With its lush and unique landscape, Kefalonia offers a special vacations scene to the thousands of holidaymakers who visit its shores to experience the luxury of clear sunny skies, picturesque headlands, deserted inlets, golden bays, fir-capped mountains that slope down to peaceful bays and fantastic beaches that are spread around the island.
Although devastated by the earthquake of 1953, the island has been completely rebuilt by its people, who have successfully managed to weave old ways and modern thinking to create some of the most trendy and luxurious apartments, hotels and resorts on the island that caters to all types of holidaymakers.
Complemented by the wonderful Mediterranean weather and the clear emerald sea, the island offers fantastic holiday options at a reasonable cost. Additionally, the fact that tourism on the island is a long way from being turned into a totally commercial venture, serves to attract many tourists from both Greece and other European countries to experience the joys of vacationing in Kefalonia.
There are plenty of things to see in Kefalonia. The caves have to be the most renowned and impressive attractions, though. The Drogarati caves are located just 2 miles from Sami and date back to at least 150 million years. With steps leading deep down under the earth, the caves have natural paths carved right through the spectacular maze of huge stalactites and stalagmites. In summer, the caves are often used as venues to host musical concerts owing to their special acoustic effects. An equally impressive natural formation to see is the Melissani cave, a spectacular underground lake with brilliantly colored rocks at the bottom which lends a sparkle to the deep aquamarine waters. Small row boats with guides take you on a tour of the caves that reveal ancient formations of stalactites, as well as sacred sanctuaries in the cave that was used as a place of worship.
Another landmark is the old monastery of Saint Gerasimos, which houses the mummified body of the saint, who is also the patron saint of the island. The cave on which the monastery is built is where Saint Gerasimos lived and one can climb down to it using a ladder. Remains of the island's Byzantine history can be seen in the castle of Saint George which became the seat of the Venetian kingdom after the Venetians conquered the Turks in the sixteenth century. The castle was heavily fortified with high walls to protect people from pirates or enemy forces.
If you fancy a short trip, there is the neighboring island of Ithaca to visit. For hikers and trekkers, Kefalonia provides ample opportunities to check out some impressive nature trails on Mount Ainos. Measured as the third highest in Greece, the mountain stands at a height of 1,626 meters and is home to a variety of flora and fauna. Because of the rich biodiversity of the forest on Mount Ainos, the area has been declared a National Park.
Trekking may not be the most popular activity among travelers, but swimming is. The coastline of Kefalonia is dotted by amazing beaches, with crystal water and surrounded by high green cliffs. The most famous beach that almost all tourists visit on their vacations in Kefalonia is Myrtos, an impressive bay with gorgeous water and soft sand. This is the most photographed spot on the island. Other beautiful beaches for your Kefalonia vacation include Antisamos, Emblisi, Lourdas, Xi, and Makris Gialos.
Kefalonia tourism is developed, yet still keeps a low profile. Accommodation options are plentiful; you can choose to stay in a luxury hotel that offers a host of modern amenities or rent a villa or Greek farmhouse to have the privilege of privacy. Alternatively, you may rent a room in a pretty pension if you are a budget traveler. Most places have stunning views of the turquoise bays and they are located close to the golden beaches.
In Kefalonia, you will also enjoy the traditional Greek cuisine which is famed for its rich variety of tasty seafood and vegetable dishes as well as exclusive brands of locally produced wine. Robola is the island's famous locally-produced white wine, while mantola - a sweet delicacy made out of almonds and sugar - is the trademark snack of Kefalonia.