The island has had a surge of popularity as a result of the book and film of "Captain Corelli's Mandolin". Ernle Bradford's Guide to the Greek Islands talks about an idyllic beach with orange sand. Other guides mention long, lonely stretches and 3 kilometre runs of sand.
If you are in the capital, Argostoli, for any reason, you should ask for directions to the Katavothres, which are on the extreme northern tip of the peninsula on which the town stands, about half an hour's walk. In this unlikely situation, surrounded on three sides by the Gulf, you will find a channel through which the seawater runs continually into a hole in the ground with sufficient force to drive a mill-wheel (installed first by the British) for more than a century…. Your problem is to explain why the hole has never yet filled up? [No prizes] It's believed that this phenomenon is globally unique.
This review starts in the south of the island at Skala and proceeds clockwise round the coast.
For more information about Kefalonia try:
Kefalonia tourist guide This site includes a list of beaches filterable by naturism
Kefalonia Island and Tourist Guide
Kefalonia-based Katelios group, which looks after the interests of loggerhead turtles
Kefalonia tourism and leading accommodation guide to resorts on the island
The naturism in Kefalonia island
Spithi (near Skala)
Spithi has for many years boasted an unofficial but de facto naturist beach a short walk from the main Skala town, screened by rocks from the main beach. Earlier attempts to close it down seem to have been abandoned in favour of common sense. Unfortunately local advice in 2016 is that This naturist beach has not been accessible now for about 3 years, the only way round the headland to the beach is to swim.To reach the beach follow the "Spithi beach" signs on the road from Skala to Poros. You will find the signs 50 metres from the road beginning, right in Skala town:
Drive till end of the road where you can find a small car-park or walk from Skala along the main Skala beach to the south (about 700m) until you see rocks on the beach:
This is the main beach for the town with sand, sun loungers and pedalos. There are cafes and tavernas behind the beach. You need to pass the rocks, in some places you have to go into the 0.5m depth water. The naturist beach is beyond these rocks.
This long beach is in the extreme south of Kefalonia. The sand is delightful and, like the water, clean. The waves are slight as the beach doesn't shelve at all steeply. Continuing westwards towards another headland the beach becomes a little shingly but is still naturist.
In May we made three attempts to reach Spithi beach. It was frustrating because it is only about a quarter-mile from the southern end of Skala beach. Apparently it used to be possible to carry on walking along the beach to get there but now it is impossible without being either a good swimmer or a rock climber. Not daunted we attempted to reach it from inland, walking around 2 miles on winding farm tracks to reach the cliff edge overlooking the beach. Not easy as private properties border the edge but we found a deserted club called "Cosmo" at the back of which some steps seemed to lead down to the beach. However the steps had collapsed and this access had been blocked by a strand of barbed wire. I could see from here that there was no-one on the beach.
The next day we walked the 3 miles to Potomakia beach, a half-mile weedy stretch with three nudists. At the far headland Spithia was frustratingly visibly close but again impossible to reach due to the ruggedness of the cliff edge. A boat seems to be the only option for access now.
East of Katelios are Kaminia and Potomakia which are collectively known as Mounda. As reported above there is a rocky outcrop south of Skala at Cape Mounda where naturists congregate and it is possible to scramble from Katelios to Skala along the beach.
It is also accessible a short drive from Skala: Take the road out towards Argostoli and after a short while, there is a sign for Mounda Beach on the left. Follow this past the Mounda Beach Hotel and then, just past the Marina Bay Hotel, park wherever you can and walk along the beach to the left. Eventually, (5 minutes or so) you will have left the textiles far enough behind to disrobe. (2005)
Barefooters who visited in July 2007 followed signs for the beach off the Ratzikli to Scala road. Headed down to the Hotel at the bottom, and before turning along the sea track toward Ratzikli/Katelios, they parked next to a small church. Plenty of space to park.
Sunbeds were immediately in front, and were often busy, but they headed south (left), keeping the sea on their right and headed toward the very southern tip of the Island. After about 800 metres the beach was fairly clear, and was generally only ever visited by other naturists. They settled at different spots all along this stretch. There was never anyone else within 50 metres, and a full mixture of "types": couples mainly, the odd single male, plus a full group of six people, 3 couples! Could be anything between 4 couples or 20 couples/singles depending on the day. They quite happily stayed from 10am until 9pm. It can get hot, so a brolly was useful. The sand was soft, and shelved slowly into the sea. No need for footwear either, as the sea bed was all sand. All in all, excellent.
Kamina is a great shallow sandy beach that is popular with families and the beach is backed by new developments which threaten to spoil the area. Consequently there are also sunbeds and parasols here. A report from June 2008 confirms this report.
Potomakia was the best spot for unabashed naturism (July 2001) and several couples were seen here evey day. These are either walkers from Skala or, like my contributor, from Katelios. The beach can be reached by road down from Ratzakli to Kaminia then walk east beyond the sunbeds. However there is a new hotel development that has gouged out a new road in the cliff and destroyed a large section of the sand dunes that back this beach. The best way to walk to Potomakia from Katelios is NOT along the road as it takes an hour and a half but along the beach.
Despite the fears surrounding police activities at nearby Skala, Potomakia had a steady stream of naturists in August 2003. This clean and pleasant beach with sand which gently shelves into warm shallow sea is excellent. The gentle, cooling sea breeze also makes it the perfect spot for sun-worshipping. In addition to my contributor and his partner, there were several families and numerous couples on the days they spent at Potomakia beach.
Walking along the front at Katelios there is a clearly marked trail to the Turtle Beach over the headland. It's not for the fainthearted but reasonably easy for the experienced walker.
