Kefalonia Car Hire
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Off to Kefalonia soon? Lucky you. For many people, the 6th-largest island in Greece (and the biggest of the Ionian group) is the most magical location in the country. Its curvaceous coastline hosts charming coves and beautiful bays skirted by soft sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. But its interior is idyllic too – the terrain here is verdant, mountainous, and peppered with scented meadows and thick oak forests. Pretty towns and fishing villages feature elegant Venetian architecture and there’s a warm welcome wherever you go.
Top attractions in Kefalonia include the beautiful beaches at Petani and Myrtos, Drogarati Cave, and the 16th-Century Agios Georgios castle. Kefalonia is the setting for Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and if you’ve read the book (or seen the movie adaptation), there ambience is as romance-laden as you’d expect. And it’s no slouch when it comes to wildlife either – as well as the massive goat population, there are ferrets, pine martins, dolphins, sharks, seals and turtles.
Hire a car in Kefalonia and the island is yours to explore at your leisure. And nowhere makes it easier than Enjoy Travel – just enter your travel dates for a choice of low-cost deals from major providers in a click. For instance, a mini-sized Suzuki Celerio costs around £12 a day if you book in plenty of time, an economy-sized Opel Corsa is £14 a day and a compact-sized Volkswagen Polo costs just £15 a day. Sort out your Kefalonia car hire with Enjoy Travel and get ready to hit the road.
Like many islands in this neck of the woods, Kefalonia features heavily in Greek mythology. In some accounts, it’s associated with Cephalus, a mythological figure awarded the island as a gift for helping Mycenae in its war against the Teleboans and Taphians. And it has also been suggested that Kefalonia might be the mythical Ithaca that Homer referred to as the home of Odysseus, rather than the modern island of Ithaca. Fast forward a few millennia and Kefalonia was part of the province of Achaea in the late Roman Empire, then became a vital hub for the Byzantine Empire, and was later part of the Kingdom of Sicily and Venice, and the Ottoman Empire. Kefalonia didn’t become a part of the Greek state until 1864, endured a turbulent time under Axis Powers occupation during WWII, and today takes its place as a thriving destination blessed by superb scenery and fascinating history.
Kefalonia’s culture is as deep and diverse as its history. Famous writers who hail from here include journalist and poet Babis Anninos, prose writer and satirist Andreas Laskaratos, and its also renowned for religious artists like Ilias Moschos and Stephanos Tzankarolas – several ornate church interiors across the island bear testament to their amazing talents. Kefalonia’s rich musical heritage is also evidenced by Arietta singing and indigenous dancing, while its theatre and opera scenes have a heavy Italian influence. If you’re visiting Kefalonia during the summer, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to enjoy one of its colourful traditional festivals too. For instance, there’s a fiesta held in honour of the Virgin Mary on August 15th each year, the island’s protector Agios Gerasimos is honoured on August 18th and there’s a huge feast to celebrate the Monastery of Panagia Agrillion on August 23rd. Other notable events held during this action-packed month include the Robola Wine Festival and International Music Festival.
If you’ve got a sense of adventure (and reasonable stamina) Kefalonia has a lot of unusual attractions to offer. For instance, if you’re game for a tough trek up a rocky pathway from Assos Village, there’s a Venetian castle perched on a crag 170m above the bay. When you make it to the top, you can explore the ruins and enjoy the breath-taking views. Melissani Cave is another must-see – a dazzling azure underground lake that’s lit up by a hole in the rock above – get here via kayak and you’ll see otherworldly rock formations and chameleonic colours as the sunlight hits the water and cave walls. And strolling over the De Bosset bridge is another unique experience – as well as the lovely views it affords of the Koutavos Lagoon near Argostoli, you might spot loggerhead turtles bobbing up and down as they feed in the water.
Things to do in Kefalonia
Take the high road
Feeling energetic? How does climbing the tallest mountains on Kefalonia sound? Mount Aenos is a lofty 1628m above sea level and sits in a spectacular national park. Once you’re dressed appropriately, the most popular route up to the top is the Digaleto - Megas Soros trail, a 6.5km trek starting at the village of Digaleto which takes most people around 4 and a half hours to complete. Around 700m up, you’ll enter a verdant section of black pine and Greek fir woods where wild ponies skip through the trees, and the views from the rock ridge at the peak are amazing – on a clear day you see several Ionian islands and right across the Peloponnese peninsula.
Capture the castle
Or at least explore it! Agios Georgios Castle sits proudly on a hill southeast of Argostoli and the ruins of this former Venetian powerhouse are always worth seeing. With a commanding position 300m above 300m above sea-level, the views across the surrounding countryside are awesome and you can see why this site was prized by the Byzantines and Ottoman Empire before the Venetians. Some of the remains are remarkably well preserved – you can even see noble coats of arms on the walls of some houses and there are also two interesting medieval church ruins. Looking out across Mount Aenos, to the rolling green vineyards and crystalline Ionian sea, you’re instantly transported across centuries and cultures.
Want to explore an underground labyrinth? Drogorati Cave is located close to Sami and was first revealed after an 18th century earthquake. Open to the public since the 1960s, you’ll see spectacular stalagmites and stalactites as you make your descent, and the temperature is always cool and fresh. The Chamber of Exaltation is the largest in the entire complex (at 900 square metres) and full-scale concerts have been hosted there. For a trip to the underworld that you’ll never forget, Drogorati Cave takes some beating.
Fancy chowing down on rustic farm to table fare on a scenic patio? Casa Grec in the main port of Argostoli will be right up your street. The food here looks simple but tastes spectacular – think generous servings of perfectly seasoned grilled beef and fish accompanied by fresh, tangy salads. Ideal for a romantic meal, this is definitely a connoisseur’s choice.
Lively taverna vibes
Another Argostoli favourite, Ampelaki is a waterfront taverna that beautifully blends traditional and contemporary vibes. The Kreatopita pie is exquisite, but everything is freshly prepared, and the energetic restaurant team maintain a friendly and upbeat energy that perfectly complements the dynamic menu. Try Ampelaki for a meal to remember.
If you’re visiting the picture-postcard village of Fiskardo, Mirella’s is a family-run restaurant that offers panoramic views and delicious home-made dishes. The Souvlaki and Saganaki are particular favourites, and they also make some stunning cocktails – park up your car for the duration if you want to sample a few!
The nearest airport to Kefalonia is Kefalonia International Airport (EFL). It’s a great place to pick up your hire car and serves several international destinations. Carriers here include Aegean Airlines, Air Serbia, British Airways, easyJet and Lufthansa.
The public transport provision in Kefalonia consists of the local bus service. Services can take you to and from hotspots like Myrtos Beach, Gerasimos Monastery and Skala in the same day, so it’s always an option. One note of caution though – plan your route ahead as you may need to take several connecting buses to reach the most remote locations on the island.
Hiring a car is the easiest and most convenient way to travel around Kefalonia. Remember that the driver and all passengers must wear seatbelts, never drink and drive and always carry your driver’s license with you. Speed limits on Kefalonia are 50km/h in built-up areas (although they dip to 30km/h in some sections), 110km/h on open roads and 120km/h on motorways.