20 Best Things To Do In Kefalonia, Greece (2024 Guide)

Last Updated: April 12th, 2024

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As the largest island in the Ionian Sea, Kefalonia is home to the greatest variety of world-renowned beaches, geological phenomena, and historical landmarks in the island chain, and it can be difficult to fit all of the island’s marvelous attractions into a single trip.

For this reason, I have composed this list of the 20 best things to do in Kefalonia of the most beautiful, exciting, and mysterious attractions I have uncovered during my trips to the most alluring of Greece’s Ionian Islands.

TL;DR

20 Best Things To Do In Kefalonia

1. Melissani Cave

Explore Keflonia’s Largest Underground Lake.

Melissani Cave Kefalonia
Open-roof chamber in Melissani Cave

Located only three kilometers from Sami’s harbourfront along the western shores of Kefalonia, Melissani Cave is one of Greece’s greatest natural wonders and a must-visit stop along any exploration of the island.

Formed over millennia, Melissani Cave contains an underground lake in the cavern’s two expansive chambers, one of which’s ceiling caved in centuries ago, allowing for plenty of light to shine in on the breathtaking natural landforms and ecosystems it contains.

Upon arriving at Melissani Cave, visitors can tour the short footpath from the entrance. However, visitors must arrange for a boat tour to get a deeper look at the site’s more expansive water-filled caverns.

Check out this boat tour for an immersive exploration of both Melissani Cave and the nearby Drogarati Cave.

2. Myrtos Beach

Admire the Sunset at Kefalonia’s Most Picturesque Beach.

Myrtos-Beach
Myrtos Beach from a northern vantage point.

While Kefalonia is home to many beautiful beaches, Myrtos Beach may just take the prize as the most awe-inspiring and breathtaking stretch of shoreline on the island and is even considered one of the most photographed destinations in Greece.

Located about 45 minutes north of Argostoli, Myrtos Beach is a crescent-chapped cove along Kefalonia’s western shores and is surrounded by large lush mountains on either side of its white pebble beach.

And while the beach offers a pristine natural setting for enjoying the simple beauty of its picturesque vistas and relaxing waters, it also features plenty of basic onsite comforts, such as beach chairs, umbrellas, bathrooms, and even a small snack bar.

As one of the most popular attractions in Kefalonia, Myrtos Beach welcomes visitors throughout the day. However, the best time to visit this simply majestic destination is in the evening to admire as the day’s final rays of light reflect off the turquoise waters and the verdant mountain backdrop.

3. Assos Village

Explore an Authentic Greek Village.

Assos-Village
Assos Village and Bay.

While many of the island’s other villages have attracted hordes of tourists and have seen extensive development of resorts and hotels, Assos has remained largely untouched and boasts only a small selection of hotels and restaurants for passing tourists.

And thanks to its ability to avoid tourism development, Assos Village has maintained its authentic small Greek village charms, boasting a population of about only 100 inhabitants and featuring plenty of historic buildings and beautiful vistas.

And while getting accommodation within the village can be difficult, it is well worth the day trip to popular tourist centers to experience this charming small community of a time before the island’s monuments and landmarks began attracting hordes of international tourists.

Among the village’s most alluring attractions are the remains of the historic community’s Venetian architecture, the natural beauty of the nearby bay, and the 13th-century Venetia castle, which stands sentinel above it all.

4. Fiskardo

Admire Venetian Architecture and Historic Landmarks.

Fiskado Fishing Village Kefalonia
Fiskardo’s harbourfront.

Kefalonia’s most northern village, Fiskardo is another small fishing community that is a must-visit when traveling to the island and combines historic landmarks and attractions with a popular cosmopolitan town with several shopping centers, bars, and restaurants.

Along with boasting a picturesque harbor popular amongst yachters, Fiskardo is one of the most historic villages in Kefalonia, being one of the only places on the island that managed to escape the horrendous destruction of the 1953 earthquakes.

As such, the village has become one of the best spots on the island for observing Kefalonia’s past Venetian influences, which can be seen in the community’s antiquated architecture and historic Venetian Lighthouse.

