Tourist holiday reviews of the Greek island of Kefalonia. Holiday reviews of Kefalonia resorts, beaches, apartments, tavernas and all aspects of Kefalonia holidays from people who have visited the island. I welcome all opinions on holidays in Kefalonia.
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Good: Its attractions are numerous. The small fishing village of Fiskardo . . . is one of the most picturesque and delightful resorts of its kind in Greece. The fortress headland and village of Assos, the underground Mellisani lake and beaches of Myrtos and Xi are classic tourist-office poster material and would win places in any hit parade of Greek island beauty spots.
Bad: One looks in vain for cheerful and attractive villages to use as a base or to pause for a break in a scenic tour. An important ingredient of what most people like about the Greek islands - picturesque village charm - is thus lacking.
Good: There are definite attractions here, with some beaches as good as any in the Ionian islands . . . Moreover, the island seems able to soak up a lot of people without feeling at all crowded and the magnificent scenery can speak for itself.
Bad: A more likely explanation for the island's late emergence on the Greek tourist scene is the Kefallonians' legendary reputation for insular pride and stubbornness. Having decided on the advantages of an easily exploitable industry, however, Kefalonia is at present in the midst of a tourist boom.
Good: Although the earthquake in 1953 shattered all but a fraction of Kefalonia's traditional architecture and all the quaintness and charm that goes with it, the big, sprawling island has lost none of its striking natural beauty. It has fine beaches . . . two of the country's loveliest caves, lofty fir forests, splendid views and Robola wine.
Bad: Most Kefalonians are friendly, good-humoured and clever, but have the reputation of being hard-headed, cunning, eccentric, tight with their money and the worst blasphemers in Greece.
Having found all the reviews of Kefalonia very amusing and interesting, I just thought I would write and tell you that I am going soon to Karavomylos to the Hotel Athina Beach for the 16th time. When I walk along the beach, I think it is heaven on earth - on a clear calm day it is so beautiful. On walking to Sami, half-way there is the Melassani Restaurant and since it has had the swimming pool added, it is great, as I find when it gets windy on the beach I can go to the pool, which is fairly sheltered. The food there is a little expensive, but very good.
I first found Kefalonia on an "Island Wandering" trip and have been going back there ever since. Next to the Athina Beach is now a five-star hotel - Ionian Emerald Resort, which is quite beautiful, and the residents in the Athina Beach can use the facilities as it is run by the same family - who incidentally are wonderful and very hospitable. I love this island and hopefully can return year after year.
My wife and I have just returned from a holiday in Lassi – but we will never, ever, consider going back – we prefer to live with our memories. We first holidayed there in 1989 and spent several of the following years going back. We liked the island because it was large, obviously Greek, and Argostoli was a working port with few noticeable tourists.
After some years away, we decided to return this year. What a mistake, how things have changed! The old Greek tavernas, not some but all of them, have been turned into something designed for a Hollywood set. There’s nothing Greek about them, apart from the piped Greek music. We were served by Albanians, Romanians, and an Australian-Greek and perhaps, once or twice by a real Greek, but we didn’t know. And the prices! We paid far less when, last year, we holidayed in Switzerland and the Italian Lakes. Forgetting the Euro-GBP exchange rate, and purely working on the charges in Euros this was a rip-off.
Many of the 'restaurants' boasted big TV screens that showed nothing else but football or sport! This was supposed to be Greece and I wanted to feel the atmosphere that I have felt many years ago. This isn’t Greece, anymore. We went to our old, much loved, and much visited taverna in Argostoli only to find that the previous owners had been bought out and it was now a “restaurant”, owned, it seemed by Albanians. What happened to the Greek hospitality that made our holidays perfect? It seems that greed has replaced all that.
When going home, at the airport not one person, on the check-in desks or in the bar or in the duty-free shops could be bothered to smile let alone speak to us, other than to quote the price. This greed isn’t new on the Greek Islands. We've seen it spread – first to Zakynthos, then Skiathos, Skopelos, Samos, and others. We have vowed never to return to Greece but prefer to live with our memories. This year was a mistake we will not make again.
On top of all that, the weather was far better in southern England! In Kefalonia, the weather was cloudy and we had almost three days of thunderstorms and heavy rain. We did, however, have about five days of sunshine. When I look back, if we’d stayed in England, I could have taken my wife out each evening for a fortnight and still had plenty of money left over.
The hotel was advertised as a very attractive, relaxed sort of place with all sorts of activities and offering spectacular views. When we arrived there we were bitterly disappointed. The room was very small, appallingly decorated, with two broken mirrors, handles coming off the wardrobe doors, an old carpet and an air conditioner that didn't work properly and emitted a mildly unpleasant smell. When we tried to complain the owner told us that he would charge us for the whole period for we had booked whether we liked it or not. He quite seriously told me that he would use my credit card without my authorisation. He also threatened to call the police.
