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

Kefalonia

Things to do in Kefalonia

Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian islands, and hence is home to plenty of natural attractions. The island's mountainous interior is characterised by lush green vegetation that ardent walkers will love to explore, and history fans can explore ancient architecture and visit a handful of idyllic little towns. While the 39 beaches which fringe the shoreline are recognised as some of the best in the world and are a draw for all. And when it comes to food and drink, Ionian cuisine is a culinary tradition all of its own. Rest assured, you won't be hungry, thirsty or bored during your Greek Island holiday.

Soak up the sun and go for a swim

With award-winning beaches at Myrthos, Xi, Petani, Skala and many more, there's no shortage of sand for you to lay your head on or pristine waters for you to dunk yourself in during Kefalonia holidays. There are a number of different watersports to enjoy, including surfing, jet skiing and yachting, and you can even visit the location where Captain Corelli's Mandolin was filmed – Antisamos beach.

Snorkelling opportunities are excellent in many different locations. And, if you time it right, you can see the loggerhead turtles who lay their eggs on Kaminia beach at night between May and August.

Experience the natural beauty of Kefalonia

Aside from the rugged cliffs, turquoise waters and immaculate sands that make the island such a picturesque location, Kefalonia has a number of other natural wonders. Melissani Lake, an underground body of water discovered in the 1950s, is a particular highlight. Take a gondola ride through the strikingly blue waters and gaze up through the hole in the cavernous ceiling to really appreciate the immensity of the place.

Elsewhere, the Drogarati Caves are a 40 minutes' drive from the capital, Argostoli, and allow you to step back in time. Formed 150 million years ago, the subterranean grottos are home to countless stalactites and stalagmites which have formed over the millennia.

Witness architecture through the ages

Various civilisations have called Kefalonia home over the years, leaving it with a rich history. At Assos, you can see the mark left by the Venetians at the ruins of a crumbling castle. More recently, the 16th century Monastery of Saint Andreas holds some of the most impressive religious works of art from all over the island. The 1953 earthquake threatened to destroy the building, but actually enriched it by shaking loose chunks of plaster and revealing long-forgotten frescoes beneath.

Meanwhile, the northern village of Fiskardo is one of the few places on Kefalonia to have escaped the 1953 quake unscathed. As such, it's a brilliant time capsule of Venetian splendour, something that has been picked up on by the rich and famous of today, hence its nicknamed the St. Tropez of Greece.

Eat, drink and be merry

Ionian cuisine marks a large departure from that found on the mainland. While seafood does play a big part in Kefalonia's culinary tradition, its most famous delicacy is kreatopita, a pie containing a variety of different meats.

Of course, dining during holidays to Greece wouldn't be complete without an alcoholic accompaniment. Ouzo is always a safe bet, but Greek wine enjoys a growing reputation right now. Travel right to the source at Robola Winery, near Lassi, to sample a glass and learn more about how it's made – and then sample it some more.