Pretty little Kefalonia, in the Ionian Sea, was largely off tourist’s radar screens until the 2001 release of the ultra-romantic film "Captain Corelli’s Mandolin," based on Louis de Bernières novel, and starring Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz. The filmmakers chose their location well, since Kefalonia was, and actually still is, an old-fashioned, unspoiled Greek island – rich with romantic vistas.
The island remains pretty and pristine because it lacks major tourism, and because many of its buildings are relatively new (the result of a serious earthquake in 1953). Visitors tend to rent villas high up in the hills to catch the cooling breezes, and use rental cars to explore the island’s winding roads and catch the many-miles-away vistas. True romantics can rent speed boats and cruise to isolated beaches (Myrtos on the island’s west coast is a gorgeous one), or can even zoom across the sea to Ithaca—the legendary island where Homer’s Odysseus ruled. Back in Kefalonia, nightlife revolves around the local tavernas, and is fun, but not overly raucous.