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Assos Village: The Only Guide You Need for Kefalonia’s Hidden Gem

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Assos village literally took my breath away when I first saw it online. Not long after, this picturesque village inspired a second trip to Greece, my favorite country to date.

The idyllic Greek gem is located on a small, horseshoe-shaped peninsula in Northwestern Kefalonia and home to about one hundred inhabitants.

With an air of a bygone age, Assos seduces visitors with lush forests, turquoise waters, colorful homes, and everlasting bougainvillea. It’s ideal for the nature lover in search of slow, non-commercialized travel.

Follow me to this remote Greek village and discover everything this candy-colored paradise has to offer.

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Assos Village, Kefalonia

Your Complete Guide to Assos Village in Kefalonia, Greece

Brief History of Assos Village

Many of Kefalonia’s buildings were destroyed after the devastating earthquake of 1953, including those in Assos.

Fortunately, most of Assos village was restored to its original beauty by the Parisians. The people of Paris generously sent funds to help residents rebuild, as the village was beloved amongst French tourists.

How to Get Here

Kefalonia has only one airport – Kefalonia International Airport (EFL) – so you’ll need to fly into here.

You’ll then want to rent a car or hire a private driver, due to the village’s remote location. The drive from the airport takes just over an hour.

You can book an airport transfer here if you don’t wish to drive yourself.

Assos is located at the bottom of a very steep and windy hill and there’s only one main road leading down to it.

There’s one large public parking lot located at the end of the road on the left-hand side. Parking is free.

Assos, Kefalonia parking lot

Assos is certainly a tranquil and remote paradise, but it’s not particularly accessible.

In fact, no trains serve this area and bus service is severely limited and seasonal. You can review the bus schedule here.

Tourists flock to Assos by boat in summer, docking in the village’s small port.

First Impressions

We first arrived in Assos village on a cloudy day. This did not make for the best first impression, especially when the rain hit later that afternoon.

In fact, I had such high expectations from some online pictures that I was actually rather disappointed to see the real thing.

The reality was a far cry from the turquoise waters and vibrant houses promised by the photos. It was much less colorful in person, so I honestly thought the pictures were Photoshopped.

Below is a slide that I shared on my Instagram Stories. The top photo is the breathtaking one I first found online. The bottom is a screenshot of a video I took when we first arrived, completely unedited.

As you can see, there’s a stark difference between the two images.

Assos, Kefalonia: Expectations vs. reality

The village was also much smaller than I envisioned – and I thought Fiskardo was tiny! 

However, when the clouds lifted and the sunshine finally came through, I was pleasantly surprised. It truly looked like a different place! The water was a more brilliant blue and the colorful homes looked decidedly more vibrant.

It even appeared larger in the sunlight.

Colorful homes of Assos village

So if you happen to arrive on a cloudy day, don’t be too hasty in passing judgment. There really is a silver lining when the sun appears!

Where to Stay in Assos Village

Don’t expect large, commercial resorts while in Assos village; they don’t exist here.

For the most part, you’ll find “Rick Steves-style” accommodations in Assos: Simple rooms with a comfortable bed and a nice view.

There are a couple of budget-friendly, apartment-style lodging options to choose from.

My husband and I stayed in a “Sea View Studio” at Linardos Apartments for a very reasonable 131 EUR. This was the total cost for our two-night stay in October, including the city and government tax.

Be advised that the rooms function as self-catering apartment units, not traditional hotel rooms. As such, there’s no restaurant, lobby area, or a formal front desk on the property.

However, the rooms are all conveniently equipped with a tiny kitchenette area that includes a stovetop and an oven.

Our room had a traditional Italian feel to it, as though we were staying somewhere along the Amalfi coast. This was such a treat, considering Positano is one of my top bucket list places!

Our spacious balcony was most definitely the highlight of our apartment.

Linardos Apartments balcony view in Assos village

It could accommodate a table and two chairs with space to spare. It was also perfect for stargazing and experimenting with some night photography.

Linardos Apartments night view

Our room was also ideally located within walking distance of everything we wanted to do, albeit simple.

PRO TIP: If you book a room here, you’ll need to remember to turn on the hot water heater before showering. The switch is located behind the apartment door. I forgot to turn it on one night and had a bit of a rude awakening!

If, however, you’re interested in more of a luxury stay, you may wish to consider Assos Villas, located atop the peninsula.

Weather to Expect

You can typically expect hot, sunny summers and mild, wet winters throughout Kefalonia. 

It does rain in Assos, as I mentioned earlier, despite the village’s bright, sunny appearance. However, the rain is concentrated from October (when we were here) until April.

Summers tend to be dry and rain is rare.

The weather was fortunately warm during our autumn visit, with temperatures averaging in the low seventies.

You can take a look at Kefalonia’s weather averages here to plan accordingly for your trip.

Languages Spoken in Assos

Greek is the main language of Kefalonia and its surrounding Ionian islands.

However, English is commonly spoken here in Assos, as many of the locals work in the tourism industry.

My husband and I didn’t experience any communication barriers during our stay.

What to Do In & Around Assos Village

Hike Up to Assos Castle:

Assos Castle, Kefalonia from below

The Venetian Castle of Assos is the most significant attraction and considered one of the greatest castles of its era. It was originally built during the 16th century to protect villagers against pirate raids and Turk invasions.

Assos Castle entrance, Kefalonia

The fortress was strategically built atop the Assos peninsula to take advantage of the sheer drops that made it uninvadable. It was constructed to house the village’s entire local population.

Assos Castle was later used as a prison by the Germans during the Second World War and functioned this way for a number of decades.

The latest inhabitants, the Kastrini people, lived within the castle walls until the late 1960s.

