Kefalonia Reviews - Page 5

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My fifth trip to Kefalonia
5 / 5 stars Rate:
   

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Category: Kefalonia General


You know the old saying "its a hard life"... I was contemplating this very thing the other week. Well, I did not have much else to do really, I was lying on my lounger, sun beating down on me, listening to the sound of the water gently lapping at the sides of the swimming pool, whilst Chris Rea's greatest hits played on the stereo in the background. For those of you who don't know who Chris Rea is, he is an English middle-aged rock star, who to be honest has been middle aged since the 80's. Is it a hard life really? Are we really on the Road to Hell, like Chris Rea's song says we are? I took another sip of my cocktail and thought that another ten minutes was needed before I would flip myself over and tan my back for a while.


See, unlike Chris Rea I am not quite middle aged yet and definitely not on the Road to Hell, and I can say that it is not always a hard life, only sometimes, and life is good when you're lying around the pool sipping cocktails in Cephalonia, as an end of season break, the wife and myself decided to visit our favourite Greek island.


Staying in the village of Skala at the Marietta Apartments, our usual haunt. We spent a week soaking up the hot Greek sun, lazing around on the beach, just chilling out.
We have always stayed in the same place when visiting Skala, the Marietta Apartments offers no frills basic self-catering/ bed & breakfast accommodation. They are located just outside of the village centre just of the main road heading from Katilios/Mounda Beach direction. This was our 5th visit to the Marietta and over the years we have always enjoyed our stay there, and this time was no different apart from one little thing has changed. The cleaning is a little bit on the relaxed side, with sheets and towels only changed twice a week, which is not good in forty-degree heat. You can however pay for additional cleaning if you so want to. I feel that all cleaning should be provided and be inclusive of the price you pay, so they have let themselves down on that point. Apart from that it's the same old place we remember, nothing else has really changed that much.


Skala itself is a small resort on the southern edge of Cephalonia. Although it has changed a little, there are a few more hotels and bars than last time, it has not lost its relaxed atmosphere. There are a good number of restaurants/taverna's to choose from, the best in my opinion are the Gallera and the Flamingo, closely followed by the Manor House and La Luna, all offering traditional Greek food and local specialities including Cephalonian meat pie, which is one of my favourites.
If you have got a sweet tooth like me, then head to the Sugar Lemon, by the main square, their waffles and ice cream are first class, and so is the walnut cake. The best of the bars seem to be the Sirocco and the Nero Cocktail Bar, they offer a loyalty card (buy 6 drinks and get the 7th free). The beach at Skala is a mixture of sand and shingle; it is very clean and well cared for. A set of sun loungers will cost €6 per day and there are many beach tavernas to choose from just off the sand. Milos is a nice place for a spot of lunch or a drink. Skala has all of the usual amenities found in most Greek resorts, gift shops, supermarkets, car hire, doctors etc. They used to have a pharmacy too, but this closed a few years ago for some reason I could not quite understand. Which was a little inconvenient to me as I was unwell for a couple of days, and had to see the doctor to get some antibiotics instead of just walking into the pharmacy.


The sights of Cephalonia. There is quite a lot to see and do on the island. Over the last five visits we have basically done it all, so I will give you the highlights of the very best places to go. The capital is Argostoli and the best time to go there is in the evening. The main square comes to life in the evening, there are plenty of little restaurants surround the square serving the finest Greek food. After dinner take a walk along the harbour's edge as the sunsets and the pleasure boats tie up for the day. Take an island tour stopping at multiple places through out the day; these can be booked with your rep. Although we booked with the Panem office in Skala, they were cheaper, and our tour guide Carol, who has lived on Cephalonia for the past 20 years was so well informed about the island. She gave the most knowledgeable account of the island's history I have ever heard. The trip consisted of a stop at the Robola Winery, Drogartti Cave, Messani Lakes, Fiskardo for lunch, and Myrtos, and Asos. All of that for €26 is not bad, the Thomas Cook rep was charging €30, and I bet theirs would not have been half as good. Be aware there will be an extra charge of €6 for the lakes and €4 for the caves, we did not mind this as those were the only places we have never seen before. They were ok but to be honest I was not that impressed by them, a see once kind of thing.

