Mountains and beaches dominate the island. High peaks in the interior give way to steep cliffs towering above perfect arcs of sand on the west coast. The east coast is just as wild and remote. Travel south, meanwhile, and a long ribbon of villages, coves and sandy beaches unfurl from Trapezaki and Spartia all the way to Katelios, Kaminia and popular Skala, with its mile of pine-backed sands.
For sheer drama, take the cliff-hugging road north from the capital, Argostoli. For many visitors, there's an air of déjà vu when they pass above Myrtos. It's all down to its famous beach - one of the Med's most photographed strips of sand - and the setting for the 2001 film, Captain Corelli's Mandolin. From here, you can carry on to tiny Assos, one of the island's prettiest villages. Perched on a narrow isthmus, it's overlooked by the remains of a 16th-century Venetian citadel.
Or follow the slender, tree-carpeted Erissos peninsula to Fiskardo, which escaped the worst of the earthquake's devastation. The candy-coloured, 18th-century Venetian buildings that line the harbour have been transformed into smart restaurants and shops, and it's a favourite stop-off off point for yachts.