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The Guide to Kefalonia: FAQs About Greece's Ionian Island
Kefalonia is one of Greece's Ionian Islands, and it is a popular tourist destination for its beautiful beaches, quaint villages, and stunning scenery. There are many things to do on the island, and it can be tough to know where to start. This guide will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Kefalonia, so you can make the most of your trip.
Kefalonia is one of Greece’s most popular destinations, offering visitors some of the best beaches in the world. This gorgeous Greek Island is located off the west coast of mainland Greece in the Ionian Sea, just over 300 kilometres from Athens. With a population of around 40,000 people, Kefalonia offers plenty of things to see and do, including stunning scenery, crystal clear waters and some of the best restaurants in the entire region.
The island boasts many different types of accommodation, ranging from self-catering apartments and villas to luxury hotels and boutique retreats. If you want to find out more about what’s on offer, why not take a look at our luxury vacation rental in Kefalonia?
Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands, which are located off the west coast of mainland Greece in the Ionian Sea. The island boasts some of the most beautiful beaches and Europe stunning scenery and offers plenty to do and see.
There are a number of ways to get to Kefalonia.
Fly into Athens and connect to a flight to Kefalonia International Airport via another airline.
In the summer months, Direct flights from many European cities, including the United Kingdom are available.
Take the ferry from either Patras in Greece or Bari in Italy. The ferry takes about 12 hours, but it is a very scenic route.
You could also drive or take a bus to Patras and take the ferry from there.
April: Normally mild with lots of sunshine and the one-off shower. The olive groves are carpeted with wildflowers – ideal conditions for trail walking. Rivers and waterfalls that have dried up in the summer months are flowing. Sea and pool temperatures are still bracing.
May: Similar to April but with warmer temperatures and most of the rivers will just be trickles.
June: Pool and sea temperatures are comfortably warm and the views of offshore islands are crisp and clear.
July & August: Higher temperatures and warmer seas but more visitors to the island.
September: Perfect conditions for escaping the crowds but still with high temperatures.
October: similar to May.
Most of the island is metalled, however, the roads high up in the mountains are mostly gravel.
Most roads within the major towns are streetlit. However, there are few, if any, roads outside of these areas that are lit at night.
In the summer, you can expect traffic jams on the main roads out of Argostoli, especially in the late afternoon and early evening.
Driving in Kefalonia is not for the faint of heart, with narrow roads and tight bends with no hard shoulders. They are also poorly signposted, so you need to keep your eyes peeled for road signs.
There are many different food items that can be expected in Kefalonia. The island is known for its fresh fish, which can be found in most restaurants.
Many restaurants also offer pasta, meat salads and a selection of vegetarian dishes. People with special dietary requirements should call the restaurants before they visit so they can be sure that the food they want is available.
Kefalonia has a number of different wines. The most popular are the red and white wines, which are produced in many different vineyards on the Island. These wines can be found at all of the island's restaurants.
The shops are open from 9 am to 10 pm, with some closing for siesta between 2 and 5 pm.
Wednesday is early closing in Argostoli.
Supermarkets generally stay open until 10 pm and are open on Sundays
The climate of Kefalonia is Mediterranean. The island has a dry summer season with a lot of sunshine during July and August.
The island has an average of 250 days of sunshine per year.
July and August are the hottest months, temperatures can go over 40 degrees Celcius.
The summer season lasts from May to October, and this is when the locals expect most tourists to come.
During these months there are a lot of events going on.
Kefalonia is part of the European Union and its currency is the Euro.
Kefalonia enjoys a hot and sunny Mediterranean climate, with little rain during the peak holiday season. The northerly prevailing winds bring warm, dry weather from the continent, making July the driest month. Temperatures are a little cooler later in the season, but the island still enjoys plenty of sunny days.
Here's a chart showing Kefalonia's average Temperature, Sunshine hours and Rainfall.
ATMs are widely available in Kefalonia. There is one at the airport.
Most bank branches have ATMs.
You can use your credit/debit cards card to withdraw cash from an ATM in most bars and restaurants, at the tourist office and in some shops, just be careful of the charges when using a credit card.
There is a standard withdrawal fee and your bank may also charge you a foreign transaction fee for using the ATM.
Almost all places accept Debit and Credit cards. However, when you pay by Cash you will receive a big smile.
You must get a receipt before you pay.
Tap water is safe to drink in Kefalonia, however, it has high mineral content so may taste a little metallic.
It will depend on your provider as to whether or not you can use your phone there. Many providers from the UK still allow you to use your data and minutes as at home however, check with your provider before leaving home.
Roaming charges will vary from provider to provider for each country
Kefalonia is a friendly island with plenty of child-friendly activities. The beaches are the safest and most enjoyable for children, where they can explore rocks and pools, build sandcastles and find small fish to feed.
Restaurant and Taverna meal prices vary, just as they do anywhere else in the world.
Fish dishes can seem expensive, though keep in mind the fact that many places price fish per kilo, not per portion.
