09.11.2016

10 Reasons why to visit Kefalonia

Hello, travel addicts! Today I'm gonna write my 10 reasons why to visit the mesmerising island of Kefalonia, Greece. So if you're looking for a wild paradise where to make your next summer holiday then you are in the right place.

Kounopetra beach

I've travelled to many different places in Greece in the past 10 years while I was working there in the tourism domain. Sometimes I think that I've seen more in Greece than in my own country, Romania. I've been to Crete and Rhodes twice each, Santorini, Aegina, Athens, Thesaloniki, Meteora, Ioanina and many other places, but my heart is in Kefalonia. In 2013 I arrived there for a first 4 months season and I kept on going back for 4 summers.
Here are my 10 reasons why you should visit Kefalonia.

Platia Ammos beach

1. The beaches and the scenery

The most amazing thing about Kefalonia is that you have a wide range of beaches, from sandy ones to the ones covered with white pebbles, shallow water, deep water, green to blue, busy to secluded, surounded by rocks or green forests - take your pick.

Antisamos beach 

Emplisi beach

Petani and Antisamos are my favourite ones, amazing clear blue water and breath taking panoramas. I also enjoy Makri Gialos , it is a more lively beach with a bar, water sports, plenty of sunbeds and youngsters. I adore the less known beaches such as Emplisi or Avithos and also the secluded ones which you can reach only by boat such as Platia Ammos or White Rocks. I also have to mention the most advertised beach which is Myrtos; looking forward to do paragliding next summer.

Makri Gialos beach

Skala beach

2. Ainos Mountain

Ainos Mountain is the tallest mountain in Kefalonia, with an elevation of 1,628m. Most of the mountain range is designated as a National Park area and is covered with Greek fir and black pine. Semi wild ponies inhabit its forest. On clear days, the view includes the NW Peloponnese and Aetolia along with the islands of Zakynthos, Lefkada, and Ithaca. There are couple of hiking paths for the ones interested in that, also couple of little caves and plenty of protected species of flowers. The view is absolutely fantastic. In the winter the mountain is mostly covered in snow. It is a must see while on the island.

 Ainos Mt.

Myself on Ainos Mt.

3. Churches and monasteries

Greeks are christian ortodox and they are very traditional when it comes to religion. Churches and monasteries are to be found in every town, village, even in the smallest one. The protector of the island is Saint Gerasimos, the church of Saint Gerasimos is a well visited place, situated between Argostoli and Sami. Other beautiful churches you can find in the capital, Argostoli. Personally I prefer the secluded and private ones such as Kipoureon on Paliki peninsula or the small blue one on the left side of Atheras bay, which I was lucky enough to get a private tour 2 years ago.

Inside Kipoureon Monastery 

Church on the way to Skala
4. Picturesque villages and harbours

You can find the most colourful and wonderful villages on Kefalonia. Enjoy the hundreds of boats, a great meal and beautiful scenery in the amazing Fiskardo. Choose Assos for an italian atmosphere next to the ruins of the citadel. Have a tasty greek coffee in the morning in Lixouri at one of the many coffee shops in the main square. Get lost exploring even smaller villages and stop at the local fish tavernas for a fresh meal. Walk the streets to really feel the authentic life of the kefalonian people.

Assos

Assos

My favourite villages must be Assos and Fiskardo with their colourful rooftops, windows and doors, flowers everywhere and the blue water surrounding them.

Colourful Fiskardo

Fiskardo - the harbour

5. Caves and natural phenomenons

The most well known caves are Drogarati with its stalagmites and stalactites, a great place where sometimes are taking place small opera concerts. Maria Callas is known to sing there; Melissani is close to Drogarati and is well known for the cold blue water inside of it and the fallen ceiling. Have a short boat ride and refresh yourselves on the hot days of summer in the cave of the Pan's nymphes. An interesting phenomenon is Katavothres, a place close to Argostoli where the water enters under the surface just to get out two weeks later close to Sami. There are watermills in these two places, in the first one even a great restaurant/bar and a lighthouse, and near the other one a lake and a church.