I am Greek and my disappointment is perhaps especially potent. What I found in Kefalonia was greed and extortion. Gone seem to be the days of unadulterated Greek hospitality. To my bewilderment — and this perhaps tells you a lot about the character of the owner (a fellow Greek) — the owner told me that “this is what you get when you deal with Greeks”. Clearly, a man with a strong sense of patriotism. Maybe in the smaller islands of the Cyclades, one can still find the genuine warmth and hospitality that is supposed to be part of the Greek psyche, but which a lot of my country folk, whose livelihoods depend on tourism, seem to have forgotten. It is a shame. A real shame.
The more tourist grabbing areas like Lassi have really increased their prices since the making of THAT film. Sami has also jumped on the bandwagon but then tourist numbers have gone up enormously since the film (I don't know why - I thought the film was a bit lame myself) and you can't blame people for cashing in. The southeast of the island is still reasonable; Skala and Katelios have decent beaches and I think this the best part of the island anyway. As always, if you stick to the tourist hotspots you will end up paying for it. No matter what the resort, it's worth checking out side streets for that out-of-the-way taverna where the prices are a lot lower and the food usually better. Oh, and you don't get surrounded by those annoying tourist brat kids either.
Prices have been increasing steadily for at least 25 years in the islands. In part this seems to be due to cafe and restaurants being smarted and tarted with padded chairs etc. The availability of direct charter flights from European countries has had an influence as well. In Kefalonia tourist numbers are increasing, which is contrary to other islands which need a ferry to reach. Here tourist numbers have been decreasing over the last few years. I have stayed in most parts of Kefalonia. None is cheap, due to package tourism covering every little corner of the island.
We got back from Kefalonia two weeks ago. We were also worried about the island being very expensive but it wasn't too bad. We went to Lefkas last year and Santorini the year before that and didn't notice any huge changes. We stayed in Lassi, which we found to be reasonable. Beer was reasonably priced and most bars do happy hours. We hired a car and went round the whole island and found Fiskardo to be the most expensive area. One thing we did find that has never happened in Greece before is a couple of people tried to rip us off, especially in Lassi. One cafe owner repeatedly charged incorrectly and gave incorrect change, so just be careful if you visit.
I very much agree with your views on Kefallonia, having just returned. At the moment the place is pretty much empty; perhaps the greedy islanders are choking on some silly pricing (Fiskardo seemed to be the worst). I'd caution any foreigner driving in Kefallonia to be especially careful if they drive in rain — steep roads become extremely slippery. I was caught in a minor accident this way and some motorised Swedes had a more serious encounter with a bus on the same road. So low gear, low speed and probably don't even start a moped in wet conditions. Apparently the locals know this but car hire outlets don't tell anyone until they crash their cars.
The reason that many of the buildings on the island may appear like concrete boxes to some less understanding folk is because almost all the buildings were destroyed or made uninhabitable in the 1953 earthquake. Many families ended up living in tents for two to three years (sometimes more) bringing up their kids through blazing summers and freezing winters, waiting to be able to scrape together enough to build the most basic permanent shelter. The Government gave what help it could but this was minimal and the locals did not put it too high up on their priority list to consider waiting until they could manage to recreate a more Venetian feel to their boxes. I am sure that if you raise the matter with them now they will apologise for their lack of foresight in so upsetting your aesthetic sensitivities. Still, as you are obviously disappointed with your experiences of the island, you won't be sullying yourselves there again, thank God.
It has been a long, long time since I have had the displeasure of reading such a load of misinformed garbage as I found on your so called informative web site. How dare you of all people expect to give out genuine information regarding Kefalonia? Your site is an insult to all Kefalonians, young and old. Your information is old hat and, as you admit yourself, you travel all over the Greek islands (only twice a year), so how on earth in that short period of time can you possibly be able to grasp any knowledge about any specific island? You are to quick to copy others work including the disreputable Rough Guide, who visit even less than you do to update their information, then have the audacity to ask people to visit your site.
Most of the information you give in reference to the beaches and the tourist resorts is your squalid opinion and has not been updated for years. You even give the Rough Guide's incomprehensible and incorrect information in regard to the names of some of the beaches. I would be most surprised if you even knew where some of the resorts were in your possible one and only time of visiting. Instead of insults try giving an overall view of the island as your quote from Cadogan Greek Islands — of course the picturesque village charm is lacking.
The whole place suffered an earthquake which destroyed most of the island with the biggest majority of people leaving for foreign shores to rebuild their lives for goodness sake. This is not Corfu, this is Kefalonia. Furthermore, your descriptions . . . No! Forget it. Your list of errors is so long it just does not deserve the effort to correct it! Quite simply, if you don't like it, don't write about it in such a negative way and for certain DON'T BOTHER REVISITING.