Next door to Cephalonia is a little island called Ithaca, which is a beautiful place to visit, there are many trips to the island every week, Panem offer one and so will your travel rep. If you have never been before it is well worth visiting, the trip takes about an hour to get across the water and usually boards at Sami. One of my favourite places on Kefalonia is the little harbour town of Katilios, which is not to far from Skala, about 15 minutes by car. There you will find some lovely tavernas serving the very finest seafood. The seating is right on the water's edge and it is a lovely place to watch the sunset. They serve the best lobster on the island and it is very well priced, just ask the waiter for a set menu for two people, that's Greek salad for starter, lobster with all of the trimmings for main and desert of your choice to finish with, plus a litre of house wine all for less than €100 per couple. Now that can't be bad. The beaches on Cephalonia are clean and always very well kept. The most famous is Myrtos beach, the second most photographed beach in Greece after the one on Zante. It is very beautiful, however it has some very strong currents and it is not recommended for swimming unless if you are a very strong swimmer. It is also very hard to walk on. It might look like white sand from hundreds of feet up but it is actually very fine white pebbles, a bit like walking bare foot on Glass Marbles (ouch). There are many beaches like this on the island; the sandy and shallow ones are Mouda Beach, just outside Skala and the red sand beach of Xi.


To sum up, Cephalonia is a beautiful and charming island. It has a relaxed atmosphere, which has drawn us back to it many times. It is steeped in history, charm and character. The people of the island are very pleasant and friendly. Cephalonia offers something for every type of traveller, from families to couples, or singles. There is much to do and see on Cephalonia, no two days are the same unless you want them to be. The island offers all kinds of accommodation from basic/budget to high end/luxury and most high street travel agents offer holidays there.


Cephalonia is one of the many jewels in Greece’s crown.



mikie

Magical
5 / 5 stars Rate:
   

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Category: Kefalonia General


This is one of the best holidays I have had in Greece, I stayed at Katelios a really nice quite resort with very helpful and frendly people.
Going round the Island and seeing the sights left you wanting to go back for more.



viooltje

KEFALONIA-a taste of untamed Greece
5 / 5 stars Rate:
   

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Category: Kefalonia General


Why Kefalonia?
For those who do not know me, and those who do, it may seem quite odd for a Croatian girl to be so overwhelmed by anything else than the beautiful Adriatic sea. True, no place ever feels as good as home, no pine ever smells as fine as back home, no beach ever feels as beautiful as back in the deep blue Adriatic. We like to call it the ''Mediterranean as it once was''... But then, there's Kefalonia... And it feels like home! Once you get to know it's soul, you'll never stop coming back. A paradise lost and found, a place of unspoiled beauty, still mostly untouched by evil tentacles of mass tourism. Wherever & whenever in Greece, I always get that special feel about places. The 'greek' spirit. But Kefalonia has had and still has a true greek spirit in its purest form. No view from the balcony of a 5* hotel can ever make you feel as blessed as a dusty old dirt-track somewhere on the kefalonian west coast, a piece of rock to climb on and a breathtaking view of the Ionian sea in all its might, followed by a distant tinkle of a goat bell somewhere among countless olive groves. An ideal escape for all you nature lovers, hikers, photographers, all those seeking a very relaxing and alternative type of tourism and a taste of untamed Greece.


And then there's the Kefalonian spirit...
... something you will carry in your memory even when your photos fade away. It's everywhere you look, you just have to take a moment in time and get out of your busy tourist routine and there it is...Kefalonia's own brand of Greekness.