And while the Venetian influences may be the most evident in Fiskardo’s modern community, the history of the village actually dates back millennia, with archeological digs of nearby cemeteries suggesting the region has been inhabited for over 40,000 years, and was even an important naval port during the Roman period of occupation on the island.

Whether visiting for history or the quaint shopping centers and eateries along the harbourfront, Fiskardo is another must-visit destination along any Kefalonia itinerary.

You can explore both Assos and Fiskardo villages along this Kefalonia Island Tour.

5. Ithaca

Follow in the Footsteps of Homer’s Greatest Hero.

Ithaca-Island-Of-Greece
Traditional Greek house in Ithaca.

Located only about 32 kilometers from the port city of Sami, Ithaca makes for a fantastic day trip from Kefalonia and offers a thrilling day of historical explorations through the legendary homeland of Odysseus, the mythical hero of Homer’s Odyssey.

A smaller and quieter island than Kefalonia, Ithaca offers a laid-back exploration of an authentic Greek island, complete with small charming villages, picturesque beaches, and lush, rugged landscapes.

Among Ithaca’s must-visit attractions are the quaint island villages of Vathy, Kioni, and Frikes, Vathy’s Archaeological Museum, the ancient ruins of Alalcomenae, the Cave of Nymphs, and Gidaki Beach.

Even better, Ithaca is small enough that all of these fantastic highlights can be completed in a single day and in time for you to catch the final ferry back to your accommodation in Kefalonia.

Of course, you can remove the stress of a self-planned day trip to the island and instead book this Ithaca Private Full-Day Sightseeing Tour, which includes pick up and drop off at your hotel.

6. De Bosset Bridge

Walk Across a Centuries-Old Bridge.

De-Bosset-Bridge
De Bosset Bridge walkway.

One of the most iconic landmarks in Kefalonia, De Bosset Bridge is a centuries-old feat of construction dating back to 1813 that spans the inlet that once separated Argostoli from the rest of mainland Kefalonia.

The bridge also features a large obelisk, which was once a symbol of gratitude to the island’s Great Britain occupiers, who had commissioned the construction. While the plaque with the inscription to Great Britain has since been stricken, the obelisk and bridge remain a reminder of the island’s contested history.

While not particularly long, walking the De Bosset Bridge is a traditional practice for any tourist to Kefalonia and is even a pivotal stopping point along this Argostoli Highlight Tour.

7. Mount Ainos National Park

Hike to the Ionian’s Highest Peak.

Mount-Ainos-National-Park
View from the top of Mount Ainos.

Home to the highest mountain in the Ionian Sea, Mount Ainos National Park is the only National Park in Kefalonia and features over 3,000 hectares of untouched natural landscapes to explore.

While it is possible to climb to Megas Soros, the park’s highest peak reaching elevations of 1,628 meters, there are easier hiking trails for a more pleasurable walk through one of Kefalonia’s most breathtaking natural environments.

However, those willing to venture to Megas Soros are rewarded with some of Kefalonia’s most awe-inspiring sweeping views, along with several other surrounding islands, including Ithaca, Zakynthos, and even the mainland.

Along the way, hikers will even be able to spot Abies Cephalonica, a unique species of fir that only grows on the mountain between altitudes of 600-1600 meters, and Equus caballus, a species of wild horse that inhabits the southeastern side of the mountain.

8. Petani Beach

Unwind on One of Kefalonia’s Most Beautiful Beaches

Petani-Beach
Aerial view of Petani Beach.

Another of Kefalnoia’s breathtaking coastal havens, Petani Beach, is a one-kilometer expanse of shoreline covered in mostly white sands with sporadic pebbles. And while the sand, sun loungers, and beach umbrellas are perfect for relaxation and unwinding, the beach’s true claim to fame is its breathtaking crescent-shaped cove with tree-covered mountains.

Promising plenty of natural vistas to explore and admire, Petani Cave is the perfect spot for grabbing picture-perfect panoramas or dipping into the beach’s unbelievably azure waters.

The beach often features big waves and deep waters, making it an exciting spot for a swim, although adults should monitor children.

While the beach is surrounded by pristine natural beauty, it does feature a small selection of onsite amenities, including a parking lot, tavern, and bathrooms.

