It wouldn’t be a normal summer without an escape to beautiful Greece. Having spend a fair amount of time in the Cyclades and Aegean Sea, this year’s destination is Kefalonia, an island in the Ionian Sea, west of mainland Greece, marked by sandy coves and dry rugged landscapes.
Kefalonia is one of the larger islands I’ve been to, and when you hire a car you will quickly come to recognise the endless amount of rugged, desert-like countryside in between the little villages and towns. There are many faces to the Island and the vegetation changes quickly from bone dry to luscious pine, cypress and olive tree groves. Well known for its wine production, at the foot of Mt. Anos vineyards produce the popular Kefalonian Robola wine variety.
We chose to stay far far away from the touristy resorts, which nowadays destroy the authenticity of any Greek island. If you are in the same boat as me, avoid the southern coast of the island. That doesn’t mean that you can’t find a nice beach down there, but you will also find half of the UK and mainland Europe slurping a cocktail next to you.
Our place of choice – Agia Efimia, a little fishing village with a small harbour, tucked away on the east coast of the island. The village is small but has everything you would want – breathtaking sea views, authentic tavernas, 3 local supermarkets, 1 meat market and a number of very well equipped bakeries. The village is a bit off the beaten path but also the favourite holiday spot for Greeks who come to visit the island. Localisation – tick!
We managed to bag a studio right by the edge of the water – Ballas Apartments is an absolute insider tip. The photos on Booking.com don’t make the location justice and the views of the apartments is breathtaking. Stravos is a great host, welcoming you with bottles of local Kefalonian wine and home-made baklava from the village bakery. Your balcony opens up to the Ionian sea and every morning at 7am an amazing sunrise greets you to start the day. The property has a large outside space with Bougainvillea bushes, olive trees and lots of space to lounge if you want to descend from your own private balcony. Some steep steps allow you to access the water straight from the property – absolute bliss in the mid-day heat.
So far we have spend our days watching the harbour activity, sailing boats arriving or heading off for a day of exploring. Wandering into the village to buy some local produce for lunch, cooking some local recipes. Enjoy an aperitif on the balcony watching the sunset. Walking into the village for dinner in one of the tavernas. What more could you want?