With a coastline spanning 147 miles and encompassing 39 beaches, there's plenty of sand to go round on a Greek island holiday in peaceful Kefalonia. What's more, 11 of Kefalonia's beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag accreditation, a European standard of excellence which guarantees cleanliness, safety and good facilities. There are a mixture of sandy and pebbled beaches in Kefalonia. While the majority of the best beaches are found along the southern shelf of the island, you'll not be far from a world-class stretch of sand wherever you end up staying. Here are a handful of the best beaches in Kefalonia for you to kick back and relax on during your holiday.
One of the most popular beaches on Kefalonia, Myrthos is a regular recipient of international awards for its beauty and hygiene. The kilometre-long stretch of unblemished sand is backed by impressive cliff faces, on top of which an abundance of vegetation grows. The green of the plant life contrasts spectacularly with the strikingly clear blue of the water and the white of the sand to form a stunning scene. A small cantina operates in high season, but during the rest of the year, it's all but deserted.
Another beach which combines lush vegetation with sparkling waters, Antisamos was immortalised in the 2001 film Captain Corelli's Mandolin. Though it's composed largely of small pebbles, there are an abundance of sun loungers and deckchairs to rent to keep you comfortable.
Also for hire are water bikes, pedalos and canoes so you can get out on the water. The main part of the beach can become very crowded, but head to its far end, cross over a small creek and you'll find yourself in a secluded bay frequented by nudists.
Comprised mostly of soft white sand with a gentle scattering of pebbles, Petani is a popular choice with watersports enthusiasts. They enjoy the sharp drop in gradient into the sea and the large waves produced from the westerly winds which flow along the coast.
It's fairly well-equipped with sun loungers, as well as hosting a few beach bars and tavernas. What's more, the surrounding landscape and architecture make for almost as rewarding an experience as the beach itself.
Made distinct from all the other Kefalonian beaches by its striking red sand, Xi is surrounded by cliffs made up mostly of clay. You can even use the substance to make your own face mask – as the locals do – and a bathe in the water is almost like a free spa session.
It's easily accessible by car and has a very gradual gradient, making it an ideal place for families with little ones. Watersports of all types are readily available here, too.
Located at one of the island's main tourist destinations of the same name, Skala sits in the southernmost corner of Kefalonia. It is characterised by pristine sand, crystalline waters and the rocky outcrops which surround it.
The clarity of the water makes it an ideal place to don a snorkel mask and explore life beneath the waves, while boat trips departing for other islands and hidden coves leave from here regularly. It's hugely popular and one of the island's more crowded beaches during high season.
Near to Skala, Kaminia is one of the longest beaches on the island and, undoubtedly the biggest attraction of the beach, is when loggerhead turtles arrive to lay their eggs. This happens between May and August around midnight. This endangered species is already on the brink of extinction, so curious tourists are expected to pay the utmost respect to these precious creatures.
During the days, Kaminia beach is adequately equipped with sun loungers, parasols, snack bars and other amenities. The waters are generally calm and warm, making for an ideal place to spend a lazy day.