Argostoli is Kefalonia's capital. It's a relatively large town set in a unique location - on a bay within a bay. It was completely flattened in the 1953 earthquake, but was completely rebuilt with the help of the British, French and Italians.
Because it's essentially a new town, Argostoli doesn't feel full of history and culture. We were initially disappointed on our first visit - it looked pretty drab and non-descript. However, as you get closer to the centre, it does become more attractive.
Argostoli centres around the main square, which is vibrant and busy - especially in the evenings. There's numerous restaurants, most of which are pretty good value for money. There's definitely an ambience to the main square - it's a great place to people watch while having a drink.
The port area is somewhat attractive, although nothing special. There's a few nice restaurants dotted along here, with views across the bay. Lots of boats were docked here, including the odd one from Britain... a bit of a mission!
Argostoli's other main draw is its shopping street, which runs parallel to the harbour. As well as the usual touristy shops, there's an array of nice bars and cafes.
Ever been down to Makrys Yialos and fancied the beach all to yourself? Yep, so did I - so I went back at night. The place is empty!
The sea doesn't look very blue and you don't get much of a tan, but you're guaranteed some peace and tranquility.
Best tip is to go when there's a full moon - the whole beach is beautifully lit and the swimming is perfectly safe.
We arrived as St Gerasimos monastery early in the day, and it looked pretty impressive in the early morning light.
St Gerasimos is the patron saint of Kefalonia, and all round well-respected bloke. His tomb is visible in the the monastery's chapel, and if you're lucky, he might be on show - his body has been preserved, apparently.
Lots of tourists visit the monastery (I'm not sure why it's called a monastery, the place is over-run with nuns. It wasn't 'til we left that we saw a monk climbing out of a Nissan Micra), and everybody is urged to show some god damn respect and cover up shoulders and legs. The monastery/nunnery was pretty busy with tourists when we arrived - only me and one other bloke bothered to put the effort in and cover up (clothes are provided). My fellow British tourists were utterly embarrassing.
One I had had gotten over that, I was able to soak up a bit of history. Then off to the wine factory next-door...
The Robola Wine Cooperative is Kefalonia's very own wine factory. It's a pretty small place - but they knock out some high quality wines. The manger invites guests on a tour of the factory, and the visit culminates in some wine tasting.
The manager, incidentally, looks like a Bond villain.
Robola is located in central Kefalonia, nextdoor to St Gerasimos monastery.
Fiscardo is Kefalonia's northernmost town - and the only settlement to have escaped the 1953 earthquake. It stands out from the island's other major towns (I say major - apparently the town has a permanent population of just over 100) due to its pretty Venetian architecture... and some rather over-inflated prices - watch out for the 10 euro cup of coffee.
The nineteenth century harbour is stunning, and is home to some pretty decent restaurants and upmarket shops.
Fiscardo does have a small pebble beach, 5 minutes walk out of town.
The Fanari Road is billed as the scenic route between Lassi and Argostoli - the visitor is promised the lighthouse, the waterwheel and the 'geological phenomenon' that is Katavothres.
Sadly, the Italian War Memorial seemed to be erased from all Fanari Road signs. I did try to look for it, but to no avail.
We began the walk along the road from Lassi - it's very picturesque, passing little deserted coves and the odd nice restaurant. The road then veers slightly inland - and this goes on for quite a while, until you come to the small-but-perfectly-formed lighthouse. From here you get some pretty impressive views across to Lixouri.
Onwards and ever-so-slightly upwards: next stop, the waterwheel. To be honest, I wasn't particularly fussed about it - little did I know I was also missing out on the source of the underground river that flows all the way to Melissani Lake.
Katavothres is located at the top of the small peninsula that accommodates Lassi and Argostoli, and is also home to Argostoli Campsite. Definitely wouldn't fancy camping in the summer heat.
From here on the walk is nothing spectacular, but it's pretty. Just think of that lunchtime Amstel in one of Argostoli's many fine tavernas...
Never have I been to a beach quite like Xi. The beach is a rich-red colour and is backed by low clay cliffs. Located at the southernmost tip of the Lixouri peninsula, Xi is relatively easy to get to - a taxi from Lixouri will set you back 9 euros.
The main draw of the beach is the clay cliffs. Visitors break off small chunks of clay, take them into the water and then rub the wet clay over their bodies. The clay dries in the sun, and it's off into the water to wash it all off. Your skin will be soft for days... I did it, and I couldn't stop stroking my belly.
