12 Best Things to Do in Kefalonia: The Complete Guide
Kefalonia is a hidden gem in Greece that is often overlooked. It is part of the Ionian Islands, and is only about a 3-hour ferry ride from the well-known Zakynthos. Kefalonia is the most mountainous Ionian island with lush forests, picturesque beaches, delicious wine, scenic fishing villages, and so much more to make for a perfect getaway. Continue reading to see the 12 best things to do in Kefalonia along with more information to help you plan your trip.
Guide to Visiting Kefalonia: Contents
5 Things You Need for Your Kefalonia Vacation
- Walking Sandals: Some beaches in Kefalonia are rocky so make sure to bring sandals for exploring the beach
- Light Beach Towel: This is my go-to beach towel when I travel since it is light, compact, and dries quickly.
- Snorkel Gear: One of the best things to do in Kefalonia is to snorkel in the clear turquoise water
- Dry Bag: Much need to keep your valuables dry especially on boat days.
- Reusable Water Bottle to keep your water cold during the hot summer days in Kefalonia.
12 Best Things to Do in Kefalonia
1. Myrtos Beach
Myrtos Beach is the most beautiful beach in Kefalonia and one of the top beaches in Greece. There is a viewpoint where you can enjoy the views of the beach before driving down the steep and windy road to the beach. On your way down make sure to stop at another viewpoint closer to the beach where you will see parking spots. If you prefer a quiet beach with less crowds you don’t have to sit here, you can enjoy the views of Myrtos Beach and then continue to a less busy beach to relax!
2. Rent a Boat to Explore the Northeast Coast of Kefalonia
Kefalonia has many beaches that can only be reached by boat. Renting a boat is one of the best things to do in Kefalonia if you want to explore the northeast coast and find secluded beaches. You can rent a boat under 30hp without a boat license in Greece and the prices in Kefalonia during high season range from 120-150 euro plus gas. The water here is so clear it is perfect for snorkeling. Don’t forget to bring your own snorkel gear! I used this snorkel set in Kefalonia and it was perfect.
We rented a boat from Boulevard Boat Hire in Agia Efimia and had a great experience. The boat had a canopy which was great for a hot day, and they even provided us with a cooler. The day started with a training to show us how to drive and anchor the boat. There are boundaries that you have to stay between as the company can only operate in certain areas, but that still allows a lot of coastline to explore between Agia Efimia and the fish farm near Fiscardo. We rented the boat in Kefalonia on my 30th birthday and it was the most incredible birthday I have ever had!
Start your adventure by making your way to the north boundary and then making your way back down the coast. Top beaches you cannot miss (from north to south) are Agios Gerasimos Beach, Chorgota Beach, Giagana Beach, and Kapsolimionas Beach. There are more beautiful small coves that are perfect for snorkeling and swimming.
Add Corfu to your Greek island adventure: 12 Best Things to Do in Corfu
3. Melissani Cave Lake
Taking a boat ride through Melissani Cave Lake is one of the top things to do in Kefalonia. The cave is 160m long and 40m wide and the lake in the cave has water as deep as 39 meters. You can see the cave with a short row boat tour. There are usually about 10 people per boat and the driver provides information about the cave as he takes you in and around the cave. Keep in mind it can get busy, especially when there are cruise ships. Therefore it is important to get there early. The water is supposed to be the prettiest color around noon, but that is also when it can be the most crowded with a wait time of over 1 hour. Therefore, we decided to go when it opened around 9 am and had a great experience, with only one group ahead of us.
4. Koutala Beach
If you are looking to explore more of Kefalonia, you can drive down the Paliki region, a peninsula located on the west part of Kefalonia. One popular beach here is called Xi Beach, but it can get very busy. Instead, checkout the nearby Koutala Beach, a hidden beach with red sand that is surrounded by tall white cliffs. There is parking along the road and then a short walk takes you down to the beach. We loved it so much we ended up spending a few hours here. Don’t forget to bring a beach umbrella, sunscreen, towel, water, and everything else you may need as there are no services here. I always bring this Turkish beach towel that I found on Amazon. It is perfect for traveling since it is light and dries quickly
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If you want to see a picturesque village with colorful houses you have to visit Assos. On the drive down to Assos you can stop at different viewpoints of the village. Spend time walking around the small village and make your way across the bay towards the Venetian Castle of Assos to see more views of the colorful village. There are a couple small beaches in the village if you want to go for a swim and cool down.
6. Hike to a Hidden Beach (Sisia Beach)
In the summer beaches in Kefalonia can get busy, but there are several secluded beaches that you can enjoy without the crowds. These secluded beaches usually require a bit of a hike. One of our favorite off-the-beaten-path beaches that we found in Kefalonia is Sisia Beach. The road to get to the beach isn’t passable for most cars, so you will need to park near the monastery and walk about 20 minutes to get down to the beach.
This pebble beach is one of the best things to do in Kefalonia if you have the energy to hike down to the beach (and back up). Make sure to bring plenty of water and wear comfortable shoes that you can walk with on a rocky, steep road. There is no shade on the beach so a beach umbrella would be helpful, just don’t bring too much stuff with you since you will need to carry it back up.
Read More: 10 Best Things to Do in Milos
7. Explore Beaches in the South of Kefalonia
The south part of Kefalonia has many beautiful beaches that are worth checking out. Top beaches include Spatia Beach, Pessada Beach, and Agios Thomas Beach. We spent time at Pessada Beach which is a scenic beach in a very small cove. Instead of sitting on the small beach we found a spot on the smooth rocks and swam in the water from there. It felt like having a little beach all to ourselves. You can find parking along the street and then a path down to the beach.
