The Kefalonia, Greece, Bucket List

Kefalonia, Greece, is the largest of all the Ionian islands so as you can imagine it has quite the bucket list! From world-famous beaches and movie locations to natural phenomena and incredibly beautiful villages – there are so many things to do in Kefalonia.

Most people visit Greece for its laid-back vibe, beach days, old-fashioned tavernas and friendly locals, and you’re going to get that in spade fulls on Kefalonia island. But peppering your summer escape with a few of our tried and tested day trips and a few Kefalonia hidden gems will sweeten your trip like a good Greek frappe. Let us share with you some of our favourite things to do on Kefalonia, Greece.

Our Favourite Things To Do In Kefalonia, Greece

Just to say that Kefalonia island (also spelled Cephalonia) is a tourist destination for a lot of British and Italian families during the summer. This means that the places on our list (specifically the restaurants and bars) will definitely be open between the months of May to late September. Anywhere outside of these dates it would be worth checking with the venues themselves. Happy Galivanting!

Myrtos Beach

Perhaps the most popular choice of things to do on Kefalonia island is a trip to Myrtos Beach. Even before the movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin nudged Kefalonia into the limelight, I am sure this beach has drawn attention for centuries – Romans in their togas have stood atop those cliffs and stared in disbelief I tell you. It’s so unique and so Beautiful!

The road that bypasses Myrtos Beach and gives you the most incredible birdseye view is high up on the ledge of the cliffs. Even in the height of summer there’s always room to park and as is the case with nearly all of Kefalonia you don’t have to pay. But seriously, do you really only want to see it from a perch??

Arrive before 11 and you’ll have no problem parking close enough to walk onto the sand and loungers will still be available. Any later and it’s anybody’s guess.

If you’ve seen the movie, this is the beach where Nicholas Cage blows up the unexploded bomb and serendipitously ends up in the care of his sweetheart Pelagia. The sand is bright white and the sea is a colour I have never experienced anywhere before – you have to see it to believe it!

Two sun loungers and a parasol cost €10 for the day and there are loo’s, showers and a beach bar.


Another one of those popular Kefalonia ‘things to do’ is a trip to Assos. Assos is Kefalonia’s rainbow town. But the aesthetics don’t stop there – the perfect juxtaposition of terrain, trees and clear blue waters attract the artists and poets in an attempt to capture its beauty. And whilst the summer holidays draw a few bathers to the beach, this is by no means a busy place.

Have lunch at one of the waterside restaurants then trek up to the old Venetian castle of Assos for views back over the bay. There are a handful of shops and bakeries in Assos but this is a very small town and you will mostly want to visit to see the bay.

One of the most popular restaurants in Kefalonia, 3 Wise Monkeys, sits on the outskirts of town and if you feel like you’ve had your fill of Kelftico and Souvlaki, their taco’s are infamous. There’s a definite Mexican vibe going on and the frozen margaritas are worth a try.

See The Turtles of Kefalonia

Kefalonia, Greece, has attracted the great Loggerhead Turtles for centuries and if you catch a crowd of people by the water’s edge it’s probably these wonderful creatures putting on a show!

Loggerheads come ashore every couple of years to lay their eggs and usually to the spot where they themselves were born. There are several Kefalonia island beaches with turtle activity and depending on when you visit the island you could catch them either laying their eggs (May – early August) or the tiny little hatchlings scrabbling for the ocean (July – October). As you would expect, they choose the quieter beaches on the island of Kefalonia, and some only accessible by boat, or sometimes the quieter ends of some more populated beaches too. Here is a list of some of these beach locations…

  • Kaminia Beach
  • Megas Lakos
  • Kounopetra
  • Skala Beach (the end that joins Mounda)
  • Koroni Beach (the highest density of turtles on Kefalonia island)
  • Lefka Beach

Alternatively, no doubt you will visit Kefalonia islands capital at some point during your holiday and the harbour is the perfect place to see the Loggerheads feeding. Make your way to where the fishing boats come in at Argostoli harbour before 11am and you will see them nibbling away at the mussels attached to the harbour walls.

Argostoli Town

The capital of Kefalonia island, Greece, is the lovely town of Argostoli and totally worth a visit. Whilst it’s not quite as pretty as some other Greek island capitals, Argostoli still has a charm that endears. Don’t expect whitewashed tavernas and old cobbled alleys because Argostoli fell victim to the Great Earthquake of 1953 and was mostly razed to the ground. But architectural designs of the 50’s rubbed off on Kefalonia in the most unique of ways and left its lovely rounded edges and pastel hues in many of the main areas.

