Planning a Kefalonia itinerary is one of the highlights when mapping out a Greek island escape. Holding the title of some of the best beaches in the world and with stunning scenery, the island of Kefalonia is still under the radar for most travelers, yet is a mesmerising gem in the Ionian Sea.
On this Kefalonia itinerary, immerse yourself in the wonders of this captivating Greek island, prepare to be enchanted by its pristine beaches, picturesque landscapes, vibrant culture, and enjoy 3, 4, or 5 days in Kefalonia.
Explore the turquoise waters of Myrtos Beach, discover the hidden gems of the island’s villages, eat delectable food, and witness the natural wonders of Kefalonia.
How Many Days in Kefalonia?
As the largest island located in the Ionian Sea, Kefalonia is one of the largest Greek islands known to visitors. Because of this, when it comes to deciding how many days to spend in Kefalonia, you’ll want to plan to spend at least 3 days in Kefalonia.
With 3 days, you’ll have enough time to visit at least a few of the island’s famed beaches, enjoy the island’s culture by visiting at least one of Kefalonia’s towns or villages and ultimately get a good taste of what life is like in Kefalonia.
Beyond 3 days, with 4 days in Kefalonia, you’ll have the opportunity to see the island more holistically, visiting different areas of the island with different things to offer.
5 days in Kefalonia will do the island justice, offering you the opportunity to discover the full depth of Kefalonia along with the chance to also visit the nearby islands of either Ithaca or Zakynthos.
Getting To & Around Kefalonia
Kefalonia is one of the most conveniently located Greek islands, with easy ferry transportation from the Greek mainland as well as an international airport serving both Greece and elsewhere in Europe.
If you plan to fly into Kefalonia, the Kefalonia airport is located just 8 km from the island’s capital city, Argostoli.
Due to the convenience of the island having its own airport, Kefalonia is an excellent Greek island destination for those searching for an island off the beaten path, yet still accessible by air. You can organise airport transfers here.
In the summer, you’ll find flights to Kefalonia from Athens, as well as various European countries such as the UK, France, Netherlands, Italy, and more.
For those already in Greece and who would like to visit Kefalonia by ferry, the island has two ports; Poros and Sami.
If you’re traveling to Kefalonia from the mainland, you have the option to travel from the southern Greek cities of either Patras or Kyllini, with the ferry route from Kyllini being the shortest travel time, taking around 1 ½ hours. You can view ferry schedules here.
While it isn’t possible to take a direct ferry from Athens to Kefalonia, if traveling by car is an option for you, enjoying a Peloponnese and Southern Greece road trip before heading to Kefalonia is worth the time.
When it comes to getting around Kefalonia, traveling by car is undoubtedly the most convenient and enjoyable way to get around the island. With your own car, a Kefalonia road trip will give you the flexibility to move at your own place and discover offbeat parts of the island.
It’s important to also note that if you plan to rent a car for your time in Kefalonia and will be traveling from the mainland, make sure to rent a car from the mainland rather than the island as costs will be higher. You can browse car hire options here.
If you’re unable to rent a car to travel around Kefalonia, Kefalonia is a great island to travel to if you’ll be depending on public transportation.
The island has an extensive public transportation system, with bus routes through the entirety of the island, except for more mountainous and remote areas in the center of the island.
As for walkability on the island, when spending time in various towns, it’s easy and enjoyable to walk around while taking in the stunning backdrops of this lush Ionian island.
3, 4 or 5 Days in Kefalonia Itinerary
While neighbors Corfu and Zakynthos are easily the most well-known Ionian islands, Kefalonia is surprisingly an unknown island to most international travelers, which makes it a bit less busy than hotspots like Mykonos or Santorini even if you’re traveling in high season.
Throughout this Kefalonia itinerary, you’ll enjoy some of the island’s best beaches, dig into the rich culture of the island, and even explore further into the Ionian if you’re spending 5 days in Kefalonia.
Day 1 – Petani Beach & Argostoli
A pleasant start to a trip to this island begins at Petani Beach, a beautiful beach in Kefalonia nestled on the west coast between rugged green mountains and pristine aquamarine waters of the Ionian Sea.
Adored and known as one of the island’s most picturesque and enchanting destinations, Petani Beach is the perfect start to a relaxing and interesting stay in Kefalonia.
On Petani Beach you’ll find chairs and umbrellas available to rent for the day, along with a few taverns along the beach to keep you satisfied with local dishes and whatever you may need during your time at the beach.
An important and practical note regarding the beaches in Kefalonia: Make sure to have water shoes with you during most beach visits (except for Makris Gialos), as the majority of beaches on Kefalonia are made up of large rocks, making it quite difficult to get around as well as unpleasant without appropriate footwear.
After spending the morning and afternoon at alluring Petani Beach, move forward with your day by heading to the island’s capital city, Argostoli. While most time spent in Kefalonia is typically at its picturesque beaches, there are a handful of towns and villages worth wandering around, with Argostoli being one of them in this part of Kefalonia.
