Well, it’s not a secret that Kefalonia is one of the most beautiful Greek islands! But, did you know that it’s also one of the most mysterious ones?
You must wonder why, right? The truth is that Kefalonia is a place full of surprises. From exotic beaches with emerald waters, to rich flora and fauna, it never fails to make travelers fall in love with it!
The secrets of Kefalonia are many and if you want the real deal, you should know them!
No sweat, though, we got you covered!
We’re going to pull back the veil of this magical island and reveal the top 10 things you should know about Kefalonia and nobody told you!
Are you ready?
1. Kefalonia has a long history
Kefalonia is a place with rich history, as it has been inhabited since the Paleolithic age! The first inhabitants of Kefalonia were the so called “Leleges” and used to worship the ancient greek god of the sea, Poseidon. Ruins of big ancient towns, Mycenaean tombs, ancient treasures, castles and monasteries reveal the glorious past of the island!
Among others, the island was conquered by Romans, Ottomans, Venetians and French, until it finally reunited with Greece in 1864.
A big earthquake in 1953 destroyed almost all the buildings of the island, causing huge damages to the island. Despite this natural disaster and the mass immigration from the island, Kefalonia managed to recover, thanks to shipping and tourism development.
2. Goats have golden teeth in Kefalonia
It’s strange, but it’s true.
Indeed, there are goats with golden teeth in Kefalonia!
The soil in Kefalonia is rich in inorganic metals, which are responsible for the goats’ golden teeth. Kefalonian goats live in the wild nature and can survive many days without drinking any water, thanks to the island’s humidity!
So, keep your eyes peeled for the beautiful goats climbing on the steep cliffs of the island!
3. Kefalonia is very close to Corfu
...and this is a great opportunity to visit both islands at once!
Corfu also has a long history and was conquered many times, same as Kefalonia. As a result, it has many interesting places for sightseeing! So, try to combine your trip to Kefalonia with your Corfu holidays.
We promise it’s gonna worth it!
4. Kefalonia is home to the endangered caretta-caretta sea turtles
If you are a nature lover, you’ll love the adorable caretta-caretta turtles!
This sea turtle species is the only one that finds shelter in Greece. They are between 1-1.2 meters long and can live up to 65 (!) years.
Many beaches in Kefalonia are protected during caretta caretta reproduction period. This is because the female caretta-caretta turtles drag themselves out of the sea at night and bury their eggs in the sand to hatch. After about 60-70 days, the newborn caretta-caretta turtles get out of their eggs and drag themselves to their natural environment, the ocean!
5. It’s famous for its delicious wine
Did you know that Kefalonia has a long tradition in wine making?
Kefalonia is famous for its local wine varieties“Robola”, “Mavrodafni” and Kefalonian Moschato.
“Robola”, specifically, is one of the three best wine varieties in Greece! About 500 tons of “Robola” wine are produced every year, many of them exported mainly in Europe and USA.
One of the must things to do in Kefalonia is to visit one of the local wineries, tour around the vineyards and, of course, indulge in wine tasting!
6. It has one of the most impressive nymph caves you’ve ever seen
Now, this is our favorite bit!
We’re talking about the lake cave Melissani, a place that will definitely capture you with its beauty!
Also known as “The cave of the nymphs”, Melissani cave took its name from the nymph Melissanthi, who killed herself, after been rejected by god Pana.
You’ll find this impressive geological masterpiece 2 km away from Sami and you can explore it by the boat tours organized inside the cave.
The lake, which is located 20 meters under the land surface, has mesmerizing emerald water and is surrounded by 20,000 years old stalactites. A big hole on the top of the cave lets the sun rays light up the cave in a magical way!
7. Kefalonian food will redefine your sense of yumminess
When it comes to food, Kefalonia is a top choice. Local products and traditional recipes join forces to create some of the most delicious dishes you’ve ever tasted!
To start with, local people love pies! Some of the most delicious pies you have to taste are the meat pie, the artichoke pie, the hake pie and the cheese pie.
Meat dishes are also a specialty in Kefalonia! Rabbit with red sauce, goat with red sauce and potatoes, wild duck with wine and roasted goose with potatoes are musts!
As for the sweets, they don’t disappoint! Taste the traditional “mandola”, a type of caramelized almond, “mandolato”, “mistopita” and “pastokidono”.
8. Kefalonia is a beach paradise
In case you didn’t know, Ionia beaches are amazing! In Kefalonia there are some of the best beaches not only in Greece, but also in the world! Exotic landscapes, emerald waters and fine sand will make you feel as if you’re in the Caribbean!
The biggest and the most famous Kefalonia beach is Myrtos, which is located 30 km away from Argostoli. This beach is covered with shiny white pebbles and has mesmerizing turquoise water. Its landscape is breathtaking, as it is surrounded by verdant hills. And if you happen to be a photography lover, the best spot to capture amazing photos of Myrtos is from the road above the beach!
Another top Kefalonia beach is Antisamos, 27 km away from Argostoli. Antisamos is a beach similar to Myrtos, regarding its landscape. It also has emerald waters and white pebbles, while it’s surrounded by the breathtaking Avgo mountain.
Trivia: Antisamos became famous thanks to the movie “Captain Corelli’s mandolin”, which was filmed there!
9. Water disappears mysteriously in Kefalonia
“Katavothres” is a geological miracle, happening in Agioi Theodoroi cape, just 2 km away from Argostoli. “Katavothres” are basically cracks next to the sea, inside which the water enters and crosses almost all the island, underground.
This interesting geological effect used to be a mystery for scientists for many years, as they had no clue where the water was going when it disappeared! So, they decided to put 16 kg of paint inside the water, in order to detect its movement.
Two weeks later, they found the colored water 14 km away from its initial position, as well as inside Melissani lake cave. The mystery was solved!
10. The people of Kefalonia love music and dancing
Kefalonia has a rich culture, so music and dancing couldn’t be missing from the islanders' everyday life! So, it’s not really a surprise that traditional feasts based on the local music and dances are often organized in the island.
Two of the most famous cultural events are the International Music Festival in Argostoli and the “Varkarola” festival in Assos village. The International Music Festival takes place every year on August and hosts concerts of both local and foreign artists. As for the “Varkarola” festival, it is also organized every August. Just imagine singers inside little boats, singing traditional Kefalonian serenades, while fireworks light up the summer sky. It’s a must event to attend in Kefalonia!
So, to sum up, Kefalonia is an amazing place to visit! From natural beauty to delicious food and rich culture, it just ticks all the boxes!
The best part?
Going to Kefalonia is very easy, as a ferry ride from Kyllini port to Kefalonia lasts for just an hour and a half!
For the ultimate island hopping experience, you can also visit the rest of the Ionian islands!
Are you ready?