The largest and probably the most secluded of Greece’s Ionian Islands, Kefalonia is a mesmerizing place you won’t have to share with the masses. Instead, there is plenty of space to breathe and enjoy its captivating coastlines, coves, and harbor-front villages. Although a disastrous Earthquake of 1953 destroyed most of its Venetian charm, the survivors who did not leave the island rebuilt everything from scratch according to strict anti-earthquake specifications. As a result, Kefalonia’s biodiversity is one of a kind. Hence, I’m excited to experience this secluded paradise from the front row. Five days in Greece is exactly what I need.
The Secluded Paradise of Kefalonia
Exploring the unknown
A golden evening sun washes over Kefalonia as my rented Toyota rolls past its tattered cliffs and onto Agia Efimia. My navigation seems just as lost as I am, so I knock on the supposably nearby butcher’s door. “Give me a second, and I’ll drive you to the hotel,” the gentleman offers while removing his head from the pig’s carcass. Quite a first impression, I think to myself, following his car. The secluded Péra Perou Villas look scrumptious, even in the dark.
By unpacking my suitcase, I make room for my Greek adventure on the unknown island. Too tired for dinner, I snack on the sesame crackers bought on my way from the airport. Then, finally, the comforting silence of the raindrops brushing against the poolside terras rocks me to sleep.
Wabi-Sabi Culture & Panoramic views
Where to stay in Kefalonia: Raw luxury at the Péra Perou Villas
My fascination for wabi-sabi aesthetics significantly deepened over the past couple of years. Originally planted by the Japanese, the ancient concept recognizes beauty in imperfection. Additionally, it crushes vanity and materialism with humble simplicity. Hence why I knew the villas would be right up my alley. They are all furnished with natural elements like wooden tables, white linen couches, and greek figurines; the walk-in shower overlooks the majestic mountain top. Unspoiled minimalism and quietude exist in equal measure. Wrapped in an olive tree garden, the undisturbed paradise oomphs luxury. To my surprise, Kefalonia remains green all year round due to abundant rainfall caused by the Ionian climate. An entirely different experience compared to the other summery Greek Islands I visited over the years.
Clear blue waters & pristine pebble beaches
Kefalonia’s Myrtos beach is one for in the books
Greek beaches are often synonymous with a spectacular strand of white sand and bright blue waters. However, Kefalonia’s Myrtos Beach, located 29 km north of Argostoli, has pristine pebbles in store for me. Something completely unexpected that takes me a while to grow accustomed to. Although I still prefer sand under my feet, I can easily see why it’s considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The rays of sunshine hit all the right angles of the surrounding cliffside. Undoubtedly a place of solitude and calm. Must wear layers, though. It can get windy up there.
Mount Ainos National Park
Where nature meets serenity
My trip glides along effortlessly. A wildly transforming escape far away from the office desk and my social agenda. I realize that the gift of being fully present in the tranquillity of nature is something I take for granted in my busy day-to-day lifestyle. I inhale the oleander-scented air as deep as I possibly can. This level of calm feels new to me, and I’m here for it. Unlike Mykonos of Santorini, who are crowd-welcoming, Kefalonia’s nightlife is more laid back. Fiskardo, for example, is the most vibrant of its towns, drenched in cozy cafeterias, colorful fish taverns, and many street cats. On the other hand, Fir-tree lovers like myself will find refuge in the 3,000 hectares stretching Mount Ainos National Park.
Kefalonia is the only Greek Island to have a National Park. Its circular hiking path of 6,184m will treat you to the most exquisite island views.
Cozy Coastal in Kefalonia
Agia Effimia is one of those places where everyone knows your name. It’s cozy and laid-back, perfectly suitable for couples or friends who like to relax and indulge in a beautiful dinner at the pier. The pastel-hued Assos and Fiskardo, on the other hand, are more bubbly and outgoing. Hence why, I consider Kefalonia Island one of many layers worth discovering.