Fiskardo Cottages

Fiskardo, Kefalonia, Greece Book from Book from £207 per night

Two beautifully restored cottages for self-catering, set in terraced gardens with a pool apiece, in a quiet hamlet of northern Kefalonia (sleeping 2-8)
On a west-facing hillside above Kefalonia’s rugged northern coast, the tiny hamlet of Markandonata gets stunning sunset views across fields and woodland onto the deep blue Ionian Sea. Set in pretty Mediterranean planted grounds with a pool each, these charming whitewashed cottages have been lovingly restored by British owner Marcus Love - a costume designer for cinema - to combine traditional local style with tasteful antique furniture and full modern comforts.

Ideal for a romantic escape, or for families wanting a peaceful rural holiday retreat; one cottage sleeps 4-8, the other 2-4. They are set a discreet distance apart from one another, and the silence is blissful. Close by are excellent unspoilt beaches: 2 are within walking distance, and Myrtos, frequently cited as one of the most beautiful in Greece, is a 30-minute drive away. Sail, snorkel, scuba dive or just unwind. If hiking's more your thing, head for the hills and walk amongst dramatic mountain scenery. Return home for G&Ts on your private terrace then cook or walk to excellent local tavernas.

Highs

    • Gloriously peaceful location, with the upmarket fishing village of Fiskardo just a 5-minute drive or 30-minute walk away
    • The loving restoration. Marcus oversaw the tasteful exterior and interior makeover, and the result is an understated but stylish blend of old and new
    • Slick modern kitchens mean self-catering is a pleasure
    • A great 2-family or extended family rental, with parents and children in Lime, and grandparents in Fig
    • Tavernas, shops and beaches are within walking distance so you don't have to drive everywhere, although you'll probably want a hire car for sightseeing and occasional food shopping

Lows

  • Mobile phone reception is patchy
  • Both cottages have showers but no bathtubs

Best time to go

The best time to visit Kefalonia is May-June or Sept-Oct, when the weather is sunny, the sea warm enough to swim, and local tourist facilities open without being too crowded. The island gets very busy and hot in peak season (July-Aug), but it’s also fun, with lots going on.

Our top tips

Besides fantastic beaches, the island offers fine hiking. Pack a good pair of walking boots and a copy of Walk & Eat Kefalonia, which gives 10 walks (each with a map) plus recommendations for places to eat on the way and some local recipes. It also outlines excursions to Argostoli and Ithaca.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
  • 2 cottages
  • One 1-bedroom, one 3-bedroom
  • Self-catering
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

Lime Cottage is the larger of the two. You enter into an open-plan kitchen and living room, with white-and-grey flecked marble floors and a whitewashed wooden pitched ceiling. A cool, light and airy space, it combines modern cooking facilities with a boxy white sofa, armchair and TV. There are old trinkets and collectables, including a retro telephone, a vintage sewing machine, sets of scales, and an old-fashioned wood-burning stove. Spotlights and 2 big white metal fisherman’s lamps make it atmospheric after dark.

Lime's master bedroom has exposed stone walls with a wooden floor, a white wrought-iron double bed and French doors opening onto a small balcony with views across the fields towards the sea. The other bedroom (double or twin) is rather basic though nice, with one exposed stone wall. A new extension provides a third double bedroom with ensuite bath/shower room, and there's also a white wooden mezzanine level above the living room with a wrought-iron double bed, meaning that Lime can in theory sleep 8. The family white-and-grey marble bathroom has a big walk-in rain shower.

Charming Fig Cottage sleeps 2-4 and is ideal for a romantic escape. You get an open-plan kitchen and living area - again with marble floors and a whitewashed wooden pitched ceiling - which opens onto a lovely stone terrace with sea views. From the kitchen, stone steps lead up to the curtained sleeping area with its double bed (so you might not want to cook pungent dinners before bedtime!), and a shower bathroom. There are also 2 day beds in the lounge if you're travelling with a child or 2, though this might make it a bit of a squeeze. Note that there are fewer mod cons than in Lime (such as no central heating).

