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About Cephalonia

As a setting for a love story - remember Captain Corellis Mandolin - the unspoilt, rugged but timeless Greek island of Cephalonia is hard to beat.  Although the largest of the Ionian islands, Cephalonia is defiantly untouristy and delights in giving visitors a real opportunity to experience the flavour of an authentic Greek island community.

Just 30,000 live on the island, mainly in the coastal towns and resorts with the rest living much as they have done for centuries in the mountain villages. Pause for a drink in one of the pretty harbourfront tavernas in the cruise port town of Sami before exploring.

There are sandy beaches near the west coast town of Argostoli along with a couple of interesting caves. At Melissani, near Agia Egfymia, the sun shining down through a hole in the caves roof creates a spectacular lighting effect on the water.

 

Shore excursions in Cephalonia

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Cephalonia Beach Transfer

Activity low

Duration: 4 hours

The epitome of Greece; represented by a long sandy beach, crystal clear waters and sunshine. Relax and bathe in the magical waters.

Your short scenic drive will transfer you to Makrys Gialos, which means ‘long beach’ and that is what you can expect, with fine golden sand and inviting waters.

Enjoy approximately 3 hours relaxing on the beach. Sun-beds and umbrellas are available for hire and the beach has kiosks selling snacks and drinks, should you require them.

Essential information

Before you book this excursion, you must refer to the ‘Beach / Water Related’ paragraph under the Guide to Symbols in this brochure. Passengers are reminded to wear swimwear, take a towel and sunscreen. Sun-beds and umbrellas are on a first-come, first-served basis, payable locally. This beach is one of the island’s most popular beaches and can get very crowded. There is a steep 500 foot slope to reach the beach. There may be independent suppliers on the beach that may offer watersports. These are provided by parties unconnected to P&O Cruises.

Leisurely Cephalonia

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 3 hours

Local wine, a glimpse into Cephalonia’s past, and stunning views are all combined in a leisurely tour of this lovely island.

Heading inland you’ll arrive at the Monastery of St Andrew, famous for housing a bizarre relic, which is claimed to be the sole of St Andrew’s right foot. During the 1953 earthquake, the whitewash inside the church walls was loosened, revealing frescoes dating back to the 13th and 17th centuries and these are considered to be one of the island’s chief artistic treasures.

On a hill opposite are the ruins of the Castle of St George, commanding a wonderful view of the surrounding plains and mountains. At the end of the Argostoli headland stands a unique small lighthouse. Driving north-easterly along the Lassi coast, take in the superb views of lush countryside, beautiful golden beaches and crystal-clear seas.

A short tour around the Robola Winery will give you an insight into the production methods of the famous Robola wine. Afterwards, enjoy a tasting of the finished product.

Kourkoumelata Village is one of the island’s prettiest villages, re-constructed in a Neo-classical style after the disastrous earthquake of the 1950’s. Stroll through the village and enjoy the sweeping views down to the sea below.

Essential information

There are approximately 18 steps at St Andrew’s Monastery. Ladies must have their shoulders covered, no shorts are permitted when visiting the Monastery, and flash photography is not allowed.

Natural Wonders of Cephalonia

Activity highShopping

Duration: 4 hours

Spectacular scenery, an underground lake and a cave – this tour is ideal for those who want to see some natural wonders.

Melissani Lake is one of Cephalonia’s most impressive natural wonders. Walk the short distance, down a steep tunnel, to the underground lake where you’ll reach the shore. Board the small wooden boats for a trip around the deep turquoise waters of the lake and the surrounding caves. Amazing stalactites sprout from the walls and natural light penetrates and reflects on the lake into a myriad of dancing colours.

One of the most awe-inspiring caves on the island, lying 60 metres below the surface, Drogarati Cave is more than 2 million years old. A spiral staircase leads to this remarkable natural phenomenon. The concealed lighting will arouse your senses, highlighting the hidden depths of the cave.

On the north-eastern shores of the island, where the blockbuster ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ was filmed, is the coastal summer resort of Sami. Here, you can rest at one of the traditional coffee shops or perhaps shop for a souvenir.

Essential information

This tour operates on foot, by coach and boat. As the Drogarati Cave is 60 metres below the surface, entrance is via a steep staircase with approximately 150 steps carved out of the rock. As the interior of the cave and the path to the lake can be steep and slippery, please wear non-slip footwear. The temperature is approximately 18 degrees Celsius. Flash photography is not permitted. The rowing boats at the lake carry 12 passengers each; expect queues when boarding the boats. The journey involves winding roads; which may affect those who suffer from motion sickness.

The Best of Cephalonia

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 6½ hours

Cephalonia’s beauty is legendary. Enjoy a scenic drive through lush countryside, passing vineyards and cypress glades.

Journey up Ainos Mountain, one of the highest mountains in Greece as well as a National Park. Pass the ancient city of Sami, Cephalonia’s busiest port and the location of where the film ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ was filmed.

Pastel-coloured houses surround Fiskardo’s waterfront, lined with coffee shops, tavernas and souvenir shops. This delightful village was the only place on the whole island that was not affected by the disastrous 1953 earthquake. Enjoy free time here to explore this beautiful location.

The highlight is a visit to Melissani Lake, the most spectacular cave lake on the island. Enter the cool cavern through a man-made tunnel, which emerges to the shore of the open lake. Board a small boat for an exploration of the lake and its eccentric stalactites. When the sun is directly overhead, light pours in, striking the ultramarine waters and creating a myriad of colours.

Stop at a vantage point, high above Myrtos Bay, to take a perfect photo of the most stunning beach on the island.

Essential information

This tour will be operated by coach, boat and on foot. Melissani Lake involves walking along a steep slope and some steps. The boats at the Lake are small with 12 seats; passengers are advised that due to the popularity of Melissani Lake, it may be necessary to queue to board the boats. Order of highlights may operate in reverse to avoid congestion. Some of the roads are windy, with steep drops and the drive to Fiskardo is 1¾ hour each way.

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