Cephalonia in Greece is no stranger to invasion. Byzantines, Turks, Venetians, the British and, most recently, a population explosion of cats, have laid claim to the largest of the Ionian Sea islands. Small miracle then that it has mostly resisted the overwhelmingly touristy fate of its famed cousins, Mykonos, Crete and Santorini. There is no need to jostle for an umbrella or fight for space along the crystalline beaches of Cephalonia; the startlingly clear water is not fringed by ubiquitous hotel chains but by the unspoilt vegetation that stretches out to meet it. While idyllic, the island is not inaccessible — it has an airport, making a quick hop from Europe or mainland Athens quite manageable. Less easy to navigate are the narrow and winding roads leading from the airport in Argostoli, the island’s capital. Driving on the island is not for the faint of heart, but the challenge (including navigating through herds of mountain goats) is worth it for the views. Rugged coastlines wit...

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