Wild, beautiful Kefallonia, the largest of the Ionian Islands, feels like an independent land. Its intriguing bounty includes friendly people, bucolic villages, rugged mountains, rich vineyards, soaring coastal cliffs and golden beaches. The 1953 earthquake devastated many of the island’s settlements and much of the architecture is relatively modern. Surviving villages such as Assos and Fiskardo, and the ebullient quality of life as in rebuilt Argostoli, the capital, enliven everything. Under-explored areas like Paliki Peninsula, excellent unique cuisine, and great wines round out a spectacular island.