Kefalonia Attractions

Kefalonia

Kefalonia Beaches

Ai Helis  Myrtos  Makris Gialos  Platis Gialos  Emplisi  Antisamos Avithos  Petani  Skala beach  Foki  Alaties  Asos beach  Xi

Kefalonia is known for its beaches and beauty, as many have a blue flag. Most famous, with a blue flag, a nice beach bar and water sports are the well-known Myrtos, Skala, Katelios, Platis and Makris Gialos in Lassi. Equally beautiful are the beaches of the Livathos area, such as Avithos, Ammes, Trapezaki, Lourdas, Karavados and Klimatsias in Spartia, Lixouri, the famous Petans and Xi with the reddish sandy beach. Beautiful beaches can be found in the northern part of the island.

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De Bosset Bridge
Drogarati Cave
Lighthouse of Saint Theodoroi
Nautical Museum
Nautical Museum

Sightseeing

Argostoli

You can visit some of the most popular destinations in our country, such as Argostoli, which is the largest city and capital of the island. It is built amphitheatrically overlooking the beautiful bay that surrounds it. You can have your coffee on the stone-paved pedestrian street with dozens of cafes and bars or take a swim in the beautiful sandy beaches of Makry and Platys Gialos. In the city of Argostoli, you will find numerous hotels and rooms to let as well as restaurants for every taste.

Lixouri

Another popular destination is the beautiful Lixouri, the second largest city in Kefalonia, known for its carnival. It is also known for the Library with its huge collection of books. It has excellent tourist facilities and some of the best taverns on the island, while Xi beach is well known for the clay color of sand due to clay, which is essentially a natural spa, but also the beautiful beaches of Petani, Platia Ammos, Lepida, Atheras and others.

Sami

To the north and to the east coast of the island is Sami. It is built in the depth of a bay and combines the greenery of nature with the blue of the sea as the trees reach almost ashore. The film “Captain Corelli’s Mandolino” was filmed in the city and in the wider region. Here you will find many shops, rooms to let, restaurants and cafes. You can enjoy the sea on the main beach (Karavomylos) or Antisamos. Do not miss to visit the beautiful Melissani Cave. The further north you to the north you will see the village of Divarata, which is the nearest settlement on the well-known beach of Myrtos, the most popular on the island and one of the most beautiful, not only in Greece but also in the world.

Skala

At the southernmost end of the island, you will see the seaside settlement of Skala with its vast and busy beach with the water sports infrastructure. There you will find a beach bar, umbrellas and sun loungers. Other destinations on the island of Kefalonia are Poros, Svoronata, picturesque Fiskardo, home of poet Nikos Kavvadias and others.

Fiskardo

Traditional village on the northern edge of the island and favorite destination for cruisers. Experience with the seasonal aroma, stroll along the seaside and its alleys between colorful two-story mansions. There are also scenic routes to get here either from Argostoli or Agia Efimia (from narrow streets with panoramic sea views). It is connected by ferry to Lefkada (in Vassiliki) and Ithaca (to Frikes).

Assos Castle

A brilliant example of the Venetian fortification, built on the Assos peninsula, is linked to the land by a narrow strip of land. You can hear the hooves of the horses as you climb the uphill road on an autumn day, with the view of the Ionian sea on one side and Assos on the other.

Kipouria Monastery

Built-in 1759 on a cliff overlooking the sea, on the west coast of the peninsula of Paliki (15 km from Lixouri), it offers the most exciting sunset on the island, with the sun sinking in the Ionian Sea.

Visit: the well-known Katavothres 2 km away from Argostoli, the Caves of Melissani and Drogarati near the settlement of Sami, the beautiful beach of Myrtos, the Archaeological and the Historical Folklore Museum of Argostoli, the Venetian Castle of Agios Georgios in the village Peratata and others.

Monastery of Agios Andreas of Malapidia, Peratata

Historic female monastery to the south of the castle of St. George. It has an ecclesiastical museum with remarkable post-Byzantine icons, wood carvings and religious relics from all over the island.

Monastery of Agios Gerasimos

A Great site for the travelers as it houses the saint’s relic.

Monastery of Atros

The most ancient monastery on Kefalonia island (8th century BC), where the holy Klimis lived. Its medieval tower is very well preserved.

Saint Euphemia

A picturesque tourist hut opposite Ithaca, with cafes and taverns.

