Kefalonia is a Greek paradise to me. The largest of the Ionian islands and the sixth biggest Greek island (out of 250 other inhabited islands) Kefalonia is situated to the west of Athens. You may have heard of the island already, maybe from my post back in 2014? Or from the world famous 1994 book (or 2001 film), Captain Corelli’s Mandolin? or maybe even from Myrtos beach, voted one of the top beaches in Europe? Either way, this is an island you will want to know more about, it is rich in history and completely stunning.
The whole island still feels incredibly Greek, it is not a huge tourist trap (unless you head south towards Skala,which definitely feels more British!). The capital, Argostoli, has no high rise hotels or big shopping centers insight, it’s full of locals, not hundreds of other British tourists. The capital boasts some amazing places to eat, drink and sleep. Since my last visit back in 2014 lots of quirky cool bars and hotels have popped up, like the Kefalonia Grand Hotel.This hotel has a real modern Greek twist and is worth the visit (check my post out HERE). I returned to some of my favorite restaurants like La Gondola and Pizza Al Forno and found a new place called Baroque le Bistrot, to people watch in the evening with a perfectly made latte. If you are visiting for the day, make sure you plan your trip for the evening as Argostoli comes alive at night and is a ghost town during the hottest part of the day. However, midmorning in Argostoli bay is the perfect time for turtle watching. Grab an iced frappe and treats from a local bakery and take walk along the waters edge.
After a short stay at the Kefalonia Grand Hotel we moved on to stay in an area I personally love. Lakithra is a little village that sits high up on a mountain that is overlooking Argostoli bay and the mountain range on one side and on the other Lassi and the sea. I discovered a charming villa online, Villa Mandola. I kind of want to keep it as my little secret… but it was the perfect place to stay! At the airport I was greeted by John, a very Greek looking man with the strongest Australian accent, it was such a surprise!! The villa was even better in real life, the poolside views over Argostoli bay were beautiful and extremely calming. One of the best treats was Mado’s (John’s lovely wife) homemade cooking… fresh vegetable dishes from her garden. Oh my word, it was some of the best food I had had on the island! One morning they greeted us with a fresh plate of fruit and Greek yogurt, it was perfect! I cannot wait to go back to this villa again.
I have visited many places on the island, but I still have more to discover… it is actually crazy how such a small island has so much to do and see. First up, let’s talk beaches… oh so many beautiful beaches. One of Kefalonia’s beaches was voted the third nicest beach in Europe, it is called Myrtos beach. I personally think its great to look at but to sunbath and swim? No way. The waves are extreme, so be warned! There is truly a beach for everyone here, I like a little more going on, where there is good food, good sunbeds, and clear sea. I tend to go to Costa Costa beach in Lassi, it has stunningly clear water and the funkiest beach bar in Kefalonia with surprisingly good food. You can try XI beach over in Lixouri, where you will find red sand or Avithos beach, which is a little quieter with local restaurants within walking distant (definitely return here for dinner too!!).
My other half, James, came with me on this trip so I had to revisit a number of my favorite places. We took a morning hike up to St. Georges fort, which has views to die for and cooled off at a local taverna, where we found a photo of the owner and Nickolas Cage from when Captain Corelli Mandolin was filmed on the island!! We also visited Melissani Cave near the town of Sami, this cave is seriously stunning. Water flows all the way from Argostoli through the cave and then out into the sea nearby (this area is featured in my outfit post HERE) The water was unbelievably clear and blue but also freezing… I got numb feet!
(Melissani Cave has been featured on Insider as well check out their video HERE)
My Top Picks;
1. Esperides, Svoronata – Perfect dinner destination.
2. Mel’s, Lassi – Great for a quick lunch.
3. Pizza al Forno, Argostoli – Always full of locals.
1. Avithos Resort, Svoronata – Brilliant breakfast and quaint buildings.
2. Kefalonia Grand Hotel, Argostoli – Modern Greek twist in the heart of the Capital.
3. Villa Mandola, Lakithra – Beautifull villa owned by a lovely family.
1. Costa Costa Beach, Lassi – Drinks are delivered to your sunbed!!
2. Baroque le Bistrot, Argostoli – In the heart of it all, with cocktails & coffee.
3. Kefalonia Grand Hotel, Argostoli – Bay views and relaxing vibes.
1. St. George’s castle, Peratata – All ruins but amazing views.
2. Assos Village – The cutest coloured houses and fortress.
3. Sami – Where Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was filmed!
See more from my trip on Instagram… I have tons of photos from my travels that I wanted to share, find some here or here or here or even here!!! You can also check out some of the outfits I wore… my cave explorer outfit or my silk on silk look!
Have any of you ever been to Kefalonia? or do you have a favorite Greek island? Tell me below or drop me a comment on twitter! More posts coming very soon…
Love Sophie xx