Gyros are probably the cheapest.
Local wines are good value, whilst imported labels can be expensive.
There are several internet cafes in Kefalonia.
Most accommodations and restaurants offer free wi-fi.
It is not necessary to learn Greek in order to visit Kefalonia. Most people speak English fluently and comfortably in Kefalonia.
Most restaurants, tavernas, shops, banks and post offices will have staff that speak English - usually very well.
If you make the effort to at least attempt to speak some Greek, it will be greatly appreciated
It's the largest of the Ionian islands and rarely feels crowded.
The island was put firmly on the map by Captain Corelli's Mandolin.
There are beautiful beaches, fishing villages and other attractions that are seldom too busy.
You can visit places that were featured in the movie or book, breathing life into tales from the Second World War or the terrible earthquake that followed it.
There are many tourist attractions and activities available in Kefalonia, so it is the perfect place for a holiday!
Kefalonia is a beautiful, secluded island located in the Ionian Sea.
- There are plenty of activities to enjoy on Kefalonia if you want to be by the beach and have some fun!
Kefalonia is a beautiful, secluded island located in the Ionian Sea.
Go to the beach
If you're looking for a day trip that will take your breath away, head for Mount Ainos: an epic view that can't be beaten!
Away from the shoreline, attention turns to Drogarati Cave* which has stunning acoustics!
The Paliki peninsula is a great place to visit for sleepy towns like Lixouri*
You can also explore the nearby stalactite-filled Drogarati Cave* while taking boat tours on Melissani Cave: boatmen taking tours on this underground lake will often belt out a few bars!
Find an outdoor activity you enjoy and head out to do it.
Get involved in the local community and help out with tasks that need doing around the island, such as cleaning the beaches and getting involved with monitoring the turtles.
Kefalonia has a great range of produce that can be picked up roadside or market gardens.
Kefalonia's wine may not have a lot of profile, but it is well worth pairing your meal with a local vintage or two.
The bakeries on the waterfront are great places to start the day with coffee and a fresh-from-the-oven pastry: try a custard-filled bougatsa or spinach and cheese spanakopita.
Kefalonia has many boutique wineries worth visiting; try Sarris vineyard, in Svoronata, for its leafy gardens for sipping wines.
You can expect to find a variety of vegetarian dishes on the starters menu. The easiest way to ask for vegetarian food is by saying 'horas kreas' which literally means 'without meat' or 'horto-fagos' which translates as 'vegetable-eater'.
Dishes such as Briam, stuffed vine leaves, stuffed tomatoes and peppers, giant beans and salads are available in most restaurants. Some restaurants will have a wider selection. Call before booking and ask the restaurant for something special, most restaurants would oblige.
The beaches of Kefalonia are among the most beautiful in the Mediterranean.
The cliffs on Kefalonia offer a stunning view of the Ionian Sea.
There are areas to visit that you won't want to leave - such as Assos, Mytros and Petani
Makri Gialos, Xi and Poros offer an unforgettable change of pace from the mainland.
Kefalonia is a much more casual island than it’s more over-the-top cousins, Mykonos & Santorini .
Lightweight, loose clothes are perfect for Kefalonia. Pack some layers for extra warmth and something stylish for a night out.
With beaches and pools aplenty, packing your swimsuit is essential. Trunks for men and bikinis/swimsuits for women.
Sandals and trainers for during the day. For ladies heels and smart shoes for dining out in the evening
The beaches of Kefalonia are both sandy and pebbly
Take some beach shoes to wear on the beach as the sands and pebbles can get very hot.
Watersports are available at many beaches including Lassi, Xi and Antisamos beaches.
You can hire motorboats in many of the ports and some beaches.
There are a number of organised boat trips to explore the coastline.
Kayaking, pedaloes, bicycle hire (including electric bikes), scuba diving, jeep safaris, caving and paragliding can be found on Kefalonia
There are nightclubs in the capital, Argostoli, one in Fiskardo and one outside Skala.
Yes, Kefalonia is a great place to hire boats.
There are many places in Kefalonia where you can rent boats.
Boat rental prices are reasonable and provide a lot of guidance on the best places to head too.
The day-time visits to secluded beaches which can only be reached by boat are highly recommended.
Yes, the ferry services are reliable.
The ferry connections are good and provide a fast and easy way to get to the other Ionian Islands.
There may be occasional disruptions due to high wind conditions, but overall the ferries are always running on time.
When making your trip, make sure you have all of your tickets and documents in order so that you don't have any trouble getting onto the ferries!
The best way to get around Kefalonia is by car. However, if you are not renting a vehicle on the island then there are buses and taxis.
can also hire a moped or bike.
Local buses run regularly between Argostoli and Sami, the main port of Kefalonia.
Other towns and villages have buses too, but they are not so frequent. There is a regular bus service to the airport.
Many companies offer guided tours around the island either private or with others.
