Kefalonia, Lefkada & Ithaki walking holiday

“Ten days of guided walking on the Ionian Sea island of Kefalonia, Lefkada & Ithaca. Following in the footsteps of Homer, an idyllic odyssey for any keen hiker. ”


Lefkada Island | Greek Ag. Ioanis Antzousis chapel | Faneromeni monastery | Gira lagoon | Ligia | Katouna | Nydri village | Skaros Mountain | Exanthia village | Mylos beach | Lefkatas Cape | Athani village | Alexandros | Kefalonia

Description of Kefalonia, Lefkada & Ithaki walking holiday

A 7- or 10-day walking itinerary around the lush islands of Kefalonia, Lefkada & Ithaca in the South Ionian Sea is the ideal holiday for nature and walking lovers.

We'll start from Lefkada, famous for being the homeland of Homer’s Greek hero Ulysses, in The Odyssey. A mountainous, valley rich landscape glistens like an emerald, and segues smoothly with the blues and turquoises of the Ionian all around. Despite the hot Mediterranean climate, its eclectic natural features include plenty of water that shapes it into the walking terrain so loved by many. Natural springs, waterfalls, rivers, canyons and forests all thrive around the mountain terrain, as do flora and fauna. Such as the array of wild herbs, as well as rare orchids and reams of wild flowers.

You'll continue to Ithaca to explore its trails among olive trees and ancient ruins, Byzantine monasteries and churches, sheer cliffs, arid mountains with splendid views, hidden coves with pebbly beaches, charming villages. Eventually you'll reach Kefalonia, the largest of the Ionian islands. Wooded and mountainous with broad summits rising to 1,627m (Mt Ainos), you will love its lush green hills, much photographed sandy beaches, picturesque villages, sheltered coves, spectacular caves, unprecedented views of the azure waters of the Ionian, delicious local recipes and wine…

Every day on this walking holiday brings another ancient trail, following old cobbled mule paths either up into the mountains, valleys or gorges or along the dramatic cliffs and coastal paths. With plenty of beautiful beaches and coves for rest and refreshment, swimming and sunning, to make your odyssey complete.

This walking holiday in Greece is graded as easy to moderate, with five to six hours of walking every day including stops, and climbs of no more than 500 metres. We are also flexible with our itineraries, depending on the needs and interests of our group members. We can push those muscles or just go for more easy going hikes, it is up to you. We run this Lefkada, Ithaca and Kefalonia walking holiday all year round, except from August, when extremely hot temperatures in Greece make walking very uncomfortable. We highly recommend spring and autumn, however, particularly the former, when the wild flowers and trees blossom, lining your walking routes like beautiful magic carpets.

Day-by-day experiences


Arrival at Lefkada and check in at our chosen family run guesthouse. After a briefing on the week's activities, we will go for a short walk amongst olive groves around the beautiful coastal town of Lefkada. Highlights include visit to the oldest Christian church of the island, Ag. Ioanis Antzousis and the short climb up to Faneromeni monastery to admire the views out across the island and Ionian Sea. Your first day on the island wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the beach, and Ag. Ioannis’s white sands and translucent waters are the perfect introduction to what will become a daily tradition on this holiday. As is dinner at a top tavern, in time for sunset.

Day 2: WALK ALONG THE FAMOUS GIRA LAGOON & HIKE INLAND TO EPISKOPOS WATERFALL. Today’s morning walk is at the island’s famous Gira Lagoon, a bird filled wetland and a Natura 2000 protected site very close to Lefkada town, which is conveniently located on the migratory path of birds such as wild duck, moorhen, flamingos pelicans and, sometimes even swans. Walking around the lagoon is an idyllic immersion into the island’s fine natural heritage. We have time for a second evening walk today, starting from the charming fishing village of Ligia and hiking along an inland path to Episkopos waterfall, with brooks and birdsong adding to nature’s harmoniousness along the way. Heading up to the elevated and exquisite village of Katouna, you will have earned a superb tavern dinner with great views and, if we are lucky, great local music too.

