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The largest of the Ionian Islands, Kefalonia (or Cephalonia as it is sometimes referred to) is a place that demands to be explored. Drive along its ever-changing coastline and you’ll discover no end of inviting coves and beguiling beach-lined bays. Head off into the mountainous interior and you can very quickly find yourself transported into captivating rural scenes. Here the air is laced with the scent of oleander and the tranquillity of the wild meadows is only disturbed by the occasional bleating of goats.
Once renowned for its Venetian architecture, much of which was destroyed by a catastrophic earthquake in 1953, you can still lose yourself amid the Italianate streets and villas that line the pretty harbours of villages such as Fiscardo and Assos. The island was given a tourist boost when it featured in Louis de Bernieres’ novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, but there’s plenty more than just a footnote in literary history to detain you as you drive around Kefalonia.
If you are flying in to Kefalonia you can arrange to pick up your hire car from the airport. It’s about an hour’s drive north from the airport to the Argostoli, the island’s capital city.
Kefalonia is extremely mountainous and its diverse landscapes and charming towns and villages are spread out across its breadth. Hiring a car here ensures you are able to see all of the wonderful places on offer with ease.
If you already have a transfer arranged to your hotel, you can arrange to pick up your car from many of the major resorts on the island.
Simply plug in the dates you require your vehicle for into our car hire comparison engine and you can choose the most convenient location for pick up. We work with a wide network of car hire providers so there’s always plenty of choice, allowing you to select the perfect car for your party from the wide range available.
Thanks to our network of providers you’ll also always have access to the latest deals on cheap car hire in Kefalonia.
The capital city of Argostoli is graced by lovely plazas filled with inviting cafes and restaurants. Stroll through its streets to the waterfront promenade where a footbridge offers a romantic walk to the other side of the bay. Keep your eyes peeled for the numerous seabirds flying overhead and the loggerhead turtles in the water.
Make sure you visit the archaeological museum – although small in size it is rich in treasures. It is widely regarded as one of the most important museums in Greece for its exhibits from the Mycenaean era (approximately 1500–1100 BC).
The drive out to the Paliki Peninsula in the west is stunning. The countryside gradually changes from towering rocky cliffs on the coast into flat farmland, marshy grasslands and rows of neat vineyards.
Head north for the delightful Myrtos Beach and the seaside towns of Assos and Fiskardo. At Myrtos the water is so incredibly bright it looks almost as though there must be spotlights illuminating it from below. A short drive north of this cliff-backed beach is the picturesque, Venetian-styled village of Assos where vines and flowers cling to the pastel-coloured homes.
At the northern tip of the island you’ll find the upscale sailing village of Fiscardo. Amid the splendour you’ll discover many well-preserved remains from the Roman era – including graves, a bathhouse, a theatre and homes.
A drive into the interior of Kefalonia will bring you to an underground river and cave that is fascinating to explore. Try to visit Melissani Cave around noon as this is when you can see the dramatic effect of the sunlight beaming in through the ceiling. Take a boat tour to watch the underground river emptying into the sea. The cave is located just a mile or so from the small harbour town of Sami, where the movie adaptation of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was filmed.
Kefalonia is large, mountainous and very diverse. There are numerous towns, beaches and sites to explore, but much of the joy is in the journey itself. Its quiet roads invite you to drive slowly and soak up the scenic splendour.
To really get a feel for the magic of this island set in the crystal-clear waters of the Ionian Sea, make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to explore.
Wherever your car hire in Kefalonia takes you it will reward you with hidden beaches, historic sites, tempting wineries and attractive harbour villages. Enjoy your trip – and take everything at a relaxed pace!