Contact us today to enquire about availability
Amari Villa sits on its own grounds surrounded by olive groves (which belong to
the property) and has huge terrace areas wrapping around the property, with
fabulous views of the Ionian Sea, mount Aenos and Spartia village itself.
What People Say
Some words from our happy residents
"Beautiful villa both inside and out." The views are stunning from the terraces. Would definitely recommend! On arrival the villa was spotlessly clean and there was lovely welcome pack of some essential foods and drinks. The outdoor areas were beyond our expectations, particularly the pool. The complimentary concierge service was completely wonderful and helped us organise car hire, airport transfers, food shop and chefs prior to the stay, and were on hand to help during our stay. All in all a great place for a family holiday (we were with extended family), with plenty of space for everybody to enjoy the holiday. Worth the money and would stay again.
"Fantastic villa & pool, fabulous views, in great setting and location" There aren’t
many things in life that are perfect, but Amari Villa comes pretty close.
"Stunning villa with magnificent views and excellent facilities" When we arrived the impression that the
villa created was amazing and exceeded all our expectations. The view, the pool, the garden and
the BBQ are all made for a relaxing environment in which to enjoy our family holiday.
"What an absolutely fantastic villa" This is the first villa we have stayed in which is even more beautiful than its
photographs.We could not quite believe how spacious the inside is with so much living area, a very well equipped
kitchen, well appointed bedrooms with amazing views and smart, modern bathrooms. The outside is even better!
"Perfect for a family vacation" We were a 3 generation extended family, wishing to have a bonding week holiday in a quiet, beautiful and comfortable place. The villa is situated in an spot with a stunning view over the sea, beautiful garden with a great pool, rooms are good size, big living room and well equipped kitchen. It just fits what we were longing for. We loved the place and would love to come back some day!
"Perfect location with Superb views all round" Just like to say what a great time we had at the Villa last week. The location of the Villa is just perfect with superb views all round; it is very well equipped and had all the facilities we needed. We really liked the design of the property with spacious bedrooms as well as the kitchen, dining and lounge areas. You have looked after the property very well as it seems nearly new. The kids loved the pool and had a lot of fun during the week, overseen by adults from the overlooking balconies while enjoying a glass or 2 of the local wines.
"There is only one word to describe this holiday! Actually, it's two - absolutely fabulous." The location of the villa and the views from it are superb, making it an ideal place to relax with the family. We truly enjoyed everything about this place and can’t wait to come back for more lazy days by the pool and long walks along the many beaches nearby. The comfortableness and cleanliness of Amari villa is impressive. It was truly a magical relaxing family holiday – one that we will cherish for years to come!.
"Where do I start?" We stayed in Amari for 2 weeks in September. This is a beautiful villa in a stunning, beautiful, tranquil setting. The villa is on the side of a hill surrounded by olive groves with the most amazing views over the Ionian Sea towards Zakynthos. A 10-minute walk across the olive grove(and up the hill) brings you into the delightful village of Spartia, where there are 2 small general stores selling virtually everything you need, 2 coffee shops/bars and a really lovely restaurant all around a small square....idylllic! The local beach is down the hill from the villa and is a secluded sandy/stony beach where are 2 more restaurants. There are numerous other very secluded sandy beaches within a 5-minute drive. The Villa itself is beautiful. There is everything that you need. It is clean. The modern light and the pool is amazing. The tranquillity of the villa and the surroundings were just what "the doctor ordered" and I cannot recommend it highly enough. We will certainly return!
"A truly luxury villa with 5-star treatment!!". This was our second stay at the villa and it is even better than we remember from our first visit. This villa is simply stunning with fabulous views of Mount Aenos, the Ionian sea and beyond. Everything has been well thought out and you have everything you need for a villa. The infinity pool is just divine made for pure relaxation. A well-equipped kitchen with everything one would require, a spacious lounge and very comfortable bedrooms. The villa is surrounded by Olive groves making for a very tranquil setting. The hosts were incredibly helpful, answering all our questions. Anything we required they helped from arranging in-house chef to celebrate a special occasion, to a family boat trip. Amari Villa is only a short drive from the airport and the many wonderful places/beaches in Kefalonia, making it an ideal base for me and my family. I would absolutely recommend this villa experience to anyone wishing to visit the island of Kefalonia. You could not ask for more!! Simply amazing. We will be returning soon for our third stay.
"Beautiful views and grounds." An extremely well-appointed, comfortable villa which we shared with all our family - 3 generations. Beautiful views and grounds. The pool was amazing. Lovey smallish beach nearby and excellent tavernas within a short drive away. A wonderful holiday with lots of happy memories made. Thank you for letting us stay.
"So how did we find the near-perfection that was Amari Villa in Kefalonia?" The search for the perfect vacation rental can be daunting, but we were lucky enough to find Amari Villa in Kefalonia. This luxurious property was everything we were looking for and more. With its stunning views of the Ionian Sea, spacious and well-appointed rooms, and private swimming pool, we were able to relax and enjoy our time in this beautiful corner of Greece. This was the perfect villa for us.