Ionian Sea, Greece
Kefalonia is a large island in the Ionian Sea. It’s a majestic destination, ideal for nature exploration and swimming. Discover useful information about the best beaches, villages, food and vacation experiences on the Greek island, and book cheap ferry tickets to Kefalonia on Ferryhopper.
Castle on the top of a green hill in Kefalonia
Vacation in Kefalonia
Kefalonia (or Cephalonia) is a cosmopolitan destination, where visitors enjoy peaceful holidays away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Amazing beaches, exceptional food and awe-inspiring natural sceneries guarantee the perfect getaway.
There’s much to see and do on the island both during the day and at night, from outdoor activities such as cave exploration and snorkeling to quaint tavernas and wine-tasting sessions. Moreover, Kefalonia is famous as the filming location of the movie Captain Corelli's Mandolin, which helped make the island a favorite among international travelers.
How to get to Kefalonia
Kefalonia is regularly connected by ferry with mainland Greece and more destinations in the Ionian Sea. The best way to get to Kefalonia from mainland Greece is via the ports of Patras or Kyllini in Western Greece. Patra and Kyllini are in the Peloponnese and you can get there by car or public bus from Athens in around 3 hours. Ferries to Kefalonia are in operation throughout the year. Find more information about ferry schedules and tickets below, and learn how to travel by ferry to Kefalonia.
What to do in Kefalonia
The diverse natural landscape of Kefalonia invites travelers to explore the island on foot, hike on amazing trails, explore secluded coasts and visit nature reserves such as Mount Ainos. During your stay, don’t miss out on the marvelous beach of Myrtos, one of the most popular on the island and world-renowned for its unspoilt nature and blue waters. Explore the villages of Cephalonia to taste local dishes and drink delicious wines, hike through lush forests to enjoy the clean air and tremendous views, discover hidden coves and enter impressive caves such as the cave lake of Melissani.
Beaches in Kefalonia
Kefalonia has a long coastline with many beaches. There are large beaches with visitor amenities, as well as small secluded coves for the ultimate summer relaxation experience. You can try water sports, have lunch at quaint seaside restaurants, swim in crystal-clear waters and watch the sunset on the beach. Most beaches on the island are untouched and virgin and we recommend that you visit as many as you can. Here are 10 great beaches in Kefalonia.
- Myrtos: Myrtos is a multi-awarded beach with lush vegetation, impressive rocks, blue waters and white pebbles. It’s the perfect spot to watch the sunset and it has been voted as one of the best beaches in Greece and the whole world! Bear in mind that there is no natural shade on the beach, so make sure you bring an umbrella.
- Skala: This 5-km beach is one of the largest on the island. It is located next to a popular resort village and it is quite popular with visitors. Despite its popularity, it rarely gets crowded as its coast is really long. It has blue waters, thick golden sand and tall pine trees.
- Petani: This beach is one of the best in Kefalonia. Emerald waters, small pebbles, lush vegetation and a picture-perfect sunset view make up a dreamy setting. You can find visitor amenities, as well as tavernas and cafés.
- Foki: It’s a beautiful wind-protected cove amidst olive and cypress trees. It has shallow emerald green waters and pebbles. There are plenty of tavernas close to the beach.
- Xi: Xi is distinguished for its red sand and clay rocks. You can have a free spa session using the grey clay found on the beach! It is wind-protected and has shallow waters, making it great for kids. There are umbrellas, sun loungers, restaurants, cafés and a food truck. You can watch the sunset and try water sports on the beach.
- Makris Gialos: This is one of the busiest beaches in Cephalonia. It is a large sandy beach with shallow crystal-clear blue waters. There are umbrellas, sun loungers, lifeguards, a beach bar and water sports facilities.
- Platia Ammos: The peaceful beach has clear blue waters, pebbles and imposing rocks, and it is one of the most impressive on the island. You have to descend around 400 steps to get to the beach, but the waters and sunset view are surely worth it! There are no visitor amenities, so make sure you bring all beach essentials.
- Lagadakia: Lagadakia is a secluded cove with impressive rock formations and a rich seabed, perfect for snorkeling. It has white pebbles and reinvigorating deep emerald waters. There is no natural shade or visitor amenities.
- Antisamos: The beach is one of the most popular spots for swimming and sunbathing on the island. It has crystal-clear blue waters and there are sun loungers, umbrellas and beach bars.
- Emplisi: This is a remote rocky beach, perfect for snorkeling. There are some trees for shade, free parking and a food truck. We recommend that you lie on the smooth rocks on the side of the beach to take in the sun.
The popular beach of Myrtos with its amazing waters
Activities and sightseeing in Kefalonia
The island of Kefalonia has a rich history and untouched nature, making it a great destination for cultural sightseeing and outdoor exploration. Apart from enjoying the warm sun and swimming in amazing waters, we recommend the following outdoor activities on the island:
- Following the hiking trail from Antisamos to Poros
- Exploring the cave lake of Melissani on a boat
- Visiting the cave of Drogarati to see the stalactites and stalagmites
- Trying paragliding to admire the island from above
- Discovering the seabed of Kefalonia by snorkeling
- Taking a trip to the nature reserve of Mount Ainos
- Going spearfishing for fresh fish
If you’re interested in cultural and historical attractions, there’s a lot to see and do in Kefalonia. Find some of our favorite cultural experiences below:
- Wine-tasting at the local wineries
- Seeing the statue of Greek poet and sailor Nikos Kavvadias
- Crossing the stone-made De Bosset Bridge from Argostoli to Drapano
- Witnessing the ancient roots of the island at the Kefalonia Archaeological Museum
- Taking photos at the lighthouse of Agioi Theodoroi
- Visiting the Monastery of Agios Gerasimos
- Walking among the ruins of the Venetian Castle of Assos
Aerial view of the heavenly cave lake of Melissani in Kefalonia
Nightlife in Kefalonia
Kefalonia may not be the ultimate party island, but this does not mean you can’t have fun at night! There are many lounge bars and restaurants in Argostoli and Fiskardo, where you can dine or enjoy delicious wine and cocktails. Skala and Lassi are also lively by night. There are ambient bars, which are popular with young travelers. You can find tavernas and beach bars all over the island, as well as resorts that arrange parties and music events. As for clubbing, there are some good options close to Argostoli.