Day 3: WALK & EXPLORE SKAROS MOUNTAIN AND ITS ANCIENT OAK FOREST. In the morning the choice is yours – another beautiful day by the beach or a boat trip out to a neighbouring island. Our afternoon hike starts from the east coast village of Nikiana and climbs gently to one of the island’s most remote and very tranquil spots: Skaros Mountain, famous for the place that Ulysses took his sheep to pasture and where nowadays the surrounding, ancient oak forest is considered one of the island’s most precious habitats and wild places. After taking in the wonderful Ionian views, we descend back to Nikiana for our traditional dinner.

Day 4: HIKE ALONG STUNNING GORGE TO EXANTHIA VILLAGE. Today we delve into deep traditional Lefkada, hiking to the old village Kalamtitsi which, in many ways, feels delightfully unchanged by time, where elderly women still don traditional black dresses and use donkeys to negotiate the mountain paths and roads. Continuing on along trails bedecked with cypress trees and olive groves, we hike through a stunning gorge that leads us to Exanthia village, the perfect picnic spot overlooking more Ionian idylls. Our afternoon ends down on Mylos beach near the village of Drimonas, with top swimming and clear waters for those who like to snorkel. Walk or boat back to Ag. Nikitas village for a taverna dinner in this stunning waterside spot.

Day 5: COASTAL WALK FROM SOUTH TIP ALONG LEFKADA'S SPECTACULAR BEACHES. Today is the day to be blown away by beautiful beaches. Starting on the island’s south tip lighthouse on Lefkatas Cape, where the cliff and seascapes take your breath away. And indeed it is the perilous drops from these cliffs that gave the island its name, where criminals were forced to take the ‘Lefkadian Leap’. We will only be leaping from sandy bays into tranquil waters, however, heading west towards Porto Katsiki and Egremni, considered some of the Mediterranean’s finest bathing spots. After plenty of beach time at Porto Katsiki, we head inland to Athani village in a stunning olive grove filled mountain location. More stunning views, more stunning food at the local taverna.

Day 6: BOAT TO ITHACA AND EXPLORATION OF THE NATURAL HABITATS OF THE ISLAND. Today we’ll take the short boat ride to Ithaca and the picturesque fishing port of Frikes. We’ll take the narrow path that leads through the mountain towards solitary beaches. You’ll enjoy the lush green vegetation, olive groves and terraced slopes as well as the beautiful sea views nearly all the way towards the beach of Marmakas. Marmakas got its name from the white pebbles on the bottom which are shining like marble. Tall eucalyptus trees offer ample shade so we can stop to relax, swim and have a picnic.

We’ll then take the route that leads to another beautiful beach, Aphales, and then continue our pleasant walk towards Frikes. By the time we arrive the sun will be setting and a glorious sky will await us. Transfer to our guesthouse near the main port and town of Vathy which we’ll explore later in the evening.

Day 7: PLEASANT WALK THROUGH UNSPOILT LANDSCAPE WITH GREAT VIEWS. Today we’ll start the day with a pleasant and relaxed walk towards the Matathia plateau following an isolated track through an unspoilt landscape and great sea views to the Homeric Arethousa Fountain, where Odysseus’ swineherd, Eumaeus, brought his pigs to drink. The scenery at the fountain is breathtaking. We’ll then continue to the beautiful Pera Pigadi beach where we’ll plunge into its crystal clear waters. Relax the rest of the day.

Day 8: FERRY TO KEFALONIA AND CIRCULAR WALK FROM PICTURESQUE PORT OF FISCARDO. Stroll around Fiscardo, a picturesque and beautiful Greek harbour village, unique in Kefalonia as it retains the architecture and ambience of a long gone era, when the Venetians ruled Kefalonia. The picturesque harbour is surrounded by Venetian-style houses painted in pastel colours.

