Travel to Kefalonia over the weekend

Melissani  Cave

Is it possible to explore Kefalonia over the weekend? Kefalonia is the biggest island in the Ionian Sea. Was actually the last one in my bucket list in the Ionian, when my sister asked me to travel with her. I did not hesitate to say yes. My niece would perform in a festival and we would travel with bus from the mainland through Lefkada island to Kefalonia.

The seven Ionian islands became Greek in the 19th century. The islands were influenced by Normans French, Italians and their British rulers. However the islands are unique and have their own style. An earthquake hit Kefalonia 1953 that destroyed most of the islands settlements with few exceptions, one is Fiskardo on the north side. Consequently 75% of the population left the island and moved to other parts of Greece or abroad. Those who stayed have helped to rebuild what we see today.

In the Ionian Sea

The bus picked us up in Arta in Epirus, twenty kids and fefteen adults was ready for adventures. Our first stop was in Lefkadas town Nidri. After less than two hours of ferry travel we arrived to Fiskardo. However we kept the exploration of this little cute town to the end of the journey.

We arrived in Argostoli, the capital of Kefalonia after lunch. The city is built around the impressive natural harbour. In the 18th century, this was the third biggest port in the eastern part of the Mediterranean. In Argostoli all the buildings are new as they are all rebuilt after the earthquake. Beautiful stylish buildings with a special touch and frames around the windows and doors is very common.

Nidri port



Argostoli bay

In the capital of Kefalonia

After a wonderful breakfast on Sunday morning we went to the beach Makris Gialos near Argostoli with the girls. The beach is big and well organised and yes it was Sunday with a lot of girls who love beach parties. 

After syrtaki dances and sunbathing at the beach we went to town. The main square or platia as the Greek says, happens to be the meeting pointing in this town. Here you have hotels, restaurants and cafeterias and bars for every hour of the day. We found our restaurant Ladokolla, they serve the delicious greek dishes in grease proof paper. Ladokolla means literally grease proof paper in Greek. Spent the evening with the girls performance in the festival just outside the city. Walked back to town admiring the foot bridge De Bosset and after the long walk by the port went back to the hotel tired and satisfied with my afternoon captures.

Makris Gialos

Central square in Argostoli



Exploring the Cave

Leaving Kefalonia without a visit at the famous cave Melissani was not ok. Its the most famous attraction in the island discovered 1951. The cave is located near the town Sami and is very unique as the roof of the cave is open and the sunlight give the most beautiful tones to the walls and the atmosphere inside the cave. The water in the cave comes from the sorounding mountains of Sami and Argostoli and can be up to 33 meters deep. According to Greek mythology the cave is named after nympf Melissani. Melissani was in love with Pan. As he didn’t pay any attention she drowned in the lake. 


If you travel to Kefalonia you will be able to enjoy the best beaches in the Ionian Sea I almost dare to say. You have the famous Myrtos beach and plenty of beach options if you travel by car around the island. Apart from Kefalonia you can pop over to Ithaca for more beach adventures. We chose beach Agia Paraskevi on our way back. 

Spent the afternoon strolling and capturing the colourful buildings and alleys in the harbour of Fiskardo as they are the few remaining in Kefalonia after the earthquake. The Norman general Roberto Guiscard who past away here 1085 gave the name to the city. The original name was Panormos which sounds more Greek. Our coffee brake at Melinas Patisserie infront of port was wonderful as the patisseries and the view is awesome. Delicious traditional greek desserts seems to be their specialty. Don’t miss this coffee place if you are nearby.

Melissani Cave

The walls in the cave



Did you like this blogpost? If you are dreaming to elope with your love here in Kefalonia check out my tips how to elope in Greece. Kalispera!

11 photos of Ioannina

Welcome to Ioannina in the northwest of Greece. Here I have spent at least a few weeks every summer the last 30 years. Ioannina is our family’s home base in Greece. The city is visited by Greeks and foreigners who love nature experiences of all kinds. In other words there are mountains, exciting landscapes, high mountain peaks, rapids, ravines and many trails to wander in. My 11 photos of Ioannina gives you a small preview of what this city has to offer.

