Getting Around

The Walnut Tree Villa is a short drive from the Airport (Anna Pollatou), the capital Argostoli and the ferry port/towns of  Sami, Poros and Fiskardo.  Nine kms north along the coast is the harbour town of Aghia Efimia popular with sailors and tourists.  The mainland of Greece can be reached from both Sami and Poros.   Trips to the island of Ithaca are very popular and a ferry service from Sami leaves several times a day, taking around 40 minutes.  

The beautiful port town of Fiskardo (the Kefalonian town least damaged by the 1953 earthquake) is about forty five minutes drive away from Sami.  If only for the drive, a visit is well worth it.  One way over the mountains there are breathtaking views of the mainland if you take the eastern route and views of Kefalonia and the Paliki peninsula if you are keeping to the west route.  Whilst out this way, why not take in the beautiful village of Assos with its stunning castle. The world famous Myrtos Beach – is just 15 minutes away from Assos.

Airport & Transfers

https://www.efl-airport.gr/en/flight-list

The journey from the airport is via main roads apart from the very last bit. Search The Walnut Tree Villa in Google maps.

Ferry Ports

https://www.directferries.co.uk/ferries_from_kefalonia_to_greece.htm

The Walnut Tree villa is a five minute drive to the Port of Sami and the journey to the capital/port of Argostoli and town/port of Poros are both about thirty minutes drive.  You can also reach Ithaca from Fiskardo and in summertime, the island of Lefkada.  Take the ferry from Pesada on the west coast to the island of Zankynthos.  Both Sami (Patras) and Poros (Kilini) have ferry connections to the mainland Greece.   A very popular day trip, taking the Poros/Kylini ferry, is a visit to Olympia.  

Sami, The Local Town

As well as ferries to the mainland all year round, Sami has ferry connections to Ithaca and Lefkada.  There are small cruise ships for trips around Kefalonia and/or Ithaca and boats for private hire.

Sami comes into its own during summer months, a popular tourist centre with restaurants, bars and shops. The nearby attractions of Sami Acropolis, Melissani Cave, the Dinosaur Park, Drogarati Cave and the beautiful beach of Antisamos are all within a few minutes drive. There is a beautiful new Museum in Sami, displaying artifacts from both the local area and from Fiskardo. There is a fascinating Maritime Museum which opened a few years ago, with replicas of Greek shipping from ancient times.

Sami is the beating heart of the local area, where Kefalonian families meet, eat, drink and mingle. People are genuinely friendly and proud of their town, they will go out of their way to help tourists. There are well established mini-markets, green grocers, bars and tavernas in the town, some passed on from generation to generation or with multiple generations all working together.

The History of Sami

The history of the town goes back to Mycenaean times; some people think that Odysseus’s kingdom was Kefalonia and not Ithaca as is the popular belief.   In 187 BC Sami held off a Roman siege for six weeks,  Despite the efforts of the people of Sami, the town was over run.  The Romans occupied Kefalonia for around four hundred years. 

Ancient mosaic pavement

These photos are of what ‘lies beneath’ at the top of our track, just above our villa and below the yellow house. Part of a Roman farm that was unearthed and excavated a few years ago.  More photos and a blog

Sami’s ferry port has daily sailings to the island of Ithaca and the city of Patras on the mainland, then onward for Athens and the Italian ports of Ancona, Venice, Bari, and Brindisi. Additionally, twice weekly sailings to the port of Vasiliki on Lefkada, then onward for Corfu and central and northern Greece.

Touring Around Kefalonia

Getting around the island, both to the south and the north, you will find that the roads are well signed and generally in good condition.  Not many journeys are more than around an hour away; we really are in a central position.  Ease of access to the main residential and commercial areas round the capital of Argostoli is quick and easy for residents and tourists alike.  

Shopping

There are meat, fish and vegetable markets in the capital, Argostoli.  There are also some very high end shops – some on the waterfront and some tucked away on the many back streets of this intriguing small city.  Argostoli is the capital in every sense of the word.  It has the seat of the local Government, an opera house, port and custom houses, banks, a large police station, the main hospital, a waterfront lined with restaurants and cafes.  Find a table on the waterfront where you can drink coffee and watch the famous sea turtles swim by!

Attractions

Attractions, (depending on age/taste) Include world famous caves, a Dinosaur Park,  a wide variety of restaurants, tavernas and bars, theatres, the Sea Mills, Saint Theodore Lighthouse and the Italian War Memorial and they are all worth visiting for great photos…. if the beaches, fishing, scuba diving and extreme water sports have temporarily lost their appeal 

Excursions

North

Head up the coast towards the harbour towns of Aghia Efimia and Fiskardo there are charming villages,  unspoilt countryside, hidden coves and beautiful beaches to explore.  Both Efimia and Fiskardo have marinas, welcoming yachts and their crews from all over the world. There is a very good Dive School in Aghia Efimia.  It is possible to hire a variety of boats from Sami, Efimia and Fiskardo.

South

Is the monastery of St Gerasimos, Poros and Kefalonias national parts. Exploring the high wilderness of the Kefalonian National Parks of Aenos and Roudi is a wonderful experience and so high up it is possible to witness snow in spring.  Exercise at this altitude and thin air is definitely felt in the lungs. The visual feast of views, flora and fauna, the peace and tranquility – a visit to Kefalonia should really include a taste of these mountainous areas;  it will not be enough.  You will return!

