A guide to 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.

Top things to do in Kefalonia

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 gorgeous sands for you to lay your head on or pristine waters for you to dunk yourself in during Kefalonia holidays. The sands are silky soft and the waters amazingly clear. If you’re the kind who loves to set up on their sunlounger, pop their sun cream on and get stuck into a good book for the day beneath sizzling rays, you’ll fall in love with Kefalonia’s beaches.

There are a number of different watersports to enjoy too, including surfing, jet skiing and yachting, and you can even visit the location where Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was filmed – Antisamos beach.

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.

Visit Ithaca Island

A popular excursion among visitors to Kefalonia is a trip to the enchanting island of Ithaca (here is one we love). On the day of your trip, you’ll take a boat ride over the endless blue waters of the Ionian Sea before reaching your destination and learning about the legend of Odysseus, a mythical hero who is said to have come from the island. As well as hearing fascinating stories, you’ll be able to discover the most beautiful harbours and quaint, traditional Greek villages that line Ithaca’s gorgeous coastline. You may even have time to have a splash in stunning waters, which will be welcome in the hot summer months. Total heaven!

Things to do with kids in Kefalonia

Water babies will fall in love with Kefalonia

One of the best ways to discover Kefalonia is by seeing it from afar, and the only way to do that is by heading out to sea. Sea kayaking is incredibly popular on the island, as there are so many stop-off points along the coast. You can pack a picnic for the day and head out with the kids for a day of adventure.

Choose to go with a tour guide or explore yourselves to see if you can find some of the best hidden spots in Kefalonia’s coastline. There are exclusive little pockets of beaches, natural caves and rock formations that seriously are great sights for all the family.

Snorkelling opportunities are excellent in many different locations too so be sure to pack yours! 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.

Have an off-road adventure

If you’ve got bigger kids and it’s a task to distract them from their screens, pack them into a cool 4×4 and head off into the mountains where there’s plenty of mesmerising distractions and adventure.

Off-road tours like this one will take you through the breathtaking national park of Mt Ainos, Mt Rhoudi and the Omala Valley, journeying through rugged countryside and floral meadows as you go. You’ll see all sides of Kefalonia in an exciting and adventurous way perfect for teens!

Things to do as a couple in Kefalonia

Those that adventure together, stay together

If you’re not familiar with canyoning – it’s time to get familiar! It’s a combination of rappelling down rock faces, waterfalls and streams. As you can imagine, it can be a high adrenaline sport that offers a totally new way of taking in a landscape. Canyoning in Kefalonia will take you into caves, through gorges and down the sides of steep cliffs, made doable with the help of experienced guides.

Perhaps adventure sounds good but you like to be on solid ground, Mount Ainos National Park is a forest-cloaked expanse reachable from Lourdas, a resort that sits at the foot of Mount Ainos, the tallest peak on Kefalonia. Hike through the park’s trails and enjoy the mesmerising views of neighbouring islands, and maybe even glimpses of the semi-wild ponies known for roaming these parts.

Feel a little romance in Kefalonia

There’s no place more beautiful for an evening cruise than the Greek islands! There are plenty of options when it comes to sunset cruises in Kefalonia – here’s one we recommend. A boat ride at dusk makes for such a special experience – we’d bet the evening of a sunset cruise will be one of the most memorable nights of your Kefalonia holiday. After all, what could be better than enjoying delicious cuisine and a glass of wine or two surrounded by nothing but the waves lit up by the sinking sunshine? Total bliss!

How about a sophisticated afternoon tasting wine surrounded by vast, picturesque countryside? Kefalonia is just the place. There are some incredible vineyards scattered all around the island where you can spend a dreamy and romantic afternoon sampling traditional Greek wines with the one you love.

Things to do for free in Kefalonia

Witness architecture through the ages

Various civilisations have called Kefalonia home over the years, leaving it with a rich history. 

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.

The northern village of Fiskardo is one of the few places to have escaped the 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 nickname as the St. Tropez of Greece. It makes a great day trip of exploring and learning.

Explore 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. 

At Assos, you can see the mark left by the Venetians at the ruins of a crumbling castle, but the village itself is like a scene from a postcard. The colourful hillsides overlook the harbour where boats bob beneath the beaming sun, and tavernas and waterfront cafes provide an idyllic spot for a refreshing drink.