I was surprised you had so little to say that was good about Kefalonia. I have been going there with my family for several years and it is by far one of the more interesting of the Greek island. Big it may be, and mountainous, (aren't they all) but that means it has even more of interest to offer. Granted that means boring bits like Argostoli (except for the excellent museum) but more interesting bits too. You dismiss the caves too lightly for example - they are terrific. Assos, as you rightly point out, is a wonderful place but Fiskardo is too, perhaps even more picturesque and with more to offer the casual visitor. Also the mountains are not just there to spoil your driving. I am forced to stop the car repeatedly because the views are just so breathtaking . Many thanks anyway for your excellent site. I am sure it is useful to first-time visitors, but they should not be put off.
We live on Kefalonia and have businesses here. I just want to say how refreshing honest and truthful and so funny your comments were! It makes a pleasant change from all the “I could live here forever and you are so lucky” we get. Can't you write a monthly article for all us long suffering Brits who have set up here and enjoy it most of the time, but need an injection of humour now and again!
Love the web pages on Kefalonia. We go to the Greek islands every year. Went to Kefalonia last year and enjoyed it so much we are going back this year, same place (Lassi, Kekatos Studios). Best Greek island we have been on. Can recommend eating at Panos Kappatos (Panorama). All lovely people.
Nigel and Fay Sparks
This is definitely not an 18/30 island so it depends on your age and what you want from a holiday. Lassi is best for youngsters but, saying that I'm 36 and I still thoroughly enjoyed Lassi. Bars are low key but some do stay open until the early hours and they're not too close to the resorts' accommodation. The best places to visit are Fiskardo, Assos Village, Myrtos beach, Aghia Efimia . . . and do the glass bottom boat trip with Captain Makis from Argostolli harbour.
I'm surprised at how much the prices have gone up. Bits of the island are becoming more touristy, Lassi and Skala are the main culprits. However, I think this is more to do with the inexorable march of tourism rather than the film. Kefalonia is a big island to explore in just a few days and where you go depends where you are staying. Assuming you are in the Argostoli/Lassi area you'll find them pricey, as they have become very popular recently. If you hire a car I suggest one day in Myrtos, Assos and Fiscardo in the north and a second in Sami and Anti Samos, with a trip to Drogorati and Mellisani caves.
A trip to the north of the island is a must. Myrtos is spectacular, though its a steep drive down and up. Assos is just heaven on earth and so beautiful and peaceful you can hardly believe it. Fiskardo is worth it just to look at the swanky yachts, but watch out for those prices.
The roads on Kefalonia are for the most part good. They do get mountainous in the centre and north of the island and dark at night. But driving is really OK. The drivers are nothing like the maniacs on Corfu! We hired a car from Friends of Kefalonia and got a fab information pack before we went and discovered all sorts of hidden places. Never had to pay for parking on Kefalonia, just find a spot to pull over like everybody else does. Kefalonia is a big island though and you can find yourself spending more time behind the wheel than on the beach. As for Myrtos don't blink on the way down or you'll be over the edge and don't even think about driving up - stay there for the rest of the holiday.
There are two great areas for cycling on Kefalonia. The Livathos region, in the southwest of Kefalonia, just east of the resort of Lassi is perfect for cycling. It is a fairly flat region with lots of minor back roads and tracks that are fairly quiet. This region is the lushest on Kefalonia with lots of cool olive groves to cycle through. The area has a network of quiet roads with many pretty villages and several beaches you can stop at too. lots of wildlife.
Parts of the Paliki Peninsula also makes for good exploration by bike. Again, this is a fertile, agricultural region with some beautiful countryside. One area that is particularly good in Krokidata. This is a small area that would make for a fantastic day's exploration. It has a network of practically unused roads that run through an area that seems to be a microcosm of the whole Greek landscape. Pockets of cypress trees, olive groves, pockets of wetland with tall kalami reeds, terrapins and millions and millions of dragonflies. The difficulty is getting here to begin with. Unless you are staying nearby, or prepared for a really long cycle, you would really need to take you bikes here in a car.
The north of the island is really quite hilly so be prepared if you are planning to cycle there. It's a bit of a big, hilly island with very dangerous roads for cycling and I didn't see any bicycle hire shops in Lassi either, one of the biggest resorts. I would recommend hiring a car instead, you will see a lot more of the island. Mountain bike hire is available in Skala. Can't recall the name but they are at the bottom of the village opposite the Skandinavia taverna. The roads on Kefalonia are very hilly though and full of potholes, so take care.
