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Island Hopping in Greece — Bringing the Vanlife to Kefalonia

Written by Carina Beck Published on March 8, 2021 in Adventure Stories I'm a nature loving, creative person. I work as a UI/UX web designer, and my favorite hobbies are taking pictures and driving around with our vans. Yes, vans. We have two: a small Caddy and a huge Crafter.

It was one of those days when you wake up excited about what lies ahead.

Me and my newly wed husband Max had already spent a few days of our honeymoon on Lefkada, a beautiful island on the Greek west coast. Then it was time to get the van rolling and take the ferry to Kefalonia, the next island in line.

Cliffs and sea on the coast of Lefkada.
Cliffs of Lefkada. Photo: Carina.

Our vanlife mornings usually start slow, with some coffee and a late breakfast. Max is an absolute master of pancakes, so we eat them three to four times a week during our trips. So… of course we had some pancakes that day before heading off to the ferry port. 

A selfie on Lefkada, Greece.
Quick selfie before we leave. Photo: Carina.

Landing at Kefalonia

We took the 11 am ferry. The ride was sunny and very calm. It is super easy to island-hop by car in Greece. The local ferries go back and forth continually, and there is no need to pre-book them.

We started our Kefalonia tour by driving down the west coast, stopping at some spots we saw whilst driving. Among our stops were the town of Asos and at “must see” spots like Myrtos Beach. Myrtos is really famous for its crescent, sheltering cliff and therefore extremely packed — still it’s worth a stop!

“Myrtos is really famous for its crescent, sheltering cliff and therefore extremely packed — still it’s worth a stop!”

Even though we prefer a place less crowded (or should I say empty), we parked our camper, got into our swimsuits and went down to the beach for a swim. I‘m really amazed by the water in Greece. It‘s perfectly blue everywhere, but at this beach in particular, the colors take on a life of their own.

A friend of mine is traveling through Greece right now and they just passed the beach a few days ago. Due to Corona it was empty — they had this famous beautiful beach completely to themselves! It must have been amazing!

We travel a lot, so we can’t complain that others want to get out there as well, but the best experiences happen when you’re alone with nature. 

Kefalonia camp-hunting

In the afternoon we started looking for a place to set up camp. I must say it was much easier to find a beautiful spot in Greece than in the rest of Europe — at least the parts I have been.

“We want to be able to stop whenever an adventure, or a beautiful view presents itself.”

We wanted to dive the next day, so we looked for a spot near the diving school in Agia Efimia, on the upper west coast of Kefalonia. The whole distance from the ferry port to the town is about 29 km — a 30 min drive. We always try to limit our daily driving, since even small distances can be exhausting in the heat — and we want to be able to stop whenever an adventure, or a beautiful view presents itself.

We wanted to dive the next day, so we looked for a spot near the diving school in Agia Efimia, on the upper west coast of Kefalonia. The whole distance from the ferry port to the town is about 29 km — a 30 min drive. We always try to limit our daily driving, since even small distances can be exhausting in the heat — and we want to be able to stop whenever an adventure, or a beautiful view presents itself.

We always check park4night or Google Maps for a place to park. That day we saw a place on park4night not too far up in the hills. Someone had mentioned a nice view in the app, so we started the navigation and drove up the hills, passing some goats roaming and blocking the street.

After some waiting for the goats to make way and a few kilometer of driving we reached the place. It was a wide plateau nearby an old small monastery. From the moment we arrived I was astonished by the view! It was one of the most beautiful places we ever camped. And even better… we were alone!

Setting up camp in Kefalonia.
The best camp in Kefalonia? Photo: Carina.

Sunsets, -rises, and goat herders — Kefalonia shows her heart

I started taking like a hundred pictures while max converted our camper into sleeping mode. When we began preparing dinner, a goat farmer came by. He was using the height of the plateau to search for his goats. He could only speak a few words in English, but he told us we picked a nice place and that we should enjoy our meal.

After he left, the sun began to dip down and we had one of the most beautiful sunsets we ever experienced. We lit the gas lamp and lay down in the car with the trunk open watching the skies transform. 

“If I would not have loved vanlife by then, this would have been the moment I fell in love with it.”

We slept really well that night, and I woke early the next morning. Looking outside I realized the sun was about to rise. It is my favorite time of the day for pictures, even though I hate getting up early.

There is something peaceful and promising about that light. I took my camera and started taking pictures. Max woke up really confused asking, “Whats happening?” I replied, “Just look!” It was one of the most beautiful sunrises any of us had experienced. The light, the location, the view… everything was just perfect!

In moments like this we realize we are blessed to experience this! If I would not have loved vanlife by then, this would have been the moment I fell in love with it. The possibilities to explore are endless. Sure, not every day is like this, but every day has the potential to turn into something special.

After that perfect start of the day we had some cereal for breakfast and enjoyed the amazing view before we started our way down the hill to our diving appointment.

Written by Carina Beck Published on March 8, 2021 in Adventure Stories I'm a nature loving, creative person. I work as a UI/UX web designer, and my favorite hobbies are taking pictures and driving around with our vans. Yes, vans. We have two: a small Caddy and a huge Crafter.