Archaeological sights

Mycenaean tomb

Outside the village, on the way to Poros, at a place called Bourtzi, was discovered an important Arched Mycenaean tomb of a noble dignitary (13th-century BC) of 6,8 m diameter. It’s the best-conservated tomb that’s found on the island so far, with important findings that show the blush of the Mycenaean civilization in the area.

Cyclopean walls

Close to Koutavos are the ruins of the walls of the ancient town Crani (7th and 6th-century BC), the renowned Cyclopean walls, which had about 4 km of the perimeter. It’s a gigantic work of fortification, sculptured in rock. In the same area, we also find the ruins of several buildings as well as a temple dedicated to Dimitra.

De Bosset Bridge

The bridge is actually the Jewell of Argostoli and it continues being fully operative as it connects the town with the other side of the lagoon, to the road that drives to the northern part of Cephalonia. It is called so because it was designed by the Swiss military De Bosset and it was accomplished in 1812. In the beginning, it was of wood but within the following years was rebuilt of stone with successive arches, which is the form that has up to today. In the middle of the bridge overmasters an obelisk, constructed in honor of those who built the bridge.

Kefalonia Museums

Archaeological Museum of Argostoli

At the archeological museum of Argostoli, which was built in 1857, are kept the treasures which were found at the excavations around the island. In the three halls of the museum are exhibited findings from the Mythical period up to the Roman age. In the first hall, we find firestone instruments from the Paleolithic age, various objects from the Neolithic age, representable crockery from the Mediogreek period, precious miniature art and ceramics. In the second hall are exhibited findings from the Mycenaean period, which is the most interesting for Kefalonia. Golden Coins. Coppery swords, vessels, jewelry, chops, and an Egyptian scarab are some of the exhibits. Finally, in the last hall are exhibited the findings of the Kefalonia Tetrapolis (5th-century BC), which was consisted of the four towns-states Pali, Krani. Sami and Pronni. There we find an urn, a marble head of Silinos and a vessel that has the form of the head of a slave.

Museum of Natural History

6 km from Argostoli, at Davgata village, is the Museum of Natural History, which was founded in 1996 from the Association for the protection of the nature of Cephalonia and Ithaka, with the collaboration of the local administration and the Cultural union of Davgata. The museum is mainly educative and informative, and it’s also a Center for Environmental Training. The visitor can be informed on the rich flora and fauna of Kefalonia, and its geological particularities as well.

Historical and Folklore Museum

At the basement of the Korgialenios Libraries is lodged Historical and Folklore Museum of Argostoli. It was founded in 1962 by Eleni Kembitsi-Kosmetatou and it is one of the most impressive museums of Greece. The objects are exhibited in three units: the folklore material, the representations of urban life and historical evidence that cover three centuries, from the 15th century up to 1848. There are special halls modulated like the period that they represent, like a bedroom, a living room and a representation of life style. The visitor can see portraits, oil paintings, aquarelles, lithographies, temples, utensils, needlework, china, silverware, coins, objects of coppery, documents, maps, designs of churches and fortresses. There is also an important collection of 3000 photos.

Fiskardo’s Nautical Museum

The Nautical and Environmental Museum at Fiskardo is a non-profit, non-government organization and a result of the collaboration among FNEC and ISRC (Ionian Research Center), which is a scientific department within FNEC, the local authorities, and volunteers. It is housed in the previous elementary school of Fiskardo that was donated to the Museum in April 1999. To repair, renovate and reorganize the Museum worked youths from all over Europe through the European Volunteer Service (EVS), where FNEC is a member. At the Museum is shown a variety of findings.

Harocopio Foundation

Harocopio Foundation was established in 1911, endowed by Panagis Harokopos to be a non-profit foundation for the education and vocational training of indigent and unemployed women. Since then the Harocopio Foundation teaches the art of embroidery to every woman who is interested in this art and wishes to use it professionally.

St. Andrew Convent

The convent houses an ecclesiastical Byzantine museum founded in 1988. It is located in the old church which was the only building preserved from the 1953 earthquake. The art treasures found there date from 1300 to 1900 AD. Some of them are:

– The foot (sole) of St. Andrew
-St. Panagis or priest Basias shirt.
– Two hands wrote letters of St. Kosmas the Aetolian dated in 1777.
– The hieratic scepter and the Communion Cup of his Holiness Nikodemos II’ Metaxas, Archbishop of Cephalonia, an important figure of the 17th century who founded the first Greek printing press in Constantinople.
– The Hieratic vestment is known as “sakkos” embroidered by the Nun Theodora Kanali from Metaxata between 1715 and 1721.
– Wall paintings and icons from the old monastery and others from churches around the island.

