Picture azure seas and cloudless skies; eating delicious fresh seafood on chequered tablecloths, watching as waves gently lap against the shoreline and the sea breeze tickles your hair; wandering pretty villages with pastel coloured buildings; discovering secret coves and pristine beaches and a wealth of history?
When I first read Louis de Bernières’ novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, I imagined just how spectacular the Greek island of Kefalonia would be and when my husband and I finally went, I wasn’t disappointed.
Driving from the airport to our accommodation in the fishing village of Assos, our eyes were drawn to the lush mountains and the sweeping coastlines, we really couldn’t believe the sea was that blue, and the scent of oleander and pine so pungent in the air.
We stayed in a villa, and found this was the perfect base for us to to relax and explore. Villa Plus has over 45 properties to choose from – all with private pools, great locations such as Fiskardo, Trapezaki and Lourdas and within easy reach of the beaches.
Kefalonia’s biggest draw is the sunshine, fresh cuisine and friendly people. But while it’s great to just enjoy the private pool, there are also plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained.
While we were there, we really loved visiting some of the award-winning beaches that the island has to offer – it boasts a whopping 39 of them! Avithos beach’s shallow waters makes it ideal for young children to play and paddle. Meanwhile, its Taverna is revered for its outstanding food and service – and the view is pretty special, too.
One of my favourites is Myrtos Beach. It’s won countless of plaudits, and is cited as one of the best beaches in Greece. The view from above took my breath away – while the semi-circular beach itself is surrounded by white rocky cliffs and has crystal clear waters. The perfect place to while away the day.
Kids will love taking a boat out on the underground Melissani Lake and its subterranean caves – when the sun shimmers from the opening above onto the still waters, it creates a magical atmosphere. I enjoyed the cool respite from the scorching sunshine!
History buffs or those wanting to experience a stunning vista from high above can explore Agios Georgios Castle. It was the capital of Kefalonia for 200 years and is surrounded by a small village with Byzantine churches and restaurants. Meanwhile, the 16th Century frescoes and valuable treasures at the Monastery of St Andreas, are also well worth a visit.
We loved spending a few hours over lunch, watching the boats bob up and down in the harbour in the island’s capital, Argostoli – filled with great restaurants and shops. We also enjoyed strolling along the beach to and from the port of Sami to the picturesque fishing village of Karavomilos, which has quaint little tavernas and cafes, as well as a huge lake that attracts all sorts of bird life.
The largest of the Ionian Islands, Kefalonia is a wonderful destination if you want to kick back and enjoy a serene and laid back holiday, and the added bonus? It’s only a short flight away from the UK.
If you’re already daydreaming about your next family trip then perhaps add Kefalonia to the wish list? Or if you’re set and think this stunning location is the destination for you, then you can secure your 2018 holiday with Villa Plus for just a 10% deposit of a villa only price. Just think, you’ll have something to look forward to!
Kefalonia has so much to offer, and I cannot wait to return and show Monkey and Peanut why this spectacular Greek Island has stolen a piece of my heart…
* This post was written in collaboration with Villa Plus