  • Enjoy a frappe at Kalafatis, the oldest restaurant in Kefalonia, right on the front with views across the water.
  • Hire a pedalo from Koutavos Turtle Park.
  • Collect some souvenirs and do some boutique shopping along the pedestrianised Diadochou Konstantinou (or Lithostroto).
  • Visit the Botanical Gardens.
  • Have a cocktail at De Bosset’s.
  • Go see the turtles in the harbour.
  • Cross the famous De Bosset Bridge for a unique view of Argostoli.


Argostoli town is a really good option for where to stay in Kefalonia. You won’t find any large hotels or all-inclusive accommodation in this area, it’s more guest houses and small hotels. But the advantage of staying in Argostoli is that you have access to public transport which will take you all over the island of Kefalonia, and there are dozens of restaurants and bars. There are also plenty of lovely beaches within a 20 minute bus ride from the centre too so you could visit a different one every day! And, the bus ride from the airport in under half an hour.

The Kefalonia Grand is a beautiful hotel in the perfect spot – right on the edge of the busiest part but an easy walk to the restaurants and bars. It’s modern and elegant, something you have to search hard for in Greece, and it’s very good value for money.

For the best rates at the Kefalonia Grand click here.

Saint Theodore Lighthouse And The Argostoli Sinkholes

The Saint Theodore lighthouse needs little introduction – it’s simply a beautiful Kefalonian lighthouse on the outskirts of Argostoli town. It’s begging to be photographed and yet very few people bother to visit. It also happens to sit on the outcrop of a pretty little beach with shallow clear waters perfect for snorkeling, so pack your swimsuit. We also watched a few locals spearing their fish for tea from the crystal clear ocean.

A five minute walk from Saint Theodore’s lighthouse is one of Kefalonia island’s natural phenomenons – the Argostoli Sinkholes. In 1963, using buckets full of dye, scientists discovered that the sea water entering these sinkholes at Katavothres was crossing the whole island and emerging triumphant, and almost pure, at another one of Kefalonia’s geological phenomenons – the Melissani Lagoon. A miracle so confusing since the Melissani Lagoon lies above sea level meaning this water had travelled uphill. It wasn’t until 1989 that another scientist discovered that when salt water and fresh water are combined an equilibrium effect takes place and displacement creates a flow that can run uphill. Now if you’re not impressed by this then we can’t be friends! And we absolutely hold that this is one of those worthwhile things to do in Kefalonia.

Sail Through The Melissani Lagoon

At the other end of the Argostoli sinkhole phenomena that I just mentioned is an equally worthy sight to behold near the Venetian port town of Sami – the underground Melissani Lake. You can take a 15 minute boat ride through underground caverns, finally to surface in the magical crystal clear waters of Melissani. Melissanthi was the nymph in Greek mythology who allegedly fell into the waters to end her own life after being rejected in love by Pan.

The water, a mix of sea water and fresh water, is so blue and clear that you can see the bottom despite its 30 metre depths.

At certain times of the day the light hits the water with noticeable wizardry and at other times of the day the cruising day-trippers hit the water with chaotic haphazardry. It’s worth timing your trip in line with the sun and the cruise ships.

You can purchase a dual ticket for the Melissani Lake and the Drogorati Caves for €10 or alternatively, for those without car hire, a day trip from Argostoli with a Kefalonia guide can combine both. And be aware, the area for queuing is not shaded.

Click here to purchase a half-day Melissani and Drogorati Cave Tour.

Drogorati Caves

300 years ago an earthquake on Kefalonia revealed an entrance to a cave full of geological wonders. Huge stalactites and stalagmites compete for space in this rather grand cave space and an underground cave so large it can hold concerts! It’s a UNESCO heritage site, along with the above Melissani underground lake and is all part of the Kefalonia-Ithaca Geosite.

It’s only €5 to enter or €10 as part of the combined ticket we’ve already mentioned.

There is also a public pool and cafe that visitors have access to as well.

Have a Cocktail At Remetzo Cafe

Speaking of caves… One of the coolest places we stopped for a drink in Kefalonia was the insta-famous cafe Remetzo in the coastal town of Poros.

After a rather long, albeit beautiful, drive across the mountains and a fairly disappointing welcome from the slightly run-down beach town of Poros, Cafe Remetzo cheered us up and introduced us to quite the view.

