The Greek island of Kefalonia was made internationally famous after the bestselling novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was adapted into a film in 2001, starring Nicholas Cage, John Hurt and Penélope Cruz as the story’s main characters.
The scenic olive groves and mountains of Kefalonia make for a perfect backdrop to the love-triangle plot of the book and movie, and also make a great backdrop for holidaymakers looking for a memorable Greek island getaway. Cheap flights to Kefalonia are plentiful from UK airports, and as one of Greece’s larger islands, it is able to offer a huge range of accommodation options in the popular resort of Lassi or in the other more remote places to stay on the island.
Kefalonia is a popular holiday choice for Greeks and Italians, for whom it is a nearby option, but visitors fly in from all over the world, with a particular increase after the release of the movie. The highest mountain on the island falls within a national park area, which visitors can explore, with its extensive black pine forests, Greek fir trees and caves in the north of the mountain range.
The island boasts some beautiful and remote beaches, and tourists can also join in on fishing trips from the island’s small harbours. The island also offers history buffs a selection of museums exploring the area’s ancient past, including the Archaeological Museum in Argostoli.
The island also has a rich recent history, explored in part in the story of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Occupied during World War II by Italian and German forces, the island remained at war until 1949 as infighting continued on the island, as in Greece. Shortly after the peace, in 1953, a series of earthquakes destroyed almost every house on the island and raised the entire island by 60cm. The greatest devastation occurred after the quake, however, when around 100,000 of the island’s 125,000 population left to live elsewhere.