The clear blue waters and pine-covered slopes of Kefalonia

Kefalonia, with its green, pine-covered slopes and Mount Ainos majestically towering over the surrounding azure blue waters, is the biggest island of the Ionian Sea. Does its name ring a bell? Very possible! The island of Kefalonia was the setting for the 2001 movie “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”, in which Nicolas Cage played an Italian captain during WWII who fell in love with a young Greek girl, played by Penelope Cruz. The choice for Cage to play an Italian captain might be debatable, but the movie certainly did a lot for the tourism industry of Kefalonia: a lot of people want to go and see this quiet, serene and stunning place for themselves!

things to do in Kefalonia

I was one of them and the first place I visited was Fiskardo, the only village that survived the 1953 Ionian earthquake and managed to preserve its traditional 19th century pastel-coloured houses. It isn’t always easy to spot them though, the waterfront has been transformed into one long line of taverna’s and cafés, ready to serve the yachties who flock here in summer. Fortunately the characteristic back alleys have been able to keep some of their charm and at night, the place turns back into the serenity it has always known.

things to do in Kefalonia

Leaving the village behind I set off for a walk along the old Venetian lighthouse, past a ruined Christian basilica while taking in the views. Pretty soon the first beach is in sight: Emblissi Beach. It is very tempting to have a swim, but if you are looking for an even more remote place, continue walking uphill through the forest until you reach Kymilia Beach. A local organisation has set up walking trails, or you can follow some of them in a very handy Sunflower guidebook dedicated to Kefalonia.

There are several walks around Fiskardo that I would definitely recommend: how about reaching the “Queen’s throne”, said to be dating back to “The Golden Age of Greece” or walking through the almost completely ruined village of Psilithrias, once the biggest and most important village in the area?

Whatever you do, make sure not to miss out on my favourite village on Kefalonia: Assos! Assos is basically a small isthmus in a sheltered bay beneath the ramparts of an imposing 16th century Venetian castle! Sounds good right? Well, it LOOKS even better! There’s almost no place for yachties to moor, which makes it a lot quieter than Fiskardo. There are only a few tavernas in Assos and early morning is the best time for a wander around its nearly deserted streets! Make sure you walk up to the castle, not only for its historical background, but also for the amazing views it offers over the village and the bay!

things to do in Kefalonia Assos

things to do in Kefalonia Assos 

Have you been to Kefalonia? Or any other Greek island? What is your favourite?

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20 Replies to “The clear blue waters and pine-covered slopes of Kefalonia”

  1. Maaike - Travellous World

    The images in the photos radiate such a sense of tranquility. I hadn’t heard of this movie, and also not of this island, but I’m definitely going to put it up on my list. I’ve been meaning to see more of Greece besides Crete and Rhodes, and this seems like a good option.

    Reply
    • Els Post author

      I saw the movie after I visited the island 🙂 It’s a perfect spot and a lot less crowded than Crete or Rhodes (well, I imagine so, I’ve never been to Crete or Rhodes, but know that they would be much more popular than Kefalonia 🙂

      Reply
  2. Milosz Zak

    I think we all forget how active seismologically the entire region really is. We think we’ll find lots of original structures, but it’s difficult to have those expectations when the region lies at the confluence of several major, and widely studied fault lines.

    Reply
  3. chrysoula

    I live in Greece but I ahven’t been to Kefalonia yet. So many islands to discover. I love your photos. Did you go to any beaches? Kefalonia has beautiful beaches as well and great food.

    Reply
  4. Ashley and Alex

    Ah it looks so beautiful! I absolutely love the Greek islands but I haven’t been to Kefalonia yet. Would love to explore this island and all of them 🙂 The goal one day is to own property in Greece so let’s just call this research!

    Reply
  5. Bailey K.

    The villages look so quaint and beautiful! I love the deep blue color of that water; I could stare at it all day long. I’ve never seen the movie or read the book, but I’d LOVE to go to Kefalonia!

    Reply
  6. Paul (@luxury__travel)

    We visited Kefalonia at around the time Captain Corelli’s Mandolin came out. It probably wasn’t the best time to go as visitor numbers were no doubt at their peak, but it was still a lovely island to visit and didn’t feel in any way inundated by tourists, despite us being in a very touristy area (Lassi).

    Reply
  7. Jameela Deen

    Never heard of the place before i stumbled on your post but i totally get why people would stop there: it is picture perfect! Wow would be a good word to describe the views of the colourful little houses and the boats resting ashore. Thanks for putting some sun in my day 🙂

    Reply
  8. Chris

    I enjoyed Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, but I had no idea it was filmed here. Maybe I will have to join the tourists who have decided to come to Kefalonia to see it in real life.

    I really like the idea of the quieter areas, is there a main season for the yachts or is it year round?

    Reply

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