Kefalonia, Greece

Trish Griffiths on 28 June 2011
Kefalonia was the last of the Ionian Islands we have visited, but it is definitely a firm favourite of ours now. The scenery is fantastic all the way around the island.

We started our trip in Katelios. Katelios itself is a small quiet resort, with a number of seafront tavernas and a couple of music bars, but not what you would call a lively resort by any means. As we had a hire car for the whole trip we managed to visit all of the islands main resorts and found a fair few hidden gems!

Our first trip took us to Skala, the more developed resort on this part of the coast along a nice sea front road. There are a number of small coves along here, ideal for snorkelling. Skala itself has a nice range of bars and restaurants. From Skala, it isn’t too far to the harbour town of Poros. Whilst not as touristy as its southerly neighbours, it still has a number of nice sea front restaurants. There is one near where the ferry docks, built into the rocks, whilst over the hill there are a number of restaurants overlooking the beach.

We then continued up the east coast and arrived in Sami. Even the drive here from Katelios was lovely, with lush green valleys at every turn! Sami has a lovely y harbour area with a range of restaurants right on the harbour side. Just over the headland is Antisami beach, which, whilst pebbly was still good for swimming. (You may recognise this as the location of the Italian camp in the film “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”.)

We then went up the west coast, starting at Lourdas, which has some very windy roads down to a long beach. We also visited Trapezaki, which has a nice sandy beach, which gently shelves away - ideal for families. There is also a nice taverna right at the beach.

We then travelled to Spartia, which is a large village. Here we stayed in a lovely villa for two, which is available to rent through one of our suppliers (ask for details). There are about five tavernas within a five minute drive of the villa, with one right above the nice sandy beach.

From here we visited the capitol Argostoli, this was only fifteen minutes from Spartia. It is a pretty city and its appearance is helped by the building restriction on the island, meaning that no properties are higher than three storeys, which came in following the 1953 earthquake! It has a good pedestrianised shopping area and a main square surrounded by restaurants. It also has a working harbour and a number of tavernas right by the water. It is also here that the big cruise ships come in and where the loggerhead turtles come to feed off the fishing boats!

Very near is the resort on the Island Lassi, which has nice, but busy beaches and contains most of the islands nightlife!

While in Argostoli, do take the frequent ferry across to Lixouri, its only 20 minutes and costs 2.50€ per person and 3.60€ for the car. This is a smaller version of the capitol, but still offers nice shopping and eating options. From here you can explore the red sand beaches of Xi, which are ideal for families. Alternatively head up to either Petani Beach which is similar to Myrtos in appearance, or try Atheras beach, which is very low key, but extremely photogenic and has a seriously cute taverna.

The longest trip was up to the pretty fishing harbour of Fiskardo right in the north. There are miles of dramatic coastal scenery on the way and you also pass by Kefalonias most photographed beach at Myrtos. Assos is worth a visit, another beautiful harbour and a very pleasant place to while away an afternoon watching the world go by. In Fiskardo, it is fun watching the yachts jostling for space in the small harbour.

We took the alternative route back and called into Agia Effimia for a nice cold frappe on the way. The route across the centre of the island also took us past the Robola co-operative winery. Good wines on offer for tasting along with a tour of the winery. We loved it so much we aim to go back soon. For more photo's fllow the link and visit my facebook page!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Trish-Griffiths-Travel-Counsellors-Melton-Mowbray-UK/138387982895965

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