Kefalonia, Greece – The Most Beautiful Beaches in Greece
Hello Jetsetters! So I have saved the best for last! Our trip to Greece we visited 4 areas, Athens, Zakynthos, Santorini and Kefalonia! By far, Kefalonia Greece was our FAVORITE island of them all! Yes, we loved it more than Santorini. It is a small island that does not receive enough credit or hype. So many times when doing research, I read people saying to skip Kefalonia and I am like WHY?? We had such an amazing time that 2 nights was simply not enough. We should have done a minimum of 3 nights. We absolutely loved Kefalonia & loved the hotel! So in this post I will breakdown what you need to know about Kefalonia Greece, our preferred itinerary and why we did it in the order that we did it and all about their most beautiful beaches in Greece! Stay tuned to YouTube video vlog of Kefalonia!
HOW TO GET TO KEFALONIA ISLAND
Getting to the island of Kefalonia is quite easy and inexpensive from Athens, Greece. As I mentioned in my post “Tips on Traveling Between Greek Islands”, Athens will be your home base in getting to and from Greek Islands. If there are no direct flights between two islands, then there will be a stop in Athens first.
The flight from Athens to Kefalonia was less than 1 hour and cost about $60. This is the link where I booked all of our Greece and European flights We got a very early flight out of Athens that departed at 6:30 am just so we could get a better start on our stay. We only stayed in Kefalonia for 2 nights so every hour counted. If you are coming from Zakynthos Island, then take the ferry to Kefalonia where you will arrive atthe Port of Pessada. It is much cheaper since you will have luggage with you. It was about 9 euros for this one way ferry that was no more than a 2 hour trip.
To fully explore Kefalonia, you will need to rent a car. My rule of thumb with car rentals is if you have to take a taxi more than 3 times, then you might as well rent a car. Also because the roads are small I do not recommend getting an SUV. You always want to rent a car with GPS. Our car came with a Tom Tom. Though there will be alot of “unnamed roads” that will pop up, it will take you where you need to go. The best advice is to listen to the GPS. The roads in Kefalonia is not traditional. What looks like an back alley is actually a two lane street. So many times we second guessed the roads it was taking us and each time it was right. Only one road was not fully constructed when traveling to Assos which may be opened now. We followed the GPS vs what the local told us. The locals are very helpful so you can always stop and asked them.
KEFALONIA’S BEST HOTEL WITH STUNNING VIEWS
No doubt one of the things that made our Kefalonia experience so wonderful was the hotel that I found on Booking. Petani Bay Hotel is our favorite hotel of all time and you can check out my complete review of this hotel by clicking here. If you want a resort, bed and breakfast feel with easy access to the most beautiful beaches then Petani Bay Hotel is definitely where you want to stay – HANDS DOWN! I honestly cannot imagine staying at another hotel.
This hotel is located on the western side of Kefalonia Island. The views from this place is so amazing and the grounds smells so good. I never stayed at a hotel that smelled like fresh sweet flowers all of the time. I could never get tired of the smell. It is located in a secluded area, but it is only a 5 min drive to the beautiful Petani Beach which you could technically walk to. Many of the rooms had a sea view with a balcony.
What you can never miss, which we made it a point to never miss, are the sunsets. Sunsets is something amazing. Watching it from a cabana from the infinity pool is what we looked forwarded too. They played nice relaxing music and you can enjoy cocktails pool side as well. Check out my YouTube video review for awesome footage. The staff is super nice and helpful and breakfast was amazing.
As I mentioned, Petani Bay Hotel is next to Petani Beach. This was my husband favorite beach! We visited in June so it was not packed at all and we pretty much had the beach to ourselves. The water was super clear and pretty sky blue! One of the clearest waters that we have seen. There are two beach bars at the beach that you can order food from which literally opened maybe a week or two before our trip. We ended up getting drinks. There were typical beach food that you can order from a beach bars.
There were families there as a well as kids. The water is shallow in the beginning for kids to swim safely. We did not see any dangerous fish or anything and my husband is lifeguard so heswam pretty far out too and did not see anything. One thing to keep in mind that most Greek beaches are pebble beaches. Petani beach is one of them but the pebbles are smaller than other beaches. Be sure you bring swim shoes because the pebbles will hurt your feel. They are smooth but it will hurt your feet. I actually went in the water in flip flops which I do not recommend since they do not stay on your feet.
The beach is long enough to walk on the beach but it is a crescent shape. The beach is not miles long but long enough to walk/jog to and from each end. Be sure to take photos above from the street. It has some amazing views. The water is always the pretties when the sun is high so beginning in the 11 o’clock hour.
Myrtos beach is what made me want to visit the island of Kefalonia! It’s waters are sooo incredible blue. I have seen so many photos and a video of the beach and it was one of those places that I stated I had to see it to believe it. Our goal was to visit this beach around noon when the sun was high. At this hour the water is milky powder blue. We overslept and visited it after visiting Petani Beach so we got there around 5pm in the month of June. Keep in mind the days are longest so sunset was at 8:55pm. The water was still incredibly clear.
The beach looked fake from above and in person. It is really that beautifully turquoise/ blue and clear. As deep as the water was, you can see straight now to the pebbles. The beach is good for families, but it does get deep pretty quick. There are no restrooms or places to eat on this beach. So be sure you stop at Stofi Taverna & Cafe and get some sandwiches and use the bathroom before going now the snaky road. There are no railings and the road is small so it may be a bit scary driving down. My husband was the designated driver so we were fine. There are some signs to get to the beach, but we always used GPS. The next day we visited Myrtos and it was in the 11am hour and the water was incredibly blue. We definitely want to come back and visit.
