To get a overall impression of the island, here is the link to Google Maps:

As you will see, the villa is centrally placed on the island, within easy reach of the Airport (recently rebuilt), 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 ‘land lubbers’ alike.  The mainland of Greece can be reached from both Sami and Poros.   Trips to the island of Ithaca are a great delight and there is a ferry service from Sami several times a day taking about 40 minutes.  

The very popular port/town of Fiskardo (the Kefalonian town least damaged by the 1953 earthquake) is about forty five minutes drive away.  Just the drive is well worth it, with one way over the mountains with breath-taking views of the mainland on the eastern route or views of Kefalonia and the Paliki peninsular keeping to the west route.  


The journey from the airport (clearly marked on Google Maps – is all via main roads apart from the very last bit. 


The Walnut Tree villa is a five minute drive to the Port of Sami and a journey of about thirty minutes to the Port of Argostoli and to Poros.  You can also reach Ithaca from Fiskardo and take a ferry to the island of Zankynthos from Pesada on the west coast.  Both Sami and Poros ports have ferry connections to the mainland of Greece.   A popular day trip taking the Poros/Kylini ferry is a visit to Olympia.  

SAMI – our local town

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

Nearby Sami comes alive in the summer months as a busy tourist centre with restaurants, bars and shops.   The nearby attractions of Sami Acropolis, Melissani Cave Lake, Drogarati Cave and the beautiful beach of Antisamos are all within an easy drive.   There is a beautiful new Museum in Sami, displaying artifacts from both the local area and from Fiskardo.  We have a Maritime Museum opened during the last couple of years.  

Sami is truly a town where Kefalonian families live today – and have lived for generations.  There are well established businesses in the town run by three generations of the family as well as new businesses set up in the last few years. 


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.   Just above our villa (below the yellow unfinished house), a Roman farm was unearthed and excavated a few years ago.  There are photos of the excavation in a blog on this website.  

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


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.  


For our visitors, there are markets, good shopping and museums.  Attractions including a wide variety of restaurants, theatres, the Sea Mills, the Lighthouse and the Italian War Memorial are all worth visiting if the beach has temporarily lost its appeal. 


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. 


Exploring the high wilderness of the Kefalonian National Parks of Aenos and Roudi is a magical experience.  The views, the flora and fauna, the peace and quiet – a visit to Kefalonia should really include a taste of these mountainous areas;  it will not be enough.  You will want to return!


WHAT  TO  DO – click for local dance music


Food shopping is a particular pleasure in Kefalonia and of course in Sami.  The quality of the local produce is impressive:

  • meat (chicken, pork, goat and lamb – wonderful sausages)

  • fish, eggs (free-range!)

  • cheese (the local Feta cheese is very well regarded, Mizithra – a ricotta-like cheese and Kefalotiri – a hard full-fat cheese)

  • milk, yoghurt, butter  (please look for our local Kefalonian dairy products – and you can visit the dairy at Dilinata)

  • vegetables, fruit and herbs (visit the waterside market stalls in Argostoli for fresh local vegetables)

  • honey (Kefalonia is famous for its honey)

  • olive oil – you will have a supply of our own extra virgin olive oil awaiting you with our compliments

A N D  

  • WINE  (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. 

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

  • Supermarkets:  Sami Supermarket, Demoulis and My Supermarket and Cash and Carry.  Carrefour, Lidl, AB and Demoulis are all well distributed throughout the island with all of these in and around Argostoli, the capital.

  • Chemist: on the waterfront left of square looking out to sea

  • Butchers: there are three in Sami and two in Aghia Efimia

  • Greengrocer: behind the church …. near the

  • Newspaper Shop

  • Cleaners

  • Jewellers, Sweets, Clothes Boutiques …. the list grows year by year.

Also available in Sami:


  • on the Sami/Argostoli road on the edge of the town

  • Several ATMs



  • Ferry Offices, Car and Bike Hire, Travel Agents, Computer Specialists, Dry Cleaners, Dentist  


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!


  • 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, yacht and ferries manoevring round the harbour.


  • 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 – such a treat!

  • Karavomolis Taverna  If it is atmosphere you want this is the one for youright on the beach just beyond the lake


  • Robilis Taverna  A very Greek experience for MEAT LOVERS and sooooooooo 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.

  • Kalithea Restaurant As its name suggests, a fabulous view and family run – above Sami on the road out of the valley towards Argostoli

 …. and a short drive from The Walnut Tree villa


  • 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


Maklithari Taverna  Makriotika (first left in Aghia Efimia and continue for about 6 kms) Worth it!


To Kastro   St Georges Castle Tel: 26710 66367 (Spyros and Nicki) – Best daytime cafe on the island with views!

Look for our Visitor’s Book.  It is a great place to find recommendations from past guests.  We hope you find it useful and if so, please add your own names, comments and ‘good finds’ to The Walnut Tree Visitor’s Book.