Five insider tips on North Kefalonia

5 insider tips on North Kefalonia

5 insider tips on North Kefalonia

The island of Kefalonia, which was made famous by the book (and later the film) ‘Captain Correlli’s Mandolin’, is a gem in the Ionian Sea.

I spent a month living, writing and photographing the island with my wife after we were married in May this year. We fell in love with it, its people and the places we visited. So what follows are my tips for places you HAVE to visit to ensure you make the most of any trip to the north of Kefalonia.

1. Visit Myrtos Beach – but get there early…

This stunning beach is one of the island’s most famous landmarks. Despite its notoriety it’s not well signposted so be very attentive whilst driving there! The beach is stunning, though it’s not actually sand down there, rather small white stones. Be advised to take your own umbrellas and even food, as the facilities are not stellar. Get there early – 1/ to get a parking place close to the beach and 2/ to avoid driving on the twisty lanes down to the beach when there’s heavy traffic.

2. Visit Melissani Cave – at the right time. 

This is a must-see. Melissani Cave is a beautiful open cave filled with deep, clear, stunning water. A number of boats ferry visitors around the open and covered part of the caves. The guides can be amazing – one sings to his boatful of visitors, and others are full of amazing facts. One big hint – get there around midday as the sun shines directly in and makes the cave and water stunningly beautiful. If you time it right it will be a visit you will remember for the rest of your life.

3. Visit Assos – but mind the road…

This place is magic – a stunning village wrapped around a lovely harbour on the west of the island, with a promontory on which there is a Mediaeval Venetian Fort. Again the road down to it is a bit twisty (more than 14 hairpin bends on the way down) but it is worth it. Surrounding its small square are a number of great restaurants – Nefeli-Anait was our favourite because of the range of food, service and position on the water.

4. Visit and stay in Fiskardo any time… 

Fiskardo has a touch of class and refinement about it. The village was one of the few places not devastated by the 1953 earthquake on the island, and its buildings have period charm. This is a place to eat, drink and be merry as its many high-class restaurants offer some very great cuisine (though the prices aren’t the cheapest.) This is a wonderful place to sail from, and many of the restaurants face directly onto the harbour itself, making it the perfect place to eat in the cool of the evening. There are many interesting day trips on offer from the harbour, and you can hire motorboats and sailing yachts too to visit the various beautiful coves around the village.

5. Visit Drogerati Caves – if you don’t mind steps 

These are a stunning natural set of caves in the heart of the island – they are cut from the natural limestone of the islands and are full of incredible stalagmites and stalactites formed by dripping water. The caves open up into a remarkable natural bowl that has held operas in the past because of its amazing acoustics. It’s a stunning natural phenomenon, but one that requires going down and back up some very steep steps – be warned!

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