If you don't fancy that, the water is excellent for swimming - and there's a small watersport hut here too. The beach is well served by cafes and tavernas, and is large enough to find a quiet spot.
Antonio Beach is probably the quietest of Lassi's beaches. It's well tucked away and not especially easy to find... which makes it all the more worthwhile when you stumble across it.
Antonio is a small, sheltered beach - excellent for swimming. It also faces north-west, making it ideal for sunsets - especially as the beach will become desterted by the mid-to-late evening.
There is a small taverna at the top of the beach, although we never saw it open when we were there. Lassi's restaurants and tavernas are ten minutes walk.
Makris Yialos is Lassi's largest and most attractive beach. The Rough Guide doesn't do it any justice: "good sandy beach... but right under the airport flightpath". Yes, the beach is under the flightpath - but there's only four of five jets per day. About one every two hours.
The beach has sunbeds for hire and a small watersports hut - which is a tad on the pricey side. Jet skis are 35 euros for 15 minutes. There's also an excellent taverna. It's cheap and has an excellent menu. The chicken salad sandwich is awesome - I could eat them all day long.
Makris Yialos translates as 'long beach', and yep, it's pretty long. The nicest part of the beach is the right hand side (as you're walking down the steps to the beach). Carry on walking past a small rocky outcrop and you'll have your very own secluded part of the beach. The sea is crystal clear and there's plenty of fish - which makes for excellent swimming or snorkelling. Unlike other beaches on Kefalonia, the water here is completely safe.
Melissani Lake is a must for any visitor to Kefalonia. The lake is underground - does that make it a lake or a cave? Anyhow, the roof of the cave collapsed. The result is pretty awesome - light pours through the huge hole in the roof, creating quite a spectacle.
Guides paddle you around the lake/cave on a boat - they're all charismatic and will happily take photos of you on the boat. The water is crystal clear, and in some places one hundred feet deep.
Melissani is somewhat of a geological phenomenon. The lake is supplied from an underground river which starts at Katavothres, some 17km away.
Entry is 5 euros.
Drogarati Cave is a big draw on Kefalonia - it's undoubtedly one of the island's main tourist attractions. The cave's main chamber is pretty impressive, and the constant 18 degrees celsius is a welcome break from the sweltering heat outside.
Stalagmites and stalagtites (which grow from the ceiling and which from the floor?) have popped up all over the cave. I say popped - it actually takes one hundred years for each stalagmite/tite to grow one centimetre.
The price to get was 3.50 euros - excellent value for money. Most people combine a visit to Drogarati with a visit to Melissani lake up the road.
Drogarati cave is located on the eastern side of Kefalonia, approximately 5km from Sami.
Definetely the most popular place in Kefalonia. And really worth the visit. The beach is situated just below some big mountains, and the water is crystal sky blue.
However if not a good swimmer it is highly reccomended not to go swimming very far as strong currents have caused tragedies in the past.
There is a car park available in the proximity of the beach, however be aware that it might be crowded often.
On the left side of the beach, there is a small cave from where you can go straight in the sea. Don't forget your snorkles, the marine life in that area is delightful.
I have read in the past that Myrtos was voted Greece's #1 beach several times.
Myrtos was a very pleasant experience, as usual the pictures should tell everything about it:)
Fiskardo is the most fancy place of this island. Bear in mind that you blend in best if you own a yacht or at least a bigger boat. This tiny Venetian style built village is the only one that has survived Kefallonia's major Earthquake of 1953. Fiskardo is situated in the far north of the island about 60-70 mins drive from the capital Argostoli.
I have spent a day there just wandering around the tiny streets and then returned to the south part of the island, therefore I cannot give you a lot of tips here. However Fiskardo is trully worth a few hours visit if being on Kefalonia.
Very close to Melisani Lake, Drogarati cave is another attraction of Kefalonia. Entrance is not expensive but the experience itself is not great either. It is just a huge chamber, with good acoustics.
Entrance was 3 Euro if I remember well. Worth a visit only if you are visiting Melissani or if you have your accomodation in the area.
This is one of Cefalonia's main attractions. This cave with a lake in its interior has the shape of the letter B and it is visited entirely by boat. You will go through some very narrow corridors, where the boat will move by being pulled on ropes (that is because there is no place to row). The water has an amazing colour, it is a mixture of sea water and fresh water.
You can easily find your way to here as this place is mentioned on all Cefalonia tourist maps. The cave is open in the summer from 8am to 6pm, The entrance fee if I remember well was about 5 Euro. However in peak season you might lose 20-30 mins with queueing.
As usual in my tips, the pictures will speak for themselves.