And my personal favourite...
For whatever reason you might visit or return to Kefalonia, be sure to visit one special place - Monastery of Kipouria (Moni Kipoureon) on the Paliki peninsula, near Lixouri (15km). Why? Because of unforgettable sunsets? Definitely ! Because of the magnificent position of the monastery itself? Yes, Kipouria Monastery is located at the western side of the island of Kefalonia, overhanging a cliff that crashes into the Ionian, and makes you feel as if the end of the world was beneath your feet. Dating from the far away times, it is also known as THE VERANDA OF THE IONIAN. And finally to meet Kefalonia's true saint? A must. If you visit the monastery be sure to let Father Efsevios give you the tour as he untiredly does for hundreds of visitors during the day. If there's a person or anything else that will stay carved into my kefalonian memories forever, it will for sure be the memory of the solitary monk of Kipouria, a man locked up in his non-material world whose very appearance and simplicity will mesmerize you, a man so modest in demeanor yet so rich in spirit and mind that it will make you wonder is it really possible that saints like him actually exist in this material world of ours.



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I would visit again
5 / 5 stars Rate:
   

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Category: Kefalonia General


This is a beautiful island with much to see and do. My girlfriend and I hired scooters for £20 per day (going rate) and niped around the rocky terrain seeing some breathtaking sights. Both of the caves are well the small fee to enter and the endless beaches (all with their own character) are worth exploring. The weather during the week (end of June) was mid/late thirties which was pleasing.


Drinking in the capital was expensive compared to other towns/cities. However the food was excellent throughout the island, well priced and very tasty.


I'd visit again!



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Absolutely gorgeous
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It is an absolutely gorgeous island with friendly people. The food is good and not expensive, although I wish there was more diversity. The best beach is myrtos and sami is for me the most picturesque village of Kefalonia. I just recommend you to rent a car because local transportations are completely unreliable.



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Sami the best
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Sami is by far the best village to visit on Kefalonia. At first, we stayed in Argostoli but when we visited Sami, a couple of days later, we decided to change our accomodation and move to this nice village. I mostly loved the waterfront and the small taverns by the sea. I liked meat pie and kalamarakia. Mr Giorgos owns the tavern "Geia sou" in Sami and makes the best kontosoufli ever!! Although this is pork meat and it was not appropriate for summer food, we ate it with delight!!



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Remeber to take some tours
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Category: Kefalonia General


Some friends recommended us to go to Kefalonia and it was indeed a lovely holiday. There are lots of historical and beautiful, unspoilt places to see, plenty of beaches for everyone and beautiful places to stay, though people were
not always as accomodating as we were led to believe, or have experienced elsewhere. People are generally helpful, though we met a really rude man at Kaminia beach, who refused to help us find a taxi, when the number he gave us was unavailable. So, we started walking to go to the main road. The sun was extremely hot, our three children were out of breath and the roads steep. If it wasn't for a lovely Greek couple who couldn't speak a word of English but nonetheless squashed us into the back of their car after half an hour of trekking, I dread to think what could have happened.
The only problem in Kefalonia was the lack of taxis and public transport. I didn't want to hire a car because I found the amount of hired cars on the road detracted from the overall peace and quiet, but there really is no alternative at present, especially if you have kids, and if I went back, I'd hire a car this time. Also, remember to take some tours and see all of the island. We took the Captain Kostis boat cruise from Poros to Katelios and loved this good fun man.



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A nice island with beautiful landscapes
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Category: Kefalonia General


I got on the island by boat. Although it was old, it was in good shape and the crew was friendly and helpful. I have already been twice on Kefalonia and so I had a perfect idea of what to expect. The only thing I didn't remember was the difficulty to travel with public transports. There are very few busses that don't go to all the places. In Sami you have to fight to find a taxi! The island is very big! More than 70km from north to south! So you’d better check where is the village you are going to stay and if it's close to the areas you are interested in. Then if you arrive in Sami and need a taxi, be prepared to wait and spend a lot of money (50 euros from Sami to Pessada!). Buses from Sami are few and don't run on Sunday (in 2007). Don’t miss the beaches of Myrtos, Antisamos and Pessada, and you definitely shouldn’t miss the village of Fiskardo. Generally, it is a very nice island, tree-covered with beautiful landscapes and nice beaches. Having already been there twice, next time in the area I'll go to Ithaki, but I surely recommend this place for an enjoyable vacation.



