ad – pr trip with Jet2Holidays and Visit Kefalonia
Following my Instagram bombardment (ALL the beautiful beaches) last month a friend messaged me to ask if Kefalonia was really as beautiful as it looked or I just shared the pretty corners… and the answer is YES… to both. Spoiler : there are only pretty corners.
We took Jet2 flights direct to Kefalonia for something of a whirlwind three days and four nights on this magnificent island. More rugged and undeveloped than her better known counterparts, more Greek – this is the Greece you dream about – full of undiscovered coves crouching behind white stone cliffs and enveloped in turquoise waters.
Scroll down to discover my tips for how to get there, where to stay, where to eat and what to do…
silk cami – Zimmermann, austin trousers – Sezane, belt – Sezane
western boots – Ariat, sunglasses – Kartel
HOW TO GET THERE
Direct from Glasgow – yes, you read that correctly – among the many wonderful package holidays to Greece with Jet2Holidays, Kefalonia is one (of course you can fly from elsewhere in the UK but the Glasgow option deserves some celebration because, I can assure you, more than once I have discovered a bucketlist destination only to discover it inaccessible from the motherland – well… NOT THIS TIME). Flight time is a comfortable four hours.
Upon landing you could hire a car and, if you plan to do a lot of exploring, I would recommend this. Should you, however, desire nothing more exciting than a few blissful days of luxury by the pool and local beach then take the package transfer. I can highly recommend the private transfer upgrade with Jet2 (we upgraded to this on our family Portugal holiday in May – less than £20 total for a group of five – worth every penny and then some).
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at the Thalassa Boutique Hotel Kefalonia and it was such a treat… not just because it happens to be adults only. The hotel is beeeautiful with more of a boutique vibe than a big resort vibe. The pool area is a clear highlight but the restaurant was what really blew me away. Eagle eyes can catch a glimpse of the most delicious grilled fish I have ever tasted on my Instagram Kefalonia highlight but suffice to say the food was a solid ten out of ten. Far too often I find nice hotels are let down by the restaurant but this was absolutely not the case here.
Our hotel was a short ten minute transfer from the airport and had a number of stunning beaches within striking distance and just a short taxi ride to Argostoli and her impressive square lined with restaurants and bars.
If, or when (because I am smitten), we return to the island I have my sights set on the picture perfect seaside village of Fiscardo – worth the extra transfer time I reckon. You can browse all Jet2Holiday’s Kefalonia hotels and filter by area at the top to discover the hotels and villas on offer.
Just as an aside – pre 2020 I had not booked a package holiday for over a decade always preferring to mix and match my travel elements to suit my needs but now, in this new age where things can go wrong overnight, I like the security of a package. As I mentioned above, we booked our family holiday in May with Jet2 and truly, I could not fault them.
WHERE TO EAT
Far from an exhaustive guide but a few places from our trip (as well as the hotel’s own restaurant praised above) that definitely deserve a bookmark…
Giving some Mykonos vibes but at a fraction of the price and situated on one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.
This place has recently landed in the main square of Argostoli. With experimental food (see the smoking dessert in my Kefalonia video) which also happens to be delicious and the most gorgeous atmosphere, it is a must for your island dining list.
OENOPS WINE BAR, ARGOSTOLI
I very much enjoyed the food here but the local wines were the stars of the show.
This is top of my list for next time – tables in the sand, shellfish and those views.
KAMAROULES STAMATELATOS TAVERNIKA, LASSI
I will be the first to admit that I am a huge sucker for a great view and this place looks like it ticks that box (with a giant, fat marker). It also happens to be alluringly close to the hotel we stayed in…
TAVERNA ODYSSEAS, ROULA’S GRILL HOUSE and TASSIA, FISCARDO
All local recommendations for delicious, traditional Greek food in Fiscardo.
wrap swimsuit – Audrey Leighton Vintage, lace detail blouse – Phase Eight (ON SALE), silk scarf – vintage
rome shorts – Sezane, suede studded sliders – Phase Eight
aviators – Ray ban, leaf choker – Missoma
beaded necklace & pendant – Monica Vinader (MVINSIDER20-0694 for 20% off)
jumpsuit – Ulla Johnson via Ebay (this high street one is also great)
gold dela cuff – Ottoman Hands, aviators – Ray Ban
lori multiway top – Vjera V
evil eye necklace – Ottoman Hands, leaf choker – Missoma
jumpsuit – Zimmermann, sandals – LK Bennett
beaded bracelets – Stella Beads London
WHAT TO DO
Certainly part of the allure of adults only holidays is doing absolutely nothing… but, honestly, to visit Kefalonia and not see some of the island would be a crime. You get a sense from the photos above just how special this place is but it really has to be seen to be believed – here are my top picks :
That incredible underground lake, only accessible by rowing boat, with the magical eye to the sky above. Visit around midday to catch the sun’s rays illuminate the crystal clear water through the cave’s magical, tree lined aperture.
