– Crushing on Kefalonia –
16 reasons to go

Poppy Loves Kefalonia

Greece, as we know, is in the middle of a huge financial crisis, however the people of the surrounding Ionian Islands are carrying on as normal, welcoming tourists with open arms and introducing them proudly to their home… The Ionian islands are thickly-forested with olive and pine trees, brimming with gorgeous white-sand, shingle and pebble beaches, turquoise seas, tranquil blue caves, cosmopolitan Venetian-inspired towns, mountain villages that hold true to tradition, picturesque ports and yacht-filled marinas…. and are bursting at the brim with heavenly, heart-stoppingly sensational cuisine…

Kefalonia

Myrtos Beach

Kefalonia - Fiskardo

Fiskardo, Kefalonia

Octopus in Kefalonia

Yes. It’s Octopus.

Kefalonia - Assos

Hanging out in Argostolli. Tunic – Heidi Klein

Kefalonia-Greek-Island-Holiday-16

Fiskardo, Kefalonia

I was lucky enough to head to Kefalonia for a few days a couple of weeks ago and it was love at first Baklava. Kefalonia is Greece’s largest and most diverse Ionian island; it was the home of a certain young Odysseus (many believe this to have been Ithaca, but our hamazing guide Athina explained otherwise – Ithaca and Kefalonia have swapped names over the years so it’s a bit bamboozling) and is also where the stunning Captain Corelli’s Mandolin movie was filmed… and if you’ve seen that film, I’m surprised you’re not on a plane already.

Here are 16 reasons to head to Kefalonia (or Cephalonia) for your next getaway…

Apollonion Resort Spa Hotel

Appollonion Resort Spa Hotel

1. We stayed at Appollonion Resort Spa Hotel – situated in the picturesque western side of the island of Kefalonia called Lixouri, right on Xi beach, a very long golden sandy beach… The pool is divine, the rooms are large and airy and the buffet breakfast is never-ending…

2. …and we even got to be some of the first guests at the wonderful, newly opened Xi Beach Restaurant

Xi Beach Restaurant

The beds at Xi Beach Restaurant

3. Ferrying about – we took the ferry nearly every day, from either Lixouri to Argostolli, or to Ithaca etc… the ferrys all took between 20 and 45 mins, air conditioned inside (hurrah!) and thanks to my amazing sea sickness tablets, I could enjoy the view from top deck in the shade…

Ferry in Kefalonia

Ferrying about…

View from the ferry...

View from the ferry…

4. Jeep safari to Mt Ainos National Park – we bought iced coffees and jumped into George’s jeep (he was fine about it) and he drove us into the amazing Mt Ainos National Park, where we drove up and up and up and up….and saw wild horses in the mountains…. The black fir trees (which aren’t really black) populate this region and are a protected species, which is why this is now one of Greece’s 10 National parks.

Outdoor Kefalonia

Outdoor Kefalonia – dress: Heidi Klein – Shoes: Merrell

5. The Monastery of Agios Gerassimos – Saint Gerasimos is believed by natives of Kefalonia to protect them and to also heal them of illness. Many natives of the island name their children after Saint Gerasimos as a tribute to the saint who protects them… and the monastery is beautiful.

Monastery of Agios Gerassimos

Monastery of Agios Gerassimos

Kefalonia

Outside the Monastery. Dress: Heidi Klein

The beautiful tiled floor... Sandals: Office

The beautiful tiled floor… Sandals: Office

6. Myrtos Beach – this stunning beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in all of the Ionian Islands. Located north of Agostolli (the island’s capital) the beach has fine golden sand and clear, turquoise waters, it is surrounded by majestic cliffs and could be mistaken for paradise itself. (Oh, and there are umbrellas to rent too.)

Myrtos Beach

Myrtos Beach. Bikini: Heidi Klein

Myrtos Beach

Myrtos Beach… I couldn’t wait to get down there!

7. Poros – Poros is a sleepy little village with a port and a few tavernas and bars. During the summer months a ferry connects Poros with Zakynthos, or you can catch a cruise to Ithaca and the Blue Caves of Zakynthos. The harbour is also home to the local fishing boats which supply the area with fresh fish…

Poros, Kefalonia

Poros

Kefalonia-Greek-Island-Holiday-12

8. The most amazing almond cake you’ve ever had – we visited Mavroidis, a fourth generation family-run cafe in the bustling square of Lixouri. first. You can taste all kinds of traditional Kefalonian treats here… and this cake knocked our socks off…

Traditional Kefalonian almond cake

Traditional Kefalonian almond cake

old photos

We loved looking through the old family photos and history of Mavroidis , carefully stored by the current owner

9. Fiskardo – a gorgeous and ridiculously picturesque fishing village, which is the only village to have survived the 1953 earthquake. It’s full to the brim with beautiful boutiques, cafes, gift shops and restaurants… I absolutely loved it and for me, it was a real highlight.

Fiskardo

Fiskardo – stunning colours everywhere

Fiskardo

Fiskardo

Fiskardo

 

Fiskardo, Kefalonia

Fiskardo, Kefalonia

Tusting Bag

Perfect holiday bag alert! Loved my Tusting hold-all – it really, really did hold ALL. And back here it’s big enough to hold my laptop too. LOVE.