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What to do and see
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Category: Kefalonia General


Kerry & Dale, England.

If you don't want to lay by a pool you can always visit the following:

St Gerasimos
St Gerasimos is the Patron saint of the island and his mummified body is kept in its casket at the monastery bearing the same name.

Mazarakata Tombs
These Mycenaean tombs are well worth a visit. It is very easy to miss them but they are not far from the main Argostoli road- just below St Georges castle on the hill, close to the centre of Travliata.

Mount Ainos
Mount Ainos is the largest mountain on Kefalonia and the third highest mountain in Greece.
You can drive most of the way to the top, and its worth the trip, the views are unbelievable. But at 4000+ft, take a jumper!

Fortress of St Georgios
The castle was first fortified in Byzantine times, but its current form dates back to the 16th century.

Drogarati Cave
A natural phenomenon, over 150 million tears old is the amazing cave of Drogarati 3km from Sami. Drogarati is used for concerts in the summer months.

Melissani Lake
The underground lake of Melissani is worth a visit solely for its natural beauty and crystal clear water. Little boats take you into the recesses of the cave. Hanging from the walls are thousands year old stalactites.

St Andreas
This former Byzantine convent was almost completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1953. The church belonging to the convent was restored to be used as a museum.

Kourkoumelata / Metaxata
Kourkoumelata is one of prettiest villages on the island.

After the earthquake of 1953 the then completely destroyed village was rebuilt by the shipowner Giorgos Vergotis. Travelling from Argostoli you pass through the village of Metaxata where in 1823 the English poet Lord Byron took residence for a few months. In his honour his bust was erected in front of his former house.

Monasteries of Kefalonia
The Monastery of Agios Gerasimos, near the village of Agia Efthimia.
The Monastery of Panagia Kekrionos, of Panagia Koronatou and of Kipouria, near the village of Lixouri.
The Monastery of Panagia of Atrou, the oldest of the island.
The Monastery of Panagia of Agrilion, near the village of Sami.
The Monastery of Agios Andreas, with the remains of the Saint, near the village of Svoronata.
The Monastery of Panagia of Platiteras, near the village of Fiscardo.
The Venetian Castle, in the village of Assos.
The Graves of Mycenaean Period, in the village of Lixouri.
The Collection of Ancient Ceramics and post Byzantine icons, in the village of Lissouri.
The Remains of the Ancient City Sami, in the area of today's town of Sami.
The Folk Museum and the Collection of Icons, in the public library of the capital.
The Archeological Museum of the capital Argostoli, with findings of all the historical period of the island.

Saint George's Castle 'Kastro'
The villages below Saint George's castle are Peratata and Travliata and the castle is signposted from the villages. After walking around the castle ramparts, you will find a resting treat - The Castle Cafι, the food and views here are fantastic and they open for evening meals too.

Take a trip in the glass bottom boat

See the loggerhead Turtles Caretta Caretta

And of course Captain Corelli's Mandolin was filmed here too.

Enjoy!



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The people were fantastic and so friendly
5 / 5 stars Rate:
   

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Category: Kefalonia General


Athens was amazing and so intresting. Kefalonia was like any island holiday but the people were fantastic and so friendly. Hotel was good but beaches rather gritty and stoney. Be sure you get plenty of lip balm, as winds, sun and salt air dry out the lips and one gets blisters. Car hire was very easy and economical. Kefalonia village had all amenities except a chemist which opens - the one there was closed down indefinately.
Restaurants were numerous and very competitive, some gave little extras like glass of cognac at end of meal. All restaurants were very clean and food was savoury and varied.
A local bus service around the island would be good. Taxi fares were very expensive too and from the airport.



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