The Greek Island of Kefalonia is the largest in the Ionian Sea, famous for its crystal-clear waters, long stretches of golden sands, and charming villages. Kefalonia is also renowned for its unique biodiversity, which you’ll discover when hiking around the island. During your hike, you’ll also come across many breathtaking beaches, with most of them having clear water, perfect for snorkelling. You can also stroll through picturesque towns, such as Assos and Fiskardo.
Here are the hiking destinations to try in Kefalonia.
Lassi is a picturesque village just behind Argostoli, the capital of Kefalonia. Facing the sea and surrounded by scenic hills, Lassi has a very relaxing vibe, and the best way to explore its unspoilt beauty is on a hike.
Lassi is easy to get around, and you will find hiking trails taking you to various areas in the town. You can hike towards the beautiful Makris Gialos Beach, an idyllic sandy beach with gorgeous turquoise waters. The beach also offers fun water sports, including a pedalo boat. It’s also possible to hike to the nearby Argostoli town from Lassi. The distance between the two towns is 8 kilometres, which should take around 2 to 3 hours. Argostoli has a lovely marina, where you’ll find a range of shops, restaurants, and bars. If you don’t feel like walking back, you can take a taxi to Lassi, which would take around 5 to 10 minutes.
Another beach you can explore in Lassi on a hike is Myrtos Beach, a lovely beach surrounded by picturesque green hills. The beach has been made famous by the film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. You can hike up the nearby hills to enjoy a panoramic view of the island.
2. Agia Efimia
About 30 km from Argostoli, you’ll find the town of Agia Efimia, lying along the east coast of Kefalonia. Characterised for its rocky coves, which you can explore on a hike, Agia Efimia is one of Greece’s most picturesque fishing villages. It has a lovely marina, where you’ll find beachside cafes and tavernas, and a popular spot for yachting fanatics.
The trail from Agia Efimia to Themata is popular among hikers visiting Kefalonia. It starts on the road beside a pharmacy in Agia Efimia, taking you to the village of Tarkassata. The road is quite sloped and is about 3 kilometres long. Along the way, you’ll find many spots to admire the breathtaking views of the village, including the nearby island of Ithaca.
From Tarkassata, make your way to the Monastery of Mother of God, a great place to relax and enjoy a picnic under the shade of an Oak tree. When it’s time to go back to Agia Efimia, you can take the Drakopoulata trail, which takes you through another ruined village home to beautifully renovated ancient houses. If you don’t want to walk up, you can take the taxi to Themata Monastery and hike back to Agia Efimia.
If you’re looking to hike in a place surrounded by unspoilt scenery, head to the southern tip of Kefalonia, where you’ll find the charming little village of Skala. This former sleepy fishing village is now a bustling seaside town with many bars and restaurants lining its 3-km stretch of powdery white sands. There are also plenty of incredible luxury beach villas in Kefalonia, with Skala being home to many of them. Skala is an excellent place for hiking, offering numerous sights to see along the way, such as the Drogarati Cave and the Temple of Apollo.
To get a taste of the local culture, hike around the Old Town of Skala, which lies further up a hill and opens to the spectacular views of the Ionian Sea and the nearby island of Zante. Wander around its old streets to marvel at the beautiful historical buildings and churches. Check out the Roman Villa, the only ancient site to have survived the devastating earthquake that shook Kefalonia in 1953.
While hiking in Skala, explore the mysterious Caves of Drogarati, which are over 150 million years old and were only discovered after the earthquake exposed them. Walk around the caves and descend the steps towards a depth of 60 metres. The caves can be quite daunting to navigate, but you are free to roam around and explore wherever you please.
Sami is another delightful place to explore while hiking Kefalonia. It’s a pedestrian-friendly town with wide paved streets lined with Venetian buildings and exudes a laidback charm. You can also stroll through the main coastal road lined with shops, great restaurants, and cafes.
Indeed, the area of Sami is a true paradise for hikers. It’s a fabulous place to admire breathtaking nature views, where you’ll come across stunning coves and imposing hills during your hike. You will find numerous trails within walking distance of the village. There’s a hill above the town, with a path taking you to the ruins of an ancient castle. It is accessible from the road through a marked trail, which opens to spectacular views of the Ionian Sea.
You can also hike to the nearby village of Karavomylos, a very tranquil place, home to the scenic Mellisani Lake. The road that connects Sami to Karavomylos is very picturesque. You’ll pass by Antisamos Beach, a picturesque spot worth a stop to enjoy a refreshing dip before you continue your hike.
Assos is a pretty little village about 36 km away from Argostoli. Perched on a small peninsula, it is renowned for the presence of the ruined Venetian Castle, which you can explore on your hike of the village.
On your hike, you’ll also pass by the pebbled Assos Beach, with sun loungers and umbrellas, where you can relax while enjoying the views. At the tip of the beach, you’ll find a cave and several rocks to jump off if you’re brave enough.
You can also hike to Fiskardo village from Assos, which lies in the northernmost part of the island. It is home to an incredible bay with colourful houses sheltered by tall pine trees. Fiskardo is also home to a lovely port, with many beautiful restaurants and bars to indulge in refreshing drinks after a hike.