Kefalonia is a very big island, the 6th largest of all the Greek islands, in fact. Which means lots of places to see and things to do. However, none are more famous than spectacular Myrtos Beach. Featuring dramatic cliffs and luminescent aquamarine blue water, Myrtos Beach has always been a fabulously beautiful place but in recent years its popularity has skyrocketed thanks to a certain app you may have heard of, I believe it’s called “Instagram”. Something to do with immediate telegrams, I assume from the name?
Anyway, the point is that Myrtos Beach (also spelled Mirtos Beach) is both stunning and popular, so figuring out how and when to visit is an important part of the planning process for your Kefalonia holiday. Along with deciding how you’re going to spell Kefalonia when the situation arises.
Personally, I like the clean, hard consonant look of Kefalonia, although while in Greece you are probably going to see a variety of English spellings from Cephalonia to Kefallinia or Kephallenia, or even, obviously, the Greek spelling – Κεφαλονιά.
Once that monumental decision has been sorted, then you can move on the logistics of your Myrtos Beach visit. How to get there, where to stay, where to eat and other places to visit nearby.
Why is Myrtos Beach famous?
Every visit to Kefalonia should include at least a stop at this iconic beach because the viewpoints from the road high above are sublime (from both north and south). Photos from these Myrtos Beach viewpoints have become very popular on Instagram lately.
There is also nothing quite like sitting on the rocky, white sand staring out at the crystal-clear Myrtos Beach bay with cliffs looming in all directions. One of several reasons Myrtos Beach has earned a spot on a number of “Best Beaches in Greece” lists in recent years, as well.
Where is Myrtos Beach?
It is located on the western coast of the northern part of Kefalonia, easily accessible by car from the main population centres on the island. The closest city is Sami, but the ports in Poros and Skala and the capital of Argostoli are also easily reached by car (and sometimes by bus).
The beach itself is located just a few kilometres downhill from the village of Divarata, which is located right on the highway. To get to the beach, you have to drive (or walk) down a steep and narrow but very scenic road.
Myrtos Beach Map
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How to Get to Kefalonia
Kefalonia has an international airport with regular flights to and from Athens and less frequent connections to certain destinations around Europe (most of them from the UK).
The most common way to reach Kefalonia, though, is by ferry from the mainland, Corfu or Zakynthos (in summer). There are several routes per day to the mainland in high season and, as you’d expect, far fewer in the winter.
Click here for ferry prices and availability
How do I access Myrtos Beach?
The easiest way is by car as it is less than an hour from all the major centres on Kefalonia. However, there are public buses that run to Myrtos Beach, as well, and if you have access to a boat you can also arrive by sea.
How to Get to Myrtos Beach
Myrtos Beach is easily accessible by car with the decent but steep and winding paved Myrtos Beach road leading directly down to it. The views from the highway above the beach are stunning and they just keep getting better on the way down. But the road is also very narrow and can get busy in high season so don’t get distracted!
There is a bus system on Kefalonia but using it to get anywhere but the main cities is difficult and time consuming so we highly recommend renting a car to reach all the best spots. Plus, having your own vehicle means you can set your own schedule. We always use Discover Cars while in the Greek islands and got a terrific deal through them for our entire time in Kefalonia.
Driving Times to Myrtos Beach Kefalonia
Sami to Myrtos Beach: 20 km / 30 min
Fiskardo to Myrtos Beach: 25 km / 40 min
Argostoli to Myrtos Beach: 30 km / 45 min
Poros to Myrtos Beach: 45 km / 1 hr
Skala to Myrtos Beach: 55 km / 1.25 hrs
Myrtos Beach Parking
Myrtos Beach has a large, spacious parking lot just back from the beach so you shouldn’t have to worry about finding a spot outside of the busiest days of summer.
If you don’t plan to do a bunch of exploring and maybe only need a ride or two, there are some very good taxi services on the island. Prices are very reasonable within towns or for short journeys. We rented a car for most of our time but took a taxi from Poros to Argostoli so that we wouldn’t have to wait hours for the next bus. We can definitely recommend Taxi Skala Kefalonia – fast, friendly and reasonably priced (and quickly found a detour when the road was blocked by a crash).
KTEL buses follow set routes around Kefalonia and can be quite handy for getting between major centres. In high season there are 3 buses per day from Argostoli to Myrtos Beach. There is also a public bus that runs between Argostoli and Sami that stops off at Divarata and you can then walk down to Myrtos Beach.
However, from October to May the direct bus ends and there is usually just one per day through Divarata. And even on the main routes between cities you can expect to wait hours for the next connection. Be sure to check the latest schedules before planning to get around via public transportation.
