A thriving town on a bay within a bay
The pedestrianized Lithóstroto
The amazing Kefaloniá caves

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A position of privilege

An MSC cruise of the Mediterranean gives you the chance to experience Argostóli, Kefaloniá’s capital, a large and thriving town – virtually a city – with a marvellous position on the bay within a bay where your MSC cruise ship awaits your return.
The causeway connecting the two sides of the inner bay, known as Dhrápano owing to its sickle shape, was initially constructed by the British in 1813 and is now closed to traffic. The town you’ll see during your holiday in Greece was totally rebuilt after the 1953 earthquake, but has an enjoyable atmosphere that remains defiantly Greek, especially during the evening vólta around Platía Valianou – the nerve centre of town – and along the pedestrianized Lithóstroto, the main shopping street which runs parallel to the seafront.

MSC Mediterranean cruises also offer excursions to two different caves in Kefaloniá and a wonderful beach. Twenty kilometres from Argostóli lies a very impressive stalagmite-bedecked chamber, known as Dhrogaráti. The cave, which reaches a depth of 60m and was discovered over 300 years ago, is occasionally used for concerts thanks to its marvellous acoustics.

Thirty kilometres north of Argostóli towards Ayía Efimía, Melissáni is partly submerged in brackish water, which, amazingly, emerges from an underground fault extending the whole way underneath the island to a point near Argostóli. At that point, known as Katavóthres, the sea gushes endlessly into a subterranean channel – the fact that the water ends up in the cave having been shown with fluorescent tracer dye.

The beautiful textures and shades created by the light pouring through the collapsed roof of the cave make the short boat excursion into it a must. Four kilometres by paved road below the main north–south artery, stunningly photogenic Mýrtos is regarded by many as the most dramatic beach in the Ionian islands – a splendid strip of pure-white sand and pebbles.

Must see places in Cephalonia

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    Under the protective wing of the gods
    Under the protective wing of the gods

    It would take a lifetime of island-hopping to fully appreciate the 227 inhabited Greek islands scattered across the Mediterranean Sea.
    With sapphire water lapping at rocky coastlines sprinkled with secret coves and sandy beaches, they are the stuff of dreamy travel posters, the very definition of the eulogized Greek summer of sun, sea and sand.

    For anyone with a cultural bone in their body a cruise to the Greek islands cannot fail to inspire. Every culture has left its mark, and almost every town or village has a link to the past, whether it’s a delicately crumbling temple to Aphrodite, a forbidding Venetian fort or a dusty Byzantine monastery decorated with exquisite frescoes.
    But the call to cultural duty will never be too overwhelming on a Greek islands holiday. The hedonistic pleasures of languor and warmth – swimming in balmy seas at dusk, talking and drinking under the stars – are just as appealing.
    Sprawling, globalized Athens is an obligatory, almost unavoidable introduction to Greece: aside from the show-stopping Acropolis it offers a truly metropolitan range of cultural diversions, from museums to concerts; well-stocked shops; gourmet restaurants and stimulating clubs.