The following guestpost is by filmmaker Anna Votsi, who decided to pick up and move to Kefalonia Greece after the birth of her son. It turned out to be the best decision of her life. Through her blog www.kefaloniabyanna.com she hopes to share her point of view, original photos, videos, and tips on the visiting the island. Find her on Facebook too.
7 Reasons to visit Kefalonia Greece
Kefalonia, the largest of the Ionian Islands of Greece has a strong, magical vibe that makes you want to stay forever.
It has been five years now since I moved to this special place and every day I discover something new and surprising, the natural and cultural treasures are endless here! An amazing combination of lush green mountains and a variety of some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean.
12.000 years of rich history, influences from both West and East and a unique natural environment have come together to give to this island a fascinating atmosphere and a unique color, while Kefalonia still remains unspoiled by mass tourism.
Here are my 7 main reasons to visit Kefalonia Greece. Of course there are more that you can find on my blog.
Best Beaches of Greece
Kefalonia has some of the best beaches of Greece, a unique coastline of dramatic rugged scenery, green, turquoise and deep blue, crystal clear waters. Choose between the brown therapeutic sand of Xi beach, the white endless sandy beaches of Skala and Makris Gialos, the white pebbled beaches of the north, including Myrtos and Antisamos and numerous unspoiled dreamy secluded paradise beaches that can be reached either by car or even better, by boat. Beautiful sunsets to make you forget all your worries can be admired from several parts of the east coast.
Myth is a indispensable part of Kefalonian tradition. The birthplace of Odysseus, named by its first King, the mythical Kefalos. Lake Melissani took her name from the nymph that is said to have committed suicide because of her unrequited love to the God Pan, and so many other fascinating stories. Various rare geological phenomena are also observed here and studied by international scientists. Some have been answered and some others still add to that timeless myth of Kefalonia. These are the cause of the formation of some unique natural art attractions like Melissani Lake, Drogarati cave, Karavomilos Lake, Katavothres and Kounopetra.
Two of the most picturesque villages of the Mediterranean sea can be found at the north part of the island: Cosmopolitan Fiscardo, and relaxing, picturesque Assos bay, with it is Venetian castle, Both places have preserved their traditional local architecture and color that take you back in time. Still they offer, as most villages in the island, all amenities, first class accommodation, and all services required by the contemporary traveler.
Ainos, the highest mountain of the Ionian Sea, whose peak reaches 1628 m, is the only declared National Park situated on a Greek Island. The mountain is ideal for excursions with its lush nature, signed hiking trails, panoramic sea and mountain views, and amazing sunrise and sunsets. You will have the chance to watch wild horses, birds, and rare flora like orchids, as well as the unique tree, Abies Cephalonica, which gives a special dark color to the mountain, named for that by the Italians, “Monte Nero”. Complete freedom and total relaxation is a common feeling on this island.
Outdoor activities to cover all tastes can be found on Kefalonia Greece, from horse riding and donkey trekking, to cave climbing, paragliding, sea kayaking and jeep safari, cooking lessons, wine tasting, apiary visits, and endless hiking trails. Alternative tourism options like agrotourism and volunteering are also offered on the island. This is a great opportunity to come closer to the locals, observing their everyday life, and hearing their stories. Kefalonians are special and it’s worth getting to know them and be influenced by their special humor and attitude to life. The enormous power of the elements has given way to spaces of great peacefulness.
Archaeological and Religious Sights
Archaeological and religious sights like Saint Georges and Assos fortresses, Roman villas, tombs, Drepano bridge, monasteries, and many more will give you the chance to walk through its long history of siege, war, and revolution against conquerors. Getting some more information from a local will give you this extra touch.
Kefalonian cuisine and a variety of local products are available to you, so none of your senses stay unsatisfied. While enjoying your holidays here, you will often be guided to a taverna or a bakery shop from the smell of a stew or baked bread. Good quality olive oil and olives, honey, a variety of yellow cheeses, an old tradition on feta cheese, yogurt, local meats, several sweets (like mandolas and pastokydono) and a selection of first class wines are a few of the local products that can be tried here. Trust one of the great tavernas to taste a variety of local dishes including the traditional meat or cod pie, riganada, sofigado, tsigaridia, aliada accompanied by a special wine and always a great view.
Whether you are traveling with your family, you want to treat yourself with a romantic or luxury break, or even if you are an adventurous type ready to discover the island the extreme way, Kefalonia island is a fantastic destination for you!