Melissani Cave, on the island of Kefalonia in Greece, is a spectacular grotto that is famous for its crystal clear waters and the ethereal atmosphere within. In Greek mythology, Melissani Cave is said to have been the home and worshiping place of the Nymphs, the original protectors of nature.
Visitors can take a boat tour through the cave and marvel at this unusual geological formation in all its glory. Once you enter the cave you’ll see trees, plants and glittering stalactites and you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported into an enchanting subterranean dreamland. The partially collapsed roof of the cave allows sunlight to filter through, illuminating the stunning wonders of the Melissani Cave.
In the surrounding areas, there’s plenty to see and do. You can visit the village of Sami, stay at a beachfront hotel or dine on some of the finest seafood in Europe.
How Do You Get To Melissani Cave, Kefalonia?
It’s very easy to reach the Melissani Cave on the island of Kefalonia. To get to the island of Kefalonia you can take a flight to the Kefalonia International Airport, also called the Aristotelis Airport. There are numerous airlines that fly direct to Kefalonia including Ryanair, EasyJet, TUI and Aegean Airlines. You can catch a flight to Kefalonia International Airport from several major European cities including Athens, Frankfurt and London, among others.
Once you arrive, you can rent a car at the airport, take a taxi or jump on a shuttle bus to reach your destination. If you rent a car then you can drive to Melissani Cave and park in the designated visitor’s car park just outside the village of Sami. The route is well-signposted so you’ll have no trouble finding your way.
Alternatively, you can catch a local bus which will drop you off at Sami. Once you reach Sami you can either walk to the cave, which takes around 40 minutes, take a 5 minute taxi ride or board a local bus service to take you the rest of the way. If you’d like to explore the cave by boat you can join a guided boat tour that departs from Sami.
If you like a more structured visit, with all the details and arrangements taken care of for you, then you can join a guided tour which will also take you to some of the region’s other major attractions.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Melissani Cave, Kefalonia?
The best time of year to visit Melissani cave is either during the summer months, between June and September, or in the Spring, between April and May. The summer is the main tourist season so you won’t be alone but the weather is magnificently warm and you’re pretty much guaranteed sunny skies every day!
If you’d prefer to avoid the big crowds, you can visit in Spring when the weather is fairly mild and perfect for sightseeing. During the winter the village of Sami and the Melissani Cave is very quiet but the weather tends to be cool and damp which isn’t ideal for a beach holiday on the island.
What To Do When You’re Visiting Melissani Cave, Kefalonia.
Take A Guided Tour Of Melissani Cave And Drogarati Cave.
If you’d like to join a guided tour of Melissani Cave and also see the beautiful Drogarati Cave on the same day, then this 4 hour tour has got you covered. You’ll be picked up at a pre-arranged meeting point near your hotel and driven in an air-conditioned bus to visit the caves. At the Melissani Cave, you’ll be guided around in a row boat to see the amazing rock formations and stalagmites up close.
During the tour, your guide will point out local landmarks and tell you about important historical and cultural aspects of the attractions that you visit and pass along the way. This is a great tour for families and is a fantastic way to start your explorations of the island. To find out more about the tour and to reserve your tickets, you can visit here.
Visit Sami – A Charming Seaside Village in Kefalonia.
This lovely seaside village is steeped in history and has a delightful cultural heritage to explore. You can swim in the sea, walk along the beach or meander through the streets dropping into souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants during the day. In the souvenir shops, you’ll find unique Greek arts and crafts including jewelry, textiles, pottery and other keepsakes to remember your time on the island.
While you’re in Sami you should certainly sample the local cuisine in any number of the restaurants or grab a takeaway and have your lunch on the stunning beaches that surround the village. Sami is particularly famous for its seafood which is caught freshly from the ocean and served straight to your plate. No trip to Kefalonia would be complete without spending some time in Sami, one of the island’s top tourist attractions.
Full-Day Private Tour Of Kefalonia.
To see the very best that Kefalonia has to offer in a single day you can join this exclusive full-day private tour of the island. You can meet up with the tour leader at Argostolian or arrange to be picked up at your hotel before setting off for the 8 to 10 hour tour. The packed schedule includes stop-offs at Orealios, St George’s Castle, Drogarati Cave, Melissani Cave, Sami, Agia Efimia Chandlers, Assos, Antisamos beach, Myrtos beach and Fiscardo Harbor.
There’s plenty of time along the way to swim in the sea, relax on the beaches and do a little souvenir shopping. This tour is one of the easiest ways to get a sense of the island and its remarkable tourist attractions, both natural and man-made. Your ticket includes the entrance fees for both Melissani and Drogarati Cave. To find out more about the full-day private tour you can visit here.
Visit The Kipoureon Monastery.
Around an hour’s drive from the village of Sami, the iconic Kipoureon Monastery contains some of the most important religious artifacts, carvings and icons on the island. Visitors can walk through the impressive vaults of the monastery and enjoy the amazing coastal scenery below the cliffs on which the monastery is perched.
The monastery was founded in the mid-18th Century by Chrisanthos Petropoulos, the Archbishop of Paxi. Some of the priceless artifacts housed in the monastery include a beautiful icon of the Virgin Mary and the skull of Chrisanthos, Konstantinos, the original founder of the monastery.
Stay At The Sami Beach Hotel – The Perfect Accommodation For Your Trip To Melissani Cave.
This popular beachside hotel is just a stone’s throw away from Melissani Cave and makes the perfect place to base yourself during your time on the island. With free high-speed WiFi, a large outdoor pool, a bar, a comfortable lounge and a private tennis court, this tranquil retreat is great for families, couples and solo travelers. The Sami Beach Hotel staff can arrange transport to and from the Kefalonia International Airport and the hotel has a nice selection of rooms, including family rooms and ocean-view suites.
Eat At Agia Paraskevi Beach Restaurant, Sami.
This family-run traditional Greek taverna is located right on the beach in Sami. You can eat on the outdoor terrace while looking straight out over the ocean, with picturesque views across the beautiful Sami bay. Specializing in Greek and Mediterranean food, the restaurant serves delicious seafood, salads and grilled meats but it also has vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options on the menu.