For this insider guide article, we chatted with Marissa from Travel Greece Travel Europe to discover her insider tips on visiting Kefalonia, one of the many islands she has explored over the course of her travels in Greece.
Marissa is an American-born journalist, blogger, and novelist – her book Chasing Athens was published in 2014 – and she really knows Greece. She’s lived in Athens for eight years, so her knowledge of the islands continues to expand, and luckily for us, she’s willing to share it.
Kefalonia is part of the iconic Ionian Islands, but is often overlooked in favour of islands like Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete. Why would you say travellers should visit Kefalonia over other major Greek islands?
Kefalonia is a special island destination and like all Greek islands, it has its charms. It is an island full of natural beauty like mountains, caves and natural harbors, as well as a place for an explorer.
Kefalonia is home to an amazing mountain called Mt. Ainos where wild horses run free – I actually got to see them up close! Also, the coastline is absolutely stunning and dotted with fantastic beaches.
If a holidaymaker only has a few days on the island, what would you say is one thing he or she absolutely shouldn’t miss the chance to visit, see or do in Kefalonia?
I’d recommend the top sights.
First is the Melissani Cave which is a beautiful blue lake found within the cave. You can take a boat tour into it and you’ll feel like you’re in a dream surrounded by surreal turquoise blue waters.
Then, I recommend spending time in a fishing village like Assos, which is a little town next to the Venetian castle ruins that dates back to the 16th century.
While there are many beaches to choose from, Myrtos beach is one of the most famous. It is considered one of the best in Greece and trust me, there’s a lot of competition. The landscape is gorgeous – think sloping hillsides and a crescent-shaped beach with gorgeous blue and turquoise waters.
Obviously places like Athens are packed with Grecian history, but what sites does Kefalonia offer that might appeal to travellers?
You’ll find archaeological sites throughout the islands and Kefalonia has its share. I think the most impressive one is the ancient acropolis site in Sami. This port town was once an important city-state full of impressive buildings until it fell to the Romans.
What’s the best way to get around when travelling on the island?
I’d define Kefalonia as one of the larger Greek islands to visit. While there may be buses in high season, I highly recommend renting a car or a motorbike to get around if you want to see more sights.
Do you have any other suggestions for alternatives to the typical tourist activities on the island?
Tucked in a western corner of the island, Petani Bay is a wild and picturesque place to check out. Definitely off the beaten track! There are paths perfect for a walk along dramatic cliffs that rise from the rocky beach.
There are a few simple taverns there, too, where you can grab a drink or have a Greek meal right by the water. It’s a nice place to take in the sunset.
If Marissa has convinced you that a trip to Kefalonia needs to be your next holiday, you can find more inspiration on our Kefalonia travel guide, which includes top restaurants, beaches, things to do and more.