The island was named after the mythical Kefalos, son of Hermes and Ersi. Kefalos went into exile, after killing his wife by accident during a hunting trip. While in exile he met the king of Athens, Amfitryonas . Kefalos helped Amfitryonas with his war against Tafious and Tilevoes, residents of Kefalonia. After his victory Amfitryonas donated the island to Kefalos. Kefalos had 4 sons, Kranio, Palea, Pronniso and Sami, the four cities of Kefalonia where named after them, they were independent republics and produced their own currencies. The island was referred to, for this reason, as ‘Tetrapolis’, the four cities. Kefalos was of the same generation as Odysseus, king of Ithaca.
The coast of Kefalonia is formed by many bays and capes. The bigger bays are that of Sami, Myrtos, Argostoli, Lourdas and Livadi. Main capes are (starting from the south and moving to the east direction) Mounda, Kapros, Sarakiniko, Mitikas to the center, Dafnoudi in the north, Atheras in the northwest, Ortholithia and Gerogompos in the west, Akrotiri, Agia Pelagia, Liakos,and Kastanas in south. The coastline is generally rocky and steep in the Ionian and the formations are milder to the east side.
Of particular interest are the caves of the island, such as Melissani, which contains an underground lake, Agkalaki, St. Theodore, Zervati, Drogarati Caves, and Sakkos Cave . Mirtos beach to the northwest side of the island was voted 11 times as the best Greek beach according to the annual vote from the Hellenic Ministry for the Environment. It has been repeatedly described as the best beach of the Mediterranean and has been included in the list of most beautiful beaches on the planet. On the west side of the island in Paliki you can also visit the beautiful beach of Petanoi.