Kefallonia in detail


Worth a Trip: Assos

It's almost hard to believe that a place as picture-perfect as Assos (population 88) can really exist. The pint-sized village is a confection of Italianate cream- and ochre-coloured houses, with a pretty crescent-shaped cove that’s protected by a wooded peninsula. The fortress atop the headland makes a great hike (3.6km return), while the bay is eminently swimmable, and the water's so clear that you hardly need to put on a snorkel and mask in order to ogle the fish.

A mouthwatering array of tasty tavernas, such as Molos or Platanos, plus a pace so slow you can palpably feel your pulse dropping, are compelling reasons to visit. Apartment Linardos and Vassilis Retreat are both great places to stay.

Want a local secret? There's a hidden beach around the other side of the headland from the jetty at the northern end of the village, but it can only be reached by boat or a 15-minute swim!

Worth a Trip: Ainos National Park

Standing proud over the island is the lumbering hulk of Mt Ainos (1628m), most of which falls within Ainos National Park. The mountain's upper reaches are dominated by ancient, gnarled Greek fir and black pine, through which afternoon mist and cloud frequently swirl. In winter the mountain can be blanketed by snow, and at any time of year the views from close to the top (the actual summit has a crown of radio masts) are astounding.

Visitor facilities within the park are fairly undeveloped, but five walking trails have been established. The trails themselves are well signposted and very clear, though the trailheads are a little less obvious (a road runs right through the middle of the park and up to the summit; to find the trailheads, keep an eye out for information panels). The two most popular trails go up to the summit from opposite sides of the mountain and then loop back around to their respective starting points. Each is around 6.5km and easy, with a fairly gentle ascent. Unfortunately, in both cases the return route is back along the road, so it's best to ignore this and just retrace your steps along the footpath in the forest. Allow 1½ hours, excluding stops.

Another, much more challenging, route heads to the summit from the village of Digaleto, on the road between Sami and Poros. It's a 13km return walk with an altitude gain of 1096m.

If walking isn't your thing, you can drive pretty much all the way to the summit.