Kefalonia

Captain Corelli’s isle

The biggest of the Greek Ionian Islands, Kefalonia shot to fame in the Hollywood blockbuster, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Take one look at the place and you’ll see why its scenery was deserving of the big screen. Tree-studded hills stand guard over sprawling vineyards, and honey-hued sands are kissed by turquoise waters.

The popular resorts

Skala, in the south-east, leads the way as far as holiday resorts are concerned. Its long beach is backed by pines, and its nightlife is the liveliest on the island, with stylish bars and music clubs setting the tone. Lourdas, further west, is also popular. Life here revolves around the sleepy main square, and the village is fringed by 2 miles of coastline. Then there’s Lassi, which people flock to from far and wide to watch the spectacular sunsets.

Sightseeing

Wherever you choose to stay, the island’s main attractions are within day-tripping distance. Don’t miss Myrtos Bay, a spectacular chalk-white beach which Captain Corelli’s directors couldn’t resist slotting into the movie. And pay a visit to the age-old chambers at the Drogorati Caves.

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Skala

This small fishing village has grown up into a modern seaside town. There are restaurants, tavernas and cafés along the main street, leading up to a long sandy beach. Up in the hills behind the new town are the ruins of the old village, plus there are Roman ruins nearby –

including a 7th-century BC Temple of Apollo. There’s some top-notch hiking too, like the 8-kilometre coastal walk to Poros.

Fiskardo

Not for nothing is this stylish town on Kefalonia’s northern tip known as the St Tropez of Greece. Demi Moore and Jon Bon Jovi have been spotted here, while Roman Abramovich parks his yacht in the harbour. It’s Fiskardo’s beauty and history that attracts the A-list – it mostly escaped the 1953 earthquake, so you’ve got candy-coloured Venetian buildings draped in bougainvillea.

Lassi

There’s a good reason this purpose-built town has become Kefalonia’s biggest holiday spot. It’s got excellent sandy beaches and a main street packed with bars and restaurants, plus it’s just a 20-minute hop from the airport. All the excursions stop here, making it a first-rate base from which to explore the island. And you’re just 3 kilometres from the island capital, Argostoli.

Svoronata

Svoronata is on the south-west coast of Kefalonia, set among the fertile valleys and rolling hills of the Livathos region. The village has retained much of its old-world charm, thanks to the sleepy winding streets and colourful gardens. Homely holiday villas dot the outskirts, surrounded by rambling olive groves and perfectly-plotted fruit orchards. And if you take a 5-minute drive, you’ll fetch up at 3 sandy beaches – Ammes, Avithos and Ai Helis.

Karavados

Karavados is a pocket-sized village in the south of Kefalonia, anchored among pine forests and citrus groves. It has all the mainstays of a typical Greek town, including rustic houses with cheerful gardens, an oxblood-red church, and a couple of tiny tavernas. While mountains lie to the north, a pancake-flat plain rolls out for a mile to the coast. Here, you’ll find a couple of beaches with views right across to Zante.

Skala

This small fishing village has grown up into a modern seaside town. There are restaurants, tavernas and cafés along the main street, leading up to a long sandy beach. Up in the hills behind the new town are the ruins of the old village, plus there are Roman ruins nearby –

including a 7th-century BC Temple of Apollo. There’s some top-notch hiking too, like the 8-kilometre coastal walk to Poros.

Fiskardo

Not for nothing is this stylish town on Kefalonia’s northern tip known as the St Tropez of Greece. Demi Moore and Jon Bon Jovi have been spotted here, while Roman Abramovich parks his yacht in the harbour. It’s Fiskardo’s beauty and history that attracts the A-list – it mostly escaped the 1953 earthquake, so you’ve got candy-coloured Venetian buildings draped in bougainvillea.

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Top 5 resorts in Kefalonia

Top 5 hotels in Kefalonia

Top 5 villas in Kefalonia