The area of the southeast has some cycling possibilities. The coastal area around Skala and Katelios is fairly flat and there is some interesting exploration in the immediate area around the resorts. The flat land here is not vast however. Not far inland from these resorts the land rises to Mount Aenos. It is a similar story around Poros. If you are staying in this area I would recommend a bike for a couple of days but you would cover the whole area in this time.
You have to hire a car. Kefalonia is a beautiful island and you need to get out there to explore it. There are many beautiful beaches to be found the most famous are probably Myrtos and Anti Sami. Petani was our favourite but we found all these beaches in the days before tarmac! I mean when we first went to Anti sami it was just us and a man beating a squid!! I think it's a bit different now though. Lassi itself is nothing special but it has the best beaches on the island. The Mediterranee beach is OK but you need to walk round the headland to Makris Gialos beach, it's gorgeous. The caves and the Mellisani lake are worth a visit as is Assos and Fiskardo. But you really need to get up into the mountains to appreciate the beauty of this place. Kefalonia needs exploring and to stay in one place for a whole two weeks would be criminal.
We went last year and I enjoyed some aspects of the holiday. Scala is currently very pleasant but I would not like to return a few years hence. They are starting to develop along the coast and eventually the area is bound to be ruined. The best part of the island was between Scala and Agia Effemia. This is a wonderful drive taking you through some lovely scenery. Agia Effemia was by far the most picturesque and unspoiled town. Anti Samos and Myrtos are spectacular but overrun with tourists.
The authorities deserve an award for the spoiling beautiful scenery by building a line of ugly electricity pylons down the centre of the island. It cuts through like an ugly scar. Surely they could have been more sensitive and I cannot believe the size and population of the inland warranted such a massive and unsightly development. We went to Kos the year before and I did not see one metal pylon. Still, it is too late now as the pylons will be there forever. The above mentioned drive avoids the pylons altogether.
I was so surprised by your dislike of Kefalonia. We went there last year and fell in love with the island. We stayed at the Mediteranee Hotel in Lassi (which you called monstrous) and loved it. I can't wait to go back to the island. They have done themselves proud with the earthquake they endured. It is slightly more expensive than Spain, Corfu, Rhodes etc but oh so worth it. It is so not commercialised, so quiet and not hordes of holidaymakers, no high rise, burger bars, discos etc. I don't know what island makes you happy, or are you the sort of person that finds fault when there isn't any?
It is not accurate to say Kefalonia is not commercialised. There are discos, two in Nea Skala and at least one in Argostoli. The Meditteranee hotel is monstrous in the context of most Geek islands, where tourism has built up from islanders renting out a few rooms to people arriving off the ferries. It is very commercialised due to the international airport being used by big tour operators. This is well known to increase prices and make accommodation more difficult to find. I find critical comments on any island very useful, bland comments do not enable any kind of differentiation between islands and resorts to be made.
Spent a week in Agia Efimia in early May — perfect! The weather was hot, the place was quiet, the people very hospitable, the food good (I particularly liked finikas). We travelled with Oneira Holidays who I can highly recommend. The island is beautiful and very relaxing and of all the places we visited during our stay, Agia Efimia was by far the best.
I can highly recommend Agia Efimia. It's a small resort and very friendly with some very good tavernas. I don't know one that I wouldn't recommend but Paradise was my favourite. There are several pebble beaches all with plenty of shade. Buses go daily to Fiskardo (it takes about an hour) and Sami (20 minutes). There are cruises across to Ithaka and boats to hire. The only off-putting things was the noisy flotillas that moor overnight. The tavernas can be swamped with posh and noisy loudmouths who have no thought for others. Steer clear of them. Otherwise a lovely resort on a lovely island.
The flotilla crowd can descend on the place and swamp the tavernas. I know they are only enjoying themselves but for some reason they can only seem to do so by shouting loudly, braying, squealing and yelling to each other. They seem not to notice that they might be spoiling others' quiet evenings and I suspect they would care even less if someone told them. Perhaps it's being cramped up in their little boats all day that does it. Pity as they can spoil a beautiful resort. Stay away from tavernas with 15 to 20 people sitting around a table and you should be OK.
We went this year and found Ag Efimia to be just about the best place on the island. We went everywhere by car. The food is good in all the tavernas, many traditional things on the menus often not found on the islands. It also has what is reputedly the best taverna on the island, the Paradisos. Swimming is in little coves but safe and if you snorkel it is very good. We went with Direct Greece and stayed in the Yellow House studios. We had the top floor, stunning views over to Ithaka, but the two lower floor studios also had good views. The only drawback to our studio was that we had no cover on our balcony, unlike those underneath. When it rained we were forced into the room.