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Barbecue
  • Beach umbrella
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Cots Available
  • DVD player
  • Fan
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Ipod dock
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Satellite TV
  • Sunloungers
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

In Lime Cottage, the open-plan kitchen is fully equipped with a cooker, big fridge/freezer with an ice maker, kettle, toaster, microwave and oven, espresso machine and dishwasher, plus a wealth of crockery. There's a table in the kitchen, but you'll probably want to dine alfresco in the lovely outdoor eating space with a long wooden table. It’s a fine spot for breakfast, with the sea merging into the sky in the distance, and you also get sublime sunsets.

In Fig Cottage there's a similar but smaller open-plan kitchen, with slightly less fancy equipment (no dishwasher, sandwich toaster or ice maker), and a 2-ring hob. The living space opens onto a small stone terrace with sea views and a table and benches for eating out. There's a shared barbecue you can use.

It’s worth stocking up on some basic provisions if staying in either cottage (cooking oil, milk etc) as these aren’t provided. There’s a mini-market in the village (a 5-minute walk uphill), 2 small grocery stores in Magganos (a 20-minute walk), plus 2 well-stocked supermarkets in Fiskardo (5 minutes by car or a 30-minute walk). A shopping service is also available if requested at least a week in advance of your stay.

Restaurant wise, the nearest place to eat out is To Petrino in the village - they serve a selection of Greek mezze plus barbecued meat and fish dishes. For breakfast out in the village, head to Picnic and try their delicious Eggs Benedict. In Magganos there’s a decent taverna called Ionio, which does good local food and occasional live music, or in Fiskardo, highly recommended are Vasso’s and Tassia’s, both overlooking the harbour and serving good (though not cheap) fresh seafood.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Shopping service
  • Toaster
Eating:
Activity: Myrtos beach © Fae

Activities

  • Swim and sunbathe at local beaches - the nearest is Dafnoudi, a 20-minute walk across fields and along a woodland path. Near Fiskardo you’ll find the pretty pebble beach of Emblisi (a 30-minute walk), while Kefalonia’s most stunning beach, Myrtos, set below dramatic cliffs that plummet down to the coast, lies 20km away

  • Walk along a track past olive groves and cypresses to the restored church of Ag Giannnis (St John), with fine views out to sea

  • Explore the pretty fishing village of Fiskardo (a 5-minute drive or 30-minute walk), with its pastel-coloured houses and tavernas rimming a busy little harbour

  • Try scuba diving with the Fiskardo Dive Centre - they run a ‘Discover Diving’ course for complete beginners, and arrange dives to underwater caves and shipwrecks for those with experience

  • Drive to the village of Assos (10km), a cluster of old cottages, plus several tavernas, built on an isthmus between the seaward cliffs and a small island with a Venetian fortress

  • Visit the Robola Wine Co-operative in the Omala Valley, near Argostoli. They offer a short tour of the cellars plus tasting of their highly regarded dry white robola, and you can buy bottles to take home

  • Explore the island’s caves, close to Sami: Drogarati has a big chamber filled with stalactites, while Melissani is home to an underground salt-water lake

  • Take an excursion by traditional wooden caique (fishing boat) to Ithaca with Ionian Discoveries. They are run by Jamie Stirling, a marine biologist, who will introduce you to local marine life, including dolphins, the rare monk seal and octopus

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Caving
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Private guided tours
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Scuba diving courses
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Wildlife
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Families are welcome and kids will enjoy having a small pool to splash in, though teenagers could get a little frustrated by the isolated location. The cottages are in a tranquil setting yet are conveniently close to tavernas, shops and beaches. The nearest are a 5-minute walk away, but up an overgrown, unsurfaced track, which could be difficult for young children or those with limited mobility.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

We think Lime Cottage is perfect for a family with a couple of kids (ideally aged 5-10), with 3 bedrooms (2 doubles, 1 twin) and it's own slim pool right outside. It also has a double bed on the mezzanine above the living room which could sleep an extra 1-2 older kids (the steps are a little steep for younger ones).