The Museum of Natural History of Cephalonia and Ithaca

The relationship of the people with nature, history and the legend compose an interesting ecological identity that will certainly charm and fascinate you. The Museum of Natural History of Cephalonia and Ithaca is located at Davgata, only 5.5 km. away from Argostoli.

Castles

Castle of Assos

The construction of the Assos fortress began in November 1593 on the basis of plans drawn up by engineers Marino Gentilini, Rafael Rasponi, Pietro Cabuti and ended in 1595.
Assos, after 1684, lost its strategic importance and was neglected by the Venetian administration. During the period of the French domination on the islands (1797-1799), it was the seat of the Town Hall. The castle today is uninhabited, but it is always impressive.

Saint George’s Fortress

On the top of a hill, close to Peratata village, 5 km from Argostoli, hulks St George’s Fortress, which locals simply call “The Castle”. There are references about it back to the 12th century, but today’s form is dated in the 16th century. Its area covers 16000 m2 and the perimeter of the walls is 600 m. Its form is multiangle and consists of three parts: The external walls, the petal formed yard and an exalting pick at the center.

Nature/Flora

Melissani lake

The subareal lake of Melissani was discovered in 1951 by the speleologist Gianni Petrochilo. At the internal has collapsed a major part of the roof revealing a marvelous view. In ancient years the lake was a place of the cult of Panas and the nymph Melissanthi. According to the myth, Melissanthi killed herself in the lake because of her sorrow, because Panas didn’t correspond to her love. In the lake is a small island where the archeologist S. Marinatos discovered the sanctuary of Panas, which findings are at the archeological museum of Argostoli.

Kefalonian Fir

Ainos is the highest mountain on the island. Its highest pick (1628 m) is called Megas Soros. Ainos is planted with a unique species of fir, the “Abies Cephalonica”, or “black fir”, that’s why the older name of the mountain was Monte Nero (black mountain). It grows very quickly, reaches up to 30 m high and lives ip to 500 years. In the 18th century, the forest was very rich, even though the Venetians exploited it for its wood. Today it covers an area of 28620 km2 and it has been declared National Park since 1962.

Wild life

In Kefalonia, we find foxes, rabbits, partridges, hedgehogs, and numerous other savage animals and birds, which most of them live in Ainos. At the lagoon of Argostoli and the golf of Livadi in Lixouri, we find ducks, cranes, and swans, while at the coasts we find seagulls, halcyons and dolphins.

Caretta-Caretta

The rare sea turtle Caretta-Caretta mates in the lagoon of Koutavos and then leaves her eggs at the beaches of the southern part of Cephalonia, especially at Minies, Razakli and Skala. The slow growth rate, combined with the intense development of tourism at the beaches endangers the extension of the species. Therefore citizens have started to be interested in the salvation of this unique species, through information and protection measures.

Monachus-Monachus

The coasts of Cephalonia are full of caves, especially at the northern part of the island, and that’s where the rare species of Mediterranean seal (Monachus-Monachus) cuddles. It is called so because of the bulge that has on the back of its head and reminds of the hoot of a monk.

The Horses of Ainos

There is a distinct bronco of wild horses that live in pods in Ainos. Ancient Greeks used to leave their horses free so that they wouldn’t have to feed them, and that’s how these horses arose. They derive from the bronco f the horses of Pindos but the long survival under difficult circumstances created a brand new, distinct bronco. Their aspect is marvelous, they are small sized and look like the representations of ancient horses. It’s quite difficult to observe them as there are only a few left since they’re continuously eliminated by incontinent. It’s an urgent necessity for all of us to help, by any means, for their survival and extension.

