If you think that the Greek islands need no introduction, then we'd probably get along really well. Very rarely am I as unsurprised and surprised at the same time when seeing a new sight or a sight that's so subconsciously familiar. That's Greece.
This summer I decided to go away with some friends to the location which inspired Louis de Bernières' book, Captain Corelli's Mandolin. And there we landed, on the beautiful island of Kefalonia, in the middle of the Ionian sea. After landing at the small airport near the main city, Argostoli, we rented a car and off we went in search for our charming B&B on top of a mighty hill. After driving on intricate, tiny roads, we reached the summit and with it, our humble abode where our only neighbour was a strange cat and some tiny bats, and then there was the view...
The evening was calm with a quick dinner next to the local town hall in Dilinata. Despite my best efforts to communicate with the owner of the taverna in his mother tongue, my diplomatic faltered abruptly when I dared to ask him for a menu. I absolutely loved quite how grumpy he was with foreigners interrupting his customs and how quick he was to melt and smile at us by the end of the stay.
The next morning we drove to the famous Myrthos beach, in the North-West of the island and because I actually find it impossible to describe its beauty in words, I will let the pictures take you there...
Next, we hopped back in the car and drove towards the picturesque village of Assos where we stopped for some seafood and frappes. Founded during Venetian times and once the administrative capital of the island, this gem of a village, now home to most of the island's tourism and local fishermen, is a delight to the eye. Whilst there isn't much to do apart from strolling around and a walk to the old castle, everywhere you look, it's just picture-perfect Greece. If I went back to the island, this where I would choose to stay.
On our way back we stocked up on some delicious fresh ingredients for home-made salads on our beautiful terrace. And yes, we did go back to the taverna for wine later.
The following day we went to Sami to explore the mesmerising Melissani Caves where we got on a boat to explore the inside of the caves. There are many stories about this place lost in an amalgam of present and past, adorned with mythologic tellings but reading about it tells you only so much. For us mortals, it is a cave lake resulting from a geological process called karstification, where the limestone bedrock is dissolved by groundwater creating subterranean caverns. The colour is a crystal-clear turquoise where you can see the reflection of your complexion and possibly even your soul.
The following day was perhaps the jewel in the crown when we went to Fteri and Kamari beaches, reached by taking a small boat from a fishermen's village in Zola. This was by far the most beautiful and remote beach. When we had enough of the sun and crystalline waters we returned on a boat for lunch at the Fisherman's Hut. The menu was...non-existent and the food was the delicious catch of the day.
We next went to Antisamos beach where we spent the rest of the day sunbathing and indulging in water activities before getting ready to leave to explore Argostoli.
From there, off we went to the airport and back to not-so-sunny England. My conclusion? For a 3 day trip, we packed in a lot and had an absolutely amazing time. I think it's one of the most beautiful places I have been to and only regret not staying for longer. If it's your first time, have a look here for some more tips.