The long flat quayside at Sami is perfect for a stroll before having lunch or refreshments at one of the many bars or tavernas – you will also see lots of expensive yachts moored up for much of the summer. It is from the harbour that you can get the ferry to our sister island of Ithaka, but it is advisable to take your hire car there as the main settlements are a fair distance from the port on the west side.
Apart from bars and tavernas, Sami has everything you could possibly need for your holiday: there are grocery shops and souvenir shops as well as ATMs and a pharmacy, it is almost entirely flat and can be easier to get around in the hot weather.
In nearby Karavamilos is the beautiful naturally occurring Melissani Lake. It was discovered in 1951 and is directly in the flow of sea water which runs under the island from katavothres near Argostoli in the south west, to the lake at Karavomilos where it flows into the sea. From the quayside at Sami the Melissani Lake is about 3km (1.86miles) which should take a little over 30 minutes by foot or is a 5 minute drive by car, taxi or local bus. If you are not going as part of an organised tour, then it is best not to visit between the hours of 11:00-14:00 and as of 2019 it will cost you €7 per adult and €5 per child for entry. Also in Karavamylos is the Kefalonian Beer brewery – if you are there when the brewer is present, you may get a quick tour and chat – you may also get to try some samples.
Approximately 3km from Karavomilos is the ruined village of Palia Vlachata – it was devastated by the earthquake which shook the island in 1953 forcing the surviving residents to quickly leave and move to Karavamylos. If you manage to visit the area when there’s no one else around it is quite an eerie experience – just to take in the surroundings and try to imagine what life was like before the earthquake hit. Every year in the summer it is home to the Saristra music festival, although this has been cancelled for 2020.
To the south west of Sami you will find the impressive naturally occurring Drogorati cave – a cave so large even orchestras have performed in it. The cave, Odysseus Zoo Land and the Nautical Museum of Sami are all very close together. At approximately 4km away, they are not really walk-able during the hot weather, but there are many taxis in the area and also a local bus service.
In the hills above Sami are the ruins of the holy monastery of St. Fanentes and the Acropolis of Ancient Sami.
Antisamos beach is situated on the east coast of the island, 4.5km (2 ¾ miles) drive from the quayside at Sami. A steep winding road with breathtaking views leads you to one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. The beach is made up of pearly white pebbles and is contrasted by the surroundings of lush greenery. It was one of the primary locations used in filming the 2001 movie Captain Correli’s Mandolin and its natural beauty attracts thousands of fascinated holidaymakers every year.
The beach is covered in small white pebbles which are visible in the shallows, but the water suddenly becomes deep. This sudden increase in depth causes a stunning contrast between the deep blue sea, the turquoise shallows and the white pebbled beach. Because the water quickly becomes deep it isn’t really suitable for inexperienced swimmers or young children.
Snorkelling is a must here, there are lots of fish in the shallows that are not afraid of swimmers, this makes them very easy to observe – other water sports are available here too.
There is a daily local bus service to and from the beach and facilities there include sun lounger and umbrella hire as well as snack bars which pipe out music to the visitors. There is also limited free parking.
Expect this beach to be busy during the peak summer months.
The beautiful monastery of Virgin Mary of Agrilia sits high above the beach and offers superb views over Sami and the surrounding area.