Guest Post by Sasieology
When I think of turquoise travel, the first place that comes to mind is the island of Kefalonia in Greece. In the summer of 2006, I worked on Kefalonia as a holiday rep for 6 months. My base resort was Lassi, but I made good use of my rare days off to get out and explore everything the island had to offer in my little rental Renault Twingo.
Ask a previous visitor to Kefalonia what they thought of the island and I bet you the answer you will get is ‘Oh, it’s so beautiful.’ Myrtos beach is so famed for its turquoise water that it is used on many postcards, even on other islands! It’s a bit of a white knuckle ride to reach the beach from the main road high above, but it’s worth the trip if you’re brave enough and a must for sun worshippers. There’s nothing more relaxing than hanging out underneath an umbrella at Myrtos, sipping on a cold bottle of Mythos beer (not to be confused with the name of the beach – a common mistake) from the beach bar and taking the occasional dip in the sea.
When the sun gets too hot for you, Kefalonia has a whole network of cooling caves to explore. In fact, the island is really just a big piece of rock that is slowly being eaten away by rainwater to form these awesome formations. At 3.5km long, 40m wide and 36m high, Melissani lake sits inside a cave with a collapsed roof. It’s possible to venture out onto the lake on a guided boat, and as the sun shines down on you through the huge hole in the roof it brings a whole new meaning to the term turquoise waters.
Just a few kilometres off the north east coast of Kefalonia is her sister island, Ithaca. Probably most famous as the reputed home of Odysseus, Ithaca is possibly even more beautiful than her larger neighbour. Ithaca receives fewer visitors that Kefalonia, so has a much more relaxed, unspoilt atmosphere. The water here is the most turquoise that I have ever seen anywhere. It’s vibrancy is even more enhanced by the bright colours used to decorate the boats and buildings. I wish I could have spent more time in Ithaca, chilling out with the locals and enjoying a glass of wine as the sun set over this beautiful gem of the Ionian. Oh well, maybe on another trip.
Kefalonia and Ithaca are really unique in the Greek islands. Unlike their neighbours such as Zakynthos and Corfu, neither has a party town or tries too hard to win the tourists over. Their attitude is very much ‘take us as you find us’, and I think that’s what encourages people to go back there year after year. Kefalonia has a very loyal visitor base. A lot of my guests had made it their holiday destination for over twenty years. It’s not hard to see what keeps them coming back. Stunning landscapes, hidden caves, ancient myths and of course those crystal clear turquoise waters.
Additional note: A word of warning when visiting Kefalonia. As well as it’s beautiful landscapes, it is also famous for earthquakes. My manager omitted to tell me this until I was on the island and already halfway through my first day of training. If you visit Kefalonia anytime in the summer, there is a good chance that you will experience a quake, and tremors are felt on a daily basis. I soon learnt that the biggest ones occur after storms, so my top tip would be to brace yourself as soon as the thunder and lightning is over.
About Sas from Sasieology
Sas is a committed plant-based vegetarian whose goal is to visit at least one new destination and try at least one new activity every year. As well as Kefalonia, she lived in Rhodes, Crete, Austria, America and Canada during her six years working abroad. Originally from Blackpool in England, upon her return to the UK in 2008 Sas decided to make Cardiff, Wales her home after attending university near there. Sasieology follows her adventures as a plant-based traveller.