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

Skala

Skala Holidays

Skala is the largest resort in southern Kefalonia and has one of the best Blue Flag beaches on the island. Despite being a favourite with holidaymakers looking for Greek island holidays, it has retained its local charm and offers excellent local food and views of the unspoilt, pine-forested countryside.

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All you could want in Skala

Skala is an Ionian Island known for idyllic natural beaches, fresh local food and pretty countryside villages. Offering a Blue Flag beach complete with isolated coves along the coast and pine forest views behind, Skala is the perfect place for snap-happy travellers on cheap holidays to Kefalonia. With year-round sunshine, you can escape the crowds out of season too – a time when holidaymakers come to enjoy hiking and relaxed coastal walks.

Shops and restaurants are centred on the high street, with many serving locally-reared meat, freshly-caught seafood, home-grown veg and island wine and cheese. The village reveals interesting ruins of a Roman Villa dating back from the 3rd century BC as well as making a good base to explore the rest of the island. The nearby port of Poros has ferries to the mainland, or you could travel to Kefalonia's capital, Argostoli.

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Exploring the village

The old fishing village was levelled in a 1953 earthquake, having to be completely rebuilt a few years later. Despite its sad past, Skala is now a warm and welcoming holiday destination with less than 500 permanent residents.

It's a popular summer destination with all the modern amenities you need gathered on the main street. Wherever you're staying you won't be far from the local shops, restaurants and tranquil Blue Flag beach.

The old village ruins can also be seen on the outskirts of town, as well as the remains of an original Roman Villa. The villa is free to visit and includes a look at well-preserved 3rd century mosaic floors.

A beautiful three kilometre beach

Skala has one of the most beautiful Blue Flag beaches on Kefalonia, a short walk from the town. Made from sand and shingle, there is a steep slope to reach the beach, but once there it feels like a snug sanctuary overlooking the vast blue sea. You won't find plentiful watersports but it's a safe and pleasant area for swimming and entertaining children. The three kilometre beach does come equipped with sunloungers and umbrellas, as well as a handful of cafes tucked in the pine forest behind – welcome respite on a hot day.

Explore further down the coast to discover isolated coves and coastal paths. Nearby Potamaki Beach is home to rare loggerhead turtles – a delightful reminder that the beaches here are natural and exotic. Visitors can join an organised turtle-spotting party to try and catch a glimpse of these wonderful creatures of the seas without disturbing them. Spring is the best time to spot them in the area.

Family-run Greek restaurants

Skala has a range of restaurants on the high street, some of which have been run by the same family for more than 20 years. The Old Village has an extensive menu serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with a garden out back for diners to enjoy.

Or, tucked away on the side streets of Skala, Galera is a hidden gem worth seeking out. It's one of the more expensive restaurants in town, serving traditional Greek and Med-fusion food, but if you are willing to spend a little more you won't be disappointed.

Otherwise, the family-run Socrates restaurant prides itself on fresh ingredients and great service. All the food is prepared on site by the owner's mother and sister, while the wines come from local vineyards.

Walking, boating and history

While most people come to relax, Kefalonia is a great spot for hiking and exploring the local countryside. For a clifftop stroll with far-reaching views of the open water there is a five-mile coastal path from Skala to neighbouring Poros.

The port-town of Poros offers a beach, a regular ferry service to the mainland and the oldest monastery on the island – worth a gander if you can manage the extra walk.

Argostoli is Kefalonia's capital and the island's largest port, which can be reached by bus from Skala. The town's beautiful historic architecture was also badly damaged in the 50s earthquake but there are plenty of sights to see as well as museums and shopping streets.

The Drapano Bridge is the 900-metre long stone bridge from Argostoli to Drapano and a historical monument to the period of British rule between 1809 and 1864. History can also be found at the Archaeological Museum and Library and Folklore Museum.