Being the largest island in the Ionian Sea, it makes sense that there are countless things to do in Kefalonia. Whether you’re on a family holiday or escaping from everything and everyone, there’s dozens of attractions to visit, beaches to lounge on, and festivities to get stuck into. While you’re always sure for a good time on the island, there are some unmissable things to do in Kefalonia that need to make it onto your itinerary. Here are Orbzii’s top ten.
Make a Splash in Kefalonia’s Premier Water Park
Located on the Paliki Peninsula, you can take the scenic route to get to this family-friendly attraction or get the hourly (sometimes twice-hourly) ferry from Argostoli to Lixouri. Home to five exciting waterslides, two large pools, and plenty of spots for children and infants to enjoy the water, this Kefalonia water park is the ideal place to spend the day.
Once you’re in, you don’t have to leave the comfort of the park. The Aqua Bar means you can grab light meals and snacks throughout the day, as well as a cocktail or three to enjoy in the heat.
The larger waterslides aren’t for the faint-hearted, but there is one suitable for younger kids, so they can have a thrill too. Just remember to bring suntan lotion!
Wander around Kefalonia Botanical Garden
Located a short drive from the capital of Argostoli, the Kefalonia Botanical Garden is home to some of the finest flora this part of the world has to offer, delivering one of the most serene natural escapes on the island alongside a memorable and educational experience. Once an olive grove, the garden now promotes the unique endemic plant species that thrive on this lush landmass, while also letting visitors know about the environmental problems these precious plants are facing. It’s also one of the only scientific research gardens in Greece, so it’s more than just a beautiful spot. An ideal attraction to spend the day at.
See Sunset at the Monastery of Kipoureon
Looming over a sheer cliff drop on the island’s west coast, a visit to the Monastery of Kipoureon is one of the best things to do in Kefalonia at any time of day – but it’s especially stunning at sunset. Built in 1759 by Archimandrite Chrysanthos Pentropoulos, the monks here once sustained themselves by cultivating the land surrounding the building, hence the name Kipouria, which comes from the Greek for vegetable garden. As the day winds to a close, the sun bathes the shining white building in sheets of gold and orange, before disappearing over the crashing Ionian Sea. If you do visit, prepare to experience some of the most vibrant colours you’ve ever seen in a sunset.
Spend the Day Beach-hopping
Kefalonia is blessed with untold numbers of seaside spots, from rocky, secluded coves to white–sand slices of paradise that make the island such a famous beach destination. From Petani to Elani to Xi, the idyllic shoreline that encircles the island means you’re never too far from the chance to lounge by lapping waves. While some beaches are better than others for certain activities or amenities, like water sports or waterside restaurants, each has its own unique character that makes them all worth visiting. Xi is particularly famous for its deep red sand, while Petani is more known for the plunging cliffsides that surround it. Regardless, you’re sure to find somewhere you’d love to spend the day at.
Explore Melissani and Drogarati Caves
There are a whole host of magical caves in Kefalonia, the seawater having eroded these labyrinthine tunnels under the shoreline into being over millennia. Two of the most otherworldly are Melissani and Drogarati Caves. Melissani Cave (sometimes written as Melissa Cave) is an underground lagoon just off the coast. There’s a large cenote-like hole that doubles as an entrance to the cave, and allows soft beams of light to creep in which only add to the serenity of the place.
Drogarati Cave is a lot more imposing. Dated at almost 150m years old, it’s about sixty metres deep and is full of interesting stalagmites and stalactites.
With room for five-hundred or so people, it’s sometimes used for cultural events thanks to its astounding acoustics.
Hike Through Mount Ainos National Park
On an island known for its outstanding natural beauty, Mount Ainos National Park has a good claim to being the prettiest spot in all of Kefalonia. A perfect combination of mountain scenery, sweeping sea views, and lush forest, you can spend days wandering through this gorgeous area. There are hiking trails for all fitness levels, as well as more calming walks where you can enjoy the scenery without breaking a sweat. A perfect day out for groups and solo travellers.
Join in the St Gerasimos Festivities
While the weather in Kefalonia in mid-August can be scorching, this doesn’t stop the locals from coming out to celebrate their patron saint, St Gerasimos. If you’re lucky enough to be around at this time the hubbub will be impossible to miss, but you wouldn’t want to anyway. Even if you’ve come to Kefalonia to lounge on a beach, the infectious excitement of the locals will draw you in.
Thousands flock to the main population centres on the island and after the religious services the party starts. There are street gatherings, live music, and parades, as well as enough food going round to feed even the hungriest tourist.
The celebrations carry on deep into the night, with locals cheers-ing until the early hours. Even if you’re not the festival type, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you don’t want to miss.
Relax in Idyllic Fiscardo and other towns
Kefalonia’s sloping shores are dotted with picturesque fishing villages, each special in their own way. Fiscardo is probably the most famous thanks to its aquamarine waters and private harbour, where white boats bob in the calm waters as they gleam under the sun. However, there are plenty more small settlements to explore, from Assos to Sami. Taking a day or two to discover as many as possible is sure to be a holiday highlight. As you might expect this is especially true if you eat seafood, but even if you’re vegetarian or meat lover the dishes served up by the local tavernas and restaurants in these villages is to die for.
Explore and People Watch in Argostoli
The capital of Kefalonia is about as bustling as the island gets, and although it isn’t quite Athens there’s certainly more of a buzz around here than most of the rest of the landmass. You can spend the day wandering through its narrow, cobbled paths and admiring the old and new architecture, or lounging in one of the many cafés and tavernas that line the streets while watching the locals go by. There are also museums and other attractions hidden in its winding roads, so you’ll be sure of things to see and do, even if you don’t plan ahead before visiting.
Learn About Turtle Conservation
Watching turtle hatching was once a prime tourist activity on these shores, but nowadays conservationists have impressed the importance of letting the creatures find their way into the world in peace, making many beaches inaccessible during the late summer months when they generally hatch. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t get to know these astounding animals during your stay: you can swim with adult turtles in the sea, and there are plenty of organisations near beaches like Koroni and Lefkas where you can learn about their natural habitats and birthing patterns.