Resort Guide to Sami Kefalonia
Sami is one of Kefalonia’s busiest ports and is situated on the east coast of Kefalonia. It is blessed with incredible views out to sea and some of Kefalonia’s most impressive and inspiring scenery. Every corner of the town is surrounded by mountains covered in dense lush rows of fir trees with ruins from the earthquake and from earlier Classical and Roman eras dotted around the place. Yachts, ferries and cruise ships move in and out of port every day and it is possible to catch a ferry from Sami to destinations such as Ithaca, Corfu, Patras and even Italy.
Though the town was one of the hardest hit by the earthquake in 1953 it has bounced back well and is now a delightful and inviting port town that welcomes visitors with open arms. Indeed when Hollywood came to the island looking for the best place to film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin it was Sami that they chose. Almost every scene in the film, from the shots of the town square to the tight, winding streets of small and close-knit houses is set in Sami and if you spend anytime there you will find yourself constantly noticing things from the movie.
Sami is not a popular resort for holidaymakers like many other destinations on the island though it does have its fair share of hotels and apartments and quite a few people like to stay there. It certainly has a lot to offer holidaymakers, from the waterfront that seems to stretch on forever with endless cafes, restaurants and tavernas (providing the perfect sunset dining experience) to the fantastic white sandy beach down the road at Karavomilos. This is a gorgeous beach although it is about a kilometer away and can be difficult to find the first time you go there. Often you will have the beach all to yourself and there is nothing quite like the feeling of being somewhere so beautiful and untouched, with such crystal clear water to swim in. Just be careful of the sea urchins that sometimes gather around the rocks. The views from the beach and the coastline in the area are breathtaking, with the bay of Anti Sami a particular highlight as well as a number of secluded coves and beaches on the road to Aghia Efimia. However, as with a lot of places you will probably need a car to get to most of these places.
In fact, Sami is a good place to visit if you are staying elsewhere on the island and hiring a car for a couple of days. That’s why whether you are staying there or just visiting you will notice lots of coach tours arriving there every day. This is partly due to the enduring fascination of Captain Corelli and partly to do with the historical sights and natural wonders around Sami. Near to the town are the Melissani Lake and the famous Drogarati caves (as well as the smaller lake of Karavomylos). These natural wonders are a highlight of any trip to Kefalonia and well worth a visit. Lake Melissani is a lake that holds the clearest water you will ever see and where you are taken out in a tiny boat to see incredible stalactites on the roof of the caves above you. Similar wonders are to be had on foot at the nearby Drogarati Caves, famous for their long corridors and magnificent stalactites. If you are lucky enough to be there on certain days in Summer they even hold concerts in there, so perfect are the acoustics. For history buffs there are also a number of great sites near to Sami, including the ancient ruins of the earlier classical city of Sami. Spend a fascinating afternoon strolling around these ruins (bring your camera too) and through the Monastery of Agrillion nearby. Aside from the ruins themselves the views of the landscape below and the incredible coastline are fantastic.
Sami is the perfect Kefalonia destination, a working waterfront town with charming tavernas and restaurants in the shade, located well for touring the rest of the island and with its own stunning scenery and views out to sea. Even if you don’t stay there it is well worth a visit.