THE VILLAGES OF ASSOS & FISCARDO
Postcard perfect pastel houses gathering around, almost dipping their toes in the most perfect turquoise cove.
Possibly the most charming place on the island – this family run vineyard is a step back in time. Tour the family home with its quirky and oh so beautiful interiors, sample the wine (dessert wine is a triumph), pat the dogs and you must, MUST challenge the family to a game of ping pong on the solid marble table… before adding one to your wishlist.
MOUNT AINOS NATIONAL PARK
Hike with wild horses & golden toothed mountain goats (yes, really – something in the grass apparently) with views over the island and out to the turquoise seas.
JUST DRIVE AND DISCOVER
It certainly seems likely to me that around every single corner of Kefalonia there is beauty just waiting to be discovered so grab a tour guide or hire a car and just drive. Stop at Saint Theodore Lighthouse (well worth our sunrise wakeup to see it bathed in the warm morning light for this shoot), the sinkholes and waterwheel of Argostoli, the castles and the old villages peppering the landscape of olive groves and wild mountains and also… the main event… the beaches.
THE BEST BEACHES
Here you will find the kind of beaches that dreams are made of with those breathtaking, dazzling white rocks plunging deep into seas which need no editing to make their colours pop. So many hidden, unspoilt nooks to be discovered but also many with beach bars and then there are the superstars – famous enough to deserve their own viewpoints from the mountains above. Here are my top picks but, truly, you would be hard pushed to be disappointed with a Kefalonia beach :
Perhaps the most dramatic of them all – the beach that launched a million Pinterest pins of Kefalonia with its mile and a half of sparkling white pebbles. We only had the chance to experience Myrtos from the viewpoints above and what a view she was.
For those magical greek arches and a most charming beach bar – small but perfectly formed (and just a five minute drive from our hotel)
Whilst she cannot claim to be unspoilt, she is indeed a beauty. With the luxe vibe of bamboo sunshades, oversized bohemian floor cushions and rows of striped umbrellas, Antisamos has everything you could wish for if you are looking for a place to spend the day. The water was so calm the day we visited and Acron bar and restaurant served up some excellent seafood.
Down a long and winding road, with a simple cafe and no loungers, Fteri is an uncrowded paradise flanked by dramatic mountains in a giant green arc. We took a private yoga session with @sophialu82 and I truly cannot imagine a more perfect spot for a sun salutation.
Not as jawdropping in the beauty stakes but absolutely a wonderful spot to watch the sunset. Undoubtedly the most special thing about Mounda beach is her nesting sea turtles – visit late July to late September if you hope to witness baby loggerheads taking the first steps.
The final three must see beaches are local recommendations and on my list for next time. Jerusalem is an unspoilt beauty with the bonus of excellent traditional food at Taverna Odysseas (Dimitra’s favourite on the whole island)
DAFNOUDI & EMBLISI
Off the beaten track – you can thank me later because these wonderfully secluded coves are definitely a local secret. Seek out the beaten wooden signs, hike down the tracks and breathe…
Honestly, pretty much any beach you happen to stop at in Kefalonia is going to take your breath away – around every corner is a little slice of the paradise you hope and imagine Greece will be.
Any questions at all, please pop them below in the comments and I will do my very best to answer. Or, if you have been to this magical island, I would so love to hear if you think I missed anywhere from the guide…
Is Kefalonia on your bucket list yet?
blue linen maxi dress – Phase Eight (ON SALE)
aviators – Ray ban, gold dela cuff – Ottoman Hands
beaded necklace & pendant – Monica Vinader (MVINSIDER20-0694 for 20% off)
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swimsuit – John Lewis
white oxford shirt – Beaufort & Blake