A rich historical heritage, a mild climate, affordable hotels, and amazing beaches are all about Kefalonia. Although it’s the sixth-largest island in Greece, Kefalonia is just as popular as Rhodes or Crete. This beautiful destination has long been the centre of the tourist life of the Ionian Islands.
Yes, Kefalonia is full of attractions and you will enjoy an incredible vacation there. However, you can make your trip even more enjoyable if you hire a car. A hire car will allow you to find many interesting sights and get to places inaccessible to public transport. Where to pick it up? Book a car hire Kefalonia with the help of Rental24.co.uk at the local airport and hit the road as soon as you arrive. This amazing island has a lot to offer you. Here are some amazing places you shouldn’t miss.
1. Petani Beach
Kefalonia is a true beach paradise and Petani is one of the most wonderful places to relax under the gentle Greek sun. Surrounded by high mountains, this is a cozy pebble beach located near the resort town of Lixouri.
With soft pebbles, Petani is a favorite with beach lovers. Its length is 600 meters, where you can enjoy the extraordinary beauty of the hilly surroundings and swim in the warm blue water. By the way, as the sun sets, the water changes its color and becomes dark blue.
The coast is quite steep and in some places equipped with an awning and sun umbrellas. Therefore, you can only move away from the coast for a short distance, since it’s quite deep here. Also, there are two good restaurants not far from the beach.
2. Mount Ainos National Park
Although Kefalonia is not a small island, the national park here occupies a fairly large area. The main highlight of the park is Mount Ainos. With an altitude of about 1,628 meters, it’s the highest point in the entire archipelago.
The park is full of specific dark turquoise firs unique to Greece. In addition to the firs, Ainos has many wildflowers, violets, and even orchids. Wild horses are especially popular among representatives of the local animal world, but they are not as easy to see as you may want.
Ainos offers several hiking trails of varying difficulty levels, which take from an hour and a half to almost a full day. So if you are a fan of outdoor walks, you won’t find a better place than this national park.
By the way, there are enough camping places on the territory to stay overnight, as well as gazebos and meadows to have a picnic. However, Ainos lacks hot dog stalls, thus don’t forget to take food and drinks with you.
3. Melissani Cave
Known as the Cave of the Nymphs, Melissani is located near Karavomylos, about two miles away from the city of Sami. You need about 20 minutes to get there from Argostoli in a hire car.
Melissani is a karst cave, carved by water in limestone rock for tens of thousands of years. You’ll find it quite far from the seashore, that’s why the cave was discovered only in the middle of the 20th century. And today, every traveller should definitely visit this place during a trip to Kefalonia.
A unique feature of the cave is an amazingly clean underground lake that fills it entirely. Its depth in the middle reaches 39 meters, but the water is so transparent that you can see the bottom.
However, all these details fade before the spectacle that gradually opens up to tourists as they descend along the underground corridor. The Melissani vault was partially collapsed by an earthquake several thousand years ago. As a result, a kind of uneven well was formed in the centre of the cave. The sun’s rays fall on the lake through the hole, thus illuminating the water with different shades of azure. So, it’s just an unearthly sight!
4. Myrtos Beach
Kefalonia’s numerous beaches won’t let you burn out under the hot Greek sun. So, another great place you shouldn’t miss is Myrtos Beach in the northwest of the island. By the way, this is the best Greek beach, which you will find almost at the first request in Google Search.
The absolutely incredible aquamarine watercolor and the complete absence of more or less inhabited places around are its main features. It’s all about the active geological processes that are still going on, and thanks to which the smallest marble chips get into the water.
The beach is especially beautiful at sunset when the sun shines on the marble rocks. However, this is also his cunning, because it’s almost impossible to get there without a car hire. The road to the beach is quite challenging as well. It’s narrow, winding, and rather steep serpentine leading from the top of the mountain to the beach. Therefore, don’t lose your vigilance when reaching it!
5. Drogarati Cave
The underworld of Kefalonia is no less beautiful than the one you see above, and the Drogarati limestone cave is an excellent confirmation of this. It’s located three miles from Sami and five miles from Melissani Cave. Thus, you can visit both caves at once if you travel in a hired car.
The age of the cave is difficult to determine, but it’s about a hundred million years old. About 300 years ago, part of the wall collapsed as a result of an earthquake, and thus opened the passage to the inside. It goes 95 meters deep, and the temperature inside is constantly kept at about 18˚C. Many travellers call Drogarati one of the most beautiful caves in Greece.
Like an underground cave, Drogarati features the natural beauty of its beautifully illuminated stalactites and stalagmites. Regular earthquakes on the island have caused them some damage, but nevertheless, the age of those who survived is tens and hundreds of thousands of years.
In the second half of the 20th century, Drogarati became a tourist attraction open to the public. Today you can get here all year round and every day from morning till evening. The entrance to the cave is safe, suitable for children, and even people with disabilities. It’s pretty damp and chilly inside, so you need to dress warm despite the sweltering heat outside.