At the lovely, picturesque Kefalonia there is one village that manages to stand out among the prettiest of the island, and that is Assos. Right at the edge of the crystal-clear, brilliant azure waters of the Ionian sea, in a lovely horseshoe-shaped bay you will find Assos village and its iconic pastel houses.
Though the village right now is inhabited by just a handful of locals, its rich history and the love with which it has been preserved make it look like a painting or a movie set rather than an actual place.
There are a lot of things to see and do in Assos, so here is everything you need to know to experience your visit there to the fullest!
Check out my guides about Kefalonia:
Where is Kefalonia?
Caves to Visit in Kefalonia
Things to do in Kefalonia
The best beaches in Kefalonia
Where to stay in Kefalonia
Picturesque Villages and Towns in Kefalonia
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A brief history of Assos
Assos’ name means ‘island’ in an ancient Greek Dorian dialect. Though there is evidence of quite earlier settlements, it is first mentioned as we know it in the 16th century, during the Venetian occupation of Kefalonia.
The Venetians made a stronghold there, by building a castle fortress to protect the village and the general area from invasions and pirates. During that time Assos became central in the administration of the north segment of Kefalonia.
After the Ionian islands were united with the rest of Greece, Assos became once more an administrative center of the municipality. The village suffered great damages during the Kefalonia earthquakes of 1953, but the locals rebuilt it to what we know today. The economic hardships that ensured, however, caused Assos’ population to shrink as people migrated to bigger urban areas of Greece.
How to get to Assos
You can get to Assos by car or, if you are visiting in the summer, by boat. Going by boat is very popular with tourists as the route is very scenic, with the novelty of the view from the sea.
But you can also drive there. It is 36 km north of Kefalonia’s capital town, Argostoli. There are some tour buses that can get you there but otherwise, you will need to use a car or taxi. The single main road leading there winds down a steep hill and ends up in a parking lot just outside of Assos.
Where to stay in Assos, Kefalonia
Linardos Apartments: It offers self-catering apartments with balconies featuring stunning views of the sea. The beach and restaurants are just 15m away.
Romanza Studios: It offers air-conditioned rooms with balconies overlooking the Ionian Sea. Restaurants are located 40m away and the beach 300 m away.
What to see and do in Assos
Explore Assos castle
Walking up the slope to the Venetian castle, built at the highest point of the Assos peninsula is an experience in itself. It is a relatively long walk, so make sure you have water with you. As you approach you will walk through stunning olive tree forests and feel history come alive, as the arched castle gate is quite well preserved.
At the same time, you will be rewarded with a progressively more breathtaking view of the entire area. Assos castle has the best vistas of a naturally beautiful bay!
In fact, the castle was inhabited until the 1960s, though some of its uses were grimmer than others: during WWII the German occupying forces used it as a prison. Later, the castle was inhabited by farmers.
A great experience is to visit the castle just before sunset and watch the gorgeous shift of colors and hues wash over the lush hill slopes as they turn the sea golden.
Hit the beach
Assos features a small, picturesque, pebbly beach that is ideal for relaxation. Surrounded by lush vegetation and a wonderful view of the colorful Assos village houses, this little beach will make you feel part of a painting.
Its crystal-clear waters will only complete the experience! The beach also has some sunbeds and umbrellas for you to bask in the sun as you listen to the lapping of the calm waters.
Book a boat
The coast of Assos and the nearby area are full of tiny private beaches you can only access by boat. It is a wonderful game of discovery that you can do on your own by renting your own boat at Assos or making arrangements for boat rides if you don’t feel like sailing. Make it a point to have a day of sea exploration to find your favorite little beach all to yourself!
Experience Myrtos beach
Very near Assos, you will find one of Greece’s most beautiful beaches, and that’s saying something! Often lauded internationally as one of the most beautiful beaches worldwide, Myrtos is simply otherworldly!
Its clear azure waters remind of the Caribbean but the lush vegetation, the iconic white craggy rocks, and the deep green hues of nature surrounding the semi-circular seaside will be unforgettable.
Myrtos is a great place to enjoy gorgeous sunsets and walking down to it will give you breathtaking views of the entire bay. Definitely do not miss one of the most photographed places on the entire island!
Where to eat in Assos, Kefalonia
Hellenic Bistro: This fine dining restaurant is perfectly designed to relax and pamper its guests. With excellent Greek cuisine and BBQ dishes, a gorgeous view over the sea where you can enjoy the sun literally dipping into the water, and excellent service, you will love every moment of the experience.
3 Wise Monkeys: If you’re looking for some healthy, good quality street food (yes, it can be done in Greece!) then find your way to the 3 Wise Monkeys kiosk. With cool tasty smoothies, delicious tacos, burgers, and more creative twists to classic Greek, Mexican, and international staples, you will get a great taste on the go with surprising variety!
2 thoughts on “A Guide to Assos, Kefalonia”
I have been there, and it’s heaven on earth!.Peaceful quiet ,tranquil, and certainly well worth, any hassle it takes to get there.
My wife and i had our honeymoon there,very hot,but our pool made for the most fabulous time imaginable.
We hired a small boat for the day, and went up the coast,having a bbq lunch on a small wonderful beach,it was, and has given us the most fantastic memories ever. Nowhere else we’ve been to matches assos.
Nick,and Elaine Best
What a nice honeymoon you had. Assos is amazing!