If you have your own boat or decide to rent one while on Kefalonia, you can reach Myrtos Beach by sea. There is no dock, though, so you’ll need to anchor farther out and swim in.
In high season, some boat tours from other parts of the island stop off in Myrtos Beach as well. Be sure to ask in advance how much time you’ll have on the beach.
Myrtos Beach Info
As we’ve mentioned already, Myrtos Beach is mainly famous for how it looks from a distance. And whether you are approaching from the north (from Fiskardo) or south (from Argostoli) you will reach a terrific viewpoint from the highway. Looking down at the white rocks/sand (it only looks like powdery white sand because of the distance), the surrounding cliffs, the translucent water and the distant hills is pretty special from either one.
However, Myrtos Beach isn’t just a pretty first impression, it has also earned Blue Flag Beach classification, meaning they meet high standards for cleanliness, water quality, safety, organization and environmental impact.
Once you make your way down the narrow switchbacks (which are paved, at least) to the beach itself, you’ll find that most of the beach is actually made up of small, round rocks that can be difficult (and loud) to walk on. If you have aquasocks, they will come in very handy on Myrtos Beach.
The rocks normally get pushed up into hills by the waves, making it rather steep to get into the water in some sections. The north side of the beach is definitely sandier than the south and the best place to head in for a swim is directly in front of the snack bar (and not coincidentally, the lifeguard shack) where the entrance is more gradual and there is a sandy bottom.
The Myrtos Beach bar sells all the usual stuff (chips, chocolate, sandwiches, drinks, both with and without alcohol) at fairly reasonable prices considering it’s the only game in town. There is a shaded area with some tables where you can eat and drink and just off to one side is a set of public washrooms.
There are a few freshwater outdoor showers for rinsing off just in front of the snack area and in high season you can rent loungers and umbrellas at Myrtos Beach, although you will probably have to arrive fairly early to snag a set. The aforementioned lifeguard station is only manned in high season, as well.
If you are looking to pass the time doing more than simply reading, sleeping, doomscrolling on your phone or just lying inertly as the sun has its way with your skin, there is Myrtos Beach cave at the south end you can check out. When we visited, it was closed because of rockfall (and I understand is usually the case) but the area is still interesting enough from the outside to warrant the 5-minute walk.
The snorkelling on Myrtos Beach isn’t considered the best on the island but can also help pass the time (you’ll have to bring gear with you) and the nudists tend to congregate at the more sheltered northern end, if that’s something you’re into.
Where to Stay: The Best Myrtos Beach Hotels
There are no hotels right on the beach but there are several good Myrtos Beach hotels just up the hill in and around Divarata that should fit most price ranges. There is also a supermarket, a couple of ATMs, several restaurants and a shop selling every type of beach toy known to man (including snorkelling gear).
Mina’s Apartments offer tremendous value this close to such a popular beach. Simple but fully equipped studios and apartments with the option to have breakfast provided.
Click here for prices and availability at Minas Apartments
Just north of Divarata, you’ll find Myrtos View Apartments, which feature excellent ocean and sunset views (although not quite of Myrtos Beach itself). Located in a quiet area, there is a beautiful pool and a couple different apartments to choose from.
Click here for prices and availability at Myrtos View Apartments
Families or groups looking for a longer stay will love Cephalonian Countryside Villa just up the valley from Divarata. This beautiful holiday home requires a minimum 7-night stay but has everything you might need as well as fantastic views.
Click here for prices and availability at Cephalonian Countryside Villa
Myrtos Beach Restaurants: Where to Eat
Along with the Myrtos Beach bar, there are quite a few places to eat and drink up the hill in Divarata. Here are a few of the best:
A friendly place with snacks, breakfast and brunch food, plus good coffee and excellent desserts.
Like many places in Kefalonia, they specialize in souvlaki and gyros and do them well. Reasonably priced and the most traditionally Greek of the places in Divarata.
Myrtos Tavern & Café
With outstanding fresh seafood and excellent Greek salads, this is a great choice for a meal at the end of a long day at the beach.
Nuovo Café & Snack Bar
Known for their terrific breakfasts but they also offer plenty of other snack choices and great coffee.
Things to Do Near Myrtos Beach Greece
If you are relying on the bus you’re probably doing a straight in-and-out visit but those with a car should definitely check out some of the other great things to do near Myrtos Beach.
The entire coastal road between Argostoli and Fiskardo is fantastic – a smooth, paved highway winding its way in and out of the gorgeous coves along the way. Myrtos Beach falls roughly halfway between these two interesting Kefalonia cities so you can’t go wrong heading in either direction (although we would definitely suggest both to enjoy the views from every angle).
