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Winter in Kefalonia

Most people think of Kefalonia as a summer only destination. That’s because in winter it is much more difficult to get there, most of the island closes down (especially in the resorts) and a large percentage of the locals leave the island at the end of the tourist season. This is a shame – it might be more difficult to get there and there might be a lot less to do but Kefalonia in winter can be quite beautiful and if you get the chance to go there, it is worth going, if only to escape the rotten weather in northern Europe and the UK.

The weather in Kefalonia in winter is still mild, which makes it a nice escape if the snow and storms are lashing down. That doesn’t mean there’s no rain in Kefalonia – in fact it pours down regularly and heavily, (which is what gives the island its lush flora and fauna) – but on the whole the temperature is mild and pleasant. Indeed if you visit Kefalonia for its incredible natural wonders and wildlife there is perhaps no better time to go. There are no clouds and you’ll have the hiking and biking trails to yourself. As winter turns to spring things get even better with the arrival of Kefalonia’s wildflowers in their hundreds of thousands from the Campanula Versicolor to the Wild Orchid. Indeed at the end of winter the island is covered almost entirely in an explosion of dazzling colors that are worth visiting for by themselves.

This combination of incredible colors and plants, lush greenery and mild climate, not to mention the occasional deposit of snow on the mountain tops and a peaceful tranquility (very few cars, no crowds, hardly any people) is unmatched anywhere else in Europe. Walk around Assos and you won’t see another soul, drive through Fiscardo and the few locals you see will nod at you or stop and talk. A small number of locals do still live there and life carries on as normal for them, as they work in the fields or olive presses, vineyards or building sites. But on the whole things are much quieter and fortunately prices are much cheaper. There are still a few places to eat open in Argostoli and Lourdas but they charge a great deal less than in summer. And when you are finished eating you can walk along all of the seafront promenades and harbors and not have to navigate the crowds.

There are occasional events that bring the remaining locals together too, such as the winter open-sea swimming event in Lixouri, (more fun to watch than take part in) and the ex-pat community gets together quite a lot as well. But on the whole winter in Kefalonia is a quiet, reflective experience. The only problem with it is getting there – most of the flights to Kefalonia stop at the end of the tourist season and if you do want to get out there it will normally involve flying over to Athens first and getting a connecting flight.