Out of the tons of things to do in Kefalonia, here you can find the two most beautiful gems of the Ionian sea – the Melissani lake and Myrtos beach – both are an absolute must!
When we were booking our trip to Greece, at first I was a bit too sure that I want to visit mostly Zakythnos. While Zakynthos was an amazing place, I was more fascinated by the numerous things to do in Kefalonia and its hidden gems as well! My number one reason to visit Greece and the Ionian islands was actually the Melissani lake and it turned out to be more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. I had seen lots of photos of it, but seeing it in person went beyond my wildest dreams 💜
If you’re looking for even more spectacular photos and tips for Greek islands, check out this perfect 7-day itinerary for Crete!
So, let’s explore my top two favorite things to do in Kefalonia, as well as some other amazing small cities and places around the island, which can make your journey even more unforgettable!
1. Row a boat at Melissani lake
This is definitely one of the most breathtaking attractions in Greece, just take a look at the photos below! It’s definitely my top thing to do in Kefalonia, and I’d go back just to do it again! 💜
The Melissani lake was actually a cave, but its roof fell down about 5,000 years ago during an earthquake. When you visit, a boat will take you around it, showing you even the deeper parts of that cave. The “boat captains” are pretty entertaining and nice – they will sing for you, take great photos of you on the boat and explain about how the lake came to be. So make sure you tip them!
The waters of the Melissani lake travel around 12km! They come from the capital city of Argostoli. How do we know this? Well, experiments! A while back some harmless coloring was released in the waters near Argostoli and a few days later, the same coloring showed up in Melissani.
2. Gasp at the view of Myrtos Beach
The main road above Myrtos beach in Kefalonia has numerous viewing platforms and lay-bys for you to stop and enjoy its beauty. The curving roads and surrounding mountains and cliffs make the views even more breathtaking and dramatic. Don’t miss this this thing to do in Kefalonia! Naturally, we went down to dip our feet in these perfectly greenish-blue waters. However, please be careful if you do go there – the beach is dangerous for swimming, as there are very strong currents. Just take a look (I promise, that twirly thing is not photoshopped 😱 ):
Luckily, there is a proper road and parking spots when you go down to Myrtos beach. However, if you plan on spending a whole day there, try to bring an umbrella – you know how strong the sun can get in Greece, right? But even if I am just walking around in the sun, I do make sure I have proper sunscreen with me – marine-friendly (and people-friendly!) combined with a very high protection factor. If you’re curious to find out even more, check out this detailed post about Myrtos beach in Kefalonia.
3. Walk around Asos in Kefalonia
While enjoying the view of Myrtos beach, you will certainly see a few almost separated hills at the very back of your view. This is where the city of Asos lies and walking around it is definitely one of my favorite things to do in Kefalonia. It can also be a great place to have your lunch, with many cafes and restaurants and lots of gorgeous houses with the typical Greek pink flowers all around. The population of Asos actually becomes only 15 during the winter time, many of the locals live elsewhere. But can you imagine how much better these gorgeous turquoise waters look during the winter? I would definitely come back here at winter time 🙂
4. Take a break at Agia Effimia
If you get a rent-a-car in Kefalonia (which is pretty much a must, as public transport is practically non-existent), make sure to stop by Agia Effimia. It is a traditional fishing village but it is one of the most famous ports in Kefalonia. It offers spectacular sunrises with the sunlight reaching through the sailboats. In terms of things to do – Agia Effimia has a diving center if you’re in the mood for exploring the underwater world of Kefalonia. In addition, there are private boat trips to Ithaca an the gorgeous beach Polis in Ithaca.
5. Snap instagrammable photos at Fiscardo
The city of Fiscardo is located at the very north part of Kefalonia and it is actually the only city that survived the devastating earthquake in 1953. The beautiful buildings have been preserved and renovated, to if you would like to get a feel of how the island has actually looked like before the earthquake, visiting Fiscardo is definitely one of the top things to do in Kefalonia! In addition, Fiscardo’s port is the one where you can get a ferry to Lefkada, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a one-day trip, since you’d only get a few short hours due to the ferry schedule.
Greece is just super instagrammable! Check out the most instagrammable places in Mykonos 💜
6. Take a peak inside the Drogarati cave
The Drogarati cave was absolutely stunning, no shots I could take can describe the feeling you get while walking inside it. Be careful, the steps are a bit slippery (but not as much as in other caves I’ve visited before), and make sure to bring a coat or scarf, as it is quite chilly inside. And remember not to touch the stalactites and stalagmites, as they only grow at about a 3 mm a year, just walk around and admire them 💜
7. Climb up to George’s Castle
George’s Castle was the capital of Kefalonia for over two centuries. However, this proved to be rather inconvenient as the castle was pretty high up, and since Kefalonia is an island, its main communication with the outside world was through ports. Thus, the capital city was later moved to Argostoli, one of the largest ports, and bringing supplies became much easier. Understandably, the castle was heavily hit by the earthquake in 1953, but since it’s so high up, the views are quite amazing! The best thing is that there are parking spots quite high up, so you wouldn’t have to climb too much 😝 Don’t miss this amazing thing to do in Kefalonia!
Bonus – Curious Facts!
- When driving around Kefalonia, you’ll see many, many goats. All of these cute little goats are, in fact, domesticated! As I’m sure you’ve seen goats before, you know that many of them actually wear little bells around their necks. Have you ever wondered why? Nope, not so they can be found easier or in order to “see them coming” 😀 The little bells are used, so they can scare off snakes!
- Moreover, if you spot a goat up close around Agia Effimia, you might notice that it has “golden teeth” 😀 This is due to the minerals present in that particular part of Kefalonia, they definitely didn’t visit the fairy animal dentist 😀 <3
- If you’re very lucky, you might spot one of the famous tortoises caretta-caretta, you just need to be patient and visit the port of Argostoli early in the morning.
So, what do you think about these sights, which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!
“Bonus Curious Fact”. … I love it ♡
[…] Kefalonia might not be as famous as Zakynthos or Mykonos, but it definitely ranks as one of the most beautiful islands in Greece! While you can explore most Greek islands in a day or two, it’s worth spending at least a week in Kefalonia. You can rent a car and explore the island’s hidden gems! […]
Sounds wonderful. We are visiting in June. Where do you think is the best place/part of island to stay. This is our first visit. Thank you.
He Aristea! So sory for the late reply 🙂 If you’d like to go island hopping, it’s definitely better if you stay near Argosoli, the port, as it’s a great starting point! We stayed near Xi Beach and, lovely as it was, it was quite hard to explore the island from there, it was pretty remote. Hope you enjoy your vacation! 🙂
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