The Best Places to Stay in Kefalonia are the areas that offer you a mix of traditional villages and modern busy towns. It’s easy to spend days lazing on the beaches or hiking and shopping before enjoying a delicious meal in one of the restaurants in the evening.
Despite its starring role in Hollywood’s Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Kefalonia hasn’t given into mass tourism. The islands’ quaint villages, jaw-dropping coastal scenery and wine country attracts couples, posh sailors and mature travellers.
Argostoli (or Argostolion) is the pulsing heart of Kefalonia, and it’s here that you’ll find a smorgasbord of accommodation options. Shielded from the open sea along a landward side of a peninsula, its waterfront is a charming mix of old and new with a lively town feel and an innate sense of local character. The elegant Venetian-era buildings sadly fell victim to the earthquakes of 1953, but the town has rebuilt itself and is now an energetic centre of contemporary Greek life.
The main focus of activity is a delightfully pedestrianised Plateia Valianou, where locals come to chat and dine at the many restaurants. Lithostroto is the town’s shopping street, which is lined with fashionable boutiques and cafes. Several museums and cultural events are also found in Argostoli, making it an ideal destination for culture vultures.
Just across the bay from Argostoli lies Lixouri, its mirror image. This lively town is a great base for culture vultures, families and nature enthusiasts alike. There are numerous hotels and spacious holiday villas to choose from, and a variety of affordable apartments too. Several museums can be found in the town too, and there are many lovely beaches nearby such as the photogenic Xi beach with its therapeutic muds and white cliffs.
A busy South coast resort village, Lassi is a popular choice for first-time visitors to the island. There’s a broad range of comfortable hotels and holiday apartments to pick from, plus a kilometre-long stretch of tavernas and bars. A wealth of excursion tours depart from Lassi so it’s a practical option for travellers who want to be centrally located, and there are plenty of car hire and souvenir shops too.
Steeped in both beauty and history Sami is a charming port town whose main attraction is the bay that’s framed by colourful Venetian buildings. The island’s second largest port is also home to daily departures for Ithaca and mainland Greece, making it a good base for exploring the island. Culture vultures can explore the 15th century Venetian castle, Agrilia Monastery and 3rd-century Roman Baths while nature lovers can admire the enthralling cave at Drogarati and the glistening underground lakes of Karavomilos and Melissani.
Families with children can enjoy one of Kefalonia’s best beaches – Fanari. It’s a beautiful stretch of golden sand that stretches to the calm blue sea and is ideal for snorkelling and relaxing on the shore.
On the opposite side of the bay is Lixouri – a quieter town with a more authentic feel and a few good beach options. It’s also a great place to base yourself for exploring the island’s remote northeast coast where you can discover secluded coves and therapeutic mud baths.
Alternatively, head inland to the mountainous interior and you’ll find a rugged landscape scattered with picture-perfect villages, vineyards and mystical caves. You can also sample the local wines and cheeses, while a few of the island’s most scenic hiking trails are found here.
There’s a wide range of accommodation in Sami, from family-run guesthouses to huge purpose-built hotels and resorts. The deluxe Braunis Horio Villas, with stunning infinity pools looking over the entrance to the bay, offer a real taste of luxury. Other top choices include the Emelisse Nature Resort – a lush eco-friendly property surrounded by Cyprus trees and the sea. It’s a little pricey but worth every penny for the sublime facilities.
Fiskardo is one of the most enchanting destinations in Kefalonia. Its small tranquil bay ringed with pretty Venetian style houses and calm clear beaches is the picture-perfect setting for an idyllic holiday. Its also a favourite yacht flotilla port and a stunning destination for romantic getaways. You can stroll its pretty streets, climb up to the 16th century castle and atop the cliffs that overlook the harbour, hike to neighbouring villages or simply soak up the atmosphere. A stay in Fiskardo will inevitably come with a slightly higher price tag but is well worth it.
