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The largest of the Ionian islands, Kefalonia has some of the most beautiful and instantly recognisable beaches in all of Greece. It was of course Kefalonia with its rugged scenery and rustic charm which formed the backdrop to Louis de Bernieres' classic Captain Corelli's Mandolin and since the success both the book and film have enjoyed a healthy number of visitors have streamed to the island each year. Thankfully the large size of Kefalonia means it has been able to retain its unspoilt Grecian charm and avoid being buried under mass tourism.

Temperature

Temperatures on the island range from scorching during the height of summer in August to a more bearable mid 20s just a few weeks later when the beaches are quieter and when accommodation is cheaper too.

Celebrations

If you happen to be on the island on October 20th you may well encounter the crowds celebrating the 2nd feast of the island's very own patron saint, namely, St. Gerasimos. The 1st feast is celebrated on the 16th of August when the saint's exhumed body is passed over ill and sick people in the belief an encounter will heal them of their maladies.

Beaches

Not to be missed is of course Myrtos Beach where turquoise green waters meet white sands and lap the shores like a lullaby while sheer cliffs look down over the beach. It's easy to see why this is one of the most photographed beaches in the world.

Other beaches of note include Emblissi where you can relax beneath the shade of Cypress trees. Being too shallow for motor boats makes it ideal for swimming of course. Then there is Assos beach where you can swim with the castle in view.

Agios Gerasimos monastery

Visitors to the the Byzantine Agios Gerasimos monastery are often surprised to learn that they are in a relatively modern structure. Built in 1953 with colourful biblical scenes festooning the walls, the current monastery replaced the more ancient structure that was decades ago destroyed by an earthquake. Visitors in search of some genuine antiquity can explore the caves inside the chapel where the island's patron saint is thought to have spent many an hour in quiet contemplation.

Visit some Grecian villages

There can be no doubt that the best way to explore the rugged island is by car which will afford you many options when it comes to exploring some of the island's charming villages such as Fiscardo, Agia Efimia and the picturesque Assos with its distinguished castle overlooking the bay below. The island's impressive network of roads mean that you can get to these beautiful places with relative ease.

Beyond Kefalonia

If you fancied exploring a little farther afield there are the islands of Lefkas, Zante and Ithica close by making them ideal destinations to visit via ferry. You can enjoy a holiday within a holiday!

Underground lakes

Visit the underground lake and cave of Melissani with its fascinating subterranean network of waterways and where mysterious and ancient stalactites hang from the ceiling of this natural underground wonder.

Nightlife

While Kefalonia makes for the ideal quiet holiday, there are also bars and clubs for those wanting to stay up until the wee hours. Most of the nightlife is focused in Argostoli which has its own array of clubs and discos.

Wildlife

Kefalonia is also known for its diverse and impressive wildlife. Loggerhead and Green turtles, the Mediterranean Monk Seal can all be spotted in Kefalonia and up in Mount Aenos you may spot the wild ponies often said to be the descendants of the wild horses of Thrace. Looking skyward, keep your eyes open for Griffon vultures, buzzards, goshawks, woodpeckers and the magnificent eagle-owl along with an array of exotic butterflies.

Check A1 Travel for all the best deals on package holidays to the beautiful island of Kefalonia. Whether you're looking for a complete unwind at an all inclusive resort or want to go self-catering, A1 Travel are sure to have the best deals when it comes to picking your next family holiday. Check out our range of package holidays and last minute holidays that could see you setting off to warmer climes sooner than you think.