Shooting to fame as the location of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Kefalonia is an island of contrasts: its dramatic mountain scenery and rugged cliff-faces highlighting the purity of its white sand beaches and sparkling, sapphire waters.
The capital of the island is Argostoli, a neat and pleasant town filled with cafes, restaurants and bars. Take a seat at Ampelaki Restaurant, a small gem that combines the best quality ingredients with a passion for Kefalonian and Greek cuisine, or take your pick from the bustling cafes crowding the main square, Platia Valiianou.
Kefalonia’s coastline is dotted with secret beaches, ranging from soft and sandy to wild and rocky. Most of the beaches are quiet, even in the peak summer months, with plenty of natural shade provided by the forests of pine trees that stretch down to the shoreline. A morning at the picture-perfect Myrtos Beach, with its unbelievably soft sand and turquoise waters, is a sublime experience never to be forgotten. Nature lovers can look out for the protected loggerhead turtles that creep ashore each night to lay their precious eggs, as well as the highly endangered monk seal, which plays in the warm waters around the coastline.
Perhaps the most iconic settlement on the island is Fiscardo, the ‘St Tropez of Kefalnoia’. This small fishing village was the only settlement not destroyed by the 1953 earthquake, and retains its picturesque charm and examples of the island’s original Venetian architecture. Transforming into a yachters paradise come summer, the numerous tavernas lining its small harbour make the perfect setting for a long, leisurely lunch with a side of people-watching.