Ionian Islands: Kefalonia & Ithaca

the cat and the bear
Filiatro beach, Ithaca, Greece

Γεια σου!! When I say I had a vacation in Greece, I’m sure that you will imagine those ancient Greek ruins in Athens, the blue-and-white houses in Santorini, or… wonderful beaches. Well, we didn’t get to see the first two, but we indeed visited the best beaches I have ever seen so far :).

It all started when we browsed for cheap ticket anywhere from Milan, because we felt that we really needed a vacation :p. Then we found this unbelievably cheap ticket to Greece, Kefalonia island to be exact, for only €19.6.. return way! So… here we come, Greece!

It was so cheap most probably because it was still off-season *at the end of April*. Not so cold anymore, but summer wasn’t there yet. The island seemed still ‘half asleep’, not so many restaurants were open. Sunbathing was very possible but swimming in the sea wasn’t so enjoyable. The good thing is.. there weren’t so many tourists, so it felt like the island was ours ;). We spent 3 nights there, went on Friday morning and came back on Monday.

We arrived at Friday noon, and immediately rented a car, because according to some reviews it is highly recommended to do so. It’s better to rent a car or scooter, than depend on bus or taxi. We got this flashy orange new car ^^. The typical tourist car looks new with bright color, so it was easy to spot another tourists on the road :p. The car rental fare was €64 for 3 days, similar with the amount we have to pay for the hotel, which is €63 for 3 nights. We stayed at this very nice hotel in Vlachata, named Sirines *a very recommended hotel ^^*.

Our plan for the rest of the day was: Castle St. George and Lourdas beach. Castle St. George is located on the way to the hotel from the airport, but we went to the hotel first to check-in. The castle was closed by the time we were there :(. Well, not sure because we’re too late or because it was still off-season. But the view from up there is beautiful, the mountain and the sea.

After that, we spent the time at Lourdas beach, the closest beach to the hotel, enjoyed the sun and took a nap until sunset. Our nap was disturbed when there was a dog attempting to eat our face :)). The day ended with a tasty dinner at a very nice restaurant *one of the few that were open* with direct and gorgeous view to the sea. The menu? Of course Greek salad, and moussaka ^^. Oh, and meatloaf from 4 sources of meat. The portion was so huge, that we took the leftover for the next day’s dinner. They were even still too much for two times dinner :D.

The itinerary for day 2 was: Melissani cave/lake, Karavomilos lake, Assos castle, and Myrtos beach. It was quite a long drive, but we’re always accompanied by mountain goats. Sometimes they crossed the road to climb up the hills. One fun activity that we did during the long drive is learning how to read Greek letters on the road signs :). And we passed by two interesting town/village that match our names: Mitakata and Simonata :)).

Melissani cave/lake is totally awesome ^^. We paid €7/per person for entrance fee, including a boat ride and guided tour (with limited English :p) by the rower, who also likes to sing. Surrounded by clear and glowing turquoise water, watching the reflection of the glowing water on the cave wall… we were enchanted.

Not so far from Melissani, we found this (almost empty) taverna by the sea and Karavomilos lake. We were so hungry, unfortunately they couldn’t offer much since they just opened the taverna two days ago. However we were quite full after a huge size of salad, omelette, and village sausage. We even saved some bread for the geese and ducks in the lake.

Next destination… the Assos castle, which is located in the peninsula. On the way to go there we found a big migration of mountain goats, climbing a very steep mountain, without any difficulties just like a normal walking ^^. We also passed by a great viewpoint to see the beautiful Myrtos beach, exactly the scenery often found among Kefalonia postcards :p.

Then we climbed up the hill to the Assos castle, until the ruins of the tower. We tried to find the ‘scarily steep steps’ in the description of Assos castle we found in the internet, but didn’t find anything about that. The hiking up was quite steep (for me :p) but nothing scary. Going down was much more difficult since I was still recovering from knee injury, but it was really nice of someone offering a piggybacking :”>. Oh, then I found my white fluffy cat!

We spent the rest of the day playing and watching a gorgeous sunset at the beautiful white pebbled Myrtos beach, including shooting an advertisement for Mythos beer :D. And someone was trying to eat the sun ^^. We went back to the hotel after the sun disappeared, and had dinner with the leftover moussaka and meatloaf.

Day 3 started with a wonderful breakfast from the hotel *we got up too late for breakfast on day 2 :p*, in the balcony with sea view. Then we drove to Sami port, to take the ferry going to the neighboring island.. Ithaca! Oh, we encountered a traffic jam on the way ^^. The round-trip ferry costed us €46 including our car.

Ithaca is known to be the home island of Odysseus. He is most famous for the ten eventful years he took to return home after the decade-long Trojan War and his famous Trojan Horse ploy to capture the city of Troy *taken from Wikipedia, of course :p*.

The capital city of the island is called Vathi, located on a bay and a natural harbor. We drove across the island towards Sarakiniko and Filiatro beach, because Filiatro beach is the only place recommended in TripAdvisor for Ithaca ^^;. Turned out it is a really great beach, the breeze and the wave are so calm, and the water is crystal clear. If you don’t want to do sunbathing, the olive trees by the sea provide the shades. Absolutely perfect!

Since it was still out of season, only two other groups were there on the beach. When the sun started to hide behind the hill, they left us alone on our private beach :). However, we’re not completely alone since we spotted a small group of goats watching us! 😀 No sunset show here since the beach faces east, so we went back to Vathi to sit and relax for a while *plus iced chocolate for me :p*, then headed to the ferry port to go back to Kefalonia.

We had dinner at Sami port, another moussaka and Greek salad. Actually I asked for meat pie (kreatopita) since they said it is the typical dish in Kefalonia, but they didn’t have it :(. I didn’t finish the meal as usual since it’s too much. When we left, the lady asked me why I didn’t finish it, “Is it not good?”. I was already full I answered, then she said, “I see, but you’re so small!”. Then I understood why the people there gave us big portion of meals every time… they tried to make us bigger! :))

On the last day we just enjoyed our last breakfast there, went to the airport, wrote some postcards, and… flew home. It was a superb weekend, and I enjoyed every bit of it… αντίο Κεφαλονιά!

3 thoughts on “Ionian Islands: Kefalonia & Ithaca

  1. Nyun says:

    Mas2 calon suamiku should take note nih *terus kenapaaa* Tapi ini daerah ada rame2nya ngga sih Mit kalo lg peak season? Walaupun aku ngga nolak juga suasana adem tentrem gini…hihihihi

    Gorgeous destination. Couple with glowing faces. Yihiiiiw. ^^

    • paramitopia says:

      Summertime sih jauh lebih rame kayaknya, walaupun ramenya sama orang Italia mungkin ya, tetangga terdekat :p dan bukan tujuan utama turis yang ke Yunani sepertinya, belum terlalu terkenal ^^

      Couple with glowing faces <– *blush* *ehm* 🙂

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