10. Vassos on Fiskardo – we were treated to the most delicious meal at this family run restaurant… and the super fresh-out-the-sea-this-morning food just kept coming and coming….

Kefalonia-Greek-Island-Holiday-46

Kefalonia-Greek-Island-Holiday-54

11. The weather was spectacular – lovely and hot and breezy… we never felt like we were sweltering or too uncomfortable. It was just gorgeous and in the evening, a light shawl was all I needed to stay comfortable…

Biondi jumpsuit

Dressed for dinner – messing about with Hannah in my Biondi jumpsuit… Shoes: Aldo

12. Olive oil tasting – Kefalonia is famous for its organic olive oil and we were lucky enough to try some Liocharis organic olive oil, again, a family run business and we were meeting the fourth generation… we learnt how to taste the olive oil and identify flavours from the sea, the soil and the environment…. I have never had anything like it before. I brought a bottle home with me in my luggage and have been pouring it over Greek salads ever since!

Olive oil tasting in Kefalonia

Olive oil tasting in Kefalonia

Cupping the glass to keep it warm…

Kefalonia-Greek-Island-Holiday-51

13. Ithaca. We also visited the beautiful island of Ithaca. “As you set out for Ithaca, hope the voyage is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery,” wrote the great Greek poet Constantinos Cavafy… it is magical, peaceful, full of history and of course, beautiful beaches….

Kefalonia-Greek-Island-Holiday-6

14. The Drogarati Cave was discovered 300 years ago, but opened to the public in 1963. It was discovered when a strong earthquake caused the roof to collapse, revealing the cave beneath…. we took a little boat out into the cave and made spooky noises as we were paddled through the cave….

The Drogarati Cave in Kefalonia

The Drogarati Cave

The Drogarati Cave in Kefalonia

15. The little seaside town of Skala is so sweet and picturesque. There’s plenty to do if you’re into watersports, but if you’d like to just read a book on the beach (like me) then take a picnic and kick back there for the day…

Skala, Kefalonia

The pretty seaside town of Skala has a gorgeous beach…

16. Wine tasting is something you have to put on your agenda when you go to Kefalonia – the island is famous for its wine production so pop it on the list!

Wine tasting in Kefalonia

It was a magical, MAGICAL few days and I can’t wait to go back.

So when you do go, put me in your suitcase?

Poppy Loves - a London Lifestyle Blog

I travelled to Kefalonia with Discover Greece and flew with Aegean Airlines, who have daily flights from London to Kefalonia and back. It took just under 6 hours to get there, including the stopover at Athens.


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21 thoughts on “– Crushing on Kefalonia –
16 reasons to go

  1. The jeep safari sounds like great fun and your photos of Fiskardo are fabulous

  2. Perfect timing as i’m off to kefalonia in a couple of weeks! (and will also be taking my gorgeous tusting bag…) :) Thanks for this post, lots of good tips that i’ll be checking out

  3. Absolutely stunning photos – This would be like heaven for me with all those old beautiful doors. Yes it’s weird, but I have a thing for doors especially if they are gorgeous colours or have something unique about them.
    I am looking for a holiday over the summer so might have to add this to the possibles list.
    x

  4. Kefalonia really does look absolutely stunning! My sister goes there every year on holiday and I must admit, I never really understood the attraction, but you seem to have captured it here!

  5. An absolute photographers paradise! I’m absolutely going to grab some of your beautiful photos to flower up my Pinterest boards. I can stare at these forever, not even kidding!

    It’s great that you put this up now. I think it’s important that we shouldn’t forget about all the beauty that Greece has, even though at this moment it’s a bit harder to travel there. x Maaike -travellousworld.com

  6. Pingback: Super Sunday #3
  7. I was so lucky to live on Kefalonia for 3 years in Skala. I travelled around the Island many times and loved every inch of it…. Beautiful beaches, history and the friendliest of people.. I will return soon.

  8. Hello all, very nice article

    i have a correction for your followers, the cave is Melissani Lake – Drogarati cave is nearby and you walk it through by foot. Both very beautiful but Melissani is exceptional and you go by boat

  9. GODS PROMISE FIVE STAR BOUTIQUE VILLA IN KEFALONIA WITH PRIVATE POOL, INVITES YOU TO RETURN. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BOOK PLEASE CONTACT ME OR SEND ME A MESSAGE ON FACEBOOK. YOU CAN SEE PICTURES OF THE VILLA ON FACEBOOK, UNDER THE NAME GODS PROMISE FIVE STAR BOUTIQUE VILLA!!!!ONE AND ONLY IN KEFALONIA.

  10. I’ve spent five months on this stunning island. It’s like my second home. It was a pleasure to read about it right now, many memories come back :)

  11. Hi Poppy! Thanks for posting this amazing article, loved your tips and photos! I’m traveling to Greece in September for a sun, sand, salt covered vacay with my mom and we we’re doubting between Kefalonia and Mykonos but now we know it’s def going to be Kefalonia! What area would you recommend to stay close to a nice beach, except for Xi beach where you were staying? Eve x

  12. Please try our five star villa in Kefalonia called Gods Promise Boutique villa in Lakithra, It was the one and only five star villa in the island.

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