Built into a cave (are you noticing a theme here?) but facing the most romantic rock formation on Kefalonia island, you will not tire of this outlook. You’ll either be ordering yourself a second glass or settling the bill so you can go jump in the adjacent inviting waters.

Visit Fiskardo

Right up in the north of Kefalonia is the beautiful, and rather exclusive, harbour town of Fiskardo. As with all of Kefalonia, there are plenty of locals going about their daily business, whether that’s in the bakeries, restaurants or fishing port. But, what has probably contributed most to the ambiance of Fiskardo is the summertime yachters drifting ashore with their pockets full of money and the desire to spend it! No doubt this seasonal revenue is greatly appreciated by the residents and let’s just say they manage to keep the town rather preened.

Seemingly unaffected by Kefalonia’s catalogue of earthquakes, Fiskardo is one of the only places on the island which has retained its original Venetian architecture and they celebrate this by painting every building a different colour of the rainbow. Bougainvillaea and Honeysuckle drape the terraces and balconies, and the pedestrianized car-free centre keeps it peaceful and serene.

That is until two ferries arrive consecutively from Ithaca and Argostoli with daytrippers, and restaurants become full to brimming. We arrived at 10am and it felt like a different village completely by 2pm. Wait a few more hours and by the time the sun sets another identity emerges with summer beats gently lifting the ambiance from ‘arty’ to party in a matter of minutes. The wealthy may sleep on the water but they play on the shore and it’s great fun to watch!

Make sure to pop into Tselenti Bakery for a huge selection of Kefalonian baked goods, but also just to experience the rudeness of the owner too – she’s so shockingly impolite it’s quite hilarious. And if you’re going to eat along the seafront, and why wouldn’t you, we can’t recommend Elli’s enough! The kleftiko was the best we’ve ever had and you can literally dip your feet in the lapping waves from your table.

Next time we visit the Greek island of Kefalonia I would stay in Fiskardo, for the beautifully scenic bay and restaurant choices but also because the location is perfect for day trips to Mythos Beach, Assos, the Kefalonia Geosite we’ve already mentioned and a host of paradise beaches between Fiskardo and Sami. I loved the look of Amaryllis House because it overlooks the bay and it’s the right distance from the centre to both enjoy the nightlife and not hear it too. Plus, It is very easy to get to the island of Ithaca from the port of Fiskardo. For the best deals at Amaryllis House, click here.

The Sacred Monastery of Agios Gerasimos

Saint Gerasimos is the patron saint of Kefalonia, Greece, so it would make sense that the church they dedicated to him would be pretty epic. But I was not prepared for the level of gold we were about to encounter! Whilst the monastery and gardens are interesting and beautiful in their own right (and slightly more modest), the Saint Gerasimos Church was more dazzling than Elton John holding a glitter ball in the chandelier department of Harrods. And, if your eyes aren’t too giddy from the gold and gilt, then you might be able to recognise a whole load of Old Testament scenes painted on the ceiling.

The story you keep hearing in Kefalonia, the one about the big earthquake, also left its scars here at the Gerasimos Monastery. The church was completely destroyed! So, the one you visit today is a Byzantine replica built in the 1990’s and if you ask me, someone on the design team was definitely a neon fan.

The Monastery is located in the central valley of Kefalonia – a flatter region of the island and quite different from the coastal slopes of the south. It’s a pretty drive wherever you are coming from and the monastery is a pleasant reward for the trek.

The Old Time Cafe

Not too far from the monastery, we discovered a little gem of a place on the Kefalonian hills below Mount Ainos – The Old Time Cafe. Ran by husband and wife team, Efi and George, you can expect old-fashioned hospitality and authentic Greek cuisine in the most precious of settings. And, if you’re lucky, a tune from George on the piano.

The views are incredible, including from the loo, and the lofty scenes are framed with vines and climbers from Efi’s balcony. Finish off your experience with a look around the gift shop and a homemade souvenir of some sort. She’s famous for her lemonade and jams.

All of the food is cooked by Efi and the famous Kefalonian Robola wine is made by George – it really couldn’t get more authentic.

Have a Tasting Experience At A Kefalonia Winery

I have to admit with shame that we had pretty much given up on Greek wine – both Corfu and Skopelos had previously disappointed us on this front. So, I’m pleased to say that Kefalonia redeemed the Greek islands from their grapeful shame and our faith in Greek vineyards has been restored.

