|GoingGreek.info is kindly supported by|
While you’re on Kefalonia there’s a variety of organised days out which offer you an easy way to get the most out of your holiday by really getting to see the island and its surroundings. Unless otherwise stated, the guided tours are in English-language only and most tour companies offer a similar program to each other but there is some variation in the tours and the prices.
An ideal introduction to Kefalonia, the itinerary varies from tour company to tour company but on most you will visit these key sites:
Agios Gerasimos monastery (remember the dress code)
Robola Co-operative Vinyard - free wine tasting
Drogarati cave (optional, admission not usually included in tour price)
Melissani underground lake (as above)
Myrtos and Assos (photo-stop on cliffs above)
|Ithaka Island Tour
The coach tours offer a rare opportunity to see the interior of this tranquil island and to hear about Odysseas between sightseeing in VŠthi, the laid-back capital and Kioni, a beautiful little fishing port which rivals the more famous, and more expensive, Fiskardo. In between, a stop in the village of Stavrůs for rovani, a delicious local sweet. It's an early start due to having to catch the morning ferry from Sami but it's well worth it to see the interior of this charming island. Check whether the tour price includes the ferry tickets; some do, some don't.
A great way to visit VŠthi and Kioni and to see Ithaka’s mountainous coast-line is by boat: the Sami Star runs out of Sami, Captain Vangelis runs a boat (two in high season) from Skala and Poros - a very popular cruise that sells out in high season. Cruise also available to people staying in Lassi (coach to port).
Plenty of swimming along with the sight-seeing and ideal for people who don't like coach tours or early starts!
Zakynthos is but a boat ride away, Kefalonia offers a superb opportunity to see its two most famous attractions – the Blue Caves and Smugglers’ Wreck.
Just note: the crossing can bit a bit choppy at times.
This is a fantastic fun day out for all the family, regardless of age. A great chance to see dolphins, a spot of champagne diving and snorkelling, volleyball on the seashore, a tasty barbecue cooked fresh on a beautiful beach, free rejuvenating mud pack and a bit of a sing-song on the way back – may sound a bit tacky to some but it’s actually great fun, to the extent that some people go every year. Free wine / squash with the meal, snack bar on the boat, snorkels, beach umbrellas and a couple of kayaks all free to use. Veggies catered for, just book meal in advance.
An evening in Argostoli offers the opportunity to see the capital of Kefalonia at its best, when it’s cooler and calmer. On a morning Argostoli is very busy as everyone bustles about their business, afternoon is siesta time and most of the shops will be closed. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights the shops re-open between 17:00 – 22:00.
Most of the tours will give you about four hours in Argostoli, which should be ample for a bit of sight-seeing, shopping and a meal in any of the many tavernas. Best bet is probably to do the sight-seeing first when the light is at its best, then a bit of shopping and then eat.
|For keen walkers there’s a pleasant walk around the coast to see the swallow-holes at Katovothres, maybe continuing on past the Fanari lighthouse to the rocky pit where the Italian soldiers were massacred by the Nazis. Take a left here and you’ll pass the Italian war memorial before heading back down to the Old Harbour of Argostoli. Or head out across the Drepano Bridge for a pleasant walk around the lagoon (allow a couple of hours for each).|
See the sights, hear the history, run the race at the site of the original Olympic Games, home of heroes. A vast site pretty much as it was left after the games were banned by the Emperor in 394 AD on grounds of immorality. Not quite sure what was going on but contests were held in the nude, apparently this didn't please the early Christians. One of four such sites, along with Delphi, Nemea and the Corinth Isthmus, Olympia was the most prestigious and famous. Limited availability as not all tour companies now offer this tour, this is a truly fascinating trip for anyone even vaguely interested in ancient history & culture and likely to convert anyone who’s not (yet) interested - don't miss the museum.
|Onassis / Levkas / Three Islands
Cruise from Agia Efimia up through the straights between Kefalonia and Ithaka to Meganissi and the Papanikoli sea cave, one of the largest in Greece and where the Greek submarine, Papanikoli, evaded the Nazi fleet during WWII. See inside the cave then it’s off to Spartohori, a traditional hill village a little further along the coast. You can either sit on the beach with a cool beer or, better still, wind your way up the old steps to explore Spartohori, where once Christina Onassis got a bit squiffy, kicked off her shoes and danced the night away on the tables at Chicken Billy's tiny taverna. Hey ho!
Skorpios, once the private island escape for multi-
Aristotle Onassis and now owned by his grand-daugther, Athina
Onassis de Miranda. Rumours suggested it had been sold to Giorgio
Armani but, as far as we know, it's going to be developed by her
Brazilian husband, Alvara de Miranda, as an island retreat for the
Access into Skorpios is by invitation only but Athina Onassis permits
local cruise boats to drop anchor just offshore so you, too, can swim
from the boat and sunbathe on the beach where
Aristotle romanced Jackie Kennedy.
Nidri, on Levkas, is the final port of call for lunch and sight-seeing. Facing the mountains of mainland Greece it appears as though you’re sitting on the rim of a huge lake, with white-sailed yachts plying between the fir-covered emerald green islands dotted between.
A great day out as dolphin-spotting is one of the great delights of this cruise and most days they will appear somewhere on the crosing so here’s a tip: sit at the bow of the boat and when the dolphins come to race the boat you’ll be able to lean over the side and get some great photos in close-up.