Whether you choose to stay in a hotel, small guesthouse or holiday apartment, there’s a wide variety of accommodation options to suit every budget in this beautiful village. For a luxury option head to the impressive Braunis Horio villas which ooze peace and tranquility with their incredible infinity pools looking over the entrance to the bay.
Its north coast is a delight, with picturesque harbours and sandy beaches that are perfect for families. You can hire a boat from the village to explore inaccessible coves and visit the caves of Antisamos (the beach featured in Captain Corelli).
The lush mountainous interior of the island is filled with traditional villages, vineyards and underground lakes. You can also discover the stunningly beautiful lake at Karavomylos, visit the awe-inspiring caves at Melissani and Drogarati or head to the 18th century Monastery of Theotokos Agrilion. Sami is a wonderful base for exploring the islands natural wonders as it offers a good selection of restaurants, bars and tavernas as well as an array of comfortable accommodation from hotels to bed & breakfasts.
The island’s best beaches, most beautiful villages and top hotels are here. So if you’re planning a trip to Kefalonia (also spelt Cephalonia) we’ve got all the tips you need for an unforgettable stay.
If you’re looking for an upmarket holiday resort then Fiskardo is the one for you, brimming with swanky marina-side cafes and boutique shops. The backstreets still have old pastel-painted Venetian buildings that survived the 1953 earthquake while the harbour is full of yachts and traditional fishing boats. Tavernas lining the waterfront serve up a choice of fresh seafood for a quaint Greek island dining experience. Fiskardo’s a popular destination during the peak summer months so you’ll want to book early.
Alternatively, the low-key village of Agia Efimia is another popular package holiday base on the east coast. It’s a charming little place with a small marina and excellent tavernas for people watching. You’ll find plenty of low-key accommodation here too, including some fantastic B&Bs such as the tucked-away Deidra Beach Cottages and the family-run Avnantia House which has spotless rooms, a pool and friendly staff.
The most scenic village in the island is Assos, wedged onto a narrow isthmus and home to an ancient 16th-century Venetian castle. It’s often regarded as one of the most picturesque villages in the whole of Greece with colourful Italianate villas and flower-filled houses dotted around a cluster of small pebble beaches and a tiny harbour.
It’s easy to explore the island by car and Argostoli makes an ideal base for your adventure. There are a handful of hotels and apartments in the centre but for something a little more luxurious head to the Kefalonia Grand on the waterfront, with its lovely harbour views and pristine whitewashed interiors. It also has a superb spa.
Kefalonia’s swanky port town has all the hallmarks of an upmarket escape. Its backstreets brim with old pastel-painted Venetian buildings that survived the 1953 earthquake, while a selection of tavernas and cafes line the natural harbour. The waterfront is a magnet for private yachts and boasts spectacular sea views. It’s a popular spot during the peak summer months so book your accommodation early to secure a place in one of the best places to stay on Kefalonia.
Skala is another low-key resort that’s well suited for families. Its backstreets lead to a picturesque beach and tavernas offering mouthwatering seafood dishes. There’s a small marina but it doesn’t get as busy as Fiskardo, so it’s easy to find a peaceful spot to relax by the water. Skala also has a good choice of hotels and apartments, providing something for every budget.
Despite being Kefalonia’s second biggest city, Lixouri (also known as Lourdata) feels like a charming village. Its backstreets brim and its waterfront is lined with tavernas, cafés, and boutique shops. A small stream cuts through the centre of the city, allowing you to stroll along its banks and cross small bridges. It’s less upmarket than Argostoli but still has plenty to keep visitors busy, from a wide variety of restaurants to a wealth of cultural events and festivals that take place throughout the year.
Inland, Kefalonia is a lush tapestry of olive groves and vineyards, rugged mountains dressed in forests of pine and oak, and picturesque villages that make time stand still. It’s also dotted with awe-inspiring caves, enchanting lakes, and the 18th-century Monastery of Theotokos Agrilion. There’s a lot to discover here and there are plenty of things to do, from thrilling hikes to tranquil strolls through traditional villages and pristine beaches.