Dramatic coastlines, beautiful beaches, clear blue seas and rugged white cliffs. Kefalonia is a definite A-lister of a holiday
Kefalonia is blessed with fabulous beaches, the best being Myrtos. It is one of the most dramatic beaches in Greece with its mile-and-a-half long arc of dazzling white pebbles that cuts deep into a sheer cliff on the island’s northwest coast.
Petani beach is in a beautiful setting, too, a curved coastline with a mountain backdrop, with sparkling waters and ice-white sand, just like Myrtos. The beach is located near Lixouri, which is a boat ride across from island capital, Argostoli.
Despite these two being the best, the southern coastal beaches are the most popular with families and tourists, mainly because the cliffs and dramatic coastline of the Big Two isn’t as family-friendly as the more accessible ones in the south.
Around Argostoli and Lassi you’ll find Platys Gialos and Makris Gialos, while further south there’s a great beach near the seaside hamlet of Katelio.
To the east of the island, the pebbly beaches of Poros, Sami and Agia Efimia are all worth a day out.
The main place for a bit of retail therapy is Argostoli. Head for the market first – it’ll have you living like a local in no time. Stalls are full of locally-produced honey, olive oil and, of course, the island’s famous wine, Robola.
If it’s a more traditional afternoon’s shopping you’re after, head for the main square where you’ll find local art galleries, great jewellers, and a number of local fashion shops.
Away from Argostoli, you’ll find plenty of art and pottery in Skala, while bric-a-brac hunters should make a bee-line for Lassi. Fiskardo village has designer clothes shops and some high-end gift stores.
You can get the traditional Greek dishes on Kefalonia but the island has a cuisine all of its own. Take the Kefalonian meat pie. You’ll find it everywhere you go – a pastry case crammed with lamb, beef, pork and rice.
Another popular dish is lamb ‘kleftiko’. Essentially a casserole, it’s a foil-wrapped parcel packed with tomatoes, onions, potatoes and herbs. Beef stifado is similar – a tangy stew with tomatoes, onions and garlic.
Octopus is a speciality here too, with swordfish and squid also plentiful.
Kefalonia’s most famous restaurant is Tassia’s in the village of Fiskardo, owned by Greece’s top celebrity chef, Tassia Dendrinou, but there are other great ones like Kiani Akti in Argostoli and Il Destino in Skala which are also well worth a visit.