Known for its waterfront, atmosphere, and resilience after the island’s devastating earthquake in 1953, Argostoli captures the essence of Kefalonia and its people.
Spend your time in Argostoli by walking along the charming promenade along the water, dotted with cafes and local shops filled with Kefalonian specialties.
To delve into the island’s rich history while in Argostoli, make sure to visit the Archaeological Museum as well as the iconic Drapano Bridge, the world’s longest stone bridge over a sea.
After spending time exploring the town itself, indulge in local cuisine at a traditional tavern such as Tzogias Taverna, to experience the delicious and culinary side of Kefalonia
Day 2 – Myrtos Beach & Asos Village
There’s no place in Kefalonia like Myrtos Beach, the island’s famed jewel located on the northwestern side of the island.
For ten consecutive years, Myrtos Beach has earned its spot among the greatest beaches in the world. With its outstanding views, clear turquoise blue water, and serene ambience, it’s no surprise why.
To begin your day, spend at least a few hours basking in the Kefalonia sun, swimming in the fresh waters of Myrtos Beach, and taking in the unforgettable views of the beach, sea, and surrounding areas. There is no doubt that visiting this beautiful beach is one of the best things to do in Kefalonia.
Topping off the enjoyable experience at Myrtos Beach, is the affordable cost of sun chairs and umbrellas to rent for the day. While other beaches on other islands charge upwards of €40 for a set of chairs, you can expect to pay around €15 for a set of chairs at Myrtos Beach.
Lunch at Alexandros
After a blissful beach day, you’ll likely have built up an appetite and be ready for a hearty lunch.
As there aren’t many options for restaurants around Myrtos Beach or at the next and final stop of the day, I suggest heading to the restaurant, “Alexandros”, just a short 2 km away from Myrtos Beach. Here you’ll find savoury Greek tavern classics, with friendly service and local ingredients and flavours.
While already on the northwestern side of Kefalonia, you have the perfect opportunity at your hands to visit one of the most idyllic spots of Kefalonia, the fishing village of Assos.
Assos village is the perfect example of resilience, particularly in the face of the devastating Kefalonia earthquake. Despite being significantly affected by the earthquake, the village has risen from the rubble, showcasing the unwavering spirit of its people through the rebuilding of its buildings back to their original charm.
Perched upon the edge of the water, Assos truly feels like a village stopped in time, in a blissful and picturesque bubble. Walk around the village, admire the quaint fishing boats and shops, sip a coffee by the sea and enjoy the ambience of Assos.
While in Assos, it’s also worth making the trek to Assos Castle, typically taking around 30 minutes to an hour depending on the time of year and heat.
A Venetian fortification built in 1593, Assos Castle is now a collection of ruins, free for visitors to explore, with the most impeccable views of Assos and the surrounding areas during your ascent and descent.
If you’re interested in visiting another nearby village, consider heading a bit north to explore tranquil Fiskardo, as well, which is located only about 30 minutes from Assos.
Day 3 – Enjoy Kefalonia’s Stunning Landscape
Begin your 3rd day in Kefalonia at one of the island’s most remarkable natural wonders, the Melissani Cave. Located near the town of Sami, this natural wonder enchants all who visit with its stunning underground lake.
Upon arrival, you’ll board a small boat with a local guide and glide through the mesmerising cave, where sunlight filters through the collapsed ceiling, creating a spellbinding play of light and shadows on the turquoise waters below.
During the summer season, the cave is open to visit daily from 9:00 AM-7:00 PM, but to have the most enhanced experience during your time in the cave, it’s best to visit around 11:00 AM-2:00 PM, where the sun shines the strongest through the roof of the cave. You can also go on a guided tour here.
After visiting the Melissani Cave, make your way about 7 km away to one of the most unique beaches on the island, Antisamos Beach.
Antisamos offers a picturesque setting framed by lush green hills and rugged cliffs, along with multiple beach bars to choose to spend your day at, all with affordable chairs/umbrellas and delicious food.
Surrounded by abundant greenery of pine trees and vegetation, Antisamos Beach feels like a pocket somewhere far off in a tropical or Amazonian land, along with a stunning contrast to the turquoise waters.
Antisamos Beach gained fame as a filming location for the movie “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin,” and once at the beach yourself, you’ll see why they drew inspiration for the film in this remarkable location.
After spending time at the nearby, loved beach of Antisamos, head just 4 km away to the town of Sami.
While Sami is a small town in comparison to the larger size of the capital city, Argostoli, it holds a captivating charm, making it worth the stop to have a wander and enjoy an ice cream while exploring the town’s harbour, with locals coming and going about in their daily lives.
If you have a keen interest in visiting monasteries, make sure to visit the Agrilion Monastery in Sami, an 18th-century monastery with gorgeous grounds as well as close-to-perfect views of the Kefalonian peninsula.
