Greek Guide

Kefalonia Cephallonia Car Hire Greece Kefalonia

Kefalonia Cephallonia Car Hire Greece Greek Rentals

Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian islands and although you can reach most places of interest by bus you might prefer to hire a car or scooter so you can explore this fascinating island at your leisure. There are dozens of rental firms in the capital Argostoli, the main port of Sami and in the resort areas around the island. Hiring a moped is a popular way to get around but be warned that many of the mountain roads are narrow and tortuous with sheer, unprotected drops so two wheeled transport is definitely not for the faint hearted.

With the freedom of your own set of wheels you'll be able to skirt the island's coastline, stopping off at Kefalonia's many superb beaches, and make forays into the interior to explore stalactite caves, ancient monasteries and densely forested mountainous countryside.

If the east coast port of Sami is your starting point, take the road north to the well signposted Melissani Cave where you can take a guided boat tour of an awesome subterranean lake, fed by sea water channeled from the west coast of the island. If you follow the Argostoli road out of Sami you'll see signs to the equally breathtaking Drogarati Cave, four kilometres west of the port. The huge cavern, adorned with impressive stalagmites and stalactites, has such good acoustics that it has become one of the world's most atmospheric concert venues.

About halfway along the trans island Sami to Argostoli road you can take a turn off into the national park of Mount Ainos a nature lovers' paradise cloaked with a forest of unique fir trees (Abies Cephalonica) which give the island its name. You can drive almost to the summit of the 1632 metre mountain to enjoy spectacular views of the Greek mainland and neighbouring Ionian islands.

Shortly after the Mount Ainos turning another road leads up to the huge Agios Gerasimos monastery which houses the preserved body of its namesake saint. Visit the nearby winery for a guided tour and some free gulps of the island's famous Robola wine.

From here the road leads south west to Agios Georgios, the medieval capital of the island, where you can visit the ruins of a 16th century Venetian castle. The English poet Lord Byron lived in the nearby village of Metaxta for a few months in the 1820s.

The drive from Argostoli along the west coast to Fiskardo, at the northern tip of the island, is one of the most gasp inducing routes in the whole of the Greek islands. The cliff edge road takes you past beautiful Myrtos Beach, arguably one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, and on to the lovely unspoilt village of Assos. It's worth taking a detour into Assos where local homes cling to a small isthmus which connects the island with a hilly peninsula topped by a Venetian fortress.

While away a few hours in Fiskardo which is the prettiest village on the island, peppered with pastel painted Venetian buildings mercifully intact after the 1953 earthquake which devastated both Sami and Argostoli.