East

Visit Ithaka, take the car/foot ferry for a day trip to this beautiful island, with the most stunning views. Geddake beach and Kioni harbour are a must.  You will not be disappointed!

What To Do?  

Walk, cycle, shop, swim, tour, relax, trek and more! Tripadviser most recommended things to do!

https://www.kefalonia-walnuttree.co.uk/island/walking-trails/

Make It A Beach Day

The Ionian sea area and particularly Kefalonia are famed for stunning beaches, some are world famous. You will have no doubt seen some of them if you have watched the 2001 movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

https://www.kefalonia-walnuttree.co.uk/island/beaches/

Take In Local Culture

http://www.www.kefalonia-walnuttree.co.uk/island/kefalonian-festivals-feastdays/ – click for local dance music

Where to Shop

Food shopping is a particular pleasure in Kefalonia, particularly in Sami & Argostoli.  The quality of the local produce is superlative.  The quality and variety of the fresh ingredients in Greece would exceed many food outlets in the UK 

  • Chicken, pork, goat and lamb, and amazing sausages
  • Fresh fish
  • Free range eggs fish
  • Cheese – the local Feta cheese is very well regarded, Mizithra – a ricotta-like cheese and Kefalotiri – a hard full-fat cheese
  • Milk, yoghurt, butter – look for our Kefalonian dairy products, and visit the dairy at Dilinata
  • Wonderful fresh vegetables, fruit and herbs (visit the waterside market stalls in Argostoli for fresh local vegetables)
  • Kefalonia Honey is superb
  • Olive oil has been pressed here for millenia – enough said?

Wine & Beer – Kefalonian wine is an increasingly important industry on the island, with at least five wineries producing a wide choice of red, white and rose wines.  Robola is the most well-known of the grape varieties grown.  At the high end of these wines made on the island, we think you will be as impressed as we are by the quality and range that suit all tastes. Beer is also locally brewed on the outskirts of Sami just a few minutes from the villa, premium lager or ale – whatever takes your fancy..

All these fabulous ingredients make buying, cooking and eating in Kefalonia a real pleasure.

  • Minimarkets:  Sami Supermarket, Spar and Bazaar are all in Sami.  Bazaar is comparable to Lidl Argostoli on price.
  • Chemist: on the waterfront left of square looking out to sea
  • Butchers: three in Sami and two in Aghia Efimia
  • Greengrocer: behind the church, opposite the museum.  
  • Newsagent
  • Cleaners
  • Jewellers, Sweet shops, Clothes Boutiques

Also In Sami

  • 24 hr medical centre, on the Sami/Argostoli road on the edge of the town
  • Several ATMs
  • Post Office 
  • Bank
  • Tourist Office
  • Police Station
  • Ferry Offices
  • Car and Bike Hire
  • Travel Agents,
  • Dry Cleaners
  • Dentist

Where to Eat?

This is where you will be spoilt for choice. Firstly its sometimes nice to relax at the villa and not get dressed up for dinner. However, the cuisine of Kefalonia is largely Greek with some Italian influence from the years of Venetian occupation. Each restaurant and taverna has its own version of the traditional dishes of the island, Kefalonian meat pie perhaps being one of the most famous.  Of course fish is always on the menu!

Sami

  • Gorgonas (The Mermaid) Restaurant  family owned: Effie, George, Toula, – always a friendly welcome from this family restaurant.  Will deliver food to the villa by arrangement.
  • Melissani Taverna,  (first on right as you come into the town) Elias – we love this place! (Greek traditional, grills, vegetarian)
  • Dolphins Restaurant,  owners Demetrius and Kiki – open all year.  Good food. live music is part of the deal.  
  • Il Famillia – a less traditional restaurant with a modern slant on Greek food
  • Soulatso Grill House (Maria’s family are in our hearts – she helped us buy The Walnut Tree … and their hearts are in their cookig and service!) – simple menu: meat, salad, bread, potatoes and always a treat!  Home delivery available – order by telephone 
  • Contessina Restaurant – good cooking – great fried courgettes and squid.  Nice to sit here and while away an afternoon looking at the boats, yachts and ferries manoeuvring round the harbour.

Karavomylos

  • Zervati Fish Restaurant (Maikis, Sophia and Georgie – owned and run by our agent, Spyros’s family in law.  This restaurant is like visiting family) Fish caught by Maikis every day!
  • Karavomylos Taverna  If it is atmosphere you want this is the one for you – right on the beach just beyond the lake

Poulata/Chaliotata

Robilis Taverna, a short drive from the villa …..for meat lovers! A very Greek experience and incredibly delicious.  Not to be missed!  Meat, potatoes, cheese, salad to be savoured and gently washed down by wine and beer – water available!  Home delivery available – order by phone or by arrangement.

Aghia Efimia

  • To Perasma   Sea Front,  Aghia Efimia Tel: 26740 61990 (Angelo and Barbis)
  • Pergola Taverna   Aghia Efimia Tel: 26740 61424 (Ilias & Stella)
  • Paradise Taverna  Aghia Efimia – out of the town above a little beach

To Kastro, St Georges Castle. Great daytime cafe with incredible views!

Our visitors book is a great place to find to the minute recommendations from previous guests. We hope you find it helpful, please add your own name, comments and recommendations.

Kefalonia Gallery