The paradise of turtles and other natural wonders
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.