Melissani Cave

 Drogarati Cave

St Theodore Lighthouse

6. Castles and citadels history

For the history lovers there are couple of places to visit such as the ruins of the Castle of St. George which was the old capital of the island before Argostoli, the view is beautiful having Aenos Mt. on one side, Lassi area, Argostoli and the Ionian Sea on the other. If you are into hiking I recommend you to go all the way up to the ruins of the citadel of Assos, the panorama is worthed. In Fiskardo you can find some ruins, such as the roman cemetery or in Skala, the remains of a roman villa.

Argostoli - seen from the Castle of St. George

Assos - seen from the citadel 

7. Food and drinks

Greek people love a great meal, especially dinner. The food is all the time fresh and tasty. Every summer I enjoy having calamari and octopus, greek salad or mousaka on Vatsa and Remezzo beach at the southern part of Paliki peninsula, because they are the closest to the hotel I'm working in, but overall I had amazing lunches and dinners everywhere on the island. Let me not forget about the tasty pyta gyros or souvlaki in Lixouri, late at night, greek style :)
The greek frappe is part of the locals' daily routine and it's the first thing to start the day with or to refresh yourselves during siesta.
I personally like their hospitality and let us not forget about a cold Mythos beer or some Ouzo after an incredible dessert such as greek yogurt with honey and nuts or baklava. Of course you can find some other specific restaurants on the island, especially in the bigger villages and Argostoli. Also I would like to mention that there are couple of wineries where you can buy local products. I recommend you Robola and Foivos for great souvenirs.

Sea food lunch on a taverna near Argostoli

Mythos beer on Vrahinari beach

8. Ways to spend your free time

If you are not the type to lie all day on the beach or to hike, well, there are plenty of other ways to spend your holiday on Kefalonia. There are plenty of water sports on Xi beach, Antisamos or Skala, a water park in Kounopetra, plenty of clubs and pubs in Argostoli, You could even go climbing on the mountain or riding a donkey on wild paths trying to spot the wild horses from the National Ainos Park or simply enjoying the scenery. Tavernas, coffee shops, souvenir shops are everywhere your eyes can see. Personally next year I gotta try paragliding over Myrtos beach and parasailing on Xi.

Argostoli

Water Park - Kounopetra

9. Boat rides

If you feel like changing the car with a boat you could either rent a boat from different spots on the island such as Vatsa, Skala or Agia Efimia and take a short tour discovering virgin beaches. If you are the type of person who prefers group tours I reccomend you a trip to Ithaca, the island of Ulysses, or Vardiani for a romantic sunset. Of course you can enjoy a one day trip to Lefkada or Zakynthos.

White Rocks Hotel in Lassi

Secluded "White Rocks" beach in Lassi

10. The people

Last but not least, most certainly I love kefalonians. This is the island where I've never been afraid to hitchhike, the place where I've met the most warm hearted people who invited me in their homes and at their tables. I feel at home, safe and sound, everytime I'm on Kefalonia and every tourist feels the same on their holiday. The island is not very touristic and there are no traffic jams or too much noise. Everyone is here to relax, have a great time and forget for couple of days their busy big city life routine.

Sunset close to Assos

These being said I hope I'll see you next summer on Kefalonia, my second home. This summer I had the amazing surprise to have two romanian couples staying in the hotel I was working in and they told me they came to visit Kefalonia because of my posts on this blog. That was absolutely wow. I wasn't expecting that. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Sunset from Petani Bay Hotel

Sunset on Myrtos beach

So, what are you waiting for? Book your holiday to Kefalonia and see you on the beach for a Mythos beer.

P.S.: Check out my "Kefalonian" adventures below:





Beldi

31.10.2016

Looking for new adventures - my 4th summer on Kefalonia Is., Greece

It's been a long time since my last post but you know how it is: better later than never!
This summer I've met for the first time in my life 2 romanian couples who came to Kefalonia for their first time and they told me that my blog was the reason of their holiday. WOW!!! I was totally blown away...so...people are reading Blugu'lu'Beldi!!! Well then, let me give you an update of the summer season of 2016.
Summer came to an end and the autumn leaves are covering the streets of my hometown. I arrived back to Romania at the beginning of October covering my tanned body with a sweater and a jacket as I left the 28 degrees back to Greece and got ready for barely 16 at home.

