7 Days In Kefalonia | Updated 2020
Kefalonia is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been on holiday. Resting in the Ionian Sea on the western side of Greece, the island has so many beautiful beaches, tiny tavernas and colourful houses decorated with trailing flowers, it’s hard to create a shortlist of the best places to travel to. The sea in Kefalonia is like the architecture in Santorini, it feels otherworldly, at times forming into unbelievable blue potion thick enough that you can’t see through it, like a deep cerulean fog. We’ve visited several times most recently in July, the first week after travel restrictions lifted. At the time, they were testing for free on arrival at the airport, but you’ll need to check for recent updates. If you’re heading there in off season, we’d recommend checking the weather before you travel and for any disruption caused by the recent medicane that hit the island. You also definitely need a car for Kefalonia, and some of the beaches are a little stony, so make sure you pack your Flotsam towel.
Here's Our Favourite Places For A 7 Day Road Trip In Kefalonia
Days 1-2: Argostoli & Little Beach
Argostoli is the island’s capital and closest city to the airport, which makes it easy to skip if you’re set on spending your holiday in one of the more picturesque villages such as Assos or Fiskardo. We quite like spending a night in Argostoli before hiring a car and heading up to explore the rest of the island. It’s a little touristy, but there’s something nice about spending one day trying on too many hats and sunglasses. It’s small enough to be walkable and take in the local beaches, restaurants, shops and museums in a day or two. If you stand at the edge of the harbour, you might spot sea turtles dipping their heads above the water which makes for a beautiful sight. A little further along towards the stone bridge, there’s a particularly amazing patisserie for car snacks called Manentis Bakery, whilst Spathis, a little further along, does really good gelato. You can hike through the pine forests up to the lighthouse and if it’s not too hot (in which case get a cab) head up and over the hill towards Makris Gialos Beach, stopping at the smaller and more beautiful secret beaches on the way. We’d recommend Kalamia Beach and Small Beach, which is almost invisible from the road and so tiny you’d easily miss it, but has a soft cove of sand under a small cliff and clear sea that’s shallow enough to walk out into.
Day 3: Drive To Myrtos
Once you’ve had your fill of Argostoli, the next place to visit is Myrtos, which has the enviable (and well deserved) reputation as the most photographed beach in the world- see above and the main image we chose for the blog.
Myrtos also has the strangest and most beautiful water we’ve ever seen. The beach is covered in tiny white pebbles, and the sediment from the rocks combines with the seawater to create a visual effect that makes the sea look like potion, even when you’re standing in it looking at your hands just below the surface. If you’re feeling adventurous (and after the perfect picture) there’s paragliding from the top, but the views all the way down are also pretty spectacular.
We’d recommend travelling along the coastal road from Argostoli which is a little slower but offers breathtaking views. Myrtos gets really hot in summer so bringing a beach umbrella or hiring one of the bamboo beds with a canopy is a great option.
Day 4: Assos Assos Assos
Assos is our favourite place in Kefalonia (if not the whole planet). It’s like a miniature, prettier, quieter, more colourful, greek version of the Amalfi Coast, with rows of colourful houses draped with flowers cascading down the peninsula into a small cove with still, clear water that’s perfect for a dip. It’s hard to tell, with Assos, which view is the best, so even though it’s very tempting to just spend the day swimming, we’d recommend walking up and around the opposite side of the harbour and taking in the views that stretch out over the cascade of houses and over to the sea on the other side. Staying over in Assos for a few days creates a pace of life where eating, swimming and relaxing become the order of the day, without any fatigue of repetition. If you’re staying, hike up to the castle for sunset, but bring a torch. We took the cliffside path to the top and chased the sunset across a strange estate of abandoned houses, witchy churches and rusting machinery, beautiful, but with an air of superstition after dark. Assos is about a ten minute drive from Myrtos and a 25 minute drive from Fiskardo, so makes a quiet place to stay for exploring the western side of the island. You’ll need to check what staying is like with your hotel, as Assos was pretty devastated by the recent Medicane and a clean up is underway.
Day 5: Fiskardo
Fiskardo, a small historic port town on Kefalonia’s northern tip, succeeds in being both a little bit flashy and desperately beautiful at the same time. It’s a great place for people watching, with lots of holidaymakers jumping off smaller boats into the sea, and the occasional super yacht gliding into the still waters. Much of Fiskardo is centred around the harbour, with a great selection of gelaterias, floppy hat vendors and seafood restaurants, becoming even more atmospheric at night time when the lights from the ships reflect across the water. Our favourite place for the afternoon is Panormos Restaurant, with views out to Ithaca and particularly good cocktails. There’s no beach in Fiskardo, but there’s a few beautiful ones in striking distance. Foki beach and Emplisi beach are both about a 5 minute drive and pretty stunning for a day that combines great food and good swimming.
If you’re just there for the day, head up early and you’ll almost have the place to yourself, before the tour boats come in and the restaurants fill up.
Day 6: Take the Low Road and Find Something New
We got lucky in Kefalonia because they’d messed up our car hire and somehow we ended up with a 4WD instead. We were initially apprehensive of this and if you’ve seen the hairpin bends and tiny roads you’ll understand why. What it did succeed in doing was giving us a sense of adventure that we might not otherwise have had, leading us to explore a bunch of new places and get enjoyably lost along the way, driving through tiny villages, rocky beaches and past lots of goats. In Kefalonia, it turns out that roads on maps do not necessarily resemble roads as you might normally understand them, and there were a few hairy moments when the car started making strange clunking sounds and we started having visions of trying to explain where we were and why to a garage. The best place we found was a beautiful little family run taverna with amazing home made food and wine on Jerusalem Beach, which has subsequently been destroyed in floods by the storm. Between Covid & the Medicane, 2020 has been a pretty hard year for tourism on Kefalonia, and you can find the Taverna’s go fund me page here, where they’re raising funds for a rebuild.
Day 7: Melissani Cave & Antisamos Beach
Over on the eastern side of the island, the Melissani Cave & Antisamos beach are fairly close together, making a great combination for a day trip. We’ve seen a lot of caves on our travels, and but Melissani is a pretty unbelievable place to visit. If you thought you’d seen the world’s bluest water in Myrtos, you’re in for a surprise. Kefalonia has a curious underground water system, coming in from near the lighthouse in Argostoli and running through underground channels until it reaches the Melissani cave. The water in the cave is a completely insane (there’s no other way to describe it) shade of electric blue, and looks like it’s been illuminated from below by some particularly bright LEDs. The cave is a little reminiscent of a Mexican cenote, with an aperture in the roof that lets in shafts of glittering light. You can hire small boats with a guide for a short trip around the cave where you can learn more about the geology and the unbelievable colour of the water. Combine Melissani with an afternoon at Antisamos beach, made famous as a filming location for Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.