Best Places to Stay in Cephalonia
Kefalonia’s beautiful beaches, awe-inspiring natural attractions and charming traditional villages attract visitors looking for a relaxing island getaway. Whether you are looking for a hotel, small studio apartment or larger holiday villa you can find it on the island.
Argostoli is the capital of Kefalonia and offers endearing streets, open squares and boutique shops. It’s the ideal base for culture vultures and families with a variety of accommodation to choose from including family friendly hotels and apartments.
Argostoli is the best place to stay in Kefalonia if you want to enjoy the nightlife. It offers more pubs and clubs than the rest of the island. It also has a variety of accommodation options, including luxury hotels and cheap hostels. It is also the bus and taxi hub for the island, so you can easily get around.
Although much of its ancient Venetian architecture was destroyed by a 1953 earthquake, Argostoli is still a bustling Greek town with plenty of charm and character. The heart of the city is the charming Plateia Valianou square, where locals gather to chat and dine. The main street, Lithostroto, is lined with bars, shops, and restaurants. The capital is also home to a number of museums and statues.
The busy harbor is a pleasant place to stroll and you can spot caretta-caretta sea turtles feeding on scraps from fishing boats. The lagoon itself was once a breeding ground for mosquitoes, but the area is now protected by eucalyptus trees that were planted as a natural deterrent to malaria.
Argostoli is the capital of Kefalonia and offers visitors an excellent base for exploring the island’s beaches, forests, and mountains. You can also take boat trips, or spend the day shopping and sipping ice-cold Greek coffee in one of the many cafes. The town is also home to a variety of churches and monasteries.
Katelios is a much-loved traditional fishing village on the south of Kefalonia, with an incredible coastline, long stretch of beach and plenty of tavernas, it’s one of the most relaxing places to stay in Kefalonia. Although the nightlife here isn’t vibrant, most visitors choose to visit the village for its authentic charm and relaxed atmosphere, you can spend your evenings enjoying a drink on the beach or in the local bars.
Katelios offers plenty of places to stay, from small hotels and villas to self-catered apartments, it’s easy to find accommodation in Katelios that suits your budget and requirements. Most accommodation in the village comes with a furnished balcony or terrace offering sea, garden and/or mountain views.
The beaches in Katelios are beautiful and often less crowded than other nearby beaches, and the area has some of the best restaurants on the island. It’s also just over an hour from the famous Assos beach, Fiskado and the Melissani Lake Caves.
If you’re looking for a bit more nightlife then the central town of Argostoli is the place to stay. Located around 30 minutes from the airport, it’s the capital of the island and is home to a wide range of cafes, restaurants and shops. The town is also the transport hub of the island and it’s very easy to get around by bus or taxi. There are also some great hotels in Argostoli, including the stunning Villa Happiness.
A trip to Sami is an opportunity to discover an ancient Arctic culture that’s surviving and adapting, despite strong governmental efforts at assimilation. Sami people have a deep connection with nature, and you’ll see this in the traditional dwellings and cuisine they maintain. You can get a taste of Sami life with a stay in a goahti hut, or a visit to Sajos and Siida, the Sami Centres for Culture and Nature.
The capital of the Sami is Karasjok, and you can visit typical dwellings in the Sapmi culture park here. You can also learn more about Sami culture with a tour of the Sami parliament building, which is shaped like a lavvo (Sami tent). The city is also home to many Sami businesses and has its own school system with classes taught in Sami.
While the majority of Sami now speak the dominant language of the countries they live in, Sami is undergoing a revitalisation phase. Karasjok’s cultural and language center, Gaaltije, offers a well-curated selection of Sami books and handicrafts, while Are Hemslojd and the resident shop at Jokkmokk market are other places to pick up a souvenir.
A reindeer herding village is a must-visit during a trip to Finland’s Sami Region, which is a UNESCO Heritage Site. You can spend a few days in a Sami settlement such as Geunja, where you’ll sleep in a goahti – a traditional wooden Sami hut – and join in with the reindeer herders’ day-to-day chores. You can take part in traditional Sami activities such as fishing excursions, bird-watching and a feast of reindeer meat.
Lourdas is a beautiful quaint coastal settlement that is very popular among holidaymakers for its lovely beach that overlooks the crystalline waters of Kefalonia. This gorgeous beach is surrounded by the lush green landscape of Mount Ainos, creating a dreamlike scenery that is a must-visit for every holidaymaker. The long stretch of sand is well-organized with sun beds and umbrellas, and it is an excellent choice for those who want to relax and unwind during their Kefalonia holidays.
In terms of nightlife, Lourdas is not as lively as the other top places to stay in Kefalonia but it does offer a good choice of cafes, bars, and tavernas. Here, you can try some of the best Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. In addition to this, you can also enjoy a drink while looking out at the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and blue seas.
If you are an adventurous type, you can opt to go on a sea kayaking tour from Lourdas to Katelios. The cost of the day-trip is around 60 Euros and includes the equipment, lunch, and a guide. This is a fun activity that is suitable for all age groups. It is also a great way to see some of the most remote beaches on the island. Moreover, you can get some great photos of the landscape and its beauty. You can even visit a nearby islet that is not accessible by swimming.
Xi Beach is a stunning red sand beach that has been awarded with the Blue Flag. It is a family-friendly beach with shallow waters, perfect for children to play in the water safely. The sand slopes reasonably gently, and the areas close to hotels are developed and organised with beach loungers and sun shades, while other parts of the beach have a more natural aspect.
Located in the south of the Kefalonia peninsula and part of the district Mantzavinata near the town of Lixouri, the Xi Beach is a 4 km strip of sandy beach that can be up to 50 meters wide in some places. It has a rocky cliff surrounding the beach and is popular among locals and visitors.
The beach has a distinct color of the sand and is surrounded by white clay cliffs which gives it a unique look. It is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island and is a must-see for everyone who visits Kefalonia.
Getting to Xi Beach is easy enough as it is just 40 kilometers from Argostoli and 10 kilometers from Lixouri. Depending on where you are staying on the island, you can either take a taxi or public transportation to get there. There is also a regional airport that sees flights from other Greek destinations and some from Europe as well. You can even book a flight from Athens to Kefalonia via other European cities.
Located on the west of the Palliki peninsula, Lixouri is the second largest town after Argostoli and is central to most of the hotels on the island. It is home to a beautiful beach and is also close to the Monastery of Kipoureon. The main town is full of traditional buildings and wide pedestrian streets that have a variety of cafes, restaurants and shops.
Lepeda beach is a short walk south of the town and is a gorgeous wide and red sandy beach, not quite as good as Xi but it’s definitely worth a visit. The town is also the base for some great walking and there is an excellent choice of accommodation from self-catering studios to mid and high range hotels and villas.
In terms of nightlife, there are plenty of fun cocktail bars and light entertainment but if you’re after a bit of raucous dancing and music then it might be a better option to head into Argostoli for your evenings out in Kefalonia.
Getting around is easy enough as there is a ferry that runs to and from Argostoli and during the peak season this is every hour or half-hour. You can also catch a bus that runs to all of the major villages on the Palliki peninsula. The town is also well served by taxis. There is a lot to see and do in Lixouri so make sure you leave enough time to explore.