Famous for its world-class beaches and coastal landscapes, Kefalonia features a myriad of diverse shorelines just waiting to be explored.
Surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea, the island boasts breathtaking white sand, golden sand, and shingle beaches, each as unique and picturesque as any other in Greece.
Having hiked, lounged, and swam my way across the island’s shorelines, I have undertaken the impossible task of comprising this list of the 12 best beaches in Kefalonia so that you can enjoy the best and most surreal shores this island has to offer.
The 12 Best Beaches in Kefalonia
1. Myrtos Beach
A Pristine Natural Beach Surrounded by Dramatic Marble Cliffs
One of the most famous attractions in Kefalonia and one of the most photographed places in Greece, Myrtos Beach is located about 30 km north of Argostoli. It is easily one of the island’s best beaches thanks to its dramatic coastal cliffs and picturesque white-sand shores.
Featured in numerous magazines and considered amongst the best beaches in the world, Myrtos Beach is a must-visit stretch of Kefalonia’s western shoreline.
The 800-meter semi-circular beach boasts some of the bluest waters on the island, and its white sands are surrounded by steep, tree-covered cliffs that make the beach one of the most iconic sites in the country.
Despite being a relatively remote destination with limited nearby development, the natural area is serviced by a beachfront café with a small collection of beach chairs. Meanwhile, nearby accommodations can be found throughout the surrounding hills.
Whether lounging along the picturesque sands or going for a stroll along the shore, the sheer rugged beauty of Myrtos Beach is not easily forgotten, and visitors should plan to stop along one of the cliffside viewpoints to marvel at the pure majesty of the surreal location.
2. Antisamos Beach
A Popular Beach Near Sami Famous for its Natural Beauty and Beach Bars
Located only about 5 km from the port of Sami on Kefalonia’s eastern shores, Antisamos Beach is another popular beach on the island famous for its turquoise waters and sprawling white sands featured within the Nick Cage led film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
Like Myrtos Beach, Antisamos Beach is known for boasting a beautiful natural landscape of foliage-rich hills and pristine shores. However, Antisamos Beach also has the added benefit of being located amidst popular resort towns and features slightly more development for added convenience during your beach day.
Antisamos boasts two beach bars directly on its shores and offers several rows of beach chairs with umbrellas perfect for unwinding in relaxing environments with a soothing cocktail or beer.
Meanwhile, the Monastery of Agrillion sits atop the nearby hill overlooking the beach, offering sightseers a cultural attraction from which to admire the beach below.
3. Makris Gialos Beach
Busy Golden-Sand Beach with Watersports and Beach Bars
Despite being relatively short, Makris Gialos Beach is one of Kefalonia’s most popular beach destinations, thanks to its onsite amenities, including beach bars, sun loungers with umbrellas, and two water sports centers offering various activities.
Along with offering adrenaline-pumping activities and delicious cocktails, the golden sands of Makris Gialos Beach are surrounded by beautiful rugged landscapes rich with vegetation and pine trees, offering several picturesque vistas and walking routes.
Additionally, Makris Gialos Beach is located just outside Argostoli in the nearby Lassi neighborhood, easily accessible from the island’s capital and nearby villages. As a result, the beach is popular amongst tourists and locals alike and can often become crowded during the summer months.
4. Xi Beach
A Popular Beach with Vibrant Red Sands and White Picturesque Cliffs
One of the unique beaches in Kefalonia and the Ionian Islands, Xi Beach is famous thanks to its distinctive red-colored sands that contrast the surrounding white cliffs and light blue waters to create memorable vistas of the breathtaking coastline.
Thanks to its unique coloration, Xi Beach is also one of the most popular beaches to catch the island’s sunsets, as the evening lights reflect off the shores, saturating and enhancing the already vibrantly colored landscape.
Popular amongst tourists, Xi Beach offers several beachside amenities, including sunbeds, umbrellas, and beach bars. It is a great place to enjoy a delicious cocktail while soaking in the sun. Meanwhile, beachgoers seeking a more active experience can enjoy the clear water and adrenaline-pumping fun with several activities, including jet skiing and windsurfing.
Xi Beach is located at the southern tip of the Paliki Peninsula and is only a short drive south of Lixouri.