The village is a real one with a church etc, no watersports, a busy harbour with active fishermen, local chickens and goats and no very noisy bars and discos. In fact, when we were there at the end of September the bars were almost empty, people preferring to stay in the tavernas. Greekstones is by far the cheapest car hire we found on the island, based in the south but they will deliver free if you book for a week otherwise 30 euros delivery charge. Agia Efimia has all the charm of Fiscardo but none of the tweeness and exorbitant prices. Sami was a bit bland and Scala and Katelios, to be quite honest, I found rather messy and touristy. Argostoli and Lassi were not places to stay, although they were interesting to visit. Assos is beautiful but so remote and small you would be fed up within a day a so.
There are two local bakers, two very well stocked and reasonably priced supermarkets and a meat market. They have also recently installed a cash machine - oh and there is a chemist. Tourist shops were limited to two, both in back streets. Ag Efimia is well sighted to visiting all parts of the island as it is centrally located.
Having lived on Kefalonia for some years and watched the changes. I would suggest Ag Efimia at the moment. It is fairly quiet, quite lovely to look at, beaches in walking and driving distance, chilled out, cheaper than Skala/Katelios/Lassi where I have always lived, and stills retains the Greek atmosphere despite a Captain Corelli's cafe, which I have to say really does do a fab breakfast, real coffee with it, free refills and the guy is interesting to talk to and tries hard to make it a good experience. I find this when I go and stay there to escape 'Blackpool with sun' anyway. I do not have a vested interest in Efimia just an observation on travelling around the island for a good few years.
My mother was born in Argostoli, Kefalonia in 1935. My grandfather ran the concession of the municipally-owned, "Demotiko Kafeneion" (literally, the "Popular Cafe," and also owned the summer theater. My grandfather's forefathers were instrumental in helping unite the Ionian Islands with the Greek state between 1862 to 1864. My grandmother's sister married into a family of Byzantine nobles. My relatives still have a few vestiges of old furniture, lamps, paintings, medallions, and stoles, but the rest is completely gone.
My immediate family has even less by which to remember their old lives; there is no more Demotiko Kafeneion and the city used eminent domain to seize my grandfather's property of the summer theatre, in order to build the antiquities museum on the site. I have asked my family countless times about what their lives were like prior to the earthquake of 1953. They mention great hardships and famine during world war two, but their eyes light up with a wistful yearning when they describe their old capital city of Argostoli. Today, many people are indeed apologetic for the architectural blight that defines so much of their city. Many have sought to improve the overall aesthetic quality of the urban landscape. However, given that Greece is a relatively poor state, it is difficult for people to put architectural aesthetics high on their list of priorities. Yes, it is a pity.
The charm of Assos is its rustic simplicity, though well-heeled tourists and visiting flotillas tend to frequent the tavernas. I think there are four or five there now. Most of the houses survived the 1953 earthquake so you don't get the modern rubbish although there has been a lot of building in recent years around the square but quite tasteful compared to many. The remains of the Venetian castle overlook the village and worth a trip up there if only for the views.
There's a tiny pebble beach near the square and lots of small coves around the headland if you can find them. Its best to hire a boat — ask at the mini-market. There is a bus once a week into Argostoli and a taxi usually waits in the square — again ask in the mini market if he's not there. You are best hiring a car though. The famous Myrtos beach is about 15 mins drive or you could take the caique cruise from Assos that I saw advertised last year. It's a slow and relaxed place to stay to unwind but can get pretty boring after a few days. I do boring though, so I love the place.
We got back from two weeks in Fiskardo and thought we would share our experience. The town itself is lovely with many good places to eat and drink. My partner is vegetarian and had no problem at all finding a choice wherever we chose to eat. Having said that, another cheese and spinach pie would have had him turning green. The Captain's Cabin as an eating place is pretty over-rated with much better places around the harbour. For fresh fish try Taverna Nicolas. The possibilities for people watching are endless.
My only reservation is that driving is really the only way to see the island and the roads are pretty frightening. Very steeply hilly, very winding with most drivers choosing to drive in the middle of the road most of the time. Many fallen rocks to look out for. The locals we met were very friendly and helpful and definitely appreciated our rather pathetic attempts to speak a little Greek to them. We would certainly go back again some time and feel able to recommend the island to others.
Prices in Fiskardo have always been premium thanks to the rich yachting set that ties up regularly. Kefallonia seems to be the worst for price rises at the moment outstripping all the other islands thanks to that awful movie and for the island's popularity with big British tour operators for reasons I don't understand. As for driving its much the same on all the islands except Kefallonia is a comparatively big island and all the resorts on it seem to be as far apart as they can get. I spent a fortnight driving round them some years ago and ended up off work with strained arm muscles after screwing round those mountain bends in a car with no power steering. I won't be going back until their prices settle down in line with other islands and the public transport improves. So that look like never.