It should be noted that both Kaminia and Potomakia are nesting beaches for the Loggerhead Turtle and there is a local pressure group trying to halt the developments along this section of beach. Turtles used to nest at Skala but have been driven away by the developments there and locals whilst keen to enjoy the fruits of tourism are also anxious to conserve the Loggerhead Turtle. To that end illegal camping is discouraged and anyone doing so will be targeted by the Katelios Conservation Group, they also regularly patrol the beach to discourage beach barbecues and leaflet the sunbed users to educate them about the disturbance of the turtle nests. If parasols MUST be used only insert them into the beach near the water line. It is preferable not to use them at all. Also please take all litter away and knock down any sandcastles prior to leaving the beach. This beach has the potential as a great naturist site as by their very nature people who like to go nude do so because of their appreciation of the environment. If more naturists use this beach it may affect the development plans of hoteliers etc…
100% naturist all summer, mostly couples or small groups of friends, rarely families with children
Three naturist villas
A quiet nap by the private pool
These three naturist villas are located near the naturist beach of Mouda, between the lively resort of Skala and the fishing village of Katelios, with very little distance between the two ([http://www.naturist-kefalonia.com]).
Built on a hill overlooking the village of Ratzakli, these new villas on one level are in a quiet setting on a large plot surrounded by gardens with flowers.
They are located 1400m from the great sandy beach of Kaminia with a nudist beach within walking distance, and have their own private pools.
It has an extraordinary view of the Ionian Sea, Mouda bay and Zakinthos island.
Each villa has a large terrace that surrounds the swimming pool with a magnificent view of the sea where you can enjoy the sun.
They are Perfect for couples, families or friends and ideal for beginners (great privacy) or experienced naturists.
This beach (first included in the Guide in June 2003) is delightful with very fine gold sand several metres into the sea. The first day my contributors visited there were only two other couples, both naked. Other people visited throughout the day but at maximum 8 couples, no taverna and on the first day no sunbeds. However we visited three days later and shock! horror! brand new sunbeds had appeared, but these were close to the entrance and walking past them there was plenty of room to be far away from them and again not many visitors but no doubt this may change as the beach gets to be known.
2016 local report says: This is NOT a naturist beach, please don't upset the textile bathers by going naturist here.
On the road from Skala to Argostoli pass the village of Ratzakli in a few kilometres and then find the signed turn-off for Katelios beach. Go down a couple of kilometres of track to reach the beach which is signed 'Nude Bathing Forbidden.' Return to the road disheartened.
The beach has a snack bar and is sand with small waves. It would be nice if only … but it isn't.
That said … apparently, in August 1998 at least one totally nude couple spent most of each day at the north end of this beach sunbathing, swimming and lying on inflatables in the sea without being bothered. Who knows: a bit of nude colonisation, perhaps? Can we put up some resistance to the textile domination?
June 2013: We walked along Katelios Beach from the Marina Bay Hotel. There were 2 nudist men on the beach but a number of clothed couples walking to the headland at the end of the bay. It was not comfortable to go nude in our opinion.
Paradisi (Sissi) beach
To get to this beach it is necessary to drive from Lourdas toward Poros, and follow the signs for Theotoku Sissi monastery. There is a good asphalt road to the new Theotoku Sissi monastery. The road continues with a vehicle track right down to the beach, but is only traversable by 4x4, as a spring trickles into the track about two-thirds of the way down, and the surface is very unstable. A car can be left at the new monastery building Theotokou Mission. Even small cars, however, can drive about one third way down, till old Theotoku Sissi monastery - with care: the surface of the track is very poor. Those intending to walk down need to be aware that it is about 2 miles (3,2 km): down is not too bad, but walking up in the heat is no joke. My contributor and his wife say they are very fit (gym several times a week) but they were sorely tried. But other contributors found the way not too difficult and even quite pleasant.
However, the beach is lovely: three sandy bays interconnected, with a freshwater spring piped out about 8' above the middle beach - what a lovely shower! We walked to the left and were the only couple on that beach all day; a naturist couple with two children came to the middle beach, and there was one more couple on the beach to the right. The monastery at the top is fairly new, and you pass the ruins of the old monastery on the way down (or up); very, very picturesque, and worth every bit of the effort to get there.
In June 2006 my reporters said there was only one more naturist couple, from Austria. Several small boats were passing the beach pretty close - one man tried to make a video of us (how pathetic) and the other couple from a boat so they put on their clothes for a few minutes.
Barefoot reporters tell me that as of August 2007 it's still a quiet and nudist beach: when my reporters arrived, at 14.00 pm, there were 6-8 people, 100% nudist. After an hour, two families arrived: they were all textiles, but ignored us. So they continued to feel very comfortable there.
My correspondents also walked one evening to the beach below the Theotoku Sission Monastery 2.5 miles to the east of Lourdas beach. The monastery beach was deserted and the swimming good. Other reports from summer 2001 confirm that this beach is good for nudity and much of the time deserted.
The beach is fantastic and the flowers on the cliffs behind in May are extremely colourful. My contributor spent two idyllic days here with only two other couples on the beach. The sea can be rocky in places but use the centre section and it's pretty clear. This is the place to enjoy really quiet days of sheer naked joy!
Barefoot visitors in August 2007 found it 70-80% nudist and very comfortable.
August 2013: we went to this beach on a Saturday, to find a quiet place. It was indeed. We parked our motorbike right after the new monastery (road was too bad to proceed) and walked toward the beach. We arrived at 11am and the beach was deserted. Amazing! This beach is great! We placed ourselves on the right part of the beach and stripped off. During the day some other people arrived (3 or 4 couples): all nudists excepting for a couple of textiles which later stripped off, trying naturism as soon as they realized that the beach was completely naturist. If you don't mind walking for 15/20 minutes (path is partly shadowed by trees) this is the best place to enjoy naked sunbathing and swimming. A real paradise!
Visited early in the season in 2015, a big landslip had blocked the track down to the beach. Impossible to get through but hopefully it will be cleared before the Summer gets under way.