We will follow a circular walk starting from Fiscardo towards the northern part of the island. It connects villages, passes through cypress forests, strawberry tree forests, agricultural fields, beautiful secluded beaches where we’ll stop for a swim and a picnic as well as various historical sites such as the ancient tomb of Throni, the old village of Psilithrias, as well as the Battaria, which was a 1940 German anti-aircraft base.

Supper at our favourite tavern where you can taste the acclaimed cuisine of the island.

We will start our walk from the rural mountainous village of Kokolata and follow the ancient tracks, through olive groves and Cypress trees that grow in abundance on this part of the island, towards the village of Kortheas and the beautiful village of Assos. You will enjoy magnificent views of the coastline, of mountains dropping straight into the sea, and breathtaking views of the rustic village of Assos, its peninsula and the fortress.

We will stop at Assos’ delightful fishing port for a refreshing swim at the crystal clear waters of the bay and lunch before continuing our walk on the peninsula to the ruins of the old Venetian fortress. We will end our day with a visit at the most beautiful beach in the Mediterranean, Myrtos beach, with its white pebbles and turqoise waters.


We will start the day with a visit at the Melisanni Lake where you will have the opportunity to take a short boat ride around the underground lake. We will then continue at the village of Sami where we can enjoy a drink before our walk through the most distant part of the island of Kefalonia.

From the mindblowing beach of Antisamos, surrounded by vivid green mountains, we will walk the narrow path through dense plant life, reaching the hidden beach Koutsoupia. Opportunity to swim at its secluded crystal blue waters before continuing to the village of Poros. You will be rewarded at the end of the day with a delicious farewell supper.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Check dates

2021: 15 May, 22 May, 29 May, 5 Jun, 12 Jun, 19 Jun, 26 Jun, 3 Jul, 10 Jul, 28 Aug, 4 Sep, 11 Sep, 18 Sep, 25 Sep, 2 Oct, 9 Oct, 16 Oct, 23 Oct, 30 Oct
We cater for both vegetarians and vegans.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

This walking trail holiday in the islands of the Ionian Sea, has a primary eco-focus. We are dedicated to encouraging low-impact activity holidays, such as walking, and minimising our negative impact on the environment and people. This is mainly done by respecting the natural environment of the places we visit and by concentrating on an alternative way of travelling, mostly out of the heavy burdened touristic summer season.

We try to support the No Footprint idea by exploring in small group numbers and as much as possible getting around on foot or by public transport. Our walking holidays after all, leave nothing but footprints behind! We walk on designated paths and make sure no litter is left behind, while we also gather up any that we see on our way. We often arrange clean ups of paths and beaches during the week, or tree planting initiatives in these dry and arid Greek islands. We report on paths that are falling out of use and help to clear or shape them back.

Most of our paths are part of larger protected areas or National parks and Natural reserves, such as the vast Natura 2000 network. This way, we encourage our guests to behave in an environmentally responsible manner. We inform our guests about the unique flora and endemic and common species they will encounter while walking or swimming around the islands of Kefalonia, Lefkada & Ithaca. We find it to be important to encourage and develop a passion for wildlife and wild places among our customers. We give guidelines on where to look for them, how to observe them or even capture a unique picture showing to the rest of the world their magic. Of course, it is important to emphasize that all wildlife sightings are a bonus; none are guaranteed! We practice Responsible Wildlife Viewing principles by not disturbing or threatening the behaviour of any wild animal by no means. We ask our guests to never remove a specimen – whether plant, seed or animal – from its natural environment. Guests leave aware of the environmental dangers faced and what they can do themselves to minimise them.

We encourage our guests and the owners of the accommodations we use to be aware of the threats to the environment (i.e. water waste, plastic bags and bottles) and suggest ways in which they can minimise their negative footprint. We explain to our guests the need for water conservation in the Greek islands and advise them on how to minimise their water waste. We encourage our guests to bring refillable water bottles and/or recycle them in designated areas. All communication is done electronically where possible, saving on paper

The Impacts of this Trip

We have the greatest respect for the local people and their customs and are anxious to share our knowledge of Ionian island lifestyle with our guests. Your guides are all local, sharing with you their ideas and love for their land. In order to limit the social impact of tourism all are guests are introduced to the local customs, religion, politics and history during our walks. We take our clients to local festivals, artists' workshops, and other local celebrations trying to get them to experience the local way of life. We encourage our guests to mix and interact with the local people which are particularly friendly and hospitable.

