Cephalonia

Cephalonia

About Cephalonia

Cephalonia or Kefalonia formerly also known as Kefallinia or Kephallenia is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece. It is also a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, and the only municipality of the regional unit. It was also a former Latin Catholic bishopric Kefalonia–Zakynthos (Cefalonia–Zante) and short-lived titular see as just Kefalonia.

Its capital, Argostoli, is on the west coast. It has numerous cliffs, pebbled coves and sandy beaches, many accessible only on foot. Best known is northern Myrtos, a picturesque strip of white sand and pebbles backed by steep limestone cliffs.

Area: 304.4 mi²

Island group: Ionian Islands

Population: 35,801 (2011)

Climate

Kefalonia has hot, sunny summers and mild rainy winters. During winter it can occasionally snow in the mountains of the island. It is very wet in the wettest month of December when 115 mm of rain can fall.

Safety

Kefalonia has very little crime, although be careful in busy areas, as most petty crime is aimed toward tourists. Traffic, as everywhere in Greece, can be a little mad in towns. Out in the hills, the roads wind precariously around the sides of mountains. Some are passable only with a good 4 X 4, though the main routes are fine. Watch uneven pavements in dimly lit streets. The local police have a very low-key presence and generally confine themselves to issuing speeding tickets. You’ll need a rep or interpreter if dealing with them for an insurance claim. Mosquitoes are a minor issue in inland accommodation, less so by the beaches.

Getting Around

The bus service on the island is too infrequent to be much use to tourists. Unless you have arrived on your own yacht, in which case you’ll have no problem getting to most parts, you need a car or bike if you plan to get around. There are car ferries from the mainland, and many car hire places in towns, though prices vary. Although all travel operators are against motorcycle hire, as long as you have some bike experience, renting a 100cc scooter for the duration of your stay can work out very reasonable. Just make sure you check the bike out before you hire it. Most of the hire places are in Lassi, the main resort, and the capital Argostoli. Taxis are fairly reasonable and individual arrangements can be made with drivers to pick you up at specified times from beaches etc. They are usually helpful and friendly.

Popular car rental: Express rent a car, Hertz, easycar.com

Activities

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Dolphin Ski Club

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Extreme Watersports Antisamos

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Fiskardo Divers

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Argo Daily Cruises

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Outdoor Kefalonia

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Wild Nature Expeditions

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Aquatic Dive Club

Accommodation

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Hotels

Venere

(Hotelcombined)

Home Away

Agoda

Hotels.com

Museums

  • Korgialeneios Museum (under the Korgialeneios Library) in Argostoli.
  • Kosmetatos Foundation in Argostoli
  • Archaeological Museum of Argostoli
  • Iakovatios-Library (and museum) in Lixouri
  • Museum in Fiskardo
  • Kefalonia Natural History Museum

Top Beaches

Myrtos Beach

Myrtos Beach is in the region of Pylaros, in the north-west of Kefalonia Island, in the Ionian Sea of Greece. Myrtos beach lies between the feet of two mountains, Agia Dynati and Kalon Oros.

The surrounding sediment at Myrtos Beach is generally made up of marble material, a metamorphosed limestone. The beach is made up of round, white cobblestones. The sediment gradually becomes smaller as you approach the shoreline. Because the slope angle has an abrupt drop near the edge of the shoreline, the wave energy is very high and causes the gradation trends from cobbles to pebbles along the beach. Myrtos has been described as “one of the most dramatic beaches in Greece”, with its “mile-and-a-half long arc of dazzling white pebbles.

antisamos beach

Located 27 km north east of Argostoli and 4 km from Sami. It is one of the most gorgeous beaches on Kefalonia, Antisamos is a vast golden beach, surrounded by lush greenery. Scenes of the Hollywood movie “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” were filmed there.

Petani beach

Petani Beach is situated in the North West of the Paliki, in Kefalonia, Greece. The nearest large town is lixouri. The beach is set at the base of a very steep road, surrounded by mountains, in a curved bay with a strip of pebble and sand beach which is up to 50M wide in places. The beach is about 600M long, with the central part being used by swimmers.

Petani beach is recognised for its great beauty, with many visitors comparing it with a smaller version of Myrtos Beach. It is a blue-flag beach. A favoured activity is evening swimming before watching changing colours on the sea as the sun sets in the West. The beach slopes quickly away so that one can only go out a short distance from the shoreline before being out of depth.

Xi beach

Xi Beach is an exception compared to other beaches of Kefalonia, because it has no steep cliffs or deep waters. Instead, it is very easily accessible. Its waters are very shallow and thus more than suitable for children. What makes the Xi Beach so unique and extremely impressive is its reddish color of sand. Because of its clayey composition, one can enjoy a natural and free spa session, as it is said to have cleaning and tightening effects to the skin. The beach is well organized and you will easily find a parking place.

Skala Beach

Its crystal clear waters, the vegetation that grows almost into the beach and the beach area that is over three kilometers long have turned Skala into an important touristic center over the recent years. Skala Beach is fully organized but preserves its own distinct character. Apart from the village and the beach of Skala it is worth visiting other beautiful beaches and picturesque villages situated in the southeastern part of Kefalonia.

Vouti Beach

You can easily reach Vouti beach from the village of Zola of Argostoli. To its crystal clear blue waters, a fairly passable dirt road will lead you, from which most cars pass without problem.

Pebbles but also fine sand awaits you on Vouti Beach, while during summer there is a canteen there that will offer you coffee, soft drinks and snacks. It is located in the gulf of Paliki, where the peninsula joins the rest of the island, in a distance of approximately two kilometers from the main road that connects the capital of Kefalonia, Argostoli with Lixouri.

Platis and Makris gialos beaches

Beautiful but usually crowded, Just 3 km ofArgostoli, on the way to the airport, in the area of Lassi, you can visit two of the most beautiful sandy beaches of Kafalonia, Makris and Gialos. The natural extension of Makris (long) Gailos is Platis (wide) Gialos, from which it is separated by only a few rocks. As a result going from one beach to the other by either walking or swimming is possible.

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