August 2016: you have to leave the car at the new Monastery, many cars tried to go down and get hard troubles on way back (including me) without several people help. After the old Monastery you absolutely cannot go by car if you don't have a strong 4x4 but also in that case you've to be a good pilot due to the very ruined road, we just see a small Suzuki able to reach the beach. After 30 minutes walking down we reached the beach which is exactly like described, real paradise on earth, at 11 am just us and some other couple all naked. During the day about twenty people arrived, half nudist and half not and all get place without problem. The fresh water from the mountain is beautiful and you can drink it !!!
Lourdas itself is a slowly developing resort, mostly based on self-catering apartments. On a steep hill so being fit or car hire is important. Highly recommended as a quiet place to stay and ideal to explore the rest of the island.
My contributors last visited Lourdas in 1999, when the 300 yds of the east end of the beach were entirely naturist. Not so in July 2004: sunbeds reach right up to the end of the usable terrain. "Having chosen to stay at Lourdas because of the supposedly naturist beach, we were deeply disappointed - as (we assume) were the several other people who appeared to be looking for somewhere to take their clothes off". Nothing at Lourdas, but walk to the west (right of the beach) for 15 minutes, and there are several sandy bays which are populated by naturists, and are really lovely.
Here there are several small sandy coves, up to 100m long, with several other naturists. There are a few straggling sunbeds - some used by naturists - the people who collect the fees do not seem to object at all. Kayaks are available for hire, and seemed only to be used by the naturists in July 2004. Lovely sandy beach, clear sea, attractive location with the mountains in the background - thoroughly recommended.
The best approach for this beach is from Lourdas. Drive down hill 2km to the tavernas at the bottom, turn right past the "blue sea" taverna, also past the car park. Drive to the end of the track approx 400 yards and park. After parking, look straight ahead to a gateway, which looks like it's a private house, but has in fact a taverna in the garden. Walk past the taverna and through the gate other side. Turn left to beach and down slight slope on to beach. The other way is along the beach but near lethal rocks, so the first way is recommended. Walk past the second rock outcrop to the nude area. But walk from Lourdas, not Trapezaki!
In the second half of September 2010 this beach was still very good. The concrete construction in the middle of the beach and that can be seen on the photo, seemed to be the remains of a garden, maybe a former small beach bar. It looked deserted, although there was a working shower on the beach in front of it. Even the textile part of the beach lacked this luxury! Never too many people on the beach, not even at the weekends. Some walkers passing by, but not disturbing nor disturbed by the nude sunlovers. Highly recommended.
Trapezaki is joined to Lourdas beach to the east and the beaches have a combined length of about 2.5 miles. There are sunbeds on the easterly mile and a bit and on the western mile and both these areas were entirely textile. Naturist bathing is possible on the middle section (an earlier correspondent described it as "heaven, all nude, good sand, clean water, gorgeous").
A report from May 2001 says you need to walk a considerable distance from either Lourdas or Trapezaki along the beach to about mid-point between the two resorts. Well worth it if you have the stamina and like relatively isolated beaches. Mixture of textiles and naturists coexisting happily. Mostly early thirties and older couples. May be overlooked by local farmers in fields behind and also a few walkers. It can get very hot so bring own shade.
I'm grateful to Terry (see Terry Naturist Diary) for the story that follows and for the picture of Trapezaki beach. Terry and his companion visited in July 2000 and walked the entire length of the 2.5km beach between Trapezaki and Lourdas. Except for a 200 metre section rather nearer to the latter than the former, it was entirely covered by sunbeds and umbrellas. By the end of the week even that virgin section had been filled in!! Unlike other resorts these were fairly well spaced out and priced at 2000 Dms (£4) per day. But it's not all bad news. Beginning at the Trapezaki end of the beach and walking towards Lourdas it soon became apparent that the odd nude couple were interspersed between the others along the whole length of the beach except for the parts nearer the tavernas at each extremity. Not only that, the man collecting the money for the umbrellas was as happy to take money from nudists as textiles. As he appears to be the only authority on the beach it is safe to assume that nudity is not a problem.
What was quite clear was that when going to the beach only the occasional couple were naked but on leaving they always seemed to have been joined by others!! On any given day nudity seemed to vary between about 10 and 20% of beach users. The beach although well used was never really busy with plenty of room and those sun umbrellas were spaced about 10 -15 yards apart.
My contributors used a 'bay' about halfway along the beach and on the first day were the only nudists there, by the end of the week we were up to half a dozen or so. As they were all leaving on the same weekend my contributor hoped that someone else maintains the tradition. The Captain does too.
The beach is of relatively clean sand although we did have a small amount of oil tar pollution coming ashore on one afternoon. The sea also appeared clean and clear with frequent dips a necessity for cooling the skin at short and regular intervals.
Contributors who visited in July 2001 parked at Trapezaki and set off east along the beach and settled in the third bay which was deserted but for one other naturist couple. As the first beach has stones that are tiring to walk over, it is better to take a path behind the taverna which leads down to the 2nd bay. At the end of that bay it is necessary to walk over rocks to reach the 3rd bay of gritty sand with rocks in the sea. They spent a quiet afternoon here and were fascinated to see a turtle swimming in the sea. At the end of the afternoon, a local shepherd drove his sheep from the hill behind them onto the beach and right past them. He seemed quite unperturbed by their lack of attire and gave them a friendly greeting. There were further bays beyond on the way to Lourdas; it would also be possible to approach from that direction too. There were folded beach umbrellas on our beach with no sign of usage but an indication that at the height of the season, this beach might become textile.
About half way along the village road at the top of the cliff there is a signpost for the "Lithero" taverna. There is a very steep track down to the taverna (we never risked driving down though others did). At the taverna walk west towards Trapezaki. The first section of this beach is textile/topless, but beyond the first set of rocks we found a quieter area where topless/nude bathing was acceptable. The beach is coarse sand or very small pebbles. There is a steep shelf to begin with in the water but it quickly becomes shallow again. My contributors spent a very enjoyable fortnight here in mixed textile/nude company without any problems (July 2002). This beach would have gotten a 100% rating if not for the difficult access.