Through our walking trail holidays in Greece we support small businesses by supporting locally owned shops, guesthouses, mini-markets, bakeries and taverns. As our holidays take place in spring, early summer and autumn, we bring customers and income to establishments which would otherwise only have visitors in the high touristic summer months. In many villages, we visit local craftswomen who make their own handmade traditional products and by selling them, support their families.

All the products used in our picnics are bought locally, by small family-owned shops, supporting a low carbon diet and respecting the seasonal produces, thus supporting the local agricultural community. Evening meals are taken in typical Greek restaurants serving local, Greek and Mediterranean dishes, usually with products from their own personal gardens.

We opt for local, family owned guesthouses, staffed by locals. These accommodations have been restored by local workers and retained their unique local character whilst providing all necessary comforts. The guesthouses recently installed solar panels which provide hot water for all rooms all year round.

In general, with all walking holidays in Greece, we’re trying through our activities to encourage travellers to approach places they visit with greater understanding and respect.


7 Reviews of Kefalonia, Lefkada & Ithaki walking holiday

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 05 Oct 2020 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

There are so many! The hikes and the activities we did with our small group were varied and each one was a memorable experience full of connection with
nature, history, simplicity and presence. Some of the highlights were the herbal walk with Ares, visits of the old chapels and the monastery, 360 vies of the
island, drinking water out of natural springs and eating fruit off the trees while walking, the sunset in Pefkoulia beach, and coming across the road to
NowHere just before the cyclone. I admire Daphne's knowledge, flexibility and the spontaneity and would like to join her on other trips in the future!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bring king boots for the mountainous areas and trail trainers for the flatter walks.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

By staying in a family run hotel and eating out in local restaurants we did support the local economy. Being outdoors in such proximity to nature and learning
about the native plants did encourage awareness of human footprint and the need to preserve the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Amazing! I would whole heartedly recommend this holiday for people who are into walking, nature and a bit of off the beaten track experiences!

Reviewed on 27 Sep 2020 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Incredible views from the top of Lefkada’s mountains, tavern dinner with
the herbalist and other local friends, (and 36 hours in hibernation as the islands were hit by, once-in-generation cyclone Ionas).

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

We had a very small group, due to Covid.
Daphne was an excellent and very flexible and knowledgeable guide who was fun to get to know, and able to come up with a new itinerary when the weather meant we couldn’t go to Kefalonia. She gave us a good mix of walking and down time. We stayed by a stunning beach at Agios Nikitas, and most days went out for 3-4 hours (3-6 mile) walks around the island. The ground is rocky and often up hill - I was glad of my boots.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. We spent our money at local businesses, learned a lot about the natural environment and left little behind.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent. I hope to be able to return to the Greek islands. The operator looked
after me very well indeed and I would definitely book with them again.

Reviewed on 19 May 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

A downpour during a short hike in the Ithaca hills could have been a downer as we were completely soaked. But the combination of our guide, Daphnie's planning and unfailing good cheer, along with our mountain village Taverna's hostess' hospitality, warming welcome (including glasses of psipouro and dry clothes!!) and wonderful and continuously replenished, traditional Greek dishes, turned this into one of our most memorable evenings ever.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Give yourself an extra day on the islands at the end to ensure that you are able to stay the full time planned on Ithaca. The boat for Lefkada at this time of year usually leaves early morning, although times can be impacted by weather.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes... all of the above to a degree, although perhaps less overtly in supporting conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fabulous. Our guide, Daphnie, was superb, being always willing to adjust the itinerary to suit people and/or weather, the walking and scenery is incredible, the hotels ideally located in small seaside towns, and the restaurants recommended for us throughout the holiday gave us a perfect 'taste of Greece'.

