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There’s a carefree charm to Kefalonia, the largest Ionian Island that sweeps down from emerald mountain peaks to deep underground caves. Nature is abundant: its wild slopes covered with rare fir trees, vast vineyards stretch out in neat little rows and gnarled olive groves glow silver in the sunlight. And then there’s the Ionian Sea, glittering into the horizon, punctuated by islands and rocky outcrops; secluded coves and indigo bays, where thousands of loggerhead sea turtles come to nest. Kefalonia’s beauty is well documented by Louis de Bernières’ novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, followed by the film starring Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz.

Size is most definitely Kefalonia’s friend, as even during the summer months, the island doesn’t feel overcrowded. Rent a car or boat and head off the beaten track; stop off and visit an olive farm or vineyard; hikers can climb Mount Ainos for spectacular views, or hop on a ferry to nearby Ithaca, home to Odysseus. Pastel-painted fishing villages punctuate the coast, and if it didn’t already have enough going for it, Kefalonia’s food scene is a consummate crowd-pleaser. Visitors can feast on everything from the freshest seafood, homemade tzatziki, and delicious local cheeses to island specialities such as riganada (feta mixed with bread, oil and oregano) and kreatopita, a one-of-a-kind meat pie. For the sweet-toothed, you can snack on mandole (glazed almonds) or pick up syrupy baklava, and all can be washed down with a crisp glass of Robola. An Ionian idyll in every sense.


Where to stay in Kefalonia

F Zeen Retreat

Best time to visit Kefalonia

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Kefalonia Travel Specialists

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