A 2003 correspondent also adds that when they were there, in June, they found it "uncrowded; usually around a dozen or so couples, mainly the older generation." Throughout the day a number of textiles do walk along the beach (on what is a pleasant beach walk from Trapazaki to Lourdas) but they certainly did not find this off-putting. In fact they found it pleasant to see that some young couples, after their all-too-apparent amazement at the scene, actually stripped off and joined the club. There were just a few sunbeds/sunbrollies well spread out along the beach (€7 for 2 beds +brolly).
Barefooters who visited in July 2007 enjoyed a couple of happy naked days on Trapezaki beach too. As others have said, you need to get yourself about halfway between the beach at Trapezaki, parking by the small fishing boats, and the Lourdas beaches. They felt that this beach did not provide the same sense of freedom found at Mounda.
A July 2007 visitor said this was a great beach, sandy & brilliant for swimming. No problems at all going nude, either from the locals or non-nude bathers. There were nudists along the beach for approx the next 1km.
A report from June 2009 confirms this report.
August 2013: walking from Lourdas toward Trapezaki (on the beach) for 10/15 minutes we arrived on a lovely beach which was mainly nudist and separated from Lourdas main beach by big rocks. The place was very quiet. Some textiles walking on the beach, but they did not bother us. Some of them tried nudism (not habitual nudists considering they were not tanned beneath their costumes).
Vassaliki Naturist Club
Vassaliki Naturist Club - Kefalonia's Premier Naturist Resort
A popular addition to Kefalonia is the Vassaliki Naturist Resort. The 12-room resort offers a high quality of accommodation and service to the discerning naturist. It boasts a beautiful pool, hot tub and comfortable sun chairs over looking the beautiful bay. The pool bar offers a full range of hot and cold drinks as well a comprehensive range of snacks and meals. The resort has over the years become a popular holiday destination for the naturist, with many guests returning year after year. ([http://www.viglanatura.com]) Reports from visitors follow below. Day visits are available on request.
Barefoot reporters had this to say about Vassaliki Naturist Club in Klismata (about 15 minutes drive from Avithos beach). It's a wonderful place for a relaxing naturist holiday. There are 12 air-conditioned self-catering apartments, luxurious by general Greek accommodation standards, most with garden, mountain or sea views. Nearest textile beach is half a mile downhill, and nearest naturist beach Paleolinos. There is a pool, gardens, ample sunbeds, shady gazebos for sitting, a pool bar serving breakfast and lunch, and a dining area. It feels very remote and well off the tourist trail but is only 15 minutes drive both from the airport and from Argostoli, the capital. Shops are 4 minutes away by car (mini markets) and 10 minutes to 4 supermarkets, AB being the best, and near a petrol station. A car is essential; the roads are dreadful but you get used to them in a week. Mark and Samantha, the English hosts at Vassiliki, are welcoming but not intrusive; you can join in or be as independent as you like. They do weekly barbecue evenings onsite and meze evenings at local tavernas, and boat trips to remote beaches unreachable any other way, which are naturist once the harbour is left behind. They also have a masseuse who visits weekly, and an order service for take-away taverna meals. They will arrange car hire for you, and taxis to/from the airport, though we picked up our car there. Nudity is acceptable anywhere on the site and expected dawn to dusk, and during the evenings weather permitting; certainly in summer people only dressed to go out of the site!
There were mostly couples staying; we have a 12-year-old and she was never bored even though she was the only child on site for the 2 weeks. We've already booked 2 weeks next summer. Highly recommended for discerning naturists who want to relax, chill, explore the locality, and enjoy!
Barefoot Reporters paid a visit to Vassaliki in August 2011. We took a look at some of the rooms, which were modern, clean and spacious and had nice views from the balconies. The pool and bar area looked just great, the atmosphere was relaxed and the hosts were very friendly (and prepared very tasty food too). The location is a bit remote, so we would recommend to hire a car if you stay here to get the most out of your stay on Kefalonia island. In our opinion this is a really nice naturist resort.
Paleolinos - Avithos LEFT side
The beach at Paliolinos car park is not naturist! Hence why the reporter below in 2011 was disappointed. You cannot access the naturist beach from Paliolinos car park either, you MUST go to Avithos.
Apparently this has been an accepted naturist beach for some years. From Avithos walk to the LEFT as you face the sea and walk along the sand for 10-15 minutes, past the sunbeds, and around a small outcrop of rocks. Between this and the next big rocky outcrop is Paleolinos, a small but lovely sandy beach. There are big rocks both on the sand and in the sea, though mostly it's a sandy bottom, quite gently shelving and great for swimming. The big boulders provide morning shade. You are not visible from the main Avithos beach nor from Klismata beach which is on the other side of the jumbled rocks at the far end. You used to be able to scramble over from Klismata beach (textile) to here but a recent rock fall in the winter of 2007-8 has made this very difficult.
The sand is lovely, and the water crystal-clear for swimming.
Barefoot reporters visited during August 2008. In the morning we sometimes had it to ourselves, with several couples and 2 or 3 singles arriving towards the middle of the day; reports are that it was never crowded even in the afternoons - and this was August! All naturist, and a mix of Greeks, Dutch, Italian and English people. Textiles do walk along from Avithos but generally turn back when they find themselves among naturists! One couple settled down near us and tried naturism, we suspect for the first time, obviously enjoying the experience.
Barefoot reporters visited Paleolinos beach in August 2011. When we arrived at the beach we were disappointed because it was full of Greek families and not even one naturist in sight. Coming from the car-park, we then decided to climb over some rocks which were on our left side (the rocks were easy to climb over, even with flipflops). This was a good decision. There were some small beaches here between the rocks, which we often had all to ourselves, but sometimes we had to share them with other naturists (which was fine by us).
