Kefalonia: If ever a place was blessed with every
possible natural beauty, Kefalonia is just that place. The largest of the Ionian
Islands is also the one with the most variety in its natural environment. Tall
mountains, aquamarine shores, water springs, underground caverns and lakes, and
a rich and rare assortment of flora and fauna make this island unique.
Mt. Aenos, peaking at an altitude of 1628 m., is the second highest mountain on
a Greek island and is covered by a dark fir forest. This endemic species (abies
cephalonica) is unique to this mountain and along with its rare and rich flora
and fauna have resulted in Aenos being declared one of Greece’s ten National
The dramatic landscape presents many contrasts: abrupt mountain ranges and steep
rocky cliffs alternate with smooth, lacy shores and fertile plains with
flowering bushes and olive groves. Towering cypress trees emerge everywhere,
providing another contrast yet in this unique landscape. Colorful and fragrant
bushes cover a substantial portion of the land. These include laurels, arbutus,
myrtle and broom bushes. There is also a variety of fragrant herbs that grow in
abundance on the island, including oregano, thyme and sage.
The shoreline offers just as much contrast and variety as the inland.
Gently shelving sandy beaches, white shingle shores, small or larger unexplored
coves surround the island justify its fame as having some of the Mediterranean’s
loveliest beaches. Myrtos Beach, voted as Greece’s best beach and ranking among
the world’s ten best beaches, awaits to dazzle the visitor with its turquoise
vastness and dramatic embracing cliffs. Other well known and “must visit”
beaches include Skala, Antisamos, Makris Yialos, Xi, Ammes, Avithos and
Ithaca: Even if it wasn’t for its mythical fame,
Ithaca would be renowned anyway for its beautiful landscape and shores. Although
a much smaller island than Kefalonia, it has little to envy from its neighbor in
terms of natural environment. Green covered hills and small mountains, sandy
coves and traditional villages are sure to capture the visitor’s senses. In the
springtime every piece of the land seems to be covered by the fragrant light
pink blossoms of sage. Its highly indented shoreline with many inlets is ideal
for swimming, snorkeling, and sailing. Gidaki, Skinos, Filiatro, Sarakiniko and
Afales Bay are among Ithaca’s best known beaches.