From Vatsa Bay along the Paliki peninsula
Vatsa Bay on the Paliki peninsula is a place that makes you think twice about your plans for the day because you simply want to stay and breathe in the relaxing atmosphere. This bay with its sandy beaches Vrahinari and Vatsa is far away from the crowds (if ever you can call it crowds on Kefalonia).
There are a few sunbeds and umbrellas on the beach and two tavernas serve excellent meals. Above and in the background of the beach there are a few villas to rent; the nearest village is a few kilometres away.
A river merges into the sea at the end of the bay that can be crossed by a drawbridge. If you have children, this bridge will keep them busy for hours, going back and forwards across the river. This part is used as a small harbour for motorboats and fishing boats.
Should you decide to leave this beautiful place and explore the coast by motorboat, you can either head north towards the secluded, long sandy beach of Platia Ammos or you sail south and then east towards the red sanded Xi beach.
You could also choose to motor over to Vardiani Island which is situated halfway between Paliki and Lassi. It is an uninhabited island with a lighthouse and the ruins of two monasteries.
When you set off you should have water and some snacks with you as well as your mobile phone to be able to contact the boat rental. You also may want to consider beach shoes in case you choose to anchor at a pebble or stone beach. Get advice from your boat rental regarding the furthest point you are allowed to go to within your mile limit as described in boat hire tips.
Heading north from Vatsa
Cruising north you soon will have rocky, high cliffs above you. There are not many bays with beaches in this direction but the impressing coastline fascinates with its rough beauty.
Lagadakia: On the way north you will find this cove with a small pebble beach. Clear water makes it a great place for snorkelling. This is a quiet little beach, mostly frequented by locals from the nearby villages.
Platia Ammos: This long stretched beach with small and larger pebbles is a beauty. And chances are good that you have it all to your own. Again, with crystal clear water and rocks nearby, Platia Ammos is a great place for snorkelling.
There used to be several hundred steps leading from the cliffs high above down to the beach, which made it an adventure going down, but a real challenge climbing up again. These steps cannot be used anymore as they are in bad condition and dangerous.
Cruising south from Vatsa
Heading south from Vatsa the coast becomes flat before you find high cliffs again, following the coastline eastwards.
Kounopetra: This is a small beach with reddish sand. Kounopetra is rather known for its moving rock in the sea than for its beach. This large rock used to move with the waves until the earthquake of 1953 settled the ground on which the rock had been standing.
After Kounopetra there are countless little bays and coves as well as long stretches of sandy beaches before you reach Xi beach.
Xi: Xi beach is the best known of the beaches in this area. A part of Xi is very well organized with umbrellas, sunbeds, beach bars and canteens as well as a variety of water sports. The clay cliffs behind the red sanded beach with the blue sea show a nice contrast. It is a must to treat yourself with a clay body mask, making your skin smooth. In July and August, this beach becomes very busy.
Megas Lakos: Keep heading south and you will reach Megas Lakos which is just as beautiful as Xi but less busy. The water is shallow which makes the beach ideal for children. There are tavernas above the beach and a beach bar. It is easy to find a quiet place on this long beach.
Lepeda: This is the nearest beach to Lixouri, starting just outside the town. There are a few sunbeds and umbrellas and also a snack bar serving simple meals. Also on this beach, the water is shallow and calm.
You should ask your boat rental which is the furthest beach you can go, staying within your mile limit.