Kefelonia – Beautiful Island With a Turbulent Past

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Kefalonia is the biggest island on the Ionian Sea. However, because of its location, it also has a turbulent past. Today, people are attracted to the island for its gorgeous beaches and diverse geography. Like many places in Greece, inhabitants successfully merge the past with the present to make a culture that is completely unique. It’s also known for its earthquakes. The island was also nearly destroyed by a massive earthquake in 1953.

Because of its location in the Ionian Sea, Kefalonia has had a turbulent past. Groups such as the Normans, Franks, Venetians, and Turks have invaded the island several times throughout history. It was also the home of the Odysseus, the legendary hero made famous by Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey. In modern history, the Axis Powers occupied it during World War II. Today, it’s been rebuilt and is an excellent destination for visitors to Greece. Here are some of the essential things to see while there.


Argostoli is the capital of Kefalonia and is definitely worth a visit. The city makes for a great place to stay and is in close proximity of several popular beaches. For example, Makris Galios is only 4 km or so from the city center. There are also several popular sights to see here, such as the Archaeological Museum, which has several archives on display from the Mycenaean period. This is also a great place to shop for traditional Greek products, such as wine. The Vinaries Wine Storehouse, for example, has several wine products displayed and ready for purchase.

Myrtos Beach

This is the most famous beach on Kefalonia. One of the things that make it so popular is that, even though it is within driving distance of Argostili (about 30 km away), it is far away enough from the city to keep the area relatively unspoiled. As a result, the beach is surrounded by beautiful scenery, rather than being part of an urban sprawl.

Enos Forest

Kefalonia is known for its beautiful forests and mountains. The Enos Forest is one of the most beautiful places on the island and is definitely worth a visit during your stay. Mount Ainos is in this forest, and it is the largest peak amongst the Ionian Islands. This forest also holds many unique plant species, which attracts botanists throughout the world. The forest also holds many opportunities for hiking and exploring by foot.

Getting There

You can either reach Kefalonia by boat or by air. There is an airport, which is accessible from Athens and other Greek islands in the area. It can also be reached by boat. The most popular choice is to take a ferry from Piraeus or other islands in the area.

One thing that makes this island appealing is that it is off the beaten path and doesn’t get the crowds islands like Mykonos and Santorini experience. This makes it a popular choice for those who want a peaceful, relaxing experience. Sure, there is the chance to experience the nightlife, shop, and eat a great meal. However, the crowd is a little more subdued than it would be in some of the more common places in Greece.

PLEASE NOTE: The Greek travel section at GreekBoston.com are not paid reviews. Our unbiased and informative travel articles are designed review the popular cities, islands and places in Greece. We are not always able to exactly match the photos to the destinations, but we do try to get close. However, we are not looking for photo submissions at this time. If you find something in a Greek travel article that is not accurate based on your personal experience, please send us an email to greekboston@worldwidegreeks.com and we will consider your suggestions. Thanks for reading the travel section at GreekBoston.com!

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