In particular, Kefalonia island is famous for one specific variety of wine and that is the Robola white. It is sharp, crisp and fresh and revives any afternoon slump! In the centre of the island lies a flatter region of farmland with its own micro-climate where this Robola grape thrives. You can actually do a tour of one of the larger vineyards, Orealios Gaea, if you are interested in learning a lot about the growing process. This vineyard is close to the Agios Gerasimos Monastery.

Alternatively, there are several wineries dotted around the island where you can sample a tasting menu of multiple wines with platters of meats, olives and bread. We chose Sarris Winery because I’m a bit of an olive oil fiend and this particular winery produces their own olive oil too. The setting is stunning, with views over Avithos Bay towards the island of Zante, and a relaxed vibe with George your knowledgeable host. This was one of the highlights of our holiday so if you’re pondering what to do on Kefalonia, we implore you to visit a winery.

Panoramic Views From The Castle of Agios Georgios

A popular Kefalonia tourist attraction are the ruins of Agios Georgios Castle. This Venetian fortress is deeply connected to the history of Kefalonia as it was once the capital! Three earthquakes later and all that remains are the fortifications and a few extra piles of rubble.

It’s only a few euros to visit and well worth it for the panoramic views alone. And make sure you stop off at the Olive Lounge Bar on the way down for a frappe with a view.

Our Favourite Seaside Town… Katelios

Seaside towns come in all shapes and sizes in Kefalonia Greece, there’s the built-up cove of Assos and thriving boat club scene of Fiskardo that we’ve already mentioned. And, there’s also the lively town of Skala on the south-east tip of Kefalonia which is probably the most popular package-holiday resort. But if we were to choose a beach town that had the Goldilocks effect of restaurants, sun loungers, tourists and authenticity, then Katelios would tick all of the boxes.

Only 20 years ago this was a simple fishing village but despite an increase of discerning holiday-makers, including Kefalonians themselves, Katelios has not lost any of its charm. In fact, it’s the perfect blend of locals and tourists with the right level of beach bars and ice cream shops, in our opinion.

There are Roman and Mycenaean remains to explore nearby and the famous turtle beach, Ratzikli, is only a 2km hike away. But we loved the laid-back vibe, the gentle waters and the authentic tavernas serving VERY good local food.

Katelios would be the perfect beach town to stay if you really needed to unwind and switch off for a while, away from all of the hustle and bustle. Click here for the best deals on Katelios hotels and apartments…

The Earthquake Village Of Farsa

The great earthquake of 1953 certainly hit this island hard but the Kefalonians are survivors and life moved on. Most of the time lives and homes were rebuilt from the rubble and other than the style of homes, very little changed. But Farsa was a little different.

With the threat of pirates no longer a worry, locals decided a new town at a lower altitude would be more comfortable and work began on New Farsa, beneath the scattered remains of the old town. This left a ghost town up there on the slopes where broken-down homes were abandoned and only non-degradable items remained, like iron gates and wells. It’s chilling and thought-provoking at the same time and since the story of 1953 is woven into a lot of Kefalonia’s narrative it’s really worth experiencing.

You don’t need a Kefalonia guide to take you to Farsa, just park on the main road through New Farsa and climb the roads at the back of the village until you reach the remains.

Taverna Gialos at Porto Atheres Beach

We were recommended this taverna for the locally caught fresh fish, and although it was quite a drive we thought that a personal endorsement was worth exploring. This led to a plate of the sweetest seabass I’ve ever tasted in my life with amazing views. And an afternoon swimming with locals at a beach that nobody else seems to have discovered.

Taverna Gialos is a family-run affair where they take their food and hospitality seriously and I can’t imagine anyone ever leaving disappointed. We were happy to order the seabass, as we’d been told to, but we saw several diners actually asking to see the fish on ice before they chose! I can tell you from personal experience that the fish was incredible, but it seems Taverna Gialos has a reputation it has every intention of keeping.

Porto Atheres was also a treat… a crescent-shaped stretch of golden sands backed by nature where Kefalonians have figured out the waters are gentle and warmer than other places. It’s not an organised beach which may be why it attracts the locals because you would need to bring your own sun loungers and umbrella. But a towel did us fine and a dip in the crystal clear sea kept us cool. A true Kefalonia hidden gem.

We hope our Kefalonia travel guide gives you plenty to do on your next trip and that you fall in love with this Greek island as much as we did!

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Happy Travelling!


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