Assos Castle archway

They survived by cultivating olives and grapes.

You can read more about the interesting history of Assos Castle here.

Today, only ruins remain from this  Venetian fortress, which is now considered a World Heritage Site. Visitors can see remnants of the wall, parts of the castle, as well as the church of San Marco.

Assos Castle ruins
Assos Castle scenery

By far, the highlight of our visit was hiking up to Assos Castle. You’ll discover the most commanding views as you walk to the top.

Pathway up to Assos Castle, Kefalonia
Assos Village

The views truly getter better and better the higher you go!

View from the Top of Assos Castle in Kefalonia

Just wait until you reach the top! Here you can overlook all of Assos.

Best view from Assos Castle, Kefalonia

What to Know Before You Go:

The castle is open Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM and on Saturdays from 9 AM to 4 PM. It’s closed on Sundays. Entrance to the castle is free.

However, you can hire a private guide to give you a tour of the castle and provide historical context if you wish.

My husband and I explored on our own, but it probably would’ve been even better with a knowledgeable guide.

PRO TIPS FOR HIKING:

  • The hike takes about one hour each way. It’s a steep climb to the top, so wear comfortable sneakers and bring water with you. You’ll get sweaty while hiking, so I suggest wearing moisture-wicking material as well.
  • The majority of the hiking route is unshaded and you’ll be exposed to a lot of direct sunlight. Remember to wear sunscreen and consider a sunhat as well for protection.
  • Bring a camera! You’ll definitely want to capture the stunning views as you ascend the hill.
  • You can find the Google Maps hiking route to the castle here.

Relax on Assos Beach:

The beach here is small, yet beautiful. It reminded me of the one we visited in Agia Pelagia, except with stones instead of sand.

If you’re looking for a relaxing beach day without a lot of crowds, you can’t go wrong here.

Assos Beach offers beach-goers clear water and picturesque scenery across the harbor. However, it is pebbly, so I suggest wearing water shoes.

There are beach chairs and umbrellas available, but be advised that a seasonal fee may apply.

We didn’t swim here as we preferred hiking to the castle, but we did stop to snap a photo along the shore.

Assos Beach, Kefalonia

I seriously felt like I left Greece and landed in an Italian postcard!

The atmosphere is tranquil, the waters are calm, and you won’t need to venture far when you get hungry. Open-air tavernas are conveniently located just steps away along the shoreline.

Where to Eat

There are only four restaurants located directly in Assos, due to its remote nature. Each of them can be found along Assos Beach.

We ate breakfast at the one closest to the colorful homes. They serve a mean Nutella banana crepe!

However, we decided to drive elsewhere for dinner on our first night. We wanted to avoid the outdoor seating at the Assos tavernas, as it was pouring rain.

Instead, we drove into the city of Lixouri for dinner, which was just under an hour’s drive.

I recommend driving about thirty minutes to the village of Fiskardo if you’re looking for some closer dining options.

This picturesque fishing village is a favorite amongst celebrities. Here, you’ll find more selection, including my top recommendation, Tassia Restaurant.

Tassia Restaurant, Fiskardo

Take a Day Trip

You won’t need more than a day to experience everything Assos village has to offer, as it’s quite small.

Therefore, I recommend using it as a jumping off point to explore more of Kefalonia island.

Alternatively, you may wish to stay  in one of Kefalonia’s larger cities and then do a day trip to Assos.

Regardless of what you decide, unique Assos definitely deserves a place on the itinerary.

Visit Fiskardo:

Fiskardo is great for a day trip. It’s conveniently located about thirty minutes from Assos by car, as I mentioned earlier.

Boats in Fiskardo Harbor
Fiskardo port, Kefalonia

You can read my best recommendations for what to do in this popular fishing village here.

Visit Argostoli:

Or, if you’re willing to drive a little further, I recommend visiting the island’s capital of Argostoli. This metropolitan city is located about fifty minutes away.

Argostoli, Kefalonia

Argostoli is the largest city on the island and home to about 10,000 inhabitants. As such, it’s much more built-up and filled with numerous restaurants and tourist-friendly shops.

However, I didn’t find it nearly as picturesque as quaint Assos or Fiskardo.

I recommend stopping off at the Lighthouse of Saint Theodoroi along the way to Argostoli for a scenic view. It’s located on a manmade peninsula, about a 20-minute walk from Argostoli.

Lighthouse of Saint Theodoroi in Kefalonia, Greece

It’s quite a unique lighthouse, especially compared to the Venetian one we saw later in Chania.

We loved stopping here to stretch our legs and just take in the beauty.

Argostoli definitely has much more to offer than Assos in terms of size. However, I found myself missing the seclusion of remote Assos village by day’s end.

This Greek gem is definitely worth a spot on your Kefalonia itinerary, even if it’s only for a day.

If somehow these pictures have not yet convinced you to visit (or if you’re simply hungry for more), be sure to check out my Assos Instagram guide! In it, I’ve included detailed information for finding all of the best photo locations in Assos.

Have you ever visted Assos? What were some of your favorite activities? Let me know in the comments below!

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Assos Village, Kefalonia
Assos, Kefalonia
Assos Village Kefalonia, Greece
Assos Beach, Greece
Assos Kefalonia, Greece
Assos Village, Greece

3 thoughts on “Assos Village: The Only Guide You Need for Kefalonia’s Hidden Gem

  1. Your photos are absolutely AMAZING! This place is so high on my bucket list now and it seems like you went during a perfect time of the year. Definitely noted all of this! 🙂

  2. This is such a great guide and I especially love your tips throughout the post! I have been to a few of the Greek Isles but am definitely longing to go back! And this Island looks amazing!

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