Kefalonia | Ionian Islands
38.177295° N, 20.555763° E
Lush landscapes, enchanting mountain trails and some of the world's best beaches.
Rolling hills that stretch as far as the eye goes, turquoise waters that are shockingly clear and a coastline so beautiful that it seems unreal: Kefalonia is a paradise blessed with lush valleys, pristine beaches and a mountainous interior rich in vegetation and wildlife.
The island has two main centres, Argostoli and Sami, each with its own strong local character and beautiful landscapes. Having been rebuilt after a devastating earthquake, Argostoli, the island's capital, seems relatively new, but most other locations on the island have preserved their distinctive identities.
The island is also dotted with remnants of temples, Venetian castles, Byzantine churches and secluded monasteries. As is the case with most Ionian islands, the Venetian influence is evident in Kefalonia's architecture and local cuisine, resulting in a fascinating fusion of east and west.
Agios GeorgiosA few kilometres away from Argostoli lays Agios Georgios, the island's medieval capital. An earthquake destroyed everything except the Venetian castle, which remains almost intact until this day.
Mount Ainos national parkThe national park of Mount Ainos features a rich array of flora and fauna and is home to the wild horses of Ainos. The mountain's trails are a hiker's paradise, revealing rare specimens of flowers and trees, reptiles and small animals, hidden lakes and mysterious caves, all waiting to be explored.
Assos and FiskardoThese are the island's two most picturesque villages. The seaside settlements of Assos and Fiskardo offer beautiful Venetian-influenced houses, pristine shorelines and excellent dining options that attract locals, tourists and international jet-setters alike.
Melissani caveThe cave took its name after the legend of Melissani, the nymph who drowned herself in the lake when her affections for the god Pan were turned down. Part of the cave's roof has collapsed, creating an enchanting scene as the sun illuminates the lake's turquoise waters.
Kefalonia became famous after the book (and subsequent movie) Captain Corelli's Mandolin. The world became enchanted by the island's wild beauty and mesmerising seascapes. Since then, it has attracted visitors from across the globe, including international celebrities and jet-setters, and offers the ultimate in relaxation for anyone who wishes to wind down and enjoy nature.
The island is also a hiker's heaven, with a network of mountain trails that offer breathtaking views. Aside from such natural beauty, Kefalonia has a wonderful local cuisine and fantastic locally produced wines. After dark, should you wish, you can find plenty of cosmopolitan bars for cocktails and dancing under the stars.
Kefalonia can be reached by sea or by air. There is an international airport that is served by flights from Athens and many other European cities. The island's two main ports are connected to Patra and Kilini in western Peloponnese. During summertime, there are also boats connecting Kefalonia to Astakos, Ithaca, Lefkada and Zakynthos.
Once undiscovered by foreigners, Kefalonia attracts today the world's rich and famous for its magical scenery and low-key lifestyle. As such, luxury villas in Kefalonia are not hard to come by. The Greek Villas team have created a superb collection of private holiday villas to rent that range from ultra-stylish havens that offer perfect isolation to luxury villas with a swimming pool where guests can relax and enjoy the beauty of the island, with peace and privacy, while being within very easy reach of the island's livelier parts.