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Things to do with kids in Kefalonia

Natural beauty wins the day in Kefalonia, the largest of the Ionian Islands. The lakes, caves, streams and, of course, superbly gorgeous beaches make for a sublime retreat indeed, and also provide the terrain for adventures with plucky little explorers.

With that in mind, consider a few of our recommendations for places to play in Kefalonia, and you're sure to come home with plenty of happy memories and photographs.

Delve into the caves

The caverns of Kefalonia are among the island's most enjoyable and distinctive natural attractions.

Their almost fairytale beauty likely has much to do with their appeal, and Melissani Cave is a grand example of that. With a lake within, framed by trees and greenery, Melissani Cave feels like a forgotten kingdom. There's a hole in the ceiling that lets sunlight filter in, adding to the magic.

Hellenic relics and statuettes unearthed here suggest this cave has long been praised throughout the island's history.

Meanwhile, Drogarati Cave near Sami tells an altogether different tale.

An earthquake let the people of Kefalonia rediscover this cavern some years ago, and experts say that this maze of stalagmites and stalactites is around 150 million years old. With a constant interior temperature comparable to that outdoors, it's a humid little hotbed of mystery.

Take a glass-bottomed boat

That pristine blue sea surrounding you whenever you and the children take to the beach is a sight to behold. Of course, Kefalonia is an island to which the sea has always played a strong role in local life, yet many of the best of its secrets linger beneath the surface.

At big resort towns like Skala, you can take a tour on a glass-bottomed boat to see fish, wildlife and hidden sunken treasures galore. Kids will delight in spotting all sorts of secrets hidden beneath the deep.

Meet the turtles

It's not just us sun-worshippers who love Kefalonia's sandy beaches. Their warmth and peaceful surroundings make them superb places for loggerhead turtles to make nests and lay their eggs, and as such, many an animal lover on the island has sought to befriend these creatures of the briny blue.

You and the kids can do so too, with loggerhead turtle sanctuaries across the island welcoming visitors to these special little nurseries for the turtles of tomorrow.

Find the secret castle

Kefalonia has oodles of history, and some of its best mementos can be found if you get off the beaten track. If you're on the west side of the island, head to the tiny peninsula housing Assos, the village where buildings from the olden days huddle in a half-forgotten village.

Further into the harbour is the Venetian castle's ruins, still here even after centuries. Its rich brown stone and evocative shapes make for superb photos, and the kids will love to imagine what life here was once like.

Visit Mount Ainos

The lush landscapes surrounding Mount Ainos at Kefalonia's heart makes for a brilliant escape to nature. The peak itself, also known as the Black Mountain, looms large, although the natural park around is just as beloved for its fir forests and scenic trails.

Some of these wind along the inclines of the mountain, and others skirt its fringes for a more tame and sedate stroll. Either way, the sights are beyond stunning and the idyllic surroundings will help you and your loved ones recharge.

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