9. Antisamos Beach

Enjoy Family-Fun Amenities at a World-Famous Beach

Antisamos Beach Kefalonia
Antisamos Beach From The Roadside Vantage Point

Located 30 kilometers east of Argostoli near Sami, Antisamos Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Kefalonia and a local favorite for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing.

Surrounded by lush, tree-covered hills and reflectively blue waters, Antisamos Beach is renowned for its location’s natural beauty and breathtaking scenery and even served as the setting for the celebrated Hollywood film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

While the film has brought some international acclaim to this coastal gem, Antisamos Beach has not suffered from tourism development and maintains much of its natural charms that have attracted visitors for decades while still boasting light onsite amenities, such as sun loungers and umbrellas.

10. Fteri Beach

Hike to One of Kefalonia’s Untouched Coastal Hideaways.

Fteri-Beach-Lagoon
Secluded shoreline of Fteri Beach.

Visitors seeking the natural wonderment of an entirely untouched beach along Kefalonia’s idyllic shores should plan a day trip over to the remote Fteri Beach.

Boasting no road access, Fteri BEach can only be reached either by foot along a 40 to 50-minute mountain path or by water taxi from the nearby Zola Harbour.

Due to this difficulty in reaching the beach, Fteri Beach sees fewer tourists than the island’s most popular and accessible shores. As such, it has been left entirely untouched by tourism development and boasts pristine white pebbles, turquoise waters, and sheer limestone cliffs in all their natural glory.

Fteri Beach is the perfect destination for living out your isolated Greek island fantasy. Unfortunately, the untouched shoreline also means no amenities are offered onsite, and any food, water, and other necessities need to be brought with you.

It is also important to pack up any garbage you may bring with you to help maintain the natural splendor of the beach for future visitors.

11. Sami

Explore One of the Island’s Most Historical Port Cities.

Sami-Harbour-Kefalonia
Boats in Sami Harbour.

Despite being home to Kefalonia’s second largest port servicing ferries to nearby islands and Italy, Sami is a small village of about 1,000 inhabitants constructed near its ancient namesake that remains of the most important archaeological finds on the island.

Blending centuries of history with a bustling port community, Sami is one of the most popular tourist destinations along Kefalonia’s eastern shores and provides convenient access to many of the island’s top attractions, including Melissani and Drogarati Caves and Antisamos Beach.

However, while many visitors use Sami as a base for exploring these wondrous sites, the community is worthy of exploration in itself and features several historic paved roads of Venetian architecture mixed in with a plethora of modern restaurants and shops along its iconic harbourfront.

Along with a tour of Ancient Sami, a walking tour of the modern village is one of the top things to do in Kefalonia, with some of the village’s top sights including the Archaeological Museum, the Nautical Museum, and the Agrilia Monastery.

12. Drogorati Cave

Immerse in a Millennia Old Geological Wonder.

Drogorati-Cave
Stalagmite chamber in Drogorati Cave. Image by: PapaPiper / Flickr

While not as famous as Melissani Cave, Drogorati Cave is a geological wonder of Kefalonia that is believed to have formed about 150 million years ago. Hidden from human knowledge for the vast majority of its existence Drogorati Cave was only discovered three centuries ago and was largely closed off from the general public until 1963.

Today the cave welcomes tourists and geology enthusiasts in two chambers. The first is the Royal Balcony, a long corridor home to a platform of natural stalagmites. The second is the massive Chamber of Exaltation, which boasts natural acoustics and is known to house cultural events of up to 5,000 people.

13. Agios Gerasimos Monastery

Make the Pilgrimage to Kefalonia’s Holy Site.

Agios-Gerasimos-Monastery
Monastery of Agios Gerasimos

Agios Gerasimos Monastery is considered one of the most sacred destinations in Kefalonia and is named after the island’s patron saint, who lived the final years of his life there.

Born in 1503 in Trikala Thessaly, Saint Gerasimos lived much of his life, passing through Crete, Zakynthos, and Jerusalem before finally landing on the island of Kefalonia. For the first five years, Saint Gerasimos lived as a hermit in a cave near Lassi, which can still be visited today.

