KEFALONIA – SWEET AND SLOW
So this was the first island on the plan, quite far away but still very well connected with… UK! To get there from Athens I got on a bus in the city, then ferry from Piraeus to the port of Sami and from there again one bus ride down to the other side of the island, the final destination Lixouri.
The little city competes with the capital Argostoli for fame and tourists’ delights (which I call traps).
You can take a ferry from Lixouri to Argostoli every 60 minutes for just 2.5€ per person, the attendant
will come to you upstairs with the tickets and ask you the same question over and over – also a bit rudely – ‘how many tickets? Have a card?’ Apparently there is a card that would give you some discount, but you cannot buy it on board or at the ferry stop. Mysteries of Greece.
Rent a car – best way to get around
Renting a bike, a car or a quad seems to be the only way to get around while on the islands, so a bike rental per day here was roughly 20€ +full tank. Fuel is in fact not cheap at all in Greece, and these bike consume quite a lot so you might find yourself actually spending more on fuel than in rental fee.
Got the bike, off to some sightseeing of the island, driving on some quite steep roads with dramatic sea views and mountains.
Kefalonia doesn’t really have nice roads, but they at least connect lots of different villages without having to drive all around the island. The best way to get around is to have a local map because it contains lots of practical information on where – roughly – the places worth a visit are.
A GPS map on your mobile would help a lot, signs on the roads are basically in Greek most of the time so it is easy to miss your turn or drive away from your destination.
Nice indeed, but in reality much smaller than what you see in the pictures. Greek have a funny way to direct you to sightsee places, perhaps a bit bare but certainly effective.
Inside Melissani cave, the little gondoliers will row around the cave, take you inside and repeat over and overt the same little story about the cave. They can fit up to 10 people on one boat, the ride last for max.20min and off you go. 7€ euro per person, thank you.
Another cave that you might want to include along the ride is Drogarati Cave. Very small and basically almost flat inside within one very big room. 5€ per person, step down to the cave and closes at 5 pm.
There is something about Kefalonia, some sort of inner pride that you breath around. Things are simpler, slower and sunnier. But in the main square of Lixouri they still know how to trap a tourist.
Somebody said that coffee is more than just a sip&go in Greece, it’s an institution. True. But the drink that everybody seemed to have at all the times was NesFrappe, literally Cold Frappe (ice coffee).
I tried a Nes Frappe at almost every bar or cafe where I went and the result was sometimes disappointing. Not good most of the times, with some exceptions, you learn fast how to instruct the waiter with or without sugar and milk.
Nes Frappe is basically Nescafé powder mixed with sugar, blended and with the addition of water and ice cubes. The best part is the creamy top, but keep mixing it while drinking, so the rest doesn’t get too watery.
Kefalonia has also a variety of Ibiza-wanna-be beach clubs and hotels, but be ready to pay up to 7€ per cocktail if the Dj is spinning. Lots of teens but nice beach decor. The hotels were mainly built in the seventies, and they still look like it.
Countless tavernas everywhere, cafe and frozen yogurts shops at every corner. Tourists traps and free wifi. Welcome to the dining world of the Greek islands where each table cloth comes with an island map.
Like most of the tavernas, small selection of meat and fish mains, don’t forget to ask what’s the special of the day and have an early dinner if you want to taste the famous Kefalonia meat pie. We tried twice and both times was finished. Food is nice and home-made, I liked the patio and that there was no sign at the entrance.
Bella Mafia Restaurant
The name says it all. Best pizza I ever had away from Italy.
Drinks in Kefalonia
Bars and cafe’ – Lixouri and Argostoli – are basically designed for tourists and priced as much.
A safe choice all the time is a local draft beer, either Alpha or Mythos.