Ionian Sea. A paradise on earth. It is what I would name "nature at its best". Crystal clear blue waters, unique sea life, endless kilometers of green forests that result straight into white beaches. The Ionian sea is quite different in all aspects from the infamous Aegean Sea. However, it is the closest to paradise one can get to. Honestly. The island vibes genuinely communicate the joy of getting lost.
As I have previously stated our father was an inveterate traveller, especially when he was really young and often to far-off countries. When Nat and I were really small, we would jump into our family's Land Rover and take endless road trips around Greece and Europe - no specific destination ever known. We have been traveling all our lives; it is somehow a necessity. That is why when we I go to a place I have never been before, I need to head out of the hotel room and explore. I can't stay in and just hit the pool and drink cocktails. Needless to say I will do all of the aforementioned, but I JUST HAVE TO get out there and see what hidden gems the nature and universe have to offer. Each place has a million stories to tell, one just needs to keep his eyes and ears open and just follow the signs.
When the people of Katsouris Travel Agency offered this trip to dreamy Kefalonia, I was overwhelmed with joy. I was already thinking of going to the Ionian Sea sometime this Summer, as it's been ages since my last getaway. I have been to Kefalonia three times in the past and I still remember the magical beaches, the Caretta Caretta's swimming right next to us, the endless green scenery and
the yummiest food.
Still, there were so many places I did not ever get a chance to see and experience; the island is big and after last year's earthquake, many roads were demolished and access to many beaches was restricted. Everything however, is coming back to normal again this year.
The first stop of my trip was Melissani Cave, one of the most amazing places to visit in Kefalonia and one of the places I always dreamt of going, but had never made it up to now. Discovered in 1951, the place is just magical. In Greek Mythology, Melissani was the Cave of the Nymphs; a huge cave surrounded by trees and a forest. The lake's bottom is full of stones and the waters are crystal clear blue.
My next stop was Antisamos bay. It is by far one of the most beautiful beaches on the Island. It is located approximately 27 km from Argostoli (where I stayed) and it is very close to Sami Port. There is a beach bar and a restaurant on spot that provides tourists with all the necessary. The waters are turquoise and the beach is surrounded by green hills. I just did not want to get out of the water; it's so clean and revitalizing, it made me feel so fresh and happy!
On day two, I woke up pretty early and had breakfast in my hotel, the incredible Kefalonia Grand located in the centre of Argostoli (more on that later). I decided to take a morning walk along the marina and came across many small Caretta Caretta's swimming next to the boats. It was phenomenal! The fishermen give them names and feed them every day; they protect them and consider them "family". As I said before, nature at its best.
Next stop was of course Myrtos beach, one of the most popular beaches on earth, very often appearing on the top 10 list of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Myrtos beach is lying amongst two mountains, namely Agia Dynati and Kalon Oros.
P.S. Myrtos was the beach were the explosion occurred in Captain Corelli's Mandolin movie.
A piece of advice; if you plan to spend the whole day there make sure you apply sunscreen regularly. Due to the white rocks on the beach, the sun's reflection is extremely intense and one can get easily sunburnt without even noticing it (can happen to the best of us). We eventually spent the entire day there and it felt like a dream.
On day three, we headed to Costa Costa beach located in Makrys Gialos - in really close proximity to the centre of Argostoli. It is one of the prettiest organized beaches of the island. It is considered ideal for families as there's both a restaurant and a beach bar, sun-beds, and the service is quite good. Plus, the sea is very clean and the people that work on the beach super friendly & polite.
Concerning my uber hotel now, Kefalonia Grand Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel located in the heart of Argostoli. Its architecture will thrill you and as promised the hotel's guests "will experience the historic elegance of an earlier era and the modern comforts of a top-rated boutique hotel". And to be honest, I could not agree more. The service was truly impeccable and the whole atmosphere rather charming and relaxing. I cannot thank them enough for having me.
I wish I had more days to spend on the island, but unfortunately duty called. There are so many more places to visit and I promised I would head back soon. #backbeforeyouknowit
- Nef x