Kefalonia is a tranquil and quiet island so it is not somewhere you would identify as an extreme sports destination. However, for those of you who want to get out and about rather than lying down on a sun bed all day, there is plenty to keep you occupied.
Hiking in Kefalonia
For hikers there are endless trails on the outskirts of all the resorts and villages and it is possible to get a map from your resort detailing most of these. You could spend weeks hiking in Kefalonia – up the mountains and through the valleys, wandering through lush olive and orange groves and endless orchards down cliff paths to endless white sandy beaches – and still not see everything. Similarly if you wanted to hire a bike (or take your own bike with you) you’ll find no shortage of stunning rides around the island. Cycling out from most villages and towns will allow you to see parts of the island that most holidaymakers don’t get to see. Riding along the small island lanes you’ll pass through endless sleepy hamlets and tiny villages, olive tree lined winding roads and countless melancholic ruins left by the numerous earthquakes and wars.
Watersports in Kefalonia
For those who are after watersports, the resorts are the best options. On the beaches in Skala and other places you’ll be able to indulge in paragliding and jet-skiing, parasailing and windsurfing. Kefalonia also offers a number of stranger watersports. There is the banana – a large inflatable tube that up to 12 people can sit on (and try to stay on) as it is towed around the bay by speedboat. Knee-boarding is another new one, using a board in the waves that has been designed for you to kneel on as you try and side-slide through the water. Wakeboarding is a cross between snowboarding and surfing and finally there is Oxoon, a hydrojet ski that looks just like a dolphin.
One of the water focused highlights of Kefalonia’s outdoor activities is sea kayaking. So beautiful are the bays and coves, the long undisturbed beaches and clear blue waters that going out in a kayak to see the island is a truly beautiful experience. There are a number of kayaking companies on Kefalonia, mostly based in Argostoli and Skala. Make sure you pick one that has qualified instructors, preferably with the BCU qualification. If you can, spend a day or two exploring the calm and beautiful waters and following the picturesque coastline.
Golf in Kefalonia
Unlike many holiday destinations Kefalonia is not famous for its golf and there are no golf resorts or even professional golf courses. Most people will tell you that the reason they return again and again to Kefalonia is because it has not (so far) developed into the sort of place that might have an 18 hole golf course!
If you absolutely, positively can’t live without golf while you are away there is at least an 18 hole mini-golf course in the peninsula of Palliki, between Lixouri and Xi beach.
Fishing in Kefalonia
Fishing in Greece hasn’t got the greatest reputation simply because the waters have been so overfished by commercial fishing vessels that sometimes it seems like there is hardly anything left in the water. However, it is possible to catch fish from time to time and there are few more enchanting places in the world to sit and wile away the hours than Kefalonia. The best month for fishing is September when there are a few migrating fish passing through. These include a number of larger species as well as sea bass and big snapper.
If you want to fish from a boat in Kefalonia you’ll need to get a license from one of the harbor towns but if you’re happy to just fish on the rocks, on a beach or in one of the harbors then it is free. There are bait shops in both Poros and Argostoli and you can fish in both places. In Poros there is a pier that the locals all use and there are numerous popular spots in Argostoli. In Skala there is a spot to the right of the beach (when facing out to sea) on the rocks that has long been popular with local residents.
Supposedly the most successful method of fishing in these parts is float fishing, leaving the bait to sit just above the weeds from the beach.