Santorini and Mykonos might be the most popular islands in Greece but have you heard of Kefalonia? Gareth and I got married in Crete 4 years ago and we wanted to celebrate our anniversary back in Greece, but we wanted to explore another island. We were looking for something a little different, so Santorini and Mykonos were out of the equation, but where to go…
It ended up being down to 2 islands, Kefalonia and Rhodes. We chose Kefalonia as we knew this would be very different from Crete and that is exactly what we were after (not that Crete isn’t stunning, but variety is the spice of life!). Maybe Rhodes next year, who knows!
We booked a package holiday with Jet2 and stayed at the beautiful Asteris Hotel in Skala. The whole experience was perfect from start to finish but I will say that Skala is on the other side of the island and if you are on a transfer coach, it can take up to 2 hours to get to your accommodation. I wouldn’t let this put you off though as there is so much to do in Skala and plenty of opportunities to explore the rest of the island.
Let’s just get right to it shall we:
The hotel had the most incredible views and I had to pinch myself every morning whilst we were eating breakfast as it really did take my breath away. Kefalonia is very hilly so I would definitely do your research beforehand as there were accommodation options nearer to the town, although we did enjoy being away from it all. The hotel does offer complimentary buses into Skala as well, so that’s good to keep that in mind. If you do go onto their Instagram Page, the rooms look very modern and refurbished however, I think that our room was a little more Greek-style. I actually liked the more rustic/authentic feel of it and we had the biggest terrace with a sea view, so we couldn’t really complain.
The pool area was cracking and the cocktails were immense, we should know as we practically tried the full menu! We only booked breakfast at the hotel but there is an option to go half board and you can eat at the restaurant on a walk-in basis or reserve your table. We decided to spend our anniversary at the hotel and have a nice meal overlooking the ocean. The food and service was second to none.
The food on the island
Let’s get straight to the good part, the food! The food in Skala was so good, we actually didn’t have a bad meal wherever we went and we didn’t even do much research, for a change. We met a lot of people that gave us their recommendations and we tried them all. Luckily I took note and here are a few of our favourites:
Calanga Beach Bar – Boho vibes all around, amazing cocktails and we hired a cabana for 20Euros right on the beach. The first time we went, we tried the Chicken Gyros wrap and the second time we had Pink Barbie Chicken Bao Buns, which were on another level.
Nautilus Seafood Restaurant – In the shape of a boat, overlooking the ocean and midway to our hotel, we just had to step on in. Gareth is definitely more of a seafood fan and everything he had, he really enjoyed. There are other options on the menu as well and I had the halloumi and tomatoes.
Roulas Grillhouse in Fiskardo – Fiskardo is on the other side of the island and if you do venture out that way then we can highly recommend this place. Located right by the harbour, there is a lot of competition, but we just jumped straight into Roulas, as we saw some of the food come out and it looked really good.
Manor House – Back to Skala now and we came across Manor House. Believe it or not, we spotted it from sitting at the cocktail bar next door. We were lucky to get a table as normally you have to make a reservation in advance and we could see why. I would give this a 10 out of 10 and highly recommend you go when visiting Skala. We even booked again for a few days time after our first visit.
Sunrise Fish Restaurant – This restaurant was recommended to us by some other guests in our hotel and when we Googled it, it was literally next door to Calanga Beach Bar where we had been the day before. We headed on down there with no reservation but luckily they did have some tables available – the joys of not going in peak season. The food again was delicious! They had other options than just fish and seafood but I tried the salmon pasta, which was really good.
I would highly recommend booking a tour with one of the kiosks in the town and exploring more of the island. We booked the Kefalonia tour which took us to Fiskardo, Melissani Cave and Mini Myrtos Beach. You have time to explore in each part and it was lovely to see more of the island. You can even do tours to Zante and Ithaca, which I would like to do when we return to the island at a later stage.
You can also hire boats, cars and scooters if you want to do your own thing on the island.
The colour of the ocean was so blue and you literally would only see this in the Caribbean, as I have never seen it this blue in Europe before, apart from Gramvousa and Balos in Crete which were just breathtaking. Near our hotel, there were little bays that were really cute and felt very private. I will say that like many of the Greek Islands, there are a lot of pebble beaches which isn’t really my favourite thing but definitely didn’t put me off for the future, even though my poor feet did take a beating. I think we will invest in some of the ocean shoes that we kept seeing people wear.
All in all, our trip to Kefalonia was sensational. Greece remains one of my favourite places to visit in Europe, from the delicious food to the warm service from the locals and the beautiful beaches and bars, we would definitely go back in a heartbeat.