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Kefalonia is an island in the Ionian Islands in Greece. It is also known by its Italian form, Cefalonia.
Kefalonia towns are clean, friendly and small enough to get round with no hassle. It's the breathtaking natural scenery you visit this gorgeous island for, and visitors will not be disappointed. Lush forests, breathtaking mountains and dizzyingly high cliffs dropping down to glittering azure seas are what Kefalonia is all about.
English is understood almost universally, with only senior citizens confined to their native language. Italian is widely recognised, due to the island's strong historical links with that nation. Venture a greeting in Greek anywhere on the island and you will get a warmly enthusiastic response.
The main airport, Kefalonia International Airport is located near Argostoli and Lassi, and is a typical small island airport. Flights to the Greek mainland are available from Sky Express and Olympic Air.
You can also arrive by frequent ferry from Italy, the Greek mainland and other islands. From Athens, KTEL buses go from the bus terminal in Kiffisou Street to various destinations on the island.
The bus service on the island is too infrequent to be much use to tourists. 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.
What to see
The island consists of four peninsulas, and includes some fairly serious mountains, which all goes to make for some outstanding scenery.
Towards the centre of the island there are two noteworthy caves: the beautiful Drogarati caves seem have suffered somewhat from the loss of rather a lot of its stalactites and stalagmites.
Sami beach is also stunning with blue water, white stones, mountains in a circle around the small bay.
Myrtos beach, in the West, is also attractive and popular, but can be busy. This beach has a very steep shore break, so is not recommended for non swimmers.
Less ravishing but pretty good beaches which are very much less crowded tend to be found in the south, around Scala and the Lixouri peninsula to the west. The beach of Xi, south of Lixouri, is a lovely sandy beach and always seems to have space and peace.
The jetty in the film of Corelli, where Mandras throws Pelagia into the sea, is at Horgota beach.
Of the many boat excursions available, one to nearby Ithaca is particularly recommended. Also, the glass bottomed boat tour run by Captain Maki is a must.
The Roman villa just outside Skala, with mosaic floors more or less intact, is worth a visit - recent finds have added to its attraction and digs continue in the area.
What to do
Rent a boat in Agia Efimia - there are a few rentals, such as Yellow Boat - and spend the day visiting secluded beaches which can only be reached by boat.
There are a number of horseriding stables in Kefalonia and it is possible to arrange a ride into the mountains, through ruined villages and ancient vineyards, where the bells of the mountain goats and the cry of eagles are the only sounds to punctuate the silence.
Wildlife Sense. Wildlife Sense Kefalonia is a volunteer organization that collaborates with local authorities and environmental organizations to protect endangered plants and animals while promoting scientific research and raising public awareness.
The George & Marie Vergottis Foundation puts on a series of music concerts, featuring world-class foreign and Greek musicians.
Aquatic Scuba Diving Club, Agia Efimia. They provide a range of diving activities, including trial dives every afternoon for beginners (no previous knowledge required at all) and courses that allow you to get a diving certificate.