We went to Katelios in Kefalonia last June and had a brilliant time. It depends what you want, but Katelios is quiet not a lot to do except swim and sunbathe and eat and explore. Wonderful if you want lots of rest. The island is very picturesque. We don't drive, so used public transport which is quite good and very cheap. The sea is very clear and you can go quite far out and still be in reasonably shallow water. There is a lovely beach bar on the sea where you can sit and watch to sun go down. Hope you decide to go. I'm sure you will enjoy it.
Me and my boyfriend have just returned after a two week holiday. We had such a great time; it is such a beautiful place. There isn't a great deal in Katelios itself apart from restaurants and a few bars, but if you want a relaxing holiday its the perfect place. We ate out every night and generally chilled on the beach. We only went out of Katelios once to Argostoli and we didn't think much of it to be honest. I would recommend Katelios, its not only a lovely place, the people are really friendly.
Helen and Rob
We've been to Kefalonia five times, staying in various apartments in Lassi. We have also been to lots of other Greek islands: Lefkas, Thassos, Samos, Skiathos, Parga and Stoupa on the mainland, Zante and Crete. We have found that Kefalonia is one of the friendliest Islands we have been to and is not commercialised in the way some others are. Agreed when we first went to Lassi in 1989 there was only one supermarket, one car hire place and a few tavernas! Now of course the picture is very different, but it still has something special about it that a lot of other islands don't have.
We went to Alykanas in Zante last year. A big mistake. That place is commercialised hell. Geared towards the British tourist and hardly any Greek feel to it at all! Kefalonia is different. It attracts a different type of person. It was always a wealthy Island and doesn't need tourism and so it doesn't have the “rip-off the tourists” feel about it. And Lassi beach is still one of the best beaches in Greece.
We have just returned from two weeks in Lassi. The Gradekia apartments were the best we have had in Greece. Very, very good. We ate in Nefelies gossip corner, meet Katee (the owner) Thomas the manager, Steve and the rest of the staff. Best food we have ever had. They were so welcoming and friendly we could not believe it. We know the Greeks are welcoming but the was above anything we have had so far. The food is good honest home cooked, good fresh ingredients and served hot (yes hot) to your table by waiters who make you feel at home. If you go to Lassi give them a go you will not regret it.
Pat and David Warder
Just come back from Lassi in Kefalonia. Had a wonderful time. Beautiful island, lots to see and do. Lassi comes to life at night with tavernas at their busiest around 10pm. There are some excellent bars that are all open until the early hours or stay at Liberatos village (where I stayed with Kosmar holidays) in Lassi where the pool bar entertainment at night is kicking! I don't know about nightclubs as I didn't go to any but I heard there were some.
The easiest and quickest way to get to Lixouri from the airport is by taxi to the harbour in Argostoli and from there by ferry to Lixouri harbour. The crossing takes about half an hour and as you approach the harbour you get a panoramic view of the town with a mountain backdrop where you can see a beautiful mountain and such villages as Kalmarata and Montopalata. I split the town into three sections. On the left are two hotels, the Summery and the Poseidin, both on the road to a nice sandy beach at Lepada. About halfway there is a taverna called Apolafsi owned by a lovely lady named Tasia and her two sons; excellent Greek food and entertainment. To the right is the fishermen's area, a modern smart marina with dozens of small fishing boats nets piled up, repairs going on, like the hustle an bustle of any fishing village.
In the centre is the working shopping and market area with supermarkets, pharmacies, butchers, banks and farmers selling their own produce. There are two hotels in the back of this area the Palatino and Le Cite, both open to non residents for swimming eating and drinking. Also, of course, is the be-all and end-all of any Greek community, the platia (square). This is the hub of social life with restaurants that have different coloured chairs to identify their owners. By 10pm families congregate to chat and eat whilst the kids play.
The sea front has been modernised with nice grassy areas and is an ideal place to promenade prior to eating and meeting. Probably from a holiday makers point of view there's not a lot to do apart from sun bathing,swimming and being bone idle. But the night life is lovely, find a nice taverna, drink house wine (excellent) and try and eat where the Greeks eat. The college of music is interesting and some evenings you can sit and listen to the orchestra playing. Also, there is a lovely museum situated in the Lakavotos Mansion. As a bonus there are some lovely places to visit, especially beaches like Akrtiri and Petani.
I enjoyed your page very much. My family is from Pessada and we go there every summer. I know its difficult to show every beach but you left out a picture of Pessada beach. The diamond of beaches, the sand is second to none in the world,and its size makes it the most intimate of all beaches. Anyway thank you it was very enjoyable to see, keep up the good work.