August 2013: the beach was very much narrowed by wave action. To reach this beach we had to turn around some big rocks in the water (not so easy due to rough sea). We found a very nice naturist couple and we shared the beach with them. When they left some single men arrived (3 during the day): they stripped off but seemed voyeurs to us as they kept staring at us and then left after realizing we were only interested in naked relaxing. A textile couple arrived with a boat and swam to the beach: they took a look at the beach and then left after a few minutes.
Avithos /Avythos - RIGHT side
10 mins north of Trapazaki, well signposted off the main coastal road is a delightfully long and sandy beach called Avithos, which reportedly has a busy/textile Northern end with two nice tavernas, but only five minutes walk up the beach is well spread out nude bathing/swimming. This is the closest naturist beach to Vassaliki Naturist Club who offer a minibus service to this beach for their guests.
This is a lovely sandy, gently shelving beach, backed by cliffs about 30 minutes gentle walk from top end of Svoronata. There is parking at the end of the concrete road that leads to the beach where there are also 2 tavernas. Going down a slope on to the beach, there is a beach bar and sunbeds. Walk to the right, past a rocky point, through the second beach and the naturist beach is beach number three beyond the large rock.
Another account says that if you turn left when facing the water, this is Paliolinos as listed above, after the first rocks separating the nudist section from the main beach you come across a disappointing stretch rather rocky both in the water and on the beach. If one walks further along there is a sandy part but you need to be aware of the sharp rocks in the water in this sandy cove.
One contributor preferred the end of the bay to the right because he felt happier swimming there. Another (June 2003) describes this as a very gentle shelving beach into the sea with not many rocks. We were here for our last day and saw no other people until late on when a couple of single males walked past and on to the next bay and three females sunbathed (naked) at the other end of the beach near to the first set of rocks. In our opinion the best we found, clean, secluded and warm.
A report from June 2002 says there was only one taverna open, but the beach is wonderful.
It appears nudism is allowed at both ends of this beach but my reporters found the best to be to the right.
Once you have parked at the tavernas, turn right and scramble over some rocks for 30m; there is another beach about 200m long with only a couple of people on it. Walk along this beach past an outcrop of rocks and you come to another 200m of glorious beach. During 10 visits over 2 weeks most people were nude, and on the busiest day there were only 12 people.
An alternative approach to this beach is to turn right at the hand painted sign that says Avithos Beach about 400 mts past the Go Kart track. After about 30mts go left and after another 30mts down a steep hill you will see a small area on the left where you can park. Go down the hill and on reaching the beach turn left and you will see the outcrop of rock previously described.
To drive there follow the road from Argostoli towards Skala. Drive through Svoronata and where the road bends sharp left go straight on. Follow this road for approximately 2 miles past the Go-Kart track and down to the beach. Get there early for a car-park space.
On reaching the beach, turn left and walk past the sunbeds to the rocky headland at the end of the beach. As on our previous visit, there were several naturist couples here, and it is a lovely setting. A good sandy beach, with clear water. Avoid going round the rocky headland: this is a rocky, uncomfortable beach with nowhere comfortable to sit or lie.
My contributors also tried the recommended beach to the right, and were very disappointed. With reference to the advice given to turn right at the hand-painted sign for Avithos, there is now an estate of new, expensive houses at the top of the beach track with nowhere to park. The track is not passable on foot or by car, as a stream has been diverted into it, making many yards of the track very deep in mud.
One 4x4 managed it, but little else. And really, the beach is not worth it: scrambling round the rocks from Avithos brings you to a good beach, but all textiles here; the beach around the next lot of rocks we found to be narrow and dirty, with a number of single nude men prowling around. We felt very uncomfortable and vulnerable - the only time in two weeks in Kefalonia, July 2004, and did not stay long.
However, Avithos itself is lovely, and the left hand end is thoroughly recommended. My contributors visited several times, and loved it.
August 2016 this track is now tarmac and easier to drive but be careful it is still very steep so some small-engined hire cars will struggle.
Late Sept/early Oct: The right side of the beach was 100% naturist but almost deserted (perfect for us as a couple), especially once you are past the very big rock. We went there every day for a week and not once were there more than a dozen people on the whole stretch of about 400m. The sea was absolutely perfect for swimming. Take plenty of water with you but to walk back to the tavernas for lunch is no hardship.
This is not a known naturist beach so please be careful.
Beach located at the end of the airport runway. Very quiet in September. A few rocks at first but then fine sand and gently shelving. A few naturist couples but sometimes only my reporters. The locals tend to stay at the first part of the beach.
Xi beach - Mania
Xi beach is NOT a naturist beach, it is a very busy tourist beach. The next bay along, Mania it is possible to go naturist there.
The area is the south of the Pali peninsula, the one with Lixouri on it. South and South West of the town are three beaches, connected to each other, with the western one called Xi beach.
To access Mania beach, head towards the Ionian Sea Hotel, not towards XI, then take a left before you reach the hotel. You arrive at a small parking area on the cliff above the beach. Walk to the left to go closer to the point that divides XI and Mania, this end is naturist. Be aware there are often rock-falls from the cliff behind so be careful.
About 1.5km before Xi beach the road forks out to the left and right with signs all indicating 'Xi beach'. Take the right, park at the end of the road and walk right (when facing the sea) along the narrow beach towards the rocks. The first rock is easily walked round as it is shallow sea with sandy floor. Walking around the second rock is a bit tricky as again it is shallow water but part of it is rocky (rather huge pebbles). You are rewarded with a beautiful sandy beach - best part half way across.
The first time my contributors visited they drove north from Argostoli round the coast, about an hour; the 2nd time we took the car on the ferry (crossing 25 minutes) to the peninsula from Argostoli to Lixouri, runs hourly, and then it was only a 10 minutes drive to Xi.
The hotel is right on the beach and there is a collection of loungers, sea scooter hire centre, taverna, etc, and hundreds of people. Going east along the orange sand (they got that detail right) the crowds thin out but you can see the next sun lounger, boat hire, taverna, etc with a steady procession of people walking up and down the foreshore.
