The quiet life
There aren’t many amenities for tourists in Lourdas, but if you like eating and drinking, there is plenty to keep you occupied. The village is home to a good selection of traditional Greek tavernas, many of which have stunning sea views.
Between Lourdas and the neighbouring town of Trapezaki you’ll also find a selection of small gift shops to satisfy your souvenir cravings, as well as cafes and quiet bars away from the coast. With average summer temperatures topping 30°C degrees, most visitors on holidays to Kefalonia spend their days at the beach. Otherwise you can hire a car to explore the nearby countryside and impressive Mount Aenos.
Two kilometres of beach
The main beach in Lourdas is a two-kilometre stretch of coast, easily walkable from the village. With a Blue Flag for cleanliness it has warm shallow waters to splash in and a row of loungers to, well, lounge on. Although you won’t find a huge range of watersports here, there are opportunities to pedalo, snorkel or just swim.
Lourdas Bay continues on along the shoreline until it becomes Trapezaki Beach. A wild but small beach, Trapezaki has clear turquoise waters and is an idyllic spot for a secluded day by the coast. Other top beaches nearby include Avithos and Koroni, both reachable by car.
Eat local and eat well
Traditional Greek grub is the name of the game in Lourdas. While you can find a good English breakfast as well as Mediterranean influences, the best restaurants serve local food. The restaurants make the most of the local ingredients like olive oil, honey and cheese and happily tell their customers about them. Meals can be washed down with a local wine or ice-cold imported beer.
Andromeda Restaurant is a popular venue for wedding receptions and one of the only places to offer live music and weeknight entertainment. Or at the other end of the spectrum, you can get takeaway pizza from Dionysos Taverna. Skala and Lassi are accessible for a change of scenery one evening, both having livelier nightlife than Lourdas is able to offer.
Mountain climbing or city life
The best way to explore the rest of the island is by hire car, although there is a bus service to some areas. The nearest must-see for Lourdas holidaymakers is Mount Aenos, or Ainos, the highest mountain in all the Ionian Islands, which is visible from Lourdas village. It’s higher than Ben Nevis, but you don’t have to trek all the way up for far-reaching views.
If you do go the whole hog, a few metres below the summit are the remains of a once-famous temple to Zeus Ainissos, or Ainios, and the mountain is home to a great variety of wildlife and curious goats. You can drive a fair way up but it’s a challenging final trek to the top nonetheless. Remember to take a jacket too, even in summer it’s chilly a mile above sea level.
Lourdas is a half-hour drive from the island’s capital of Argostoli. Here you’ll find museums and culture, as well as shops and bars. The Archaeological Museum is particularly worth a visit, describing the local history and 1953 earthquake that devastated much of the island.
There are many quaint villages and towns to explore too, including the tourist resort of Skala with its Roman Villa and 7th Century temple remains.