Food in Kefalonia
The islands of the Ionian Sea are famous for their delicious cuisine and high-end culinary experiences, ranging from local tavernas to modern restaurants. The local cuisine perfectly combines the Greek and Italian gastronomic traditions. In Kefalonia, you can enjoy fresh fish, organic vegetables and dishes prepared with wild herbs. Here are some of the best products and dishes to try in Cephalonia:
- Mpakaliaropita: cod fish pie
- Kouneli stifado: rabbit and onion stew
- Skordalia: garlic purée
- Tsigaridia: wild greens with rice
- Mantoles: caramelized almonds with cinnamon
- Robola: local wine
- Thyme honey
Villages in Kefalonia
There are many villages to explore, as Kefalonia is the largest island in the archipelago. We recommend that you visit quaint villages both at the coast and the mountainous areas of the island, to experience the variety of traditions and architecture. Here are some of the most popular villages:
- Agia Effimia
The quaint seaside village of Fiskardo
Useful information for Kefalonia
There’s everything you need for safe and enjoyable holidays in Kefalonia. Argostoli and Lixouri are the two largest towns on the island. There, you can find hotels, shops, banks, supermarkets, tourist services, ATMs, souvenir shops, grocery stores, pharmacies and more! There are also 2 hospitals, as well as car rentals, ATMs, vacation rentals, gas stations, camping sites and grocery stores all over the island. Moreover, the island is home to an international airport located on the southwestern coast, close to Minia.
Useful phone numbers for your stay in Kefalonia
Here are some important phone numbers for your trip to Kefalonia:
- Port Authority of Poros: +302671072460
- Port Authority of Sami: +302674022031
- General Hospital of Argostoli: +302671024641
- General Hospital of Lixouri: +302671092222
- Public bus service (KTEL):+302671022281
- Municipality of Kefalonia: +302671022230
- Tourist Police: +302671022815
- Airport of Kefalonia: +302671041511
Transportation in Kefalonia
The public bus network in Kefalonia is well-developed and connects the two main ports of Sami and Poros with Argostoli, the airport, major villages and other popular spots on the island. Since distances are quite long, we recommend that you bring your own vehicle or rent one there for more flexibility when it comes to getting around. To get a better idea, the distance between Sami and Poros is 27 km and the distance from Argostoli to Myrtos is around 30 km. If you don’t want to drive, there are also taxis and sea buses on the island.
Ports in Kefalonia
The two main ports of Kefalonia are Sami and Poros, serving routes between the island and mainland Greece, as well as other islands of the Ionian Sea. You can find car rentals, restaurants, gas stations, hotels, supermarkets and ATMs at the major ports. There are also smaller ports that serve routes and boat tours to neighboring islands.
- Sami: It is one of the main ports of Kefalonia. From the port of Sami, there are ferries to Patra, Ithaca, Astakos, Corfu and Italy.
- Poros: This is the second main port of the island. Ferries from Kyllini arrive at the port of Poros.
- Argostoli: The port of the capital of Kefalonia serves daily sailings to Lixouri.
- Pessada: You can catch a ferry from the port of Pessada to Zakynthos.
- Fiskardo: There are ferry routes from the port of Fiskardo to Lefkada during the summer.
Island hopping from Kefalonia
Kefalonia is a great destination for island hopping in the Ionian Sea. During the summer months, there are also ferries to Italy connecting the island with Bari and Brindisi if you want to have the ultimate Mediterranean vacation experience. There are direct ferry crossings from Kefalonia to the ports of:
Discover more ferry routes and schedules on Ferryhopper’s Map of ferries, to easily plan the perfect island-hopping trip!
Swimming in the crystal-clear waters of Kefalonia
Kefalonia ferry: schedules and tickets
You can catch a ferry from mainland Greece to Kefalonia at the ports of Kyllini and Patras throughout the year. You can drive or catch a public bus to the ports from Athens and other major cities in Greece. The closest mainland airports to Patra and Kyllini are Aktion and Kalamata. Here are more details about the ferry crossings to Kefalonia:
- Kyllini - Kefalonia: The ferry route from Kyllini to Kefalonia arrives at the port of Poros and it is available year-round. The journey duration is 1.5 hours and it’s the fastest way to get to Kefalonia by ferry.
- Patras - Kefalonia: Ferries from Patras to Kefalonia arrive at the port of Sami and the service is normally daily during the summer. It takes 3.5 hours to reach Kefalonia from the port of Patras.
Where to book ferry tickets online to Kefalonia
You can find all ferry schedules and book ferry tickets to Kefalonia with no extra fees on Ferryhopper. Check available routes and connecting ports, and compare prices from all ferry companies through our fare search engine. Are you looking forward to exploring the alleys, beaches and caves of Cephalonia? You can have your tickets in just 4 clicks!