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‘The half-forgotten island of Cephallonia rises improvidently and inadvisedly from the Ionian Sea,’ writes Dr Iannis in Louis de Bernières’ Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – a book and film that lifted the island, the largest of the Ionians, from its half-obscurity and put it square on the holiday map. Its Jabberwocky silhouette contains 781 square kilometres of ruggedly beautiful mountains, and hills swathed in olives, vines and cypresses, although it supports a mere 30,000 people.

Kefalonians are famous for wandering (one, Ioánnis Phókas, better known as Juan de Fuca, was a 16th-century explorer who sought the Northwest Passage for Philip II of Spain and gave his name to the Strait of Juan de Fuca; another, Constantine Yerákis, made a fortune in the British East India Company and became Regent of Siam), and it’s not uncommon to meet someone whose entire family lives in Canada, Australia or the United States.

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Kefaloniá: Lixoúri & Palikí Peninsula

Possibly Odysseus's Ithaca...

Kefaloniá: Argostoli

The island capital

Kefaloniá: South

Mountains, forests, wine and beaches

Kefaloniá: the North

Stunning caves and beaches

Text © Dana Facaros

Images by George Hiles on Unsplash, Ilias Byron Ladenis, Mattia Panciroli, Oionokles Painter, Piero di Cosimo