Summer vacation is making a comeback.
With the rollout of vaccines across the globe, Google’s trends for travel research are booming and travel bookings with them.
According to European Travel Commission, more than half (56%) of Europeans intend to travel this summer. Many remain cautious, however, seeking remote outdoor vacations with 34% favoring a trip to the sea.
Keeping this in mind, Love vacation has compiled a list of the best secluded beaches in Europe with stunning views, providing vacation inspiration that respects social distancing.
Unsurprisingly, this list of the ten best secluded beaches in Europe is adorned with not one, but two beaches belonging to the beautiful Greek island of Kefalonia: Kimilia Beach and Dafnoudi Beach.
Also both awarded with ‘Travelers’ Choice – Best of the 25 Best Beaches in the World 2020′, Kimilia Beach and Dafnoudi Beach are just two, albeit mind-blowing, reasons to put Kefalonia on your summer travel itinerary.
Kefalonia Island, Greece
Kefalonia (or Kefalonia) is the largest island in the Ionian Sea, known as the location of the movie “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin», With Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz.
Kefalonia’s jagged coastline is marked by limestone cliffs, private sandy coves and dry, rugged landscapes.
Many beaches, including Kimilia and Dafnoudi, can only be reached on foot or by narrow, winding roads.
Surrounded by crystal clear turquoise waters, Kefalonia is steeped in history and culture.
History of Cephalonia
The Ionian island owes its name to Kephalos, the first king of the region during the Paleolithic era.
According to the locals, this king founded the four main cities of the island which were Sami, Pahli, Krani and Pronnoi, and named them after his sons.
The large Greek island was home to Ulysses, the legendary king hailed in Homer’s Odyssey.
Archaeological excavations have been carried out throughout the island which is dotted with many archaeological sites belonging to different eras.
Some scholars have traced evidence of human habitation on the island as far back as 50,000 BC.
Tools and other artifacts belonging to the Paleolithic era have been unearthed at the archaeological site west of ancient Krani.
Cephalonia was an important center during Mycenaean times, a claim confirmed by the discovery of Mycenaean tombs at the archaeological sites of Tzanata, Metaxata and Mazarakata.
In 187 BC, Kefalonia was attacked by the Romans, who eventually took the island after months of fighting resistance from the island’s inhabitants.
Kefalonia’s Roman-era archaeological sites, including temples, palaces and Roman baths, are also of great interest to visitors to the island.
During World War II, in 1941, the island was occupied by Italian troops allied with the Germans. In 1943, Italy surrendered to the Allies and as punishment, German forces executed more than 5,000 Italian soldiers in the Acqui Division Massacre.
In August 1953, a huge earthquake destroyed most of Kefalonia and demolished most of the island’s villages.
While the villages of central and southern Kefalonia were almost completely destroyed, only the northern village of Fiskardo was spared the earthquake which is much admired today for its original architecture.
These two historical facts were described in the famous book by Louis de Bernières Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, written by Louis de Bernières (on which the 2001 film of the same name was based), which pays tribute to the thousands of Italian soldiers executed and those killed in the post-war earthquake in Kefalonia.
Kamilia and Dafnoudi from Kefalonia, both named in the list of the ten best secluded beaches in Europe
Kefalonia’s many spectacular beaches can only be described as exquisite and they are among the largest, most picturesque and clearest in all of Greece.
A true paradise for lovers of sandy beaches, Kefalonia has no shortage of beautiful bays ideal for snorkeling.
Myrtos Beach is renowned for its natural beauty and is one of the most photographed places in Greece, while Antisamos Beach gained worldwide fame thanks to the hit Hollywood film, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
Other interesting beaches to visit include Xi, where the sand is red in color, in addition to the very well organized and accessible beaches of Makris Gialos and Platis Gialos, both of which are popular tourist meeting points.
However, if you are more looking for a private and deserted island, Kefalonia offers a plethora of coves hiding beaches that are quietly waiting to be discovered, such as Kimilia and Dafnoudi, named two of the best secluded beaches in Europe.
Kimilia Beach, Kefalonia
Kimilia Beach is located at the northwestern tip of Kefalonia, on the Erisos Peninsula, near Fiskardo and a number of other small traditional villages in this part of the island.
It is pebbly, with turquoise waters characteristic of the Ionian Sea, while the surrounding green and beautiful nature creates an impressive and unique landscape.
To reach Kimilia beach, visitors must leave their car in the village of Germenata, in Erisos and continue on foot along the small path.
A ten minute walk through cypress and olive trees leads to the beautiful white pebble beach of Kimilia with its crystal clear blue waters.
Great for swimming and snorkelling, but there are no facilities so beach goers should bring a picnic, water, and an umbrella so they are well prepared for their day. ‘imbue with tranquility.
Dafnoudi Beach, Kefalonia
Dafnoudi Beach is a small unspoiled white pebble bay, also located at the northern end of Kefalonia, with a view of Lefkada.
An isolated lagoon known for its beautiful crystal clear waters, pebble shores and lush green landscape, this hidden treasure is not accessible by car.
Visitors should leave the car in the village of Antypata, approximately 5 km from Fiskardo, and walk approximately 800 m through a cypress forest.
To get to the beach you have to take a slightly rocky path, so be sure to wear suitable shoes rather than flip flops.
The waters here are calm and the colors vary from blue to green.
On the right side of the beach there is a beautiful cave with a small shaded beach inside.
The beach is a shelter for the endangered Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus-Monachus), so the very lucky may even be lucky enough to see one.
There is natural shade from around 1pm, but before that it’s best to bring an umbrella along with something to eat and drink while you’re there.
Visitors to Kefalonia will be wowed by this picturesque island on many levels, especially its unique biodiversity.
In addition to the monk seals swimming in its waters, Abies Cephalonica (Greek fir), a unique fir-type tree species with whitish branches and sharp needles, not found anywhere else in the world, grows in Cephalonia.
Goats and hares with golden teeth attributed to soil constituents inhabit the island, while caretta-caretta sea turtles lay their eggs on the island’s beaches.
It is no wonder that the Greek island of Kefalonia was ranked by The daily telegraph as one of the 20 Mediterranean islands that you must visit in your lifetime.
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