The beautiful Ionian island of Kefalonia is becoming very popular as a Greek Island destination for everyone and it’s easy to see why. It’s a big island and there is a lot to see and do, so ideally you will have a few weeks to really explore it properly. However, even if you only have a few days you wont regret it. Great beaches, amazing food, caves, wineries and warm friendly people – it really has it all! But where to stay in Kefalonia can be bamboozling! This is our guide to the more popular towns and villages and our recommended villas and hotels on Kefalonia.
Argostoli is the capital of Kefalonia and the largest town, with a population of just over 10,000 people. It was devastated in the earthquake of 1953 so largely rebuilt and sadly lacking many buildings from before that time. Because of the rebuild, however, it is set out in a grid pattern and easy to get around.
Kefalonia airport is just south of Argostoli and will be the first port of entry for many visitors. There are international flights from other parts of Europe several times a day in summer and many domestic connections with Athens year round.
recommended hotels in Argostoli
Recommended Budget hotel : Studios Rania
Recommended mid-range hotel : Panorama Fanari Studios and Apartments
Recommended Luxury hotel: Avra Private Suites
Lixouri is the second largest town in Kefalonia and is home to around 3000 people. It is situated on the western Paliki Peninsula which is covered in farmland, vineyards and fruit and olive groves.
It is only 30 minutes by car from Argostoli ( a very scenic route) or by ferry, which usually run every 30 minutes or so in summer.
It can be very busy in summer as there is quite a lot to see and do in the area including visiting famous Xi Beach and various statues, museums, and monuments.
recommended hotels in Lixouri
Recommended Budget hotel : Villa Forestata
Recommended mid-range hotel : Aura Boutique Hotel
Recommended Luxury hotel: Kymata Bohemian Beach Resort
Recommended Villa for groups : Villa Mitis
Situated on the East side of the island about half way along the coastline, Sami is a busy port town which has regular connections to neighbouring Ithaca and mainland Greece in Patras. There are even overnight ferries to Italy.
It was hard hit in the 1953 earthquake so the buildings mostly have a 60s/70s style to them but the town is north facing and surrounded by pine covered mountains making it quite pretty. It is also close to beautiful Antisami beach, one of the most photographed on the island. It is also very close to both Drogarati Cave and the famous Melissani cave which is one of the most instagramed places in Greece. It was also the setting for the making of the hollywood movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
There are a handful of decent places to stay and some excellent tavernas along the waterfront which make it a popular stopover port for sailors and people on sailing holidays.
recommended hotels in Sami
Recommended Budget hotel : Muses Studios
Recommended mid-range hotel : Sami Beach Hotel
Recommended luxury hotel : Ionian Emerald Resort
We recently chose Agia Effimia as our base when staying on Kefalonia with a group of friends. We wanted an authentic greek village which has all the necessary amenities like tavernas, supermarkets and a laundromat without too many tourists, and we wanted somewhere that was central to many of the other sites and attractions on the island. Agia Effimia certainly ticked all of those boxes and was the perfect choice.
Only a 10 minute drive north of Sami it is much prettier and less noisy with no ferries coming and going. There are a number of excellent small beaches up and down the coastline in and around the village and the tavernas are some of the best we have ever eaten at. In fact we ate lunch at Paradise Taverna on our first day and I think we went back 5 more times in the course of a week! There are a number of places you can hire small boats from in the harbour and a daily boat trip over to Ithaca as well. It’s also only a 15 minute drive to Myrtos Beach, one of the most famous in all of Europe!
recommended villas and hotels in Agia Effimia
Recommended Budget hotel : The Seasons of Nickolas
Recommended mid-range hotel : Posiedon Apartments
Recommended luxury hotel : Odyssey Hotel
Recommended villa for groups (where we just stayed) : Sunrise Villa
The beautiful village of Assos ( or Asos) is one of the most photographed villages in Kefalonia, if not all of Greece. Its small tranquil bay ringed by colouful venetian style houses and calm clear beaches creates a truly tempting landscape and setting for your Kefalonia holiday.
Walk up to the 15th century Venetian castle fringed by pine and cyprus trees, watch the super yachts meander in for the day or just lie back and enjoy the charm and tranquility of this small village of only 100 inhabitants. It really is a very beautiful spot.
recommended villas and hotels in Assos
Recommended Budget hotel : Romanza Studios
Recommended mid-range hotel : Linardos Apartments
Recommended luxury Villa : Villa Art
Fiscardo is situated on the northern tip of Kefalonia and is probably the most upmarket and vibrant village on the island. The harbour gets very full in summer with boats full of day trippers from Southern Kefalonia as well as Lefkada, and even some small cruise ships from time to time.
The harbourside is lined with many excellent tavernas and cafes as well as lovely boutiques, galleries and shops. There are some lovely beaches nearby including the very calm and family friendly Zavalata beach, just a short stroll around the southern bend. The night time vibe is bustling and lively as everyone returns from the beaches for a late dinner and perhaps a bit of live music.
People who stay in Fiscardo tend to mostly explore the northern part of Kefalonia due to its size. There is a quite a lot to do in the north so its certainly not a problem. Hire a kayak or boat and explore the many beaches and coves, hike to neighbouring villages, cruise the channel between Kefalonia and Ithaca or snorkel with sea turtles!
recommended villas and hotels in Fiscardo
Recommended Budget hotel : Fiscardo Studios
Recommended mid-range hotel : Odysseas Waterfront Apartments
Recommended luxury hotel : Emelisse Nature Resort
Recommended villa for a group : Fiscardo House
Like this post. Why not Pin it?
Delos is regarded by many to be the most important of all the Greek Islands. Considered the birthplace of Apollo - the god of sun and light, music and poetry, healing and plagues, knowledge, beauty and agriculture, Delos island has no inhabitants today but still...
Greek Island hopping is on the top of everyone's bucket-list but with over 220 inhabited islands it can be quite overwhelming trying to work out which are the best Greek Islands to visit on your holiday. Whether you are looking for the best Greek Island for...