I went to Kefalonia in May and stayed at the Panorama apartments in Fanari. Our apartment was great. With your head on the pillow you looked out over towards the Fanari lighthouse and you could see Lixouri town across the bay. The sound of the breeze occasionally hissing through the grass blades and the distant gentle clinking of the goat bells . . . it was magical. These apartments they are up a hill but it's a small hill and it's worth it.
We hired a jeep and visited almost every suggested beach on the island. We thought the best was Xi. Take the ferry across to Lixouri and drive down to Xi, walk for 10 minutes until you are at the end. You can sometimes find a pile of plastic bottles washed up in clumps, just close your eyes and don't let it give you an ulcer . . . and walk on. Absolutely no one around, I was standing in the water a la commando style when I looked around and in the distance two wild horses were kicking up dust and playing. An absolute “bonus from God” moment. I have been to many Greek islands, and although Kefalonia is popular if you go off season and hire a car and find a good quiet resort, it should be a wonderful experience.
I am sorry Mike, but having just discovered your web site I am convinced that you have sat at home somewhere in the UK and simply dreamed up your comments about Kefalonia. Having taken our holidays there over the last 10 years, my impression of the island is a million miles away from yours. It is a gem of an island. Apart from one year when we stayed in Skala, all our holidays have been taken in Poros, a resort that no-one seems to mention, yet one which suits the older holiday-maker or those with young families. Not a place for the 18 to 30 brigade — the locals don't want them and actively discourage them. Plenty of good accommodation and a large selection of tavernas. For more info on Poros contact Makis Totollus' website at www.kefaloniaholidays.gr or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. This man is a local businessman who is trying almost single handedly to bring tourists in to the resort of Poros.
There are very few tour operators who use Poros. The main ones pulled out some years ago when the local hoteliers etc were sick of being ripped off and demanded a bigger slice of the cake. The resort did suffer somewhat insofar as it had several quiet seasons, but that suits we few who know how good the resort is. Now it is very popular with the mainland Greeks and Italians, especially during August. It is a place definitely worth a visit and a good base to see the rest of the island. Oh yes, Maki also arranges car drive hire. I could go on and on about the place but I won't. I have just booked for 25 nights this coming July and August so that is me putting my money where my mouth is. Try it. I would be surprised if you were disappointed.
We have had several wonderful holidays in Poros, in Kefalonia, and reading some of the negative responses we really do not know what some people want. We book our holidays through Maki and he really cannot do enough for you, it's like home from home. The people in Poros are lovely and as for being expensive, it's one of the most reasonable places we have been. We have been all over the world to different places. including America, and I must say that Poros, in Kefalonia, can stand its ground with any of them. If you want a holiday where you come back more tired than you went it's not for you, but if you want somewhere to really chill out it's brilliant.
Just back from two weeks in Skala. This was a big change for me as Corfu has been my favourite destination for many years and the Captain Corelli hype put me off Kefalonia. I have to say now Corfu has been matched as #1 island for visiting (although I would prefer to live on Corfu). During my two weeks in Skala I spent two thirds of the time on the Skala beach which is gloriously long, clean and very hot. The water is crystal clear and there is enough between sunbeds to give the whole beach a very open feel.
The sun hit the beach around 8am and stayed hot till 8pm (July /August). The other third of the time was spend in a car touring, visiting Poros (lovely little resort with pebble beach); Sami (port with beautiful views of Ithaka but I didn’t visit the beach – it was the only instance I found of a Captain Corelli taverna); Assos (lovely but very tiny town with postage stamp beach which was inaccessible due to crowding. It is also at the bottom of a steep cliff road which was scary. The fortress might be worth a hike up the cliff but it was close to 40 degrees when I was there.); Aghia Efimia (would have liked to spend more time there); Myrtos beach (gorgeous but overplayed and with the same cliff road problem as Assos); Argostili (lovely town with a kind of charm and limited shopping); Katelios (quiet resort with shallow water but quite windy late afternoon – other holidaymakers gave it glowing reports especially for fresh fish in the tavernas.) I never made it to Fiskardo due to the cliff-top road up the west coast which I couldn’t stomach in any vehicle and the boat which served Fiskardo from Skala stopped for a BBQ and ‘games’ which is my worst nightmare for a Greek holiday. Lastly, Lassi, which has a fabulous sandy beach and great swimming in clear water. Unfortunately it is so close to the airport the noise nuisance can’t be avoided.
Overall – a fantastic holiday. In the resort the prices were cheaper than Corfu. Prices in the supermarket OK and the choice of fresh fruit etc superior to any other island I have visited. The disappointment was the so-called happy hours when in at least two bars the cocktails tasted as if they had everything but alcohol in them. That’s the nearest I came to thinking ‘rip-off’. Not a bad word to say about any bar – the young waiter in Veto’s was efficiency and approachability personified. It was a delight to drink Guinness and G& T there (different glasses!)