5. Petani Beach
A Busy Beach with Breathtaking Vistas and Big Waves
Another beautiful beach along Kefalonia’s Paliki Peninsula, Petani Beach, is located along the island’s western shores, about a 20-minute drive from Lixouri. Like many other beaches on the island, Petani Beach is surrounded by dramatic tree-covered coastal cliffs lined with picturesque golden sands leading into the Ionian’s azure waters.
The picturesque beach features several beach chairs with umbrellas, and nearby taverns and cafes offer convenient spots for lunch or a cocktail. Additional amenities within the beach facility include public washrooms and showers, providing a convenient beach day.
Additionally, the beach is only about 600 meters long and is easily explored end to end. The central part of the beach is primarily used for swimming, which consists of deeper waters and larger waves than those found on other nearby beaches.
Thanks to its natural beauty, onsite amenities, and convenient location near the island’s capital, Petani Beach is very popular amongst tourists and locals. It can often become crowded during the height of the tourist season.
6. Lourdas Beach
A Long, Picturesque Beach Known for its Resorts and Beachside Amenities
Tucked along Kepfalonia’s southern shorelines, only 17 km from Argostoli, Lourdas Beach has become a popular resort town recently. It boasts plenty of nearby amenities servicing its verdant hills overlooking the sprawling blue waters of the Ionian Sea.
As a resort town, Lourdas is home to several luxury hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops, and bars lining the picturesque white sands of its beach. Additionally, nearby Mount Ainos serves as the dramatic backdrop of Lourdas, with its rugged landscapes contrasting the soft elegance of the white sands in a way that beckons adventure.
Along with lounging in a sun chair enjoying a relaxing cocktail from a nearby beach bar, Lourdas Beach offers a massive selection of beach activities, including swimming, water sports, building sand castles, and hiking to nearby overlooks, waterfalls, and the Monastery of Sissia.
7. Foki Beach
Untouched Beach Haven Known for its Natural Vistas and Seal Population
Only five minutes from the historical village of Fiscardo along Kefalonia’s northern shores, Foki Beach is famous for its picturesque natural landscapes of pebbled beaches encompassed by breathtaking hills densely covered by an olive tree forest.
Translating to Seal Beach, Foki Beach is home to dozens of marine mammals visitors can often spot basking on the shore or wading through the waters.
While there are no soft sands to lounge on, Foki Beach offers an adventurous natural landscape, including numerous coves and caves lining the beach’s right side. The cove is also popular with luxury yachts seeking a natural setting.
Thanks to the site’s preserved nature, the beach does not feature any onsite amenities or development. In fact, the only facility in the area is a small fish tavern on a hill above the beach, which offers a great lunch or dinner option.
8. Emplisi Beach
An Accessible Undeveloped Beach near Fiskardo
Another untouched beach near Kefalonia’s northernmost village of Fiskardo, Emplisi Beach offers a pristine coastal destination for lounging along white pebbled shores while dipping into the Ionians’ welcoming waters.
The beach features deep azure waters surrounded by steep rocks and dense greenery, providing a surreal natural environment for sunbathing and relaxation.
Additionally, while slightly more popular than Foki Beach, Emplisi Beach sees far fewer tourists than the more popular stretches of sand along the island’s southern coasts. It features no development along its entirely natural and picturesque landscapes, barring a small parking lot.
As such, it is a fantastic setting for visitors seeking a more out-of-the-way beach to enjoy the island’s natural ambiance without having to trek too far from the established road networks.
9. Skala Beach
A Long Golden Sand Beach with Traditional Fishing Village and Bustling Resort Amenities
Awarded the Blue Flag for its cleanliness and organization, Skala Beach has quickly become one of the most popular beaches in Kefalonia and has developed into a busy resort destination.
Located along Kefalonia’s southern tip, Skala Beach spans 5 km of the island’s shoreline with beautiful golden sands surrounded by the Ionian’s unbelievably blue waters and hills covered in dense bushes and verdant trees.
Additionally, as a popular resort town, Skala Beach features plenty of development and onsite amenities, including restaurants, beachside bars, and several water sports and boat rentals. The beach’s crystal clear waters also promise plenty of visibility and are a favorite amongst snorkelers looking to explore the region’s aquatic environments.