So finely last year Ioannina got its first charter travellers from Sweden. As an example you can check the charter flights from Sweden to Zagori region and Papigo at . Its only 45 minutes drive to the 46 stone villages of Zagori from the city. In addition its one hour to Albania if you want to take your first day trip there. 

Famous stories from Ioannina

The most famous family is probably the family of Averoff. Evangelos in the Averoff family were foreign minister and defense minister in Greece. He founded Metsovo’s art museum, a vineyard and spent time with other cultural activities for the area. Secondly the most famous woman is Kyra Frosini, a woman from the upper class by the end of the 1700s. Probably immersed in the lake Pamvotida along with 16 other women by Ali Pasha. Ali Pasha was an Albanian ruler who ruled over region where Ioannina was the capital. If that happened because of political reasons or of jealousy there are different opinions about that. Thirdly the city’s most famous sport is the canoe. You may get a glimpse of the canoeists as you walk by the lakeside.

What to do & see

Pamvotida lake

Walk down the main street Averoff towards the lake and explore the history of the city. This is the meeting point in town with a lot of cafes, restaurants and bars. Take a walk by the lakeside or Molos as it called by the locals. And why not capture 11 beautiful photos or more of Ioannina for your Instagram stories.

The Island

To Nisi means The Island in Greek. After 15 minutes boat trip from Molos you will be able to explore the little village of the families living with fishing and tourism on the island. There are charming houses and alleys to stroll in, shops with handwork from the neighborhood and silver jewelry to see as Ioannina is famous for its many silver smiths. Seven monasteries was built here and was once an excellent place to live as a monk. Most important The Island is known for the murder of the powerful ruler Ali Pasha. His home and house on the island is now a museum and attracts many visitors.

Old Castle

Ioannina’s old castle was built during the Byzantine era, its the oldest Byzantine fortress in Greece. Besides the culture sights in old town you will find charming houses and alleys here. Most importantly is Its Kale where you find nicely preserved buildings from the Ottoman Empire. The area used to be Ali Pasha’s palace. For example you have the minaret, a large kitchen that is now a charming café. Likewise the Byzantine Museum, and a Silversmiths museum are located in the park. I addition concerts and other cultural events might be on the agenda while you strolling or sit at the café. 
Another impressive building is Aslan Pasha Mosque building, which today houses the Ethnographic Museum of Ioannina. Below you find my 11 best photos of Ioannina in the top locations of the city.


Where to eat

Every autumn, new students come from all over Greece and Cyprus and are looking for accommodation, Ioannina is a university city. Here, it is bursting with life in the city’s cafes, bars and restaurants. Below you find a few examples of restaurants I have visited more than once.

  • Seirioskouzina - Patriarhi Evangelidou 1. Located near the lakeside serves greek dishes with a meditarrenian touch.
  • Parko Naftikou Omilou - Kanari 10 Limnopoula . Trendy restaurant by the lake with greek food and a lot of vegetarian dishes.
  • Mpoukia Mpoukia - Akadimias 4. Cozy restaurant resided in a two-storied neoclassical house with a lovely garden.
  • Frontzu Politia - Agia Triados Hill. If you want to have the best view of Ioannina in a classy restaurant this is your choice.
  • Rakoumel - Kallari 30. Located just outside one of the entrances of the old castle. Here you will find mezedes in a cozy atmosphere, a meeting point for all ages.

Do you have a question about Ioannina or weddings in Greece? Let me know if you plan a destination wedding in this area. I will be more than happy to help you photograph your dream day here. Read more about Epirus and my 5 reasons to getting married in Greece.

One of the entrances of the Old Castle

Charming houses

..and alleys

Its Kale

The Fethie Mosque

Old weapon storehouse

The tomb of Ali Pasha

Old Cook Shop

Meteora in 24 hours

St. Nikolaos Anapafsas Monastery

The first time I visited Meteora was in the middle of the 80’s. Our Greek neighbours at Bastugatan in Stockholm came from Trikala not far from Kalampaka and Meteora. I visited them one summer and had the opportunity to walk up to the monasteries. At that time, there were most cars on the road and believers who wanted to visit the monasteries. Back then Kalampaka town was much smaller and the big tourist buses were rare. In this case we decided to explore the area by travelling to Meteora within 24 hours.