Monasteries of Kefalonia

Monastery of Kechrionos
The monastery of Kechrionos was built in the 18th century by sailors from Zante, today's church though is dated at 1828. Tradition says that 3 sailors were captured in Algeria and the night before Virgin Mary's celebration fell asleep while praying to her for freedom. When they woke up, the were in Kefalonia so they decided to rebuild the monastery and become monks. The monastery is famous because of the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary that's there. It celebrates on August 23rd.
Monastery of Atros
Only 3km away from Poros on the top of Mount Atros stands the oldest monastery in Kefalonia. Built in the 8th century the monastery of Atros holds an important cultural and historical value. It is worth mentioning that here lead his ascetic life St. Clemens. The monastery has been restored and its Medieval tower along with the "archodariki" are saved in an excellent condition.
Monastery of Kipouria
The Monastery of Kipouria is located 15km from Lixouri. The Monastery was built in 1759, on the edge of the rocky cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea and it is called so because of the gardens that surround it. The monastery was severely damaged in 1915 when it was bombed by the French, and in 1953 because of the earthquake, but reconstructed by the only monk that lives today there.
Monastery of Virgin Mary of Themata
The monastery of Themata was founded in the 16th century. It is called so because of a local governor who owned the area. The monastery celebrates twice a year, on Tuesday after Easter and on August 15th.
Monastery of Sissia
The monastery of Virgin Mary of Sissia is situated at Lourdas Bay. It is said that it was founded by St. Francesco di Assisi in the 13th century. Many important monks lived there, like Gerasimos Kokkinos or Stroumboulos. Among the other icons found in the church was Virgin Mary, a work of Stefanos Tsangarola (17th century), which is now kept at the museum o St Andrew in Peratata.
Monastery of Agios Andreas Milapidias
Agios Gerasimos Monastery

Natural Sights

Aenos Mountain- National Park
Having an altitude of 1628 m. Aenos is the second highest mountain on a Greek island and one of Greece’s ten National Parks. It spreads over an area of 28.620 acres covered with the dark green fir tree unique to Kefalonia. Aenos Mountain is the home of many species threatened with extinction like many mammals, more than 48 species of birds and a rare breed of semi-wild horses who live near Agrilia and the Monastery of Zoodohos Pigi and are considered the descendants of the ancient Greek horses.
Dias Islet
Drakena's Cave
The cave is in the south of Vohina's gorge in an altitude of 70m and it's 190m2. Excavations and archaeological research associate it with the Prehistoric era when it was used as lodging, but also with the Historic and the Hellenistic era when it was used as a place of worship. The excavations started in 1992 and they continue up to now. However, its natural ground has not been found yet. The excavation findings are mainly ceramic worship utensils, idols- mainly female- and animals' bones from sacrifices. Apparent are also found some interventions in the cave, like walls, fireplaces, and ground- floors.
Drogarati's Cave
The cave is 60m. deep, the temperature is at a constant of 18 degrees C and the humidity is 90%. Under the supervision of the speleologist Mr. Petrohilos it is open for the public since 1963. Speleologists say that this cave is about 100 million years old. They have confirmed that the cave has an extension that, however, is not approachable. The multicolored stalactites and its translucent stalagmites compose a magnificent natural piece of work. In the biggest hall of the cave (900m2), the Chamber of Exaltation as it is called because of its perfect acoustics is used for cultural events.
Katavothres
In 1835 Stevens discovered that in the northern edge of the peninsula of Argostoli, the sea crumbles down to underground ravines. There he constructed the first watermill in Kefalonia, naming it after himself. Today Katavothres is still an exciting scientific phenomenon and a charming rest area worth visiting.
Koutavos Lake
It is the famous lagoon in Argostoli, with its majestic landscape. For many years it had turned into a swamp, full of mosquitoes, impassable and a source of infections and diseases. Many citizens, from time to time, contributed to its draining, tree planting, and cleaning. The Koutavos ecosystem is the shelter for some of the rarest species of the Kefalonian flora and fauna and the home of many swans and ducks. The opening of the Environmental Awareness Centre built recently in the area will also be a step to the upgrading of the area.
Melissani lake
Marinatos discovered the sanctuary of Pan and its findings are exhibited in the archeological museum in Argostoli. Other myths say that the lake took its name from the shepherdess Melisande who, looking for her lost sheep, fell into the lake and drowned. The cave is about 40 meters wide, 35 meters high and 4 meters long.
Livadi
It is considered one of the most charming sights in Lixouri and one of the most important biotopes in Greece. In its waters end more than 100 creeks and it is the shelter of unique fauna and flora.
Vardiani islet
Vardiani islet is at the entrance of the Gulf of Argostoli. There was a 34m. high lighthouse on the island built after Charles James Napier request in 1824. It was destroyed after the 1953's earthquakes and now you can see only some of the ruins.
Vohinas Stream
Vohinas stream rises from Avithos Lake and flows through Poros' gorge. This noisy stream surrounded by plane trees is a marvelous natural sight and gives to this area a mainland sense.
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