Then, in 1560, Saint Gerasimos constructed a nunnery in the shadows of Mount Ainos, which has since undergone reconstruction and today serves as the Agios Gerasimos Monasteries, the most important pilgrimage site in Kefalonia.

Today, visitors are welcome to tour the extensive complex, which includes Saint Gerasimos’ original hermitage, an extensive main building, and a newly constructed church.

14. Agios Georgios Castle

Walk The Ruins of Kefalonia’s Historical Capital.

Agios-Georgios-Castle
Ruins of Agios Georgios Castle.

Constructed during KEfalonia’s Byzantine era in the 12th century, the Castle of Saint George is the most iconic landmark on the island and one of the most impressive historical monuments in the Ionian Sea.

Covering 16,000 square meters, the castle served as Kefalonia’s capital until 1757, at which point the capital was moved to the modern location of Argostoli thanks to a series of earthquakes that left the fortress in ruin.

Today, visitors are welcomed to tour the castle’s ruins as they explore the facility’s extensive floor plan while admiring the historical Venetian coat of arms and sprawling views of the surrounding landscape and nearby villages.

15. Argostoli

Wander the Streets of Kefalonia’s Capital City.

Argostoli
The Argostoli waterfront.

Following the destruction of the Castle of Saint George in 1757, Kefalonia’s capital was moved to the nearby village of Argostoli, which quickly grew into Kefalonia’s bustling hub, boasting a modern population of about 10,000 residents.

Along with housing the island’s primary port, Argostoli has become Kefalonia’s cultural center and is an important stopping point along any exploration of the island, and houses some of the destination’s most impressive shopping centers, seaside restaurants, and museums.

Among Argosotli’s most important attractions and landmarks are its iconic harbourfront, the Saint Theodore Lighthouse, the Platia Valianou shopping center, and the De Bosset Bridge, all of which and more can be explored along this Argostoli Sightseeing Tour.

16. Take a Winery Tour

Indulge Along an Exploration of Kefalonia’s Top Vineyards.

Take-A-Winery-Tour
The wine degustation room at Robola Vineyard.

Wine plays a huge role in Greek culture, and it is no different on the idyllic island of Kefalonia. In fact, there are several wineries scattered throughout the island’s sweeping hills and vineyards, including the Gentilini, Robola, and Divino wineries.

And while a tour of any of these expansive vineyards offers insight into the island’s winemaking industry, the best way to explore a variety of flavors and varieties is along a wine-tasting tour.

Complete with a driver and informative guide, these tours bring visitors to the top wineries in Kefalonia while exploring some of the island’s best wine flavors without worrying about arranging a ride back to their accommodation.

17. Explore the Aquatic Life

Swim with Sea Turtles, Seals, and Dolphins.

Explore-The-Aquatic-Life
Sea turtle in Kefalonia.

The Ionian Sea around Kefalonia is home to a rich biodiversity, and visitors can spot various exotic sea life. While getting too close to the wondrous creatures isn’t suggested, visitors are invited to explore the island’s aquatic life from shore or even dip into the nearby waters.

Among Kefalonia’s most exciting species are the numerous sea turtles often spotted shifting their way through the blue waters of several beaches and harbors. One of the most abundant areas housing these creatures is the Argostoli Harbor, where visitors often spot schools of sea turtles frolicking in the waves.

Other aquatic life scattered around the island include the Mediterranean monk seal, which visitors can often spot basking on the shores or in the waters at Foki Beach. Dolphins frequent the nearby waters and can be seen jumping through the offshore waves.

18. Sinkholes of Kefalonia

Marvel at a Geological Phenomena

Sinkholes-Of-Kefalonia
The watermill at the Sink Holes of Kefalonia.

A series of sinkholes near Argostoli, the Katavothres of Kefalonia is one of the island’s most wondrous geological phenomena and owe their existence to the karst aquifer that connects its location along Kefalonia eastern shore to the springs of Karavomilos in Sami along the island’s east, about 15 kilometers away.

The site’s discovery has resulted in the scientific discovery that Kefalonia’s underground springs are all connected within a single aquifer, and the same water that flows through the sinkholes also flows through Melissani Cave.