The beach is backed by low grey clay cliffs and is, basically, a popular featureless long stretch of sand. It shelves gently with slippery flat rock offshore and limited snorkelling possibilities. It is a beach for families who like socialising on the sand.
It is no place for idyllic or secluded nude sunbathing and swimming. Going nude is possible but hardly enjoyable. (One contributor who visited in October 2003 said they "felt a bit like a tourist attraction for textiles when we stripped off" on the east end of Xi.)
A couple who visited in July 2004 found it quite relaxed in a clothing-optional area of the beach. Take the right hand fork signed to Xi (so is the left!) and park at the end of the road by the taverna. Walk to the right past the sunloungers, after a few hundred yards there is an area below tall cliffs; these are unstable, and there are many recent rockfalls, so walk past here to the area where the cliffs are lower. This is a pleasant stretch of sand, where there were three naturist groups. About mid-afternoon, the naturists were joined by about half a dozen textiles, none of whom showed any sign of objection. There are a few pebbles at the edge of the sea, which is very shallow for quite a long way out. Very pleasant: if you rub the red sand all over your body, it is supposed to make you 20 years younger!
In 2009 on the main beach sunbeds and umbrellas, no nudity even in far end. Same in June 2010.
June 2013: Xi Beach was very much narrowed and shortened in length by wave action. We saw a few topless ladies but no nudism whatsoever.
Beach near Xi
However, correspondents who visited in September 1999 walked to the end of the Xi beach going WEST (not east), then climbed over a little hill (there is a very narrow path) and discovered a wonderful beach, some 1000-1500 m long, under high cliffs (30-50 m) completely separated by that hill and the cliffs (see picture).
There is a road that leads to the beach. On the road from Mantzavinata to Kounopetra turn left at Lat=38.166496N Lon=20.400404E (no signs). You can park your car at the end of the road, right near the beach at Lat=38.154876N Lon=20.406075E.
They were the only human beings there and nude bathing and walking was ideal. The sand is orange, the water very clear. It seems unlikely that the beach is very crowded in high season, because it's accessible only by that narrow path over the little hill. Absolutely no signs of sunloungers, parasols, taverna or anything like that. A report from July 2001 says that on two visits my contributors had the beach to themselves apart from one or two textiles.
The beach has dark orange sand, is very gently shelving, with a calm, warm sea and very safe (good for those who are not strong swimmers). When we visited, we walked to the western end (turn right on the beach). On my contributors' first time there, they were able to strip off at the end of the beach, backed by the cliff. However the beach was quite quiet as it was a windy day but to their delight we found that we were out of the wind here and the sea was calm. My correspondents were told by their local waiter that this is one beach which is always OK even on windy days. On our return the next week, they would not have felt comfortable on the main beach as there were more people so they walked on, round the next small bay which collects seaweed and then paddled round the rocky point (only about a foot deep) to the next bay. Initially they had this bay to themselves, but they were later joined by a naturist man and his costumed partner. A local fisherman walked past to his boat and took no notice of them. They felt very relaxed there.
In July 2005 a couple following the same directions again paddling around the foot of the cliffs in 30cms of water found the beach to be private and eventually textile-free - when the one clothed couple stripped off and joined the rest of the beach. The only reported downside is that the sea is too shallow, you have to go a long way out for a swim!
Report from 2009 confirms that the beach is still excellent for naturism.
The stairs have now completely been destroyed so it is no longer possible to access this beach except by boat.
There are many stairs to the beach. It is not very comfortable to step down or UP, if the temperatures are over 30°. :-)
Barefoot reporters who were there in August 2007 found this the most naturist beach on the island. The beach was long enough to walk a discreet distance from the textiles, who tend to collect in the first half of the beach. It was, like many island beaches, busy with Greek families on Sundays, but during the week much fewer people, mostly naked.
In June 2009 on one day there were only 7 people on the whole beach. One Greek family wears clothes, the other people were nude. And a lot of beach for each of them.
In June 2010 during the week nude bathing was no problem, but we have been bothered by a voyeuristic single greek male.
June 2013: Platia Ammos had 3 nude ladies, a nude lady as part of 2 couples where I believe the other 3 had just dressed and us. A textile couple turned up later where the man had a great interest in the beach pebbles near the 2 nude ladies and us but, strangely enough, nowhere else on the beach. BE WARNED, the steps to the beach resemble the great wall of China and if you are in any way unfit, DO NOT attempt it. The beach is also very hard to walk on as it is all pebbles. This is however the best nude option by far.
August 2013: it's a little bit far from Argostoli (the ferry boat takes half an hour to get to Lixouri), the last part of the road is quite bad for motorbikes (but we have reached the top of the stairs). 280 steps. Textiles place themselves on the first part of the beach. A few minutes walking we placed ourselves and stripped off with no problems. Two more couples of naturists arrived and placed themselves on the last part of the beach. Three more young couples arrived but I think they were textiles trying (and obviously enjoying) nudism for the first time (only men stripped off; one girl topless). We spent a great day even if sea conditions were not so good and it was quite difficult to swim. 280 steps are challenging but (if you are fit) it is worth it!
Also on the peninsula is Petani beach on the west coast, about 20 minutes' drive from the ferry at Lixouri. Look out for the sign to Petania in Greek.
A very winding, steep road down to this beach which has a lovely setting with a backdrop of mountains. At the bottom of the road, turn right and park by the boats. A short walk North (turn right) takes you to a very quiet, pebbly beach with large boulders and rocks providing good privacy. Good for swimming and snorkelling.
The beach was mainly a mix of fine stones and pebbles although my contributors were able to find a sandy area towards the rear of the beach for more comfortable lazing. There were a few naturists situated at the southern end of this beach (turn left on reaching the beach). We were sufficiently away from the sunbeds and textiles to feel comfortable here. The sea here was very clear and calm but fairly quickly shelving. Jelly shoes recommended. This report dates from June 2001.