Despite its growing popularity, the small fishing village maintains many traditional charms. It is the perfect destination for combining a relaxing beach holiday with exploring authentic Greek culture.
10. Platia Ammos Beach
Isolated Beach Destination Only Accessible by Boat
Located on the far western shores of the Paliki Peninsula, Platia Ammos is one of the most secluded beaches in Kefalonia and is often typically free of tourists. This is because the stairs that once led to the beach were destroyed following a 2014 rockslide, making this beach only accessible by boat.
Still, those willing to make the venture to this idyllic stretch of shoreline are rewarded with one with a long isolated stretch of pristine golden sands surrounded by steep mountain cliffs, which feel like your own personal corner of the island free from the crowding that can occur at similar sights.
However, thanks to its isolated setting, Platia Ammos does not feature any development, and visitors will not find any restaurants, bars, or bathrooms. Still, this is one of the best beaches for enjoying a peaceful beach day free from the tourist crowds.
11. Fteri Beach
A Hidden Coastal Gem Surrounded by Mountains
Another isolated coastal gem along the northernmost coast of the Paliki Peninsula, Fteri Beach is one of the most pristine, untouched landscapes in Kefalonia. It can only be reached via boat or a 50-minute hike along a mountain path.
Surrounded by tree-covered limestone cliffs, Fteri Beach is a long stretch of light fine pebbles leading into the crystal clear, blue-hued waters of the Ionian. It promises a remote beach setting for enjoying your isolated Mediterranean island fantasies.
Like other remote beaches on the island, Fteri Beach has no development. However, its coastal cliffs and deep waters make it one of the best areas on the island for cliff jumping, while its clear waters are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking.
12. Ammes Beach
The Best Beach in Kefalonia for Surfing
Ammes Beach is a popular stretch of golden sand along Kephalonia’s southern shore, only 10 km from Argostoli. And while the stretch of shoreline is a popular lounging spot for relaxing on beach chairs and soaking in the sun, it is also one of the best beaches, thanks to being one of the only spots in Kefalonia where you can surf.
While conditions are inconsistent, Ammes Beach does feature a point break where lucky surfers can catch some waves. Surfing in Ammes Beach is best suited during winter when swells are more common, and the tourist crowds are thinner.
However, even if you aren’t looking to surf, Ammes Beach is still an excellent option for a relaxing coastal getaway. It features plenty of natural scenery and onsite amenities to enjoy.
FAQs About Beaches in Kefalonia
What is the prettiest beach in Kefalonia?
Kefalonia’s most beautiful beaches are those untouched by tourism development. Myrtos Beach, Fteri Beach, and Platia Ammos are some of the prettiest beaches on the island, thanks to their remote sprawling golden sands and towering tree-covered cliffs. However, the unique colors of Xi Beach offer their own beauty and are truly something to witness.
What are the best beaches in Kefalonia for surfing?
While Kefalonia is not known for its surf, Ammes Beach does feature a point break where visitors can catch a wave if conditions allow. While swells are inconsistent, winter tends to be the best time to try your hand at surfing in Kefalonia.
What part of Kefalonia has the best beaches?
World-class beaches can be found all around Kefalonia’s coastal destinations. Still, the Paliki Peninsula tends to house the greatest concentration of beautiful beaches and is home to such coastal gems as Petani Beach, Xi Beach, and Platia Ammos, and it is only a short drive from Myrtos Beach.
Where are the best family beaches in Kefalonia?
The best family beaches in Kefalonia are those promising a relaxing coastal setting with plenty of beachside activities and amenities. For this reason, the popular resort destinations of Lourdas and Skala Beaches are typically the best beaches for basing your family holiday.
Which Kefalonia beach is best for snorkeling?
Featuring crystal clear waters and a marine biodiversity that matches the dense forests surrounding its shores, Foki Beach is the best beach in Kefalonia for snorkeling and even boasts a population of Seals within its idyllic waters.
Are there any white sand beaches in Kefalonia?
Kefalonia boasts beautiful white sand, golden sand, and even shingle beaches. However, those looking for the romanticized white sand beach experience will find the best examples of these coastal havens at Myrtos Beach and Petani Beach.