Day 2 we basically visited all the other spots in one day. Kefalonia Island is actually not that big so the farthest beach was about 1 hour away. This allowed us to stay at each place about a couple of hours before driving to the next spot. We did not feel too rushed because it is a very laid back atmosphere, but we definitely wished we could spend half a day at some of the areas. So after our pit stop at Myrtos beach, we headed to Melissani Cave aka the “Cave of the Nymphs”. The history about this cave was that it was discovered as a result of an earthquake which created its opening. This cave is surrounded by forest so the photos you see of the ariel views are from drones. You cannot get to that access point.
The best time to visit is at noon when the sun is high. You will get the best direct light in the center of the lake at that hour. The colors of the water is incredible with unique fish swimming. Also as we discovered closer to 1pm, the tour buses begin to come. So we were able to bypass about 10 tour buses, which would have been a long wait. The boat tour is only 7 euros and lasts about 15-20 minutes. It is not very long, but it is definitely worth seeing. We visited this cave on the way to my favorite beach Antisamos Beach.
Antisamos beach was my favorite beach in Kefalonia! Why? Well because of the beautiful green mountains that surrounded it. I have never been to super exotic beach like Bora Bora, but what I love about those beaches are the green mountainsides that surround them. Well that is what Antisamos beach felt and looked like. This beach is located on the eastern side of the island called Sami, Greece.
The views from above the beach was so incredible. It did not seem real. To get to this beach, you have go through arrow windy streets that seems like one lane but they were two. The parking was free and there were many beach bars to choose from and they played music on the beach so it was lively yet still peaceful. This beach had more people on it than the previous two beaches so perhaps it would be even more crowded during high season. The color of the water was beautiful. the water was colder than the other two beaches we visited but it was a hot day so as I got too hot, I will go in an cool off.
My husband snorkeled and he said there were areas that was too cold to swim the deep he got – like a underwater current of cold water would suddenly hit him. The water here was pretty clear too. We had octopus appetizer at Mojito Beach Bar. It was really good! As long as you ordered something, you could sit on their lounge chairs for free. This beach is also pebble so you definitely do not want to sit on rocks.
Assos Village is what I have nicknamed the Amalfi Coast of Greece! This little secluded village gave me all the Amalfi Coast village with the colorful buildings, flowers and Cliffside views. It is one of the most beautiful and picturesque villages on the Island. The drive here was incredible. I wished I took more photos of the different views in getting here. Going to Assos gave us uncertainty when following GPS because at different points we were way too high in altitude to only be about 10 minutes away. But it was correct and we got there just fine. We pretty much also followed the people too which were going the same way.
Assos is built on a peninsula amongst lots of lushes greenery and crystal blue waters. There is a small fishing harbor and that is where we stopped to have lunch at Nefeli-Anait Restaurant. We had a light seafood lunch basically like a fish and chips type of lunch but there was a various types of fish. The services was great and the views were incredible. We got a table right on the edge to the water. You can see straight down and see the fish swim. We walked around the area a bit, but we did not stay as long as we would like to nor swam on their beach though it was very beautiful just eat and enjoy the sights.
Our last stop was visiting Fiskardo (Fiscardo) village. This was located at the most northern tip of Kefalonia. This village use to be an old fishing village, but has transformed into a resort like village filled with boats and yachts. This is definitely a spot to do some shopping and people watch and relax. By the time we arrived, it was about 5:30pm and the sun was not high so the colors of the waters was not as pretty as if we had visited at a different time of the day.
There are many beautiful beaches here that we did not get to explore such as Kimilia Beach. We were super tired by the time we got there so we just walked around the port area. It is very nice which they call Fiskardo a cosmopolitan resort village. I can definitely see that with all the nice boats that were around. I can only imagine how it looks at night. It was very nice to walk around and see the shops and buildings around the port.
We did stop and enjoyed some yummy ice cream at Dondoni Ice-Cream Parlour. The cost is a bit pricey, but the ice cream was good with a beautiful presentation and we had a nice view right on the water.
KEFALONIA ISLAND ITINERARY TIPS
So when looking at this itinerary that we did on Day 2 (Myrtos, Melissani Cave, Antisamos Beach, Assos Vilalge and Fiskardo Village) may see a bit crazy if you are looking at a map. But there was a method to this madness. For clarification, Myrtos on Day 2 was just to see the water during the peak of the day we did not actually stay there. We visited it on Day 1 along with Petani Beach.
However, if you do not have much time and only had 1 full day to explore Kefalonia and you were staying at our hotel, then I do recommend visiting the beaches in this order. You can see the best places during the best lighting first and then two villages when the sun is not as high, but still great for great photos too. This is why we cut across the center of the island and then back up to go back down. I did not want to visit beaches when the sun was not high. High sun means prettier water colors.
So for our itinerary (click here for Google directions) using Petani Bay Hotel as our base, travel time to Myrtos beach is 43 minutes. If you were going to skip Myrtos you could, but to get to Melissani Cave (55 mins direct), you pass the same area either way so you could stop there if you wanted. Travel time from Myrtos beach to Melissani Cave is 25 minutes, Melissani Cave to Antisamos beach is 16 minutes, Antisamo beach to Assos village is 53 minutes, Assos to Fiskardo village is 34 minutes and Fiskardo back to Petani Bay Hotel (you gotta catch that sunset) is 1 hour and 15 minutes). I am all about sunsets and I use this website to time sunsets worldwide by the time of the year.
So thank you for reading my post on Kefalonia Island! I truly believe if you visit there it may just be your favorite Greek Island as it was for us. Be sure to check out my other Greece posts including Santorini Photography Tips and Tips on Traveling Between Greek Islands. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email!