Sami and Magical Melissani

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

We left Fiscardo... and arrived in Sami thankful to be alive! Within 10 minutes of getting on the bus the driver had smoked two cigarettes, taken a few phone calls and almost run over some sort of ferret. The journey had beautiful views of the sparkling sea and hills of Kefalonia - however these views were somewhat tarnished when the driver was enjoying looking at them as much as we were!

We arrived, white-knuckled and slightly carsick, in Sami about an hour later.

Where is Sami?
Sami is on the east coast of Kefalonia and looks across the water to Ithaca.

How long for?
2 nights

Where did we stay?
We booked a 'waterfron't room - I don't think there was much of a price difference to do so but it was definitely worth it to have a balcony with a view of the harbour. The hotel was possibly in the best location in Sami. (Top tip: don't try and find it on Google Earth because it is still a building site online!) It was cheap and cheerful with friendly staff.

What did you do?
We had lots of plans for our few days in Sami: visit Melissani, Ithaca, sightseeing. Unfortunately on our first evening I had sunstroke so we took things a little easier.

On our first day we woke to find it a little overcast with very choppy seas so decided against getting the boat over to Ithaca. We knew that we wanted to go to Melissani Cave - firstly because everybody recommended that we visited but also because the friend I was travelling was called Melissa.

Everybody we spoke to said that the best views of Melissani are at midday but if you arrive at midday you will be queuing forever. We walked from Sami rather than taking the bus in hope to avoid the queues. We arrived at about 10.30am and waited no longer than 10 minutes before we were in a boat.

The cave is beautiful. The water is so clear, the photos just don't do it justice.

Our guide was very informative - and spoke 4 languages.

It costs €7 per person and we were only in the boat/cave for about 20 minutes. If I paid anymore than that I would have perhaps questioned whether it was worth it.

By the time we left the cave the queue was building so definitely take heed the advice and get there early!

We decided to go sightseeing in the afternoon and walk to the nearby Acropolis...big mistake. The scorching midday heat was too much and we favoured an afternoon on our balcony, sipping drinks and watching the world go by. It's true what they say: 'only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.'

We did make some news friends though - so maybe it was worth it!

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