Reviewed on 17 May 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The fact that our excellent Greek guide was able to give us so much information about the islands, and also about Greek life in general. Through her we met a number of locals and felt it was altogether a very Greek experience. We were lucky in that, as the only members of our "group", we had Daphne to ourselves, so she could be flexible and adapt walks and activities to our preferences. We had a fascinating mountain walk with a local herbalist who showed us countless plants and explained their medicinal or other uses. Daphne was not only patient, tireless and informative, but she was also very good company! The beauty of the islands was also memorable.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If you are interested in wild flowers, include Lefkada in your itinerary - in May they were there in glorious profusion! Pay attention to Nikos's pre-holiday briefings - we had perhaps slightly underestimated the length and number of ascents, though we did acclimatise as the days went on. As we were just two with Daphne we could go at our own pace, though with a group that might be more demanding. (We are in our 70's, fit and keen walkers but perhaps a little more steep uphill training beforehand would have been a good idea!) Take good boots as the paths are rocky and often uneven. Pack a basin plug and plastic sandals for the beaches, which are gorgeous but stony!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, We ate (very well indeed) in small local tavernas and stayed in three guest-house/studio apartments owned as small enterprises by local people. We chose local dishes which were often home-made and always used locally grown or reared ingredients.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent. The description beforehand was very accurate and our guide, Daphne, could not have been better. Thank you for the recommendation.

Reviewed on 12 Nov 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Visiting the Folklore museum in Lefkada, and enjoyed the variety of Greek food. Meeting the friendly local people and seeing their lifestyle
Enjoyed meeting the cats as we are great animal lovers

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Wear boots and most tracks can be rugged and not well maintained by the locals. Suggest getting fit by climbing and descending hills / mountains on rocky
terrain before doing the tour

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Staying in local pensions / guest houses did benefit the local people. Enjoyed dining in local establishments however some places could be closed for the

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was an enjoyable experience but we were not expecting the walks were going to be on trails rather than rocky paths. In some cases, it was a bit of bush
bashing. There we only the two of us o the tour and we are in our 70's hence we felt the trip was hard going (except in Ithaca)

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Eric and Helen,

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. I'm very glad to hear that you enjoyed the guesthouses, the food, meeting local people and experiencing the local culture. I'm sorry to hear that you found the terrain hard. Our guide informed us that you wanted to walk for shorter distances and prefer easy walks. Because it was just the two of you, we adapted the walks to suit you.

All the walks we organised for you are considered easy by international standards. The terrain though can be rocky and depending on the season (especially after it rains) there can be weed overgrowing. That's why we recommend people to wear boots and have walking poles. We will strengthen our copy and the information we send our future guests to make sure this is clearer. Thank you once again for joining us.

Reviewed on 19 Sep 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Great walks, perfect weather, beautiful sceneries and nature. Our guide was very friendly and very eager to share with us his knowledge. Also the food was excellent.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

A reasonable level of fitness is required. Bring a good pair of hiking boots and don't forget your camera!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, we were avoiding typical touristic areas and supported small, locally run businesses such as the traditional guesthouse where we stayed. Our guide was well informed on environmental and cultural issues and introduced us to the herbs, plants, bird species etc of the area.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I had a fantastic time, enjoyed the wonderful walks, the natural environment and the great company!

Reviewed on 07 Aug 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Hard to pick one thing in particular. Each of the walks was special. The holiday was a lovely mix of beautiful walks, experiencing nature, local culture and relaxing on the beach. The food was wonderful.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Good walking shoes and if you have bring walking sticks. It was possible to swim at beautiful beaches at the end of most walks so bring swim gear and sun cream.
Take advantage of the opportunity to meet local people. human contact is always priceless on a trip.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Certainly benefited local people. The hotel was family run. Low environmental impact.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent. I will be back next year! I would not hesitate to recommend to a friend.

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