Let’s be clear here: the place that we’re talking about today isn’t a big nightlife mecca with big music, lights, and activities. However, it is a peaceful place, and we think that such a designation is worth it. If you’re not looking for something peaceful, then you might want to skip this one. But if you’re trying to escape the hustle and bustle of regular life, then this might be a great way for you to do that. We’re all way too stressed for our own good, and it’s something that can really mess us up over time. It would make a lot more sense to start thinking about all of the things that can really help you calm down, relax, and chill out. It’s better than just fretting about everything that’s wrong, right?
Right. That’s exactly the way that you need to think about it. It’s time to check out Kefalonia, which is an island found within the Ionian Islands of Greece.
Kefalonia is a great holiday destination because it’s easy to navigate. You don’t have to just much more than walk around, if that’s what you really wanted to do. There’s stunning forests, which might surprise people that aren’t familiar with the islands of Greece. Given the fertile soil present, there’s plenty of great food to eat on the island. But let’s start from the top. The capital of the island is Argostoli, which has plenty of places for you to shop till you drop. And then there’s Fiskardo which is more towards the northern side of the island. You’re going to find a very expensive marketplace over on that side, so if you feel like splurging — great. If you want to try to save your money, you might to stick to just window shopping. We’re serious!
Let’s see — there’s also Assos, Agia Efimia, Sami, and Poros. You’re surrounded by water on all sides, so you can see yachts and boats along just about everywhere you look. Ferries are present to help you move through the islands with ease.
If you’re trying to travel to the island, you want to do it within the season — you’ll want to go to Kefalonia between May – October. After that, the island tends to shut down for the winter and services may be less than what you would like.
Because of the island’s growing polarity, it’s much busier than it used to be in times long past. This means that if you really want to go, you’re going to have to be patient. There can be long lines and people tend to get hot and irritated. The residents that work on the island and call it home are extremely friendly, and really do want to help you with anything and everything that you need.
You can walk around within the town of your choice, but if you want to move around the island you’ll need to go with taxis. The bus service isn’t the best. Car hire is popular, but you will need to be very careful on the roads. And if you’re going to go with taxi drivers for your entire stay, make sure that you tip them well. Tourism is a huge reason why the island’s locals can take care of themselves. It’s never hurts to tip well — you never know when you’ll need help with something.
So, what’s there to see in Kefalonia? Plenty! You have four different peninsulas along the island, which are mountainous. If you don’t bring your camera, you’ll truly regret it. There are caves on the island as well — the Drogarati caves and the Melissani cave.
The beaches here can be a bit rocky, so be careful. Sami beach is the most popular, with Myrtos beach a close second. You need to watch out for the shore breaks, they can be pretty steep. The summer heat reflects off the white stone to a greater degree than what some tourists imagine, creating a situation where burns can definitely take place.
If you want our recommendation, go a little south of Lixouri to Xi beach. The sand is a bit gentler and it’s quieter.
Even though there’s going to be opportunities for peace and quiet…there are some activates that you can do. Why not look at going for a horseback ride? It’s a great way to take in the scenery and connect with animals. You can also do a boat hire and take a small tour along the island. Of course, if you’re a beginner when it comes to boating, you don’t want to go out too terribly far yet.
Shopping is a great choice, as many people love the deals that you can get. Haggling isn’t always welcome, especially when the price is clearly displayed. The tourist shops need all of the money that they can get, so they’re really unlikely to just let you have a super deal.
Buy the local honey made with wild thyme — it’s an experience! There’s also a local wine that’s made called Robola. Many of our traveling friends that have gone to Kefalonia say the wine is well worth the trip alone.
There’s tons and tons to eat here. Kefalonia is influenced by a lot of Italian and Austrian food traditions, and you’ll find many dishes still lingering in the more “local” restaurants. Restaurants geared towards the affluent tourist will have a wide variety of tourist-approved foods. As always, see if you can go where the locals are going for their food. The small taverns serve an incredible meat pie that’s deeply filling.
When it comes to sleeping, forget the hotels. Find rooms to rent, or apartments before the tour operators book ’em all up. Renting a villa for a while is the more stylish way to go about it. It’s luxury on a budget, because there’s always someone that has a villa open or an apartment that has the perfect view.
Give yourself some time to enjoy Kefalonia for a little while. It’s going to be life at a slower pace, but why rush? You do enough of that back at home, right? Right. Good luck, and check out this beautiful little island as soon as you can!