An insider’s view of Kefalonia by Margot Raggett (Photographer, PR Consultant and Kefalonia Lover)
I have to admit from the outset that I have a bias for the Greek island of Kefalonia – I actually own a holiday home there, having fallen in love with the place almost two decades ago. But in my defence I have visited at least ten other islands in my time, so I feel I can make a fair comparison.
Kefalonia is the largest in the Ionian group of islands, to the west of the Greek mainland and off the traditional backpackers path. As a result tourist numbers are lower than in other parts of Greece but that in my opinion means visitors get a far more authentic experience than elsewhere.
Like many that you can rent (and yes mine, Korianna House is among them), my villa is situated in a sleepy village. We have views to the sea over olive groves, resident goat herds, returning swallows and our own little church that likes to rudely broadcast its services on loud-speakers on random Sundays. Most days the tranquility is enhanced only by goat-bells and cicadas though occasionally it is disturbed by the odd roar of a scooter ridden by local teenagers.
When there it is very tempting to slip into sleepy village life, say kalimera to the neighbours and not wander very much further than George’s little taverna in nearby Spartia but those who do that miss out on a stunning island.
For me, Kefalonia is all about the scenery. There are breathtaking views and beaches wherever you turn. While elsewhere islands promote themselves on their architecture (to be fair, Kefalonia had most of its buildings wiped out by an earthquake in 1953, so it has little to boast in that department apart from in the north) Kefalonia can simply charm in a heartbeat with her natural, unadorned beauty. There is much to explore and my days there are spent seeking out new places far from the tourist crowds and yet accessible to all. And all are welcomed too. Kefalonians are warm, hospitable people and if you are lucky enough to stumble upon one of the many village festivals held over the summer you should feel free to join in, buy a souvlaki and admire the dancing. Now that would be a ‘real’ Greek night to remember.
Below are a few photos from my explorations of Kefalonia.