Kefalonia (or Cephalonia) is the largest of the Ionan Islands in Western Greece, and this July we went there for a week for our summer vacation. The island feels untouched and spacey with a municipality density of 46/km² (compared to for example Corfu with 170/m²). This is why we chose this island as we are not interested in too tourist-focused areas. Also, the island has a small airport which could fly to from London Gatwick.
We will publish several blog posts about our stay, this one being the first.
We'll be sure to insert the links below over the next week:
- Cliffs and Hidden Bunkers
- The Abandoned Ruins of Old-Vlachata
- Finding Wild Horses on Kefalonia
- Visiting John and Christine
- Visiting Argostoli
- The Lighthouse of Argostoli
- Shooting the Sunrise at the Sea
- Kefalonia in Black and White
The week was amazing and beautiful (apart from Jonathan's luggage being 5 days late). We experienced all kinds of local animals like sea turtles, wild horses, snakes and lizards (not to speak of the countless sheep and goats!), we felt two small earthquakes (pretty normal for the island, apparently), we had hot days and a thunderstorm. We mostly lived of fish and tzatziki, sometimes interrupted by gyros, lamb, moussaka or rabbit. We didn't get sunburned a lot or swim in the sea, though, so we still need to go back there to experience that. :)
I challenged my allergies and scratched a donkey for the first time. It seemed more happy then on the picture. My allergy seemed happy, too, and I had to endure some itching the rest of the evening.
Dutch beer and Caipirinha Orange in a beach cocktail bar after an exhausting first day.
We will write blogposts for our respective activities and fill them with tons of photos. Here are some tips and recommendations from our trip first:
Tips and Recommendations
Before our vacation was closing in, I had done some research. I joined Facebook groups like Kefalonia Unplugged and Loving and Living on Kefalonia. Both groups are closed and the people are super helpful and friendly.
A very informative webpage is Kefalonia by Anna, which gathers all kind of tips, recommendations, photos and a blog. She also organizes tours.
We stayed in Villa dei Sogni, which has 9 large rooms in a rather large and lush area. Every room has its own entrance, a reasonably sized bathroom and its own balcony. The pool is very nice and visited by colorful dragonflies. Because of all the plants around, there can be found lizards and cat families, chicken and sheep can be heard somewhere from the trees, and in the night bats are drinking from the pool. It's a quiet and idyllic villa, with a super friendly owner and only ~10m walk to plenty of restaurants and the beach.
Bad mobile photo as only waterproof devices were brought to the pool.
Bad mobile photo as we were heading for dinner at that time. We were hungry. Very.
Katelios' main street down to the beach and tavernas.
Kiosk at the beach which provided Jonathan with cigarettes and me with ice cream.
We rented a car, and strongly recommend you to do the same, if you not only want to stay at the pool, beach or taverna. It's not even expensive or complicated. We used Greekstones, which were very friendly and helpful when Jonathan's luggage didn't show up at the airport - we really can recommend them. The type of car we rented was a Fiat Panda, which was fine for the normal streets as it's not that wide. However, if you plan to drive into nature and explore some dirt roads on Mount Ainos, you should definitely go for a stronger car, preferably a jeep.
One of the dirt roads up the mountain that challenged our little Fiat Panda.
What to do on Kefalonia
Kefalonia is a great place for just driving around and exploring. The nature is pretty diverse with small forrests, steep cliffs and beaches, some of which can only be reached by boat or climbing.
Also, there are some archaeological treasures to be found. Antique Greek history, World War II and a strong earthquake in 1953 have influenced the island and can still be seen.
We saw a lot of unfinished buildings. We couldn't quite figure out, whether they were ruins, abandoned cunstruction sides or construction sides on stand by for the summer.
In the first days of our vacation, we hadn't fully adapted to the new day structure yet and often started our day trips at around 2 pm. Later in the week, we relaxed with reading, swimming in the pool and blogging before we left at around 4 pm.
As we weren't at the beach a single time, we can't recommend anything there, but there is plenty of information on the Internet.
Our first wild goats encounter.
Crickets. Those small, loud, annoying --!!!
One of the many stray cats. Even though thin, they seemed healthy enough (no wounds or handicaps).