Fig is great for a couple with a baby or young child: it has 1 double bedroom and space for a baby cot, or you can use the 2 day beds in the lounge (but we think the cottage would be a squeeze with 4). Its kidney-shaped pool is located in the terraced gardens.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cot
  • High chair
  • Baby bathtub

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

  • Private (unfenced) swimming pool in landscaped gardens for each cottage
  • Patio for playing safely outside both Fig and Lime

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Family snorkelling trips in Fiskardo
  • Beaches
  • Play parks in local villages

Families Should Know:

Parents should be aware that there are terraces, steps and drops around the property and that both pools are unfenced

Distances:

  • Airport: 90 minutes
  • Hospital: 45 minutes
  • Shops: 10 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

Fiskardo Cottages are set in Markandonata, a peaceful hamlet built into a west-facing hillside, overlooking the Ionian Sea and close to the northern tip of Kefalonia. The fishing village of Fiskardo lies a 5-minute drive away.

By Air
Fly into Kefalonia (58km - served by charter flights from the UK throughout the summer), or Athens then get a connecting flight.

From The Airport
You can take a taxi - approx €90 - but we'd recommend hiring a car. It is not essential because tavernas, minimarkets and 2 beaches are all within walking distance, but you'd probably want one for food shopping and sightseeing. Note that taxis are expensive on Kefalonia.

By Car
For car hire see our car rental recommendations. For an idea of distances, the airport is 5km south of the island's capital, Argostoli, and Fiskardo is 45km north, at the top of the island.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Kefalonia Argostoli airport 58.0 km EFL

Other:

  • Beach 2.0 km
  • Shops 0.2 km
  • Restaurant 0.2 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 9 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
9/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

A lovely villa nicely furnished.

9/10,

Absolutely beautiful home inside and out. So peaceful. House is well equipped with essentials and more. Very friendly, discreet, and thorough cleaners. And a wonderful location. Hope to come back soon. Worth noting that you'll need a car here. There's a small shop and restaurant a few minutes walk away, but it's quite a hike to the nearest beach and proper town.

10/10,

Great characterful cottage in attractive private grounds surrounded by fruit trees. Good size pool

9/10,

Our stay in Fig Cottage was a little slice of heaven. The grounds were ample, giving us multiple different places to relax completely privately and the pool space itself was absolutely dreamy and a suntrap right until the sun sets in the evening. The upper terrace outside the villa overlooks a canopy of trees down to the sea and is the perfect place for sundowners. The villa itself is simple but again more than enough room for two and from the stunning black and white photos that adorn the walls and minimalist decor to the powerful shower and kingsize bed it’s both comfortable and contemporary.
The villa and pool were cleaned regularly and Violeta who pops in to see what needs doing manages to be both there when you need her and also give you the sense of privacy and feeling alone. The layout of the villas also means that although we didn’t know the people staying in Lime, we rarely heard them or were aware of their presence, which for us looking for a bit of peace and quiet was perfect. Fiskardo was a 35 minute walk away down a forest path and I would highly recommend visiting some of the beaches on the northern coast either by boat (which is easy to rent in Fiskardo even with no prior experience) or by foot, which was (a more strenuous than anticipated) 4 hour round hike from the villa to Fiskardo. There is also a cheap and cheerful taverna round the corner in Dafnoundi if you don’t want to make the trip. Acqua beach bar is a 10 minute drive/ hour long walk from the house and also a lovely spot to see the sunset. The food here is absolutely delicious too!
Could not recommend this place enough, if you have the opportunity to book then go!

9/10,

Lovely villa on a beautiful island. A few small things would have made it perfect: Very basic provisions like salt and pepper and a bottle of milk to be provided on arrival. A guide to the local area (the other guests comments were helpful)

7/10,

We loved the location and the outside space/pool. The local contacts/staff were very pleasant and efficient eg pool cleaning, maid etc. Local amenities were excellent and friendly access to Fiskardo was easy. We really enjoyed our stay. Fig cottage was charming.

8/10,

The villa is beautiful, inside and out. It is about a half hour walk to Fiscardo or ten mins in a taxi which is not expensive. Fiscardo itself is beautiful, full of pretty coves, beautiful boats, restaurants and cafes.

9/10,

Fantastic. Awesome location. Very elegant and tasteful decor. Personnel really helpful. The short guide of the island and the surroundings that is provided is incredibly useful.
No flaws. Strongly recommended.

9/10,

A lovely stay at Fig Cottage for our honeymoon - a really secluded spot but still close to lots of beaches, villages and tavernas. We had a lovely time.

10/10,

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