As such, the Katavothres Sinkholes have become a popular tourist destination for exploring the island’s geological processes, with the site even boasting a historical water mill that was built in 1835.

19. Karavomilos

Discover the Mysteries of Kefalonia’s Underground Aquifer.

Karavomilos
Church bell tower reflecting in Karavomilos Lake.

Just as the Katavothres Sinkholes are popular attractions marking one end of Kefalonia’s karst aquifer, so too is the opposing end of the underground water system, which produces the beautiful and mysterious Karavomilos Lake near Sami.

Along with housing many geological and biological wonders within its waters, Karavomilos Lake promises a charming setting for exploring the region’s biodiversity while admiring the nearby fishing village found along its shores.

Whether walking the trail that weaves its way around the lake, exploring the biodiverse waters, or sampling the local culture and restaurants in the village, Karavomilos offers a relaxing day in an authentic corner of the island.

You can visit Karavomilos from Sami along this day tour.

20. Xi Beach

Lounge Along the Colorful Red-Sand Beach.

Xi-Beach
Rows of beach chairs on Xi Beach.

With red sands, turquoise waters, and white limestone cliffs, Xi Beach is a destination for the senses and offers a contrast of colors that make it one of the most unique and celebrated beaches in the entire Ionian.

Located along the southern shores of the Paliki Peninsula near Lixouri, Xi Beach welcomes visitors of all ages with safe swimming conditions and onsite amenities that include several restaurants, beach chairs, and even a floating obstacle course.

While the beach is popular during the day, the best time to visit is in the evening, as the light of golden hour reflects off the colorful surfaces enhancing the overall splendor of the sight.

This White Rocks and Xi Beach tour is a fantastic way to explore the region’s exotic waters in style.

FAQs About Kefalonia Attractions

Why is Kefalonia so popular?

Home to world-class beaches, historical monuments, and a breathtakingly beautiful natural landscape, Kefalonia is the largest island in Greece’s Ionian Sea and attracts thousands of international visitors looking to explore the celebrated island chain’s famous splendors.

What should you not miss in Kefalonia?

From beaches to archaeological sites, there are dozens of fantastic sights to see in Kefalonia. Still, some of the island’s must-visit destinations include Assos Village, Myrtos Beach, and the Castle of Saint George.

What is Kefalonia best known for?

Kefalonia is best known as the largest island in the Ionian Sea, along with its pristine natural beaches made famous through the Hollywood film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

How many days in Kefalonia is enough?

How many days you should spend in Kefalonia ultimately depends on how much you want to see. Three days are the minimum required time to see the highlights and allow visitors to explore at least one village, a historical or geological landmark, and at least one beach. If you plan to see everything the island offers, expect to visit for a week or more.

What is the best time to go to Kefalonia?

The best time to visit Kefalonia is during the island’s shoulder months, in May, June, September, or October. During this time, the island experiences comfortable weather conditions while hosting far fewer tourists than at peak season.

What is there to do in Kefalonia at night?

While Kefalonia is known as a sleepy island destination, the capital city of Argostoli is home to a few nightclubs that promise a vibrant night out and an active party scene. Alternatively, visitors looking to have a more relaxing night with a glass of wine can visit one of the island’s more traditional Greek tavernas.

What are the best Kefalonia beaches?

Kefalonia is home to dozens of breathtakingly beautiful beaches. But among the bunch, Myrtos Beach, Petani Beach, and Xi Beach are among the absolute best and must-visit coastal destinations.

About The Author

A Canada-based freelance writer, Kurt acquired his bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor. Upon graduating, Kurt left the courtside media desk behind and began venturing the globe. Throughout his journeys, Kurt enjoys partaking in slow travel and loves to explore the histories and cultures of each destination, which he shares with others through his writing.

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Picture of Kurt Norris

Kurt Norris

A Canada-based freelance writer, Kurt acquired his bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor. Upon graduating, Kurt left the courtside media desk behind and began venturing the globe. Throughout his journeys, Kurt enjoys partaking in slow travel and loves to explore the histories and cultures of each destination, which he shares with others through his writing.

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