Day 4 – Gentilini Winery & Makris Gialos Beach
Throughout Greece, you’ll find that most islands and regions of the country have unique wine varieties to the area. Kefalonia is no different, with an impressive wine production and a range of exceptional wines, capturing the heart and land of the island.
If you’re spending 4 days in Kefalonia, a great way to spend a large chunk of your 4th day on the island is by visiting a local winery or going on a wine tour to learn more about the wine production on the island, explore the vines and taste local varieties such as Robola and dry Mavrodaphne.
Gentilini Winery is a family-run boutique winery located on the southwest side of the island, producing top-quality wines from Kefalonia. The winery offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere reflected in its guided tours and wine tastings at the winery.
The winery is open from Orthodox Easter to late October every year, with affordable wine tastings and tours starting at €10, with prices increasing depending on the number of wines you wish to try during your visit.
Makris Gialos Beach
After a morning and early afternoon of wine tasting, continue a short journey of 2 km away to Makris Gialos Beach, a must for beach lovers in Kefalonia looking to enjoy a classic Greek beach experience.
Located near the town of Argostoli, this beach boasts golden sands and crystal-clear turquoise waters with a large stretch of sand available to just lay your towel if you’re not interested in paying for chairs/umbrellas.
Otherwise, Makris Gialos Beach is well-equipped with sunbeds, umbrellas, and beachside taverns, offering comfort and convenience. Whether you’re looking to relax under the Mediterranean sun, swim in the refreshing waters, or indulge in delicious Greek cuisine, Makris Gialos Beach promises a delightful experience that will leave you rejuvenated and relaxed.
If you’re not keen to hang out on the beach, then consider heading further west from Argostoli to explore the charming little village of Lixouri instead.
Day 5 – Mount Ainos or Day Trip to Ithaca
For those lucky enough to spend 5 days in Kefalonia, I recommend one of two options for your 5th and final day; a day spent hiking on the island’s Mount Ainos National Park or venturing out on a day trip to the nearby island of Ithaca.
Mount Ainos National Park
Mount Ainos, the only national park located on a Greek island, is a captivating experience for nature enthusiasts visiting the island of Kefalonia. The national park offers several hiking trails of varying difficulty levels, with the most popular trail being the marked circular path that leads to the summit.
Upon arrival at the national park, stop by the visitor center at the park entrance to get information, maps, and valuable insights into the flora and conservation efforts on the mountain.
A paradise for hikers, Mount Ainos National Park is not only full of invigorating trails but also abundant wildlife and outstanding views of Kefalonia and the surrounding Ionian islands of Zakynthos and Ithaca. Make sure to keep an eye out for the mystical wild horses of Mount Ainos, typically found free roaming as herds close to the summit of the mountain.
To visit, you can visit independently by car or take part in a guided group tour of the park, as it’s not possible to visit the national park by public transportation.
If you prefer to skip a day of hiking up Kefalonia’s Mount Ainos and would like to explore further, another option for day 5 is to take a day trip to the neighboring island of Ithaca, the home of Odysseus.
Ithaca is easily reached by ferry in just 30 minutes from the Port of Sami, making it the perfect addition to any Kefalonia itinerary for those hoping to visit this legendary island, known from Homer’s Odyssey in Greek mythology. Alternatively, you can go on a boat tour.
While Kefalonia has a hefty heart of tourism, Ithaca in comparison still feels quite wild, with a strong authenticity thanks to the lack of tourists visiting, which is why it’s included in this travel guide.
While in Ithaca, explore the picturesque port of Vathi, the Cave of Nymphs, the renowned archaeological site of Odysseus’ Palace, where history and myth intertwine, and enjoy the refreshing waters of one of the island’s tranquil beaches, such as Gidaki beach.
All in all, a day trip to Ithaca from Kefalonia is the ideal way to explore Greek mythology and experience another side of the Ionian islands.
Where to Stay on Kefalonia
Mouikis Hotel Kefalonia – Located in Argostoli, this 3-star hotel is a great base for mid-range visitors to Kefalonia. They have a number of great rooms to choose from, a perfect location for exploring the island and lots of amenities for guests to enjoy. Click here to check availability
Thalassa Boutique Hotel – Those looking for a luxury escape while visiting Kefalonia will love this adults-only hotel. Boasting two beautiful swimming pools, plenty of gorgeous rooms and a great location in the town of Lassi, you’re sure to want for nothing during your stay. Click here to check availability
Staggia Studios – If you’re looking for a self-catering option on Kefalonia you’re sure to love these studios in the town of Sami. Fully equipped with everything you may need during your time on the island, there are a number of different flats to choose from. Click here to check availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Kefalonia hotels!
Kefalonia is an enchanting and vibrant island with much to offer visitors, whether you’re searching for a strict beach getaway, cultural exploration, or wholesome Greek tavern classics. After 3, 4, or 5 days in Kefalonia, you’ll undoubtedly be captured by its charm and be ready to visit next year.
Are you planning to visit Kefalonia Island? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!