If you’re looking to explore Kefalonia’s natural attractions on your next visit, here are five places we think you should definitely visit.
1. The Cave of Melissani
Just a few miles outside of Sami is the Cave of Melissani, which was rediscovered in 1951. Located around 500m from the sea, it’s an unusual place: a cave filled with a lake, surrounded by trees and other plants. It’s thought that the cave dates back to the 3rd or 4th century BC as a result of the discovery of historical artefacts there, and it’s a popular place for visitors. If you can, visit at noon: as one of the cave’s roofs no longer exists, midday sees the cavern filled with sunlight that bounces off the turquoise water – a magical sight.
2. Drogorati Cave
If caves are your thing, we definitely suggest you also visit the Drogorati Cave, 5km south of Sami village. While it was discovered 300 years ago, it was only opened to the public in 1963 – and is thought to be 150 million years old. Filled with stalactites and stalagmites and even a small lake, it’s a beautiful example of nature creating art.
3. Mt. Ainos National Park
The only national park on any of the Greek islands including Crete, Mt. Ainos National Park stretches across 3,000 hectares of the island and is a haven for nature lovers. Two-thirds of the park is covered by a single native species of fir tree – Abies Cephalonica – giving the park a seriously impressive look, and also offering hikers plenty of shade. There are various hiking trails throughout the park, with a range of lengths and difficulty levels, and depending on which you choose, you may well get to see anything from semi-wild horses and caves to mountains and amazing sea views along the way.
If you want to be wowed by geology, head to Katavothres. Here, just 3km from Argostoli, a very rare geological phenomenon takes place. Here, sea water flows inland…and disappears, entering sinkholes below sea level. Experiments in 1963 showed that after disappearing into these sinkholes, the water travelled via underground rivers all the way to the Melissani Cave 15km away, taking 2 weeks to reach its destination.
5. Loggerhead Turtles in Argostoli
Argostoli Bay is home to a population of loggerhead turtles who aren’t afraid of people – they’ll swim up quite close. The best time to see them in the bay is at around 9am when the fishermen return: the turtles congregate around the fishing vessels as they know the fishermen are likely to throw them some scraps.
If these stunning natural attractions appeal to you, contact us to book your next visit today.