Caves, Beaches, Castles, Hiking and so much more. Does that sound like fun? Kefalonia has all of those as so much more.
Keep reading to discover the best things to do while traveling to the beautiful Greek Island of Kefalonia Greece.
Kefalonia (Cephalonia or Κεφαλονιά) is the largest of the Greek islands located in the Ionian Sea. The island geography features some of the most amazing beaches in Greece, but also lush mountains, so the options to explore are endless. The food, history, and culture also add to an amazing experience. You can explore some of the many caves on the island, go hiking, spend the day at a castle or relax the day away at the beach.
These are all of the reasons why Kefalonia is an island gem ranking at the top of my list of favorites.
In my opinion, the most impressive caves on the island. It is estimated that the cave was formed over 100 million years ago, but it was only discovered 300 years ago when an earthquake collapsed part of it to reveal an entrance. You go down almost 200 feet into the earth until you are welcomed by 9700 square feet of earth’s remarkable formations of stalagmites and stalagmites surrounding you. One of the coolest things about this Droganati Cave is the acoustics. It is has been used by orchestras, opera singer Maria Callas, and Bruce Springsteen for concerts.
I would suggest you go when they first open, so you can test the acoustics for yourself. It is impressive! Also, make sure you wear shoes with good tread as the walkways and stairs are slippery when wet.
This castle is the largest in Greece and deserves about 2-3 hours to fully explore all of the ruins. It began constructions in 1593 because the Castle of St. George was not able to defend the whole island against pirates and Turks. The castle has about 6500 feet of fortress walls that are secured by 5 bastions which were used as bombing positions to defend the castle. There is a small church, Agios Markos, the house of the Venetian High Commissioner, a chapel which has beautiful wooden carved icons as well within the ruins. But most phenomenal of the castle is the views of the bays. Do take a moment to relax and enjoy as they are breathtaking.
There is no entry fee to enter, so if you are looking for a fun way to spend the afternoon it is a good option.
St. George’s Castle is also close and also has no entry fee, so if you are looking for a day full of Venetian castles this fun and free.
Myrtos Beach is known to be one of the most iconic beaches in Kefalonia. It might be one of the best spots for some good pictures but probably is not the best beach to put up your umbrella and swim for the day. There are so many other beach options if you are looking for a day of building sandcastles, swimming, and relaxing in the sun.
Here is a list of public beaches within 30 minutes via car/15 kilometers or less from Argostoli, the capital city:
Makrys Gialos Beach – approximately 7 minutes (3.2 KM)
Ammes Beach – approximately 18 minutes (10 KM)
Ai Helis Beach – approximately 23 minutes (12.1 KM)
Avithos Beach – approximately 30 minutes (14.5 KM)
Keep a lookout as you may spot a Loggerhead Sea Turtle or their nest depending on the season. They are an endangered species, so if you are lucky enough to see one, do not do anything to disturb them. Please just observe and take as many pictures as you can. Seeing a sea turtle in its natural environment is such a neat and wonderful opportunity.
Mount Ainos is the tallest mountain, 5341 feet at the peak, and is the only national park in Kefalonia. The park is covered with almost 70% of a single species of the fir tree, which makes for an impressive forest. Therefore if you are looking for an adventurous day there are a variety of hiking trails available at all different difficulties and lengths. Depending on the trail you maybe even lucky enough to encounter the wild horses.
Just in case you are going to see the wild horses specifically, they are mainly found on the Southeast side of the mountain. Staying hydrated is also important, so pack enough water.
Argostoli is the capital of Kefalonia, so it is the bustling area of the islands. Whether you are interested in strolling along the waterfront promenade, having a coffee at a café, going shopping, enjoying lunch with your family, or dance the night away at a club, there is something for everyone to do.
This is where you will disembark if you are coming to Kefalonia on a cruise ship. It is very convenient as many vendors are available to hire near the cruise port. Now if you don’t already have your day planned with an excursion, you can rent bikes to ride to see the famous Drapano Bridge, get some souvenirs from the many waterfront shops or hire a taxi to take you to one of the nearby beaches.
This is a very short list of some of the wonderful things you can do in Kefalonia. I feel like if I spent months in Keflanoia, I still would have more to explore, so we will be returning, hopefully, sooner than later.
MELISSANI CAVE (LAKE)
I have never seen a lake so crystal clear in my life. The neat part about Melissani is that it is a lake inside of a cave surrounded by trees, hence the confusion over the naming. I would suggest going around the noon hour, the sunlight beams in from the cave opening overhead making the water sparkle. You have a feeling like you are gliding on top of the water as you take the short boat around the circumference of the cave. If you look over the edge of your boat you can see the bottom, which is almost 100 feet deep at the maximum depth.
You don’t have a lot of time in the cave so take it all in and take a ton of pictures while you can.