Best things to do in Kefalonia, from exploring caves to finding your perfect beach

Written by Travel Adventures

Among the shimmering waters of the Ionian Sea, the Greek island of Kefalonia is all pristine beaches, long summers and a laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle. Sure, you could spend your trip snoozing in the sun on the white sands – or red, if you venture to the south of the Paliki peninsula – but there’s so much more to see and do here.

To help you plan your Greek odyssey, here are five things to do in Kefalonia.

Melissani is a cave with its roof caved in many years ago. The cave in has caused water to come in and create a tepid...

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Explore the caves

Impressive caverns and caves are dotted across Kefalonia, the most popular being Drogarati Cave and the Cave of Melissani. Discovered 300 years ago, Drogarati Cave is among the top natural wonders on the island, housing stalagmites and stalactites, as well as intricate rock formations. 150 million years in the making, the cave also serves as a venue for music and cultural events.

A 10-minute drive north brings you to the Cave of Melissani. One of the most popular sites on the island, it was first explored in the early 1950s, when archaeologists discovered tools, pottery and jewellery that suggest it was an ancient place of worship. Today, tourists can hike to the top of the Melissani cave to enjoy incredible panoramic views or take a boat ride through its channels and halls to the turquoise lake at its centre. It’s at noon when the lake is at its most spectacular – when the sun is high and the light bursts through the collapsed roof, the cave is lit with a a wondrous blue light and boats appear to hover above the surface.

Panoramic view over Kefalonia island from the mountain top Mount Ainos

Panoramic view over Kefalonia island from the mountain top Mount AinosGetty Images

Hike the island’s highest mountain

Kefalonia isn’t short of great walks, and the many trails on Mount Ainos mean you can get your fix of stunning views while hitting your holiday step count. If you don’t feel like working up a sweat on your break, don’t worry – the trails on Mount Ainos suit all fitness levels. Take one of the shorter 2.5km routes through the dense mountain forest, stopping to spot the rare Ainos ponies that call the mountain their home. Don’t be surprised if you hear the sound of bells on your trek, as goat herds are known to wander through, too. Hundreds of birds live among the trees, so listen out for black woodpeckers and keep your eyes peeled for birds of prey, like peregrine falcons and scavenging vultures.

If you’re in it for the long haul, stock up on local snacks and hit the 6.5km track north of Digaleto that ends at Mount Ainos’s highest peak. It’s an easy-to-moderate 3.5-hour trail that’ll spoil you with views of the Ionian Sea and the Peloponnese.

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