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Kefalonia is the largest of Greece's gorgeous Ionian islands and was a relatively unknown resort until recently, when it rose to stardom as the spectacular backdrop of the Hollywood movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Kefalonia holidays are perfect if you’re seeking a sun-soaked break where you can lounge on expansive white beaches, explore hidden coves and dine at swanky seafront eateries. Despite its immense popularity today, the island's vast landscape and supersized beaches mean it doesn't appear as crowded as you'd expect, so you can lay your towel down with plenty of room to stretch out on the sand. The rugged, dry landscape is punctuated by sandy coves and fine stretches like Myrtos beach, while its lush green hills draped with pine forests provide a welcoming contrast. But holidays in Kefalonia aren’t just about sandy beaches; get ready to be amazed by pretty little villages, historic ruins and vibrant towns and cities.

Spend a day in Fiskardo

Known as the St Tropez of Greece, Fiskardo is a small fishing village that has emerged as a popular resort on the Ionian coast. Its beautiful pastel-coloured Venetian buildings, well-preserved Roman ruins and the yacht-lined harbour buzzing with upscale eateries are major draws for tourists, including the rich and famous. The town is an ideal place to relax in a café by the marina or watch the sun set from a boat cruise. You can also explore the attractive and historic capital of Argostoli in the north.

Stroll on Myrtos beach

Myrtos is the most famous and the most photographed beach in the Greek Islands. This mile-long expanse of white sands and turquoise waters is framed by rugged cliffs, making it a blissfully scenic spot for sunbathing or swimming. The beach even features in the Hollywood movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. But note that facilities are limited here, so pack a picnic while visiting.

Climb Mount Enos

Mount Enos, the tallest peak in Greece (1,628m), is surrounded by a forest of black fir trees that are part of a national park spreading up to 3,000 hectares. You can find wild horses, peregrine falcons, tortoise and other fauna here. So, pull up your hiking boots and explore the park or climb the peak, which offers picture-perfect views that stretch as far as the islands of Zakynthos and Ithaka.

Explore Melissani lake

Kefalonia is full of natural attractions that can be explored at leisure. Discover the underground Melissani lake and its electric-blue waters on a gondola ride. This natural wonder was discovered when the roof of the cave fell down due to an earthquake in 1951, revealing a stunning lake within the cave. The sinkhole at Katavothres near Argostoli is famous for making sea water disappear at one end and then reappear at the other. You can also go turtle spotting at Argostoli Bay, which is home to a permanent population of endangered loggerhead turtles.

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Teletext travel expert says

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Something for everyone from summer playgrounds of golden sands to peaceful relaxation in the pine-fringed calas of the east coast.

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