With its array of idyllic seaside villages, stunning beaches, clear turquoise-blue sea, and towering mountains covered in fragrant pine trees, Kefalonia is a precious gem on the Ionian Sea. This paradise island is a haven for those searching for a calm, relaxed way of life, stunningly beautiful scenery and long, warm summers.

Argostoli is the island’s capital, and a good place to start any visit to Kefalonia. It’s only a small town, but here you’ll find a number of good restaurants, designer shops and plenty of decent accommodation. Although, like much of the island, its architecture mainly dates back only as far as the great earthquake of 1953, it retains an idyllic charm with its paved streets and pretty harbour.

There are a number of beaches within easy reach of Argosotoli, and Kefalonia boasts some of the best beaches in Europe. A 10-minute drive away is Lassi, with its golden sand and views across the Ionian Sea, while a little further afield but still only short drives from the capital are the tourist favourites Skala and Antisamos.

If you’re a fan of the beach, then you’ve certainly come to the right place. Along with Skala and Antisamos, Myrtos beach is a “must-visit” destination. Flanked by cliffs and down a winding mountain road, Myrtos boasts one kilometre of white sand and pebbles, and some of the bluest water imaginable. The wash can get a bit rough here, so take care when swimming!

High above the beach is a great viewing platform for photos, but Myrtos is one beach that looks just as good up close as it does from afar.

Though it can be spotted from afar at many viewpoints along Kefalonia’s western coastal road, the small village of Assos is the epitome of quiet, secluded, untainted Kefalonia.

With its charming bay almost enclosed by the bulging peninsula which surrounds it, the village feels tucked away in its own secret cove. The water here is calm, clear and perfect for basking in, while a handful of friendly waterside tavernas serve up fresh fish and even fresher salads.

Much of Kefalonian life is focused on the coast, where the mountains run down to small, picturesque villages and secluded beaches. But one of Kefalonia’s most impressive attractions is to be found right in the heart of the island. Melissani Cave is an underground marvel, a cavernous natural structure filled with a lake of the purest blue water.

Boat trips take tourists round the two “halls” of the cave, providing an opportunity to take in the truly remarkable sights. Nearby, Drogarati Cave plunges 60 metres below ground, and is worth seeing for its impressive stalactites and stalagmites.

Kefalonia is something of a geological marvel, and its landscape reflects this. Sitting astride a major tectonic fault line, it has been shaped by earthquakes over the centuries, and spectacular mountains form a ridged back all the way down the island. As a result, Kefalonia has some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere in this part of the world. One of the joys of the island is simply to drive its winding roads, cut into the mountainsides, marvelling at the peaks above, and the piercing blue of the Ionian Sea far below.

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