Below are some of the wonderful things you can see and do in the local area…enjoy!

A guide to Kefalonia Cuisine

Savouring Local Flavours

Kefalonia, nestled in the Ionian Sea, is more than just a place with sun-soaked beaches and gorgeous landscapes. It’s a food lover’s paradise, offering a feast of flavours that mirror its rich history and the island’s plentiful bounty. Let’s take a culinary trip across Kefalonia and taste what makes this island so special.

The Flavours of Kefalonia: Dishes You’ve Got to Try

Kefalonian food is a wonderful mix of Greek and Venetian influences, and it’s all about fresh, local ingredients. They really know how to bring out the best in what the island offers.

First up, you’ve got to try Lobster Spaghetti. It’s a signature dish here. Imagine fresh lobster, mixed with perfectly cooked spaghetti and a garlicy, wine-infused tomato sauce. It’s divine!

Then there’s Blushing Goat, or ‘Kokkinisto’. It’s a rich, flavourful dish where goat meat is slow-cooked in a tomato sauce with onions, garlic, and a splash of red wine. The meat is so tender, it just melts in your mouth.

Don’t miss out on Tserepa. It’s cooked in a traditional clay pot and is a real flavour bomb. Chicken marinated in garlic, oregano, lemon juice, and wine, slow-cooked with potatoes – it’s comfort food at its finest.

And of course, there’s the Kefalonian Meat Pie. It’s a classic here. Thin phyllo dough stuffed with minced meat, onions, garlic, and herbs, baked until golden. It’s a hearty, satisfying treat.

Even the local greens are something special. Dishes like ‘Koulouri’ and ‘Fritades’ use wild greens sautéed with garlic or turned into crispy fritters. They’re simple but packed with flavour.

Kefalonia’s Wines: The Perfect Accompaniment

Kefalonia’s not just about great food; the wines here are fantastic too. The island’s unique terrain gives us wines that are full of character.

Robola is a must-try. It’s a white wine that’s crisp, aromatic, and just slightly mineraly. And then there’s Verdea, a red that’s rich, bold, and full of dark fruit flavours and a hint of spice.

Discovering Fiskardo’s Tavernas

Fiskardo, a short drive from the villa, is a little town with a big food scene. It’s lined with tavernas where you can try all these amazing dishes.

Votsalo, right on the waterfront, is great for fresh seafood, including that delicious Lobster Spaghetti. Then there’s Mirella‘s, with its cosy feel and traditional Kefalonian dishes like Blushing Goat and Tserepa. And Almyra, in the heart of Fiskardo, is perfect for trying that Meat Pie and other local favourites, along with a glass or two of Kefalonian wine.

Local Recipes: Keeping Traditions Alive

Kefalonian recipes have been passed down through generations, keeping the culinary traditions alive.

Sofrito is the heart of many dishes here. It’s a mix of onions, garlic, and celery, sautéed until golden and fragrant, forming the base for many sauces and stews.

Kefalonian olive oil is like liquid gold. It’s peppery and aromatic and brings a unique depth to every dish. And the local herbs – oregano, thyme, sage – picked right from the hillsides, add a fresh, distinctive Kefalonian twist.

The seafood here, fresh from the Ionian Sea, is another highlight. From lobster to squid, it’s all about simple cooking that lets the natural flavours shine.

So, when you’re staying at The Olive Tree, make sure to dive into Kefalonia’s culinary scene. It’s an experience you won’t forget!

Hidden Gems of Kefalonia: Mount Ainos

Mount Ainos National Park

Mount Ainos, the towering pinnacle of Kefalonia and the highest point on the island, is a treasure trove for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts. Often overshadowed by the island’s famous beaches, this national park offers an entirely different but equally mesmerizing perspective of Kefalonia.

The park is home to a unique ecosystem, boasting a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Among its natural wonders is the Kefalonian fir tree, or Abies Cephalonica, a species native and exclusive to the island. These majestic trees create a dense, verdant forest that blankets the mountain, providing a habitat for a variety of wildlife.

The hiking trails in Mount Ainos are a dream for adventurers. Ranging from leisurely walks to more challenging treks, these trails weave through the fir forest, opening up to stunning vistas that are nothing short of breathtaking. As you ascend, the panoramic views of the Ionian Sea and the surrounding landscape unfold before you, offering a spectacular reward for your efforts.

One of the most popular routes is the trail leading to the summit of Mount Ainos, known as Megas Soros. Standing at an impressive 1,628 meters, the summit offers a vantage point like no other. On a clear day, you can see across the entire island, including glimpses of nearby islands and the mainland. The feeling of standing atop Kefalonia, with the entire island spread out below, is an exhilarating experience.

For wildlife enthusiasts, Mount Ainos National Park is a haven. The dense forests and isolated locations make it an ideal spot for birds and other wildlife. Birdwatchers might catch sight of rare species such as the Kefalonian golden eagle or the elusive Eleonora’s falcon. The park is also home to a variety of endemic species, making it an important area for biodiversity conservation.

Nearby Towns Fiskardo and Magganos

Embrace the Local Charm: Exploring nearby towns Fiskardo and Magganos from The Olive Tree

Nestled in the stunning surroundings of Kefalonia, The Olive Tree Villa is not just a luxurious retreat with its panoramic sea views and private pool; it also serves as a gateway to the charming nearby towns of Fiskardo and Magganos. A short drive from the villa, these towns offer guests a delightful glimpse into authentic Greek island life, blending history, culture, and scenic beauty.

Fiskardo: A Bustling Harbour Town Fiskardo, just a short drive from The Olive Tree Villa, is a vibrant and picturesque harbour town. Known for its colourful waterfront, lined with an array of traditional tavernas and restaurants, it’s the perfect place to indulge in local specialties. The town’s culinary scene is a feast for the senses, offering fresh seafood and Greek delicacies, accompanied by the soothing sounds of the sea.

This harbour is not just about dining; it’s a hub of activity where guests can watch boats glide into the harbour, adding to the town’s lively atmosphere. For those interested in shopping, Fiskardo’s small shops and boutiques provide a variety of local crafts, clothing, and souvenirs, making it an ideal spot for finding unique gifts or keepsakes.

Fiskardo also caters to practical needs with its ATMs, two bakeries, supermarkets, and a chemist. For the adventurous at heart, the Fiskardo Dive Centre presents an opportunity to explore beneath the waves, offering diving experiences that reveal the underwater wonders of the Ionian Sea.

Magganos: A Quaint Village Experience Just 5 minutes away from The Olive Tree Villa lies the quaint village of Magganos. This village, though smaller than Fiskardo, offers its own charm and a more intimate glimpse into the everyday life of Kefalonians. Here, you can find two small supermarkets stocked with daily essentials, including fresh bread, a selection of fruits and vegetables, and other staples. It’s a perfect spot for those staying at the villa to stock up on provisions, especially if they prefer cooking in the well-equipped kitchens of The Olive Tree.

Magganos’s laid-back atmosphere is a welcome contrast to the more bustling Fiskardo, offering a peaceful retreat where visitors can enjoy the simpler aspects of island life. The village is an embodiment of the traditional Greek lifestyle, where time seems to slow down, and the focus is on enjoying the present moment.

A Stay at The Olive Tree: The Best of Both Worlds Staying at The Olive Tree Villa offers the best of both worlds – the tranquility of a private, luxurious accommodation and the accessibility to these vibrant nearby towns. Whether guests choose to spend their days lounging by the villa’s private pool, exploring the nearby beaches, or venturing out to Fiskardo and Magganos, there’s something to suit every taste and interest.