Nestled at the bottom of a seemingly endless track that zig-zags its way down a perilously steep limestone cliffside, Myrtos in Kefalonia is the beach that launched a thousand Greek postcards. Despite being recognized as one of the country’s best beaches, its tricksy location means it rarely heaves and remains blissfully underdeveloped.
Make the journey and you’re rewarded with a paradisiacal 2,600ʹ curve of gleaming white tiny pebbles, dip-worthy azure shallows, and the warm scent of pine on the breeze while cicadas chirrup in the background.
The island of Kefalonia was the setting for Louis de Bernières’ bestseller, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. When the film was made, Myrtos made its cinematic splash as the location for the film’s iconic mine detonation scene.
That eye-popping electric blue sea. Those Insta-worthy views. Before you make your descent to the beach, pause at one of the two vantage points to capture some Instagram moments. If its insane natural beauty isn’t enough, Myrtos Beach has a cool cave to swim into at its northernmost tip. Although sunbeds and showers are available, don’t expect buzzing beach bars or tavernas. There’s a tiny refreshment-serving shack and that’s about it.
Being on the northwest coast of the island, Myrtos is spectacular at sunset. It’s best to dedicate a whole day to visiting the beach, staying until the sun dips beyond the shimmering Ionian, and the sky turns hues of peach and purple. There’s no shade, so pack an umbrella and everything else you’ll need for your day at Myrtos.
For lunch or dinner, savor the catch-of-the-day at one of the handful of traditional Greek tavernas along the cliff top above.
WHERE SHOULD I STAY?
If you’re hankering for a slice of authentic Greek village life, look to Assos, a secluded coastal village just 20 minutes north of Myrtos. In the shadow of a Venetian fortress, Assos looks plucked from the pages of Homer’s Odyssey. Indeed, Odysseus was king of Kefalonia’s sister island, Ithaca. You’ll find luxury villas and humble apartments alike to rent in Assos, as well as traditional tavernas to dine in.
If you’re a traveler who craves more of a cosmopolitan vibe, stay in the bustling capital, Argostoli. Since most of it was sadly destroyed by a 1953 earthquake, Argostoli is relatively modernized, but it retains a quintessential Greek charm. There’s a scenic harbor to explore, historic museums and countless bakeries where you’ll find heavenly mandoles and pastelia made with local honey.
HOW DO I GET THERE?
Myrtos Beach is located at the foot of the Agia Dynati and Kalon Oros mountains, just 18 miles north of Argostoli, the island’s capital. You can hire a car or scooter in Argostoli, then head north towards Assos. Myrtos is well signposted, and at the small village of Divarata, you’ll find the hairpin-bend 1.2 mile track that snakes down to the bay. At the bottom is ample parking space for your vehicle.
Of course, the rockstar way to make an entrance at Myrtos is by dropping anchor on your own private boat. If chartering a superyacht is a bit too A-lister for your budget, hop aboard a day cruise or hire a motorboat.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Myrtos Beach itself is free to access. In Argostoli, scooter hire is about 25 euros a day during peak season, while car hires costs around 35 euros and motorboats 100 euros. If you’d rather enjoy a guided Myrtos experience, four-hour day coach tours to the beach operate at 30 euros. Sunbeds and umbrellas are around 7 euros per day to hire.