A report from July 2004 says this is a really lovely beach: much nicer than Myrtos, although in a similar setting. Cross the ferry from Argostoli to Lixouri (€3.60 car, €1.20 passenger…get up to the top deck of the ferry - marvellous views across the Bay of Argostoli!) Turn left on arriving at the beach, walk about 150 yards past the sunloungers, and there are a reasonably large number of naturists with a few textiles scattered in between. Absolutely lovely! The weather at the time helped: glorious sun, warm sea - 95% - would be more if not for the narrow, winding roads.
Barefooters who visited in 2006 did not find it as idyllic as earlier reporters; although very scenic the beach is stony with little sand. My reporters established themselves in a small stony cove at the northern end and went nude. Others found it too crowded to be nude in August 2007.
Other Barefooters who visited Petani in June 2008 confirm that naturism is practised on the left side of the beach when facing the sea (confirmed in June 2010). They say snorkelling brilliant, but they advise getting there early as textiles use this area too and first there decides the order of the day. The beach has some shade most of the day due to the cliff behind. Take jelly shoes or similar as pebble beach.
After about 6 miles from Argostoli, the road forks left for Lixouri and right for Myrtos; follow the right fork and then turn left, following the sign for Aghios Kiriakis beach. The beach is a long strip of sand and shingle, divided into small and large coves, with a track running the length of the beach. Follow the road for about 1 1/2 miles down to the sea, then turn right onto the beach road.
Follow until about 400 yards from the end, where there is a snack bar and a number of people. Here the beach was deserted, and there was plenty of room to park the car beside the track. The beach appeared to be used mainly by the locals, but my contributors felt comfortable, although they were the only naturists. Pretty setting, but not a marvellous beach.
Close to Kiriakis beach. In the village Zola follow the sign to the small but nice Vouti Beach. In low season (June 2010) it's a mostly quiet place where nude bathing is no problem - especially at the left side of the beach when facing the sea. It seems that in high season there is a beach bar at Vouti beach.
Myrtos is one of the most famous, and frequently photographed, beaches in Greece. It is about three-quarters of the way north up the west side of Cephalonia. You turn off the road between Argostoli and Fiskardo at a well-marked junction and go downhill for about two to three kilometres using a tarred road with hairpin bends. It drops quite steeply downhill, becomes a track and then debouches onto the shingle beach with parking areas at the rear of the beach either side of a snack bar.
Featured on many a picture postcard, this scenic beach has a lovely setting of a mountain backdrop but is quite a drive from most holiday accommodation areas - the nearest about 10 kms away is Agia Efimia. From the main western coast road, it is signposted as 4 kms. The road is good but take it steadily, as it is steep and winding. Turn right (northwards) when reaching the white shingle beach, to join other naturists at the end of the bay. When my contributors visited (June 2001) there were 7 other naturist couples and it felt very comfortable. A report from July 2001 says that the northern end was uncrowded and 100% naturist.
The beach is situated at the rear of a wide inlet backed by steeply sloping cliffs with piles of scree below them from which the almost white shingle comes. The beach shelves steeply so that large waves form. There have been people drowned here because of 8-feet-high waves crashing onto the shingle.
So flip flops or jelly shoes are a must. Parasols and sun loungers can be hired for around 3 euro per person.
The beach is 90% textile with nudism practised at the northern end where there are a few large rocks (turn right at the bottom of the road to park nearer the CO end). There are topless bathers elsewhere. At the southern end there is a cave but no easily reachable boulders. I dare say suited bathers wouldn't mind if you stripped off but it would not feel comfortable.
There is a beach bar in the middle of the beach that has been noisy in the past. Nearby there are some toilets and some showers (free) to rinse off after a hard day's lounging.
As the beach faces west it receives the sun virtually all day long and the sunsets can be stunning!. The surrounding cliffs provide shelter from the wind and it seems a good place for sunning oneself. The cliffs also prevent any gawkers from above.
One couple revisited Myrtos in July 2004, and walked to the right, where "we were the only naturists present. Felt very comfortable: the beach was very uncrowded, with the nearest textiles about 80 yards away. Very scenic, but beach very shingley: stony access to sea makes getting into the water difficult." (Getting out can be very difficult too when the waves pick up - be aware and stay safe! Ed.)
During 2005 reports indicate that naturists still occupy the North end of the beach, the noise, if any, from the Beach bar was never a problem and the showers on the beach were an absolute boon before rushing off to catch the flight home
Myrtos is mainly for people wearing swimming costumes and it's shingle, but even so, my contributors for 2005 gave it 8 out of 10.
A report from June 2005 speaks of the north end of the beach being occupied by a dozen or so couples enjoying the sun, very relaxed and comfortable. No noise from the bar and stunning sunsets.
June: Myrtos was 100% textile, we were the only couple where the female was topless.
Go south from Fiskardo on the main road and in a couple of kilometres or less come to a turning to Dafnoudi Beach just before the village of Antipata Eristou. Follow the new road to within a few hundred metres of the end. Look for a sign DAFNOUDI on the right indicating the footpath to the beach. It is a lovely walk through the woodland, about 20 mins.
The inlet is about 30 metres across and medium-to-large shingle. There are no facilities. You may be visited by boats. Previous reports suggested that this beach may be suitable for nudism, but recent correspondents reported textiles only there, so they felt unable to strip off.
June 2013: Dafnoudi Beach was 100% textile and nudism would have been very uncomfortable. This was still the case in September 2016.
A small beach in between Dafnoudi beach and Emblisi beach. The walk from Emblisi beach is no more than 15 minutes. There is no sign from Emblisi beach but you can see the path on the hill. Go left to the hill and pass through the forest. If you walk along the coast there is a nice space on the rock at the end of Emblisi beach. At Kimilia many young Greeks and tourists are there from the morning until the evening 100% with no clothes. The rock is easy to lay down on and easy to get to swim. Avoid in August - too many family and tourists.
