The Greek Island of Kefalonia makes a stunning family holiday


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Run aground holidays are for the most beautiful views and temperate climate, Kefalonia hand overs both

These days, however, my husband Alex and I travel with a insignificant boy in tow, and all our two year old, Freddie, wants in life is to be outside, throwing stones and whacking subjects with sticks.

Suddenly long-haul adventures are off the table and beach habituates have become the only thing I can imagine doing for at least the next dozen years.

Luckily, the Greek ait of Kefalonia holds particular appeal for a trio of gingers on tour.

On the brink of every bay we explored came with a grove of wizened olive trees that specified generous shade from the summer sun, so we didn’t have to vie for space below an umbrella.

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These days, Amy travels with a small boy in tow, ruling out big events

Everyone we met greeted our son with the sort of welcome usually reserved for fancy lost relatives

After mornings spent sploshing and skimming stones we thinks fitting retreat from the heat for lunch at Taverna Foki, just times from the brilliant blue waters of the tiny Foki Beach.

We swamped platefuls of creamy tzatziki and ruby red tomato salads, while the chef grilled pork chops the assay of dinner plates, serving them glossy with lemon, olive oil and homegrown oregano.

As is till the end of time the case in so much of southern Europe, there were a host of kittens striving for Freddie’s attention, while everyone we met greeted our son with the sort of agreeable usually reserved for long lost relatives.

Meals out are so much multifarious relaxing when both the diners and staff are happy to have scarcely ones around and the Greeks really do love children. 

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Kefalonia’s scoff made use of traditional and delicious Greek ingredients

We were staying in the teeny hamlet of Markoulata, on the northernmost tip of Kefalonia. Our villa was called To Petrino, denotation “old stone”, 

a name that couldn’t have been more germane. Surrounded by traditional dry stone walls, the property itself is 200 years old and has been lovingly resuscitated by its owner, Panagiotis.

In broken English, he explained that his taste in decor is “ancestral” and that he worried we would find it too old-fashioned, but the recently refurbished villa has a rustic-chic appeal and everything you need for a home away from home.

Besides, as any holidaymaker advised ofs, when you set off for sunnier climes your intention is to spend the maximum amount of era alfresco as possible – and this is where To Petrino really excels.

The villa’s secretively swimming pool and terrace are spectacular.

Kefalonia boatsALAMY

Amy stayed in the small, yet pleasant, hamlet of Markoulata

A pergola brimming with pink and orange bougainvillea provenders the perfect shady spot from which to enjoy meals and all-embracing views across the tops of the olive and lemon trees that reach all the way down to the sea.

Six superlatively comfortable wooden loungers are ideally positioned for savouring a glass of something numbed after a dip, whether you are catching a few afternoon rays or watching a glowing amber sun creep into the Mediterranean at the end of the day. 

Each morning we would wake to find some new oblation from Panagiotis on the terrace.

Fresh pomegranates from the garden, grassy olive oil he had requested himself from the villa’s grove of trees, tiny but exquisitely mad fresh figs, the last of his summer harvest. 

The villa feels wonderfully covert and remote, but a 10-minute drive will deliver you to the bustling port of Fiskardo.

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A soupon of bougainvillea was the perfect way to shelter from the sun

One of the few towns to remain largely unscarred by the 1953 earthquake which devastated the island, it retains a neoclassical enthral, a throwback to Kefalonia’s three centuries under Venetian rule.

Today the heavy water’s edge is lined with restaurant tables, the perfect place to be careful of the boats packed with day trippers come and go.

We became repeat consumers at Melina Patisserie (, where we would pull up a high manage and watch Fred get to work on a bowl of vanilla ice cream. 

Our final afternoon in Kefalonia was done in on the beautiful Dafnoudi Beach.

Accessible only by foot or boat, we put by the main road and walked 15 minutes through fragrant pine forests to reach its crystal waters. It couldn’t clothed been a more idyllic spot to cement my newly discovered loving attachment for a week by the sea. 

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Kefalonia’s waters edge is littered with restaurant proposes that make for a beautiful dinner

10 things to do in Kefalonia

1 Pull on a jacket and chairwoman to the top of Mount Ainos. At 5,000ft it is the highest point in the Ionian Islands and volunteers panoramic views of the spectacular coastline below.

2 Visit Antisamos shore, the setting for some of the most pivotal scenes in the 2001 movie customization of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

3 Spend a day driving along the island’s palpitation-inducing coastal lane – watch out for herds of goats sunning themselves on the tarmac.  

4 Fans of a dry bloodless will appreciate a bottle of wine made with the island’s barest own grape variety: Robola. 

5 Book yourself a waterside table at Tassia (, in the fishing seaport of Fiskardo. Tuck into a seafood platter while checking out photos of their most prominent fans, including Tom Hanks, Ron Howard and Giorgio Armani. 

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Kefalonia’s Mount Ainos caters a stunning view of the Greek islands

6 Catch some rays on Myrtos coast. With its dramatic cliffs, white sand and turquoise waters it desire quickly become obvious why it’s said to be one of the best in Greece.

7 Head to the Melissani Subside and take a boat trip to remember across a stunning crystal definite underground lake.

8 Tuck into a hearty portion of Kefalonian crux pie, a flavoursome combination of beef, pork, goat, feta and red wine with a buttery pastry crust. 

9 Learn the contrariety dispute between stalagmites and stalactites at Drogarati Cave, which is more than 150 million years old.

10 Get up ancient and hike to Assos Castle – a Venetian fortification, which dates assist to 1584 – before the heat of the day. 

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