice herbs and spices. A visit to Kefalonia without trying its kreatopita meat pie would be a crying shame.

For those with a more international palate, different types of restaurant are emerging across the island, including Chinese, Mexican, Italian, American and British. There are also more than enough late-night drinking dens to keep you entertained after dark.

A land of forgotten lakes and caves

The perimeter of Kefalonia might dazzle with its stunning selection of beaches, but its interior is every bit as impressive. Take Melissani Lake, for example. This underground body of water was only discovered when the cavernous roof stretching above it caved in. Nowadays, you can take a gondola ride right across its placid waters and gaze in awe through the cavity above.

The Drogarati Caves are another awe-inspiring attraction. They contain an abundance of stalactites and stalagmites formed over thousands of years, providing a fascinating look into the rocky history of the island.

Live the high life

The northern town of Fiskardo is the only part of the island left unblemished by the catastrophic Ionian earthquake of 1953. In the following half century, the preserved Venetian architecture has proved a beacon for the rich and famous around the globe, earning the town the nickname of the 'St. Tropez of Greece'. Wander among the opulent marina and you'll soon see why.

Meanwhile, if you visit Kefalonia in summer, there's a good chance you'll get to witness one of the island's historic festivals. The feast of the Assumption of Mary happens in August and you can head to the town of Markopoulo to witness the snake festival. On the 14th of the month, a sea of small, non-venomous snakes slithers towards the local chapel, where a banquet greets their arrival. This symbolic event kicks off a week of dancing, singing and feasting across the island.