Update for July 2011: tried to follow these instructions but no luck finding a beach after a 45 minute walk along the coast. It appears the instructions should say go to the road junction pointed on the linked map and walk north through the forest to find the beach.
However we did find another good spot by going to the left side of Emblisi beach through some bushes to a wire fence, this appears to block your path but it's simply a gate tied by a piece of rope. Walk for about 5 minutes on this path through the bushes and trees, with rocks down to the sea on your right. Once you spot a small rocky headland, leave the path and clamber down a few rocks to a very small pebbly beach. We had this to ourselves with occasional snorkelers coming from Emblisi and a couple of day boats from Fiskardo.
On a visit in September 2016, the hiking trail to Kimilia beach was well signposted from the main road. As a result, the beach became more popular and was crowded with textiles on every visit.
A small pebbly beach just 120 metres north west of Kimilia. Take the main road from Fiskardo to Antipata. After about 1.7 kilometres, leave the road to the right and follow the signs to Kimilia beach. Shortly before the beach, you'll find a small sign pointing to the left, leading you on a small trail to Kalamaki.
During several visits in September 2016, my contributor had this beach all to himself. Only once he was joined by two young men who did not hesitate to drop their pants, no tanlines indicating that they were fellow nudists.
There are a series of inlets most of which have small shingle beaches at their head. Most of them are hard to reach from unmapped tracks by unmapped trails so access by boat is the practical alternative.
Outboard-motor-driven boats can be hired in Fiskardo and from Agia Efimia for between 45 and 70 euro a day (depending on boat size and engine power), petrol extra. The service is available at 9:00 - 18:00. Don't forget the boats have to be returned by 18:00 each day! You do not need a special licence to use the boat.
All the beaches are shingle and the default for swimming and bathing is to wear costumes. But get there first or find a deserted one and clothes can become very optional indeed. None of the beaches have any facilities so you need to bring in food, drink and anything else you need (beach umbrella, swim mask and coolbox with ice is provided and is included in the boat price).
If you rent your boat in Agia Efimia you can sail to the north only.
There are three inlets to the west of Fiskardo. The western-most one, in the inlet to the west of the one with apartments going up on its eastern headland, is as good as any of the others. There may be spots of oil on the shingle. Some form of footwear is recommended as the shingle is large and it helps you avoid the prickly sea urchins. There is also a cave to explore and a rusty bike planted on a rock.
There are about ten inlets to the south of Fiskardo. The one past the island has the cleanest shingle, the clearest water, the least sea urchins and, for the adventurous, diving off the rocks at the side.
Sailing the boat with nothing on is great and if you find a nice deserted shingle beach the day becomes very nice indeed. The island has a chapel on it, unlocked when we were there, but landing is tricky. We found an inlet, a micro-inlet, on the Ithaca side of it.
Four out of ten for the beach, six out of ten for the boating…
Barefooters who visited in 2009 found several excellent beaches to the south of Fiscardo and had the beaches to themselves. No problem for naturism excepting other boats that sail from time to time along the coast.
Shooting some scenes here for the film 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' has highlighted this lovely beach and also provided a tarmac road. In Sami, head for the harbour area. When my contributors visited, there was a large square road area in front of the harbour but they were starting to build a roundabout in the middle. Go to the far south-eastern corner of this square, (top right hand end looking towards the sea) and there is a small signpost for Antisamos. Go up this narrow residential road which takes a sharp right-hand turn, then at the T junction turn left and follow the road out of town, up over the hill and headland to drop down to beautiful Antisamos (about 4 kms, I would guess). On reaching the beach there is a track at the rear of the beach. Drive as far right (south) as you can go and park. You can either continue to walk south along the stony beach or take an unmade track running behind trees that front the beach. After a few minutes, where the track continues ahead and inland, there is a well-worn footpath forking left which goes down between the trees onto the naturist section of this beach. You MUST now follow the coast line as there has been a further rock fall just before the naturist section of the beach.
Some naturists settle here, others make the slightly tricky clamber over large rocks to the last small bay (see photo). Sea very clear but rocky so jellies recommended. The pebbles were a bit large to lie on all day without getting a bruised bum so bring a foam mat if you have one. Another rock fall means this is an even more difficult route but well worth it as it's now even quieter.
The main beach is made of large pebbles and stones. The beach is in a very nice and protected bay. The first part is completely textile, and there you can rent sunloungers and parasol. At the beach entrance there is also a small bar. The last part of the beach is very narrow with stones. This is the naturist section and there is enough room for plenty of space between sunbathers. At the very south of the beach (the last 100 m) separated from the rest by some big stones, there are very often nude people enjoying the sun and the sea. One correspondent gives this beach 8 out of 10, another 50%
Another correspondent reports seeing only two naturist couples on the south of the beach on two visits. Beyond the stones it seemed to be 100% naturist, but…..this meant both of two couples were naturist and the stones were really very difficult to cross. Although it's a lovely beach, his opinion was that the shingle is very difficult to handle and for pure naturism, it leaves much to be desired. Sami, as a resort, however, is very laid back.
A report from September 2001 noted no naturists at all here. And a report from August 2004 remarked on good access (thanks to the Captain Corelli road) and very scenic, but not comfortable beach: very rocky, with stones varying between a golf ball and a rugby ball in size. We went to the far end of the beach, where there were two or three other naturist couples, and one or two textiles. Too uncomfortable to stay for more than 2-3 hours.
We arrived at the last bay/100m of the beach in late August and were the first ones there. Was possible to get nude without too much gawping from the boats in the bay. We were joined later by a textile we thought was there to stare but he soon got naked after hesitation and throughout the day we were joined by several totally nude couples, a few topless-only female-friend groups and some male nude/female topless couples. Girlfriend is hesitant about outdoor nudity but gave it a go owing to the distance from main beach and the seclusion offered by rocks. Beach is quite a long way from the main Antisamos beach so bring water unless you [don't] mind the 10-15 minute walk back to the bars on the main beach.