Kefalonia is an island of stunning natural beauty, with a coastline of white sand bays lapped by the blue waters of the Ionian Sea. Unlike some other Greek Islands, Kefalonia hasn’t succumbed to mass tourism, so you’ll find the beaches delightfully unspoilt. But a Kefalonia cruise offers much more. Travel inland and you’ll discover lush, forested mountains, dreamy wildflower meadows and vineyards.
Many of the island’s towns have a modern, cosmopolitan feel. But the countryside around them is speckled with the fascinating archaeological remains of millennia-old civilisations, with unspoilt villages and crumbling monasteries. Make sure you visit a local taverna to try delicious Kefalonian specialities such as kreatopita (meat wrapped in flaky pastry), locally made cheeses and the excellent local wine.
Popular Ports in Kefalonia
Like many towns in Kefalonia, the island’s capital Argostoli was rebuilt after an earthquake in 1953. It’s now a lively modern town of colourful houses and tree-lined avenues. Located on a narrow peninsula, Argostoli is bordered by the Ionian Sea on one side and a serene lagoon on the other.
Take a stroll across Plateia Valianou, a picturesque square surrounded by restaurants and cafés. Near the square you’ll discover the luscious botanic gardens, the green heart of the city, and the pedestrianised shopping street of Lithostroto.
Argostoli is surrounded by some fantastic attractions. The island’s most famous bay, the stunning Myrtos Beach, is just 45 minutes’ drive away. Travel a little further up the coast and you’ll encounter Fiskardo, a town which escaped the earthquake and has preserved its picturesque Venetian charm.
On the opposite coast to Argostoli, you’ll find the beautiful fishing village of Sami. It’s nestled into the curve of a stunning bay and is surrounded by rolling hills carpeted in forest. It boasts a picturesque waterfront lined with seafood tavernas, with views of the island of Ithaca across the water.
Sami’s beaches are breathtaking. Just beyond the harbour is a picturesque pebbled beach surrounded by pine trees. But travel only a mile or two down the road and you’ll find the dreamy Antisamos beach, a filming location in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
On the hill above Sami stands an ancient acropolis and the crumbling ruins of Old Sami. These can be reached by road or taking a scenic hiking trail that winds up the hillside, past other ruins. This historic site is fascinating to explore and offers beautiful ocean views, too. Sami is also close to two other unmissable Kefalonia attractions – Melissani Lake and Drogarati Cave.
What are the best cruise ships for a Kefalonia cruise?
You deserve to visit Kefalonia in style, so here are two different cruise liners that perfectly balance luxury with value-for-money.
The Marella Discovery is one of the newest and largest ships in the Marella fleet, carrying you to the shores of Kefalonia in the lap of luxury. Relaxation is the name of the game here, with indoor and outdoor pools to chill out next to, and a fantastic spa offering a range of treatments. But those who like a more energetic holiday won’t be disappointed, either, as the ship also boasts a climbing wall, jogging track and a sports deck. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to dinner, from the chilled-out Lido Restaurant to the elegant Chef’s Table, where your gourmet food is prepared in front of you.
There’s a lot to celebrate about the Marella Celebration, a luxurious liner that takes customer care seriously. You’ll be pampered from the get-go with a two-storey spa, sauna and whirlpools. Days on the Marella Celebration revolve around the pool, where you’ll find sun-loungers, a grill restaurant and even live music. In the evening there’s a range of entertainment on offer, from shows at the Broadway Show Lounge to enjoying a sundowner in Hemingway’s Bar. When it comes to dining, you’ll be spoilt for choice, with restaurants offering everything from lobster thermidor to stylish south-east-Asian cuisine.
Shore Excursion Ideas
There are lots of options when it comes to shore excursions. These are the most unmissable attractions on offer.
Melissani Lake & Drogarati Cave
Step back in time as you travel into the atmospheric Drogarati Cave, believed to be around 150 million years old. Inside you’ll uncover subterranean caverns dotted with orangey-yellow stalagmites and stalactites. There’s even a cavernous great hall, which regularly holds music concerts thanks to some amazing acoustics. Next stop on the tour is the subterranean lake. You’ll take a boat trip across it, marvelling at the luminous blue waters and the shimmering aquamarine reflections across the cave walls.
Take a trip to one of Kefalonia’s most beautiful and photographed beaches. At Myrtos Beach, impossibly blue waters wash against white sand, leading to smooth white pebbles. The beach is nestled between two hills and surrounded by rugged limestone cliffs. The hours will drift by as you soak up the Mediterranean sun, swim in the calm waters, or enjoy a cold beer at the beach bar.
Kick back and enjoy a serene tour across unspoilt Kefalonian countryside. You’ll visit the 700-year-old Monastery of Agios Andreas, its interior painted with bright frescos. It even contains a gory relic in a silver casket – the sole of St Andrew’s right foot. Nearby is the Robola Wine co-operative. You’ll learn about winemaking and will be able to taste a selection of delicious local wines. The final stop is Kourkoumelata, a picture-postcard village rebuilt after the earthquake. It’s Venetian elegance has been restored in bougainvillea-draped villas and sculptured gardens.
Top ports of call in this destination