Playing with rocks on Skala beach

 It was my 4th summer on this blue and green still not fully discovered paradise called Kefalonia. As I visited more than a couple of times the most well known places on the island, this time I was concentrating on discovering new places and new adventures. Of course for you guys who are planning to visit Kefalonia for the first time I have couple of recommendations that you can find at the end of this article. As for the rest of you I will focus on describing couple of amazing adventures and places that made my summer great. The next couple of weeks I will try my best to write in detail about all my days off and all the places I've visited. For those who don't follow this blog I got to tell you that I am working as an entertainment manager in a hotel on the island, I absolutely love my job and for the past 4 summers I got the chance to live and work in an amazing place. My job is great so I don't feel like I'm working and I am so lucky to be in this position , especially in this age and time when to do what I do is considered more and more an ideal, a dream job.

Assos village
 
So, let's get straight to it. Assos remains my favorite place for a great meal by the seaside, surrounded by flowers and the sound of waves. I enjoy that it's not very busy and it has a certain dreamy air that make me consider it a place where I could retire to and write my memoirs.

Colourful doors and windows in Fiskardo / Antisamos beach

Antisamos is still my favourite beach as the clear blue sea, the white stones and the green hills around it transform the place in a beautiful exotic retreat. This summer I found the courage to do the "rings" at water sports there and I have only three words to describe the whole experience: IT WAS WORTHED!!!
I ate probably the best chocolate souffle ever in Fiskardo and I was delighted once more by the kindness of the locals and the multitude of colours of the whole place.
Next to Fiskardo I've been for the first time on Emplisi beach and it wasn't disappointing at all, clear blue water, relaxing atmosphere, a very nice forest you can walk through it's near by.

Sunset on Vrahinari beach

The best spots for seeing a sunset were this summer Vrahinari beach, where you can also have a tasteful meal in the restaurant there and Petani Bay Hotel, with its infinity pool, that was absolutely superb.

Secluded beach on the way from Vatsa to Platia Ammos, Paliki

Having a boat ride to Platia Ammos was unpredictable and a perfect last day off with my whole team, I have to thank Spyros for that, the owner of Vatsa taverna where you can also enjoy a great wine and hands down the best seafood ever.

Makris Gialos beach - Costa Costa / Myrtos beach

On the other side of the island I was enjoying once more by the view over the whole island and Zakynthos seen from Ainos Mt.; great night life in Argostoli. You can find there plenty of clubs and coffee shops open until late at night and I was surprised in a very good way that this year there was another ferry company providing trips from Lixouri to Argostoli and back until 3:30 in the morning during the high season so that facilitate our way to Argostoli and back as we were based all the way down to Kounopetra.

Platia Ammos beach seen from atop

Costa Costa / Makri Gialos beach is fun, full of young people, water sports and positive vibes. Hitchhiking to Ai Helis and Ammes beaches was an adventure worth mentioning. We had a great time relaxing and exploring the beautiful and long beach of Skala. And I finished my summer with an 1 day boat trip to Shipwreck and the blue caves, that was great as well.

Zakynthos Is. seen from the top of Ainos Mt.

Basically these are the highlights of my summer. I'll get through all of them and many more on the future posts. Next summer on my bucket list I already have two things: paragliding on Myrtos, two of my friends already did it and they made me jealous about it and parasailing on Xi beach is a must. A great relaxing massage session in Apollonion hotel has to follow.

Myself in Fiskardo :)

Be sure to check my previous adventures on Kefalonia by clicking H E R E !!! or by searching for "Cronicile Kefaloniene" on my blog.
Check out also my Facebook photography page for daily updates.

Have a great evening and talk to you soon.

Beldi