The holy rocks

Meteora is a rock formation in central Greece hosting one of the largest built complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries. It consists of 24 monasteries, but only six of them are active today. In a region of almost inaccessible sandstone peaks, monks settled on these ‘columns of the sky’ from the 11th century onwards. Meteora is one of the cultural Unesco world heritage sites in Greece.

In recent years the monasteries has become more popular outside Greece. Compared to earlier years the number of monks has declined considerably and moved to the monasteries of Athos to get their call in peace and quiet. I think that the sunset in the area is wonderfully beautiful and soothing. Don’t miss the spectacular views of the sunset around the holy rocks while you are there, you will remember them forever.

How to get here

Meteora is located in the region of Thessaly in the middle of Greece. The nearest town is Kalampaka and the nearest village is Kastraki. I recommend you to get to Meteora by train, bus or car. By train with from Athens or Thessaloniki. Or by bus with KTEL from every town in Greece, the bus arrives to Trikala which is the nearest city to Kalampaka. We visited this divine place in 24 hours and started our journey from Ioannina. Arrived to Kalampaka in the early afternoon. After one day we left Meteora by bus with wonderful memories and our cameras full of captures.

The Monasteries

Great Meteoron Monastery

The Great Meteoron Monastery is by far the biggest one of all. Often mentioned as meteoro which means “suspended in the air”. According to the history of Great Meteoron, Saint Athanasios the Meteorite was the first founder of the monastery. 

Holy Monastery of Varlaam

In comparison to the other monasteries Holy Monastery of Varlaam is the second biggest monastery. Resides near the Great Meteoron monastery and was founded in the mid 14th century by the monk Hosios Varlaam. Besides the churches the area consists of several other buildings.

St. Stephen’s Monastery

St. Stephen’s Monastery is the easiest monastery to access, by crossing the small bridge to reach the entrance. It is ideal for visitors who cannot use the steps and yet they wish to have a real experience of a Meteora monastery. The beginning of monastic life on the rock of Agios Stephanos dates back to early in the 12th century. 

Saint Nicholas of Anapafsas

Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas of Anapafsas is the first monastery that we see on the way up. Probably founded at the 14th century. There are different stories about how the name came to be Anapafsas. One explanation is that the name comes from the founder of this monastery. The other story is about the position of the monastery. It was probably a resting place for pilgrims on the way up. Resting translates into Greek anapafsis, literally means Saint Nicholas the one who rests you.

Holy Monastery of Roussanou

Holy Monastery of Roussanou has received the name of the first probable hermit who settled on the rock. Decorated by monks in the 16th century. In recent years the monastery became convent after the restoration from the damages of World War II. Actually the nuns have a popular little gift shop in the covent.

Holy Trinity Monastery

By far the most difficult monastery to reach is Holy Trinity Monastery (Agia Triada). Founded as early as 1632. Here at the top of the rock the panoramic view of Kalambaka and Thessaly valley is impressive. In short you follow the pathway to the foot of the rock and walk up the 140 stairs to Holy Trinity. Above all its known to the public because of the final scenes of the film For Your Eyes Only with James Bond.

Note the dresscode for monasteries. For men long pants and for women skirt or dress below the knee.


Our first priority was to see the sunset from the various places with a tour by taxi. Secondly was the tour of the monasteries with Meteora Thrones. In summery we booked both activities with the help from the hotel staff where we stayed. Travel to Meteora in 24 hours is well spend hours and definitely a trip my family never forget. Its popular to come here with a bus tour from Athens or other cities in Greece. Spend several days exploring the valley of Thessaly is actually easy. As you can explore the area hiking, biking, climbing at the rocks among others. To summarise you can schedule your trip in the area with more outdoor activities here

If you are dreaming and looking to have your elopement here, with these breathtaking views, contact me here for your photoshoot.


Kastraki village

Roussanou Monastery

Varlaam Monastery

Behind the scenes

One of the sunset spots

Holy Trinity Monastery

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