Our personal pick for the best village in Kefalonia, adorable little Assos is roughly 10 kilometres and 20 minutes by car from Divarata. It is colourful, charming, features a beautiful bay on each side and an impressive set of Venetian ruins. The road down is very steep, winding and scenic. If you follow it to the end of the village (which isn’t very far) you’ll come to a small parking lot with impressive views of both bays.
From there you can check out the tiny old town area and a small, curved beach backed by several friendly tavernas (we were particularly impressed with the frosty pints at Sea Side Taverna).
If you are a strong swimmer or have a kayak or paddleboard you can head out around the corner where you’ll find a couple of small sea caves and tiny, sheltered beaches.
For the best views of Assos, you need to hike at least partway up to the Venetian Fort of Assos. There is an obvious and gently ascending stone path that leads away from the parking area or you can head up the steps to the left where the path starts (next to the abandoned building) on a steeper and more direct (but still relatively easy) dirt trail. This trail eventually joins up with the main path before reaching the castle, which is good, because the best viewpoint (in my not-so-humble opinion) is from the path about one switchback before the top.
The castle itself is extensive and mostly in extreme disrepair, although history buffs will be fascinated. Plus, the highest and most direct viewpoint is from the corner of the walls of the fort at the south end of the ruins. You can’t miss it – it’s staring you in the face as you come through the gate.
The actual “high point” of the hill is in the other direction but the views from there are obscured and there isn’t much else to see. Besides that, you could also explore the ruins for hours and check out the visitor centre for more info.
If (or perhaps when) we return to Kefalonia, our plan will be to stay in Assos and visit Myrtos Beach from there.
Aspros Gialos Beach
About 10 minutes south of Divarata is lovely Aspros Gialos Beach. It is only accessible by boat, which is why it tends to be much quieter than Myrtos Beach. There are no facilities, just nice sand and outstanding scenery.
Agia Kiriaki Beach
Another 5 minutes south at the cute little village of Agkonas you can turn off the highway to access Agia Kiriaki Beach. This one is accessible by road and is much larger and more organized (featuring all the facilities). It isn’t quite as sheltered as Myrtos Beach but there is a lot more space to accommodate everyone.
On the highway, keep an eye out of the Agia Kiriaki viewpoint – a great vantage point from high above.
If You Like Myrtos Beach You Should Also Check Out:
Located on the far western side of Kefalonia, this pretty beach features a very similar look to Myrtos Beach – white crescent of sand protected by tall cliffs – and offers arguably even better photos.
Paralia Petani is far more organized than Myrtos Beach, with all the usual facilities (loungers, umbrellas, toilets, showers), plus a couple of actual tavernas and even a few places to stay. It also has quite a bit more sand and fewer rocks, for those who prefer the soft stuff.
When to Go: Myrtos Beach Weather
Like most of the Greek islands, Kefalonia enjoys a very mild climate year-round thanks to the surrounding Mediterranean Sea. August is the hottest month (20/34 low/high) and between May and September Myrtos Beach gets almost no rain.
Most precipitation comes in the winter months, although that is still pretty minimal. The coldest month is January (5/13 low/high) and from November to March there tends to be more wind as well. In the shoulder months of April and October it is possible to get some very good weather without the crowds (although in spring the water will still be very cold).
The snack booth is open every day in summer and on nice days in the shoulder seasons but shuts down in winter. The beach itself is always open, however.
Myrtos Beach can get very busy in the summer so it makes sense to arrive early to beat the rush. Another good option if you’re not worried about soaking up the midday sun is to show up late in the day around 4 or 5 when most of the sun-worshipers have had enough and are starting to head back up.
Verdict: Is Myrtos Beach the Best Beach in Kefalonia?
While lovely Myrtos Beach is certainly a worthy contender for that title, there are a number of beautiful beaches scattered along the coast of Kefalonia island. So it really depends on what your key criteria are. It is amazingly photogenic, for sure, but it also lacks the infrastructure of some of the other options.
While some might say that is a good thing, the meagre facilities at Myrtos Beach can get quickly overwhelmed in the busy summer season. Although if you can manage to visit in the shoulder season, like we did, you can still enjoy terrific weather while having the beach practically to yourself.
So, the best beach in Greece? No. Kefalonia? Maybe, especially if you value great scenery over beachfront tavernas and powdery sand. Either way, though, it is still well worth a visit and whatever time of year you go, the scenery is excellent, the water clear and inviting and, as long as you get good weather, the photos will be extraordinary.
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