Accommodation in the Natalie Hotel was excellent with frequent changes of towels and linen and a room which was maintained in spotless condition. I did intend to hire a bike to cycle the accessible parts of the island but the bikes on offer in Skala were not up to the task of cycling 40 km from Skala to Lixouri or Sami, especially given the dodgy condition of some roads. Next time I will consider taking my own bike across on the plane to the island which will open up the route to Xi etc which I missed this time around. Perhaps another reporter found some good quality bikes for hire on the island?
All in all I can’t agree with the negative comments posted here although I accept holidays are so very subjective. I would unreservedly recommend Skala and Kefalonia to all. In fact the whole island has something to praise except my vertigo won’t let me explore it all. It is surprisingly green, picturesque around every corner and boasts some of the most beautiful flowers and gardens in Greece. It is truly beautiful. The people were very friendly. The charm of ‘real’ Greece can be found, you just have to have your eyes open to it – don’t prejudge.
I have recently returned from holiday and stayed at the resort of Skala in Kefalonia. I have visited many places around the world in the last few years and I can honestly say Kefalonia is a beautiful place and I had the most relaxing holiday I have ever experienced. All the people we met were extremely pleasant and I am looking forward to returning again.
Try Skala. Lovely atmosphere but not overdeveloped. If you want late night partying, this is NOT the resort for you! There are plenty of good places to eat and everyone is very friendly. The beach is shingly rather than sandy but we did not find this a problem as long as we wore beach sandals, not stylish but very effective. The sea is wonderful, clear and take a bit of bread into the sea and the fish will appear to come from nowhere!
I can't believe the things you've said about this beautiful island. We spent last year there touring and based ourselves Skala (out of town). We have highly recommended this place to our friends and intend going back there soon.
Skala is good, There are several beaches to visit nearby. Trouble with Kefalonia is you have to travel so far between resorts (this is a big hilly island). Skala is in the SE with access to good beaches nearby and a great beach there. I had a good time in Skala. the beach is big and the sea clear. There's not too much to do but there are plenty of bars and restaurants. The main nightclub is on the road out of Skala towards Poros called the Cave. It's open air and worth the visit if you enjoy clubbing. There's Greek music as well as R and B. Getting back is a problem unless you have transport. Skala's not bad for shopping as clothes are pretty cheap but watch the cash as there isn't a bank - the nearest one I could find was Poros. Watch out for sunbed prices - they are steep.
Skala tavernas? Been to them all. Here's my list for what its worth:
Apostles: Good food in nice setting in one of the side streets behind the phone kiosks. The food is mainly grills - chicken,pork and beef with a special most nights. Friendly and relaxed atmosphere surrounded by sweet smelling jasmine. Much quieter and a lot cheaper than most - that's why lots of locals use it. Try the Kefalonia meat pie. The service is friendly without being over the top - one of the best tavernas in Skala.
Gallera: Friendly service, fabulous food and good prices and a good selection of wine.
Aquarius: Modern restaurant with amazing food and first rate service. Arrive before 8.30 to get a place. Staff go out of their way. More expensive than many but you get what you pay for. Turn right at the phone kiosks opposite the Pine restaurant and its on the right past the chemist.
Arkontiko: Best location overlooking the sea. Best to book as it gets very crowded but food not always up to standard of the others. Find it behind the church next to Sally's bar.
I have just come back from Scala yesterday! Great Weather - 112 degrees- and the best resort on the island. Families and couples mainly, as it is a quiet little resort, but with lots of tavernas to chose from, supermarkets and shops. I didn't stop at the Villa Scala, but my brother and his family did so I have been there. They stopped in room 4 - ground floor. The accommodation is the best I have ever seen in Greece and I have been to Greece 17 times to different places. It is very modern and fully equipped. The kitchen area includes fridge, kettle, and even a sandwich maker! Unheard of. The bathroom had an on-wall hair dryer, another surprise. The room also has air-conditioning, which my brother was told was within the brochure price, but when he got there he had to pay for it.
The best way to describe Sophia is that it is very much like entering a travel lodge which I think the owners have based their accommodation on! They had an outside patio, which is open to the other residents, but the boundaries are defined by plants and pots. There isn't a view, only a wall in front but still a lovely area with a patio. It is very clean and very homely. It also has a television which has cable. There is not a swimming pool close to you, but you do have the use of Makis Bar Pool - about 10 minutes walk away or there are three pool bars on the sea front next to the beach to chose from. At Makis you don't have to hire a bed, just a have a drink or snack. At other bars you pay for a bed plus buying drinks at inflated prices. Hope this gives you an idea of the accommodation.