8. Walk Around and Dine in Argostoli, the Capital of Kefalonia
A trip to Kefalonia is not complete without visiting the capital of Kefalonia, Argostoli. The city has a pedestrian-only street filled with shops and restaurants. Spend time exploring this street and make your way towards the water for more shops and restaurants as well as great views of the bay. Keep in mind that most stores close between 2 and 5, so try to plan your visit before or after this time.
One of the top destinations in Argostoli is De Bosset Bridge, the longest stone bridge over the sea in the world. Argostoli has many restaurants making it a great place to stop for dinner. A popular spot with a variety of restaurants is Villianou Square. We had dinner nearby at Baroque Le Bistrot which I highly recommend if you are looking for a nice place.
9. Drograti Cave
Visiting the unique Drograti Cave is one of the best things to do in Kefalonia. Located near Sami, the cave was discovered 300 years ago when an earthquake caused a collapse that made the entrance visible. In the cave you can see unique formations of stalactites and stalagmites. It is always about 18 degrees celsius in the cave, so it is a good escape from the sun and heat.
There are stairs down to the cave and a path that you can follow within the cave. You should combine your visit to Drograti Cave with Melissani Cave Lake as they are only about 10 minutes away from each other and there is a combined ticket that you can get.
10. Visit a Winery
Kefalonia is known for a white wine variety called Robola wine. The main wine region is in the center of Kefalonia in Omala Valley. You can find Robola wine at restaurants throughout the island and if you are interested in learning more about the wine in Kefalonia you can visit a winery. Gentilini Winery and Vineyards is the most popular winery as it is located close to Argostoli. In the village of Valsamata you can find Orealios Gaea, a must-visit Robola winery where you can taste wine while enjoying beautiful views.
Fiscardo is a fishing village in the north of Kefalonia. The village has a promenade filled with restaurants and shops which makes for a perfect lunch stop. Cars are not allowed in the village but you can find parking spots right outside the village. Popular beaches near Fiscardo are Emplisi Beach and Foki Beach. Foki Beach is less busy and features a scenic walking path along the bay.
12. Fteri Beach
Fteri Beach is known to be one of the most beautiful beaches on Kefalonia. This beach has clear turquoise water and is surrounded by large white cliffs. To get to Fteri Beach you need to either hike 3 miles each way or take a 10-minute boat ride. The boats from Agia Kiriaki fill up early, so if you plan to take a boat there make sure to get there very early. If you decide to hike there you will want to wear sneakers and bring what you need for your time at the beach as there are no services at Fteri Beach.
How Many Days Should You Spend in Kefalonia?
Kefalonia is a bigger island so to fully experience the island I recommend staying for at least four days. This will give you enough time to see the highlights of the island, visit Assos and Fiscardo, and rent a boat for a day to explore the northeast coast of the island. Kefalonia is a great island to explore slowly.
We visited Kefalonia for one week and had an amazing trip. We had the time to explore most of the island as well as rent a boat for a day and relax on beautiful secluded beaches. If you are looking to spend time relaxing in Kefalonia you should stay for more than four days.
How Do You Get to Kefalonia?
The easiest way to get to Kefalonia is with a one hour flight from Athens to Kefalonia International Airport (EFL). During the summer there are also direct flights to Kefalonia from many European cities including London, Prague, Milan, Manchester, and Frankfurt.
You can only reach Kefalonia by ferry from the west side of mainland Greece, there are no ferries from Athens. You can find ferries to Kefalonia from the ports of Killini, Patras, and Astakos. To get to these ports from Athens you would need to drive 3 hours or take a bus. Therefore, flying is the most convenient way to get to Kefalonia.
If you are flying to Kefalonia from another Greek island you will most likely have to connect in Athens. A greek island that is great to combine with your Kefalonia trip is Corfu, which has a flight to Kefalonia with a quick stop in the nearby Aktion Airport (PVK) so you don’t have to fly all the way back to Athens. If you are interested in visiting more islands on your trip, you can take a 3-hour ferry to the nearby island of Zakynthos.
Read More: How to Find Cheap Flights
How Do You Get Around Kefalonia?
The best way to get around Kefalonia is to rent a car. Rental cars in Kefalonia and other greek islands are usually manual. If the rental car doesn’t specifically say “automatic” then you should assume the car is stick shift. If you plan on driving in Kefalonia keep in mind that the roads are narrow and windy.
We rented a car with Sun Cars in Kefalonia and had a great experience. There was a representative from Sun Cars waiting for us at the airport when we arrived with a sign with our name on it. They led us to the rental car in the airport parking lot where we signed the rental car agreement and paid by card. When it came to returning the car we dropped it off at the airport where a representative was waiting for us. It was quick and seamless and we would highly recommend renting through this company.
Where Should You Stay in Kefalonia?
A popular spot to stay when visiting Kefalonia is in the capital, Argostoli. Argostoli has a range of accommodation options and is close to top destinations in the south and central parts of Kefalonia. You can search for accommodations including hotels, guest houses, and apartments in Argostoli on booking.com.
We decided stay in the village of Chaliotata near Sami as we found a unique Airbnb with beautiful views (shown in the photo above). It was a great spot to base ourselves to explore the island. We didn’t like the nearby port town of Sami so for food we usually drove to Valsmata, Agia Effimia, or Argostoli.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links for products and services I recommend. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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