If you’re thinking ‘Greece’ for your 2017 summer holiday, think Kefalos. Around 40km to the south west of Kos Town, Kefalos is a stunning traditional Greek village. It’s perched high up on a hill and offers magnificent views out across the Mediterranean. Said to be the first village built on the island of Kos itself, there is no shortage of history, culture, and beauty to take in here.
Kefalos is really a village of two halves. There is the coastal half, the long, white and gold beaches, the restaurants, the excitement and the adventure of the water sports centres. And then there is the charming old town itself, the other half, the cosy, quiet, gorgeously delightful half that oozes tradition and is full of stunning architecture.
Whether one half appeals, or you fancy a bit of both, there’s plenty to discover. Whatever you choose, your Kefalos holiday is sure to bring you happiness, memories, and joy.
Most popular hotels in Kefalos
Yiannis the Beekeeper Apartments
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Greek
- Time Zone: GMT +2
- Average flight time: 4h 25m
When to go
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When you are thinking about enjoying a holiday in Kefalos, you’re going to want to know what there is to do there. Far from being ‘just’ a idyllic little village at the top of a hill, there are a surprising number of activities that you can join in with, making this Kefalos holiday great from the start.
For those who are keen to find out more about the area’s wine making, pay a visit to the Volcania Winery in Kefalos. Here the knowledgeable staff will be able to give you so much information about the wine they make (and wine in general) that you’ll come away feeling quite the expert. Of course there are opportunities to partake in wine tastings and vineyard tours, as well as being able to buy wine to take back home with you.
The Aghios Mammas church is a must see on your Kefalos holiday. It’s a beautiful building in its own right, but its location, set right out on the southernmost tip of Kos, is haunting, and something that, once seen, won’t ever be forgotten. Neither will Agios Ioannis Theologos. This is where you can see the most spectacular of all Greek sunsets. As for the church itself, there is a festival each year on 29th August that honours St John (the Ioannis of the name).
From Kefalos there are a number of different day trips that you can take if you want to explore a little further afield. One of the most popular is a boat trip to the island of Nisyros, where you can see a volcano, and actually walk around the edge of the crater. The sulphur and the smoke really make this a very atmospheric day out. Don’t forget that legend suggests that it was the Greek God Poseidon who created Nisyros when he threw a stone into the sea in anger – and the scenery certainly does evoke that idea. Choose from either an afternoon or an evening trip to really make the most of the amazing views that can be found in this area, and when you have finished enjoy dinner in the town of Mandraki – make sure you try the local speciality, Soumada, an almond based liqueur.
Wine and Dine
For a relatively small village, Kefalos has plenty of choice when it comes to dining out. If you are spending the day on the beach, you’ll find an array of nearby tavernas that offer a takeaway service so you can enjoy your lunch amid the sand and surf. Or if you want to get out of the sun for a while, they offer a refuge where you can have a cool drink and enjoy the stunning views.
For your evening meal you could choose between the lovely Hippocrates, a traditional Greek restaurant offering fantastic food at fair prices, or the fantastic Agios Theologios seafood restaurant which is a little pricier, but if you want a romantic meal out or to treat a loved one, this is the place to do it.
For families, a holiday in Kefalos is one of the best. Not only are the beaches exceptional and well cared for, but children are welcomed and made to feel completely at home. The beaches themselves are safe, and you can choose whether you take the little ones to a quieter beach where they can play in the sand, or a busier one that has games and toys to hire. Whatever they need, they can get it here.
If your family is the kind that loves to splash around together, the Lido Water Park near to Kefalos is the ideal alternative. Safe and fun, it’s a grand day out for all involved. There are many different slides and rides to experience, and with the weather as good as it is on Kos during the summer, the water park is a welcome chance to cool off.
Action and Adventure
The main action and adventure on your Kefalos holiday will come from the fantastic range of water sports that you can try out there. Just a few of the exciting options open to you include water-skiing, speed boat hire, ringos, half pipes, kneedboarding, wakeboarding, jet ski hire, parascending… and the list goes on. Find a good beach hire shop and you’ll be sure of discovering more water sports than you realised existed! It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or an expert – there will be someone on hand to guide you through the ins and outs, including all the safety information and equipment you need, before you are let loose on the waves.
If you are feeling particularly keen, you might even want to book yourself onto a specialist snorkelling trip – the wonders of the ocean are just a few metres beneath its surface, and you’ll see some incredible sights.
Life's a Beach
When it comes to beaches, Kefalos has got it right. There are numerous sandy shores to choose from, each one offering something different for sun-seeking holidaymakers. Paradise Beach is the place to go for water sports, for example. Magic, Polemi, Sunny, Markos, Lagada, Camel and Agios Stefanos beaches are more family friendly, or great for when you just want to lie in the sun with a good book or some favourite tunes.
The beaches are all easily accessible, with most having smooth asphalted roads leading to them, so buggies and wheelchairs are capable of making the journey as well as those on foot. Since the majority of the beaches are run by locals, you can discover plenty about the history of Kefalos simply by buying an ice cream or paying for a sunbed – the villagers are friendly, and they love to tell you all about their home.
The nightlife in Kefalos revolves mainly around the bars and tavernas that are open late into the night. However, if your Kefalos holiday requires a little more club and a little less laid-back village, that’s not a problem – nearby Kos Town has all the clubs and jumping nightlife you could wish for. It’s a short taxi ride away, or you may even fancy taking a stroll.
Kefalos is a supremely romantic place to visit when you’re on holiday with your significant other. From its winding, narrow streets which are perfect for strolling along hand in hand to its cosy little restaurants and bars, if you want to spend some quality time with the one you love, Kefalos is the place to do it. The quietest beach, Camel Beach, is less sandy and more fine shells, but that won’t take away from the enjoyment of – potentially – having the whole place to yourself.
Kefalos is awash with culture. The stunning Aghios Mammas church is probably the most famous historical building in the area, but you can also visit the ancient ruins of the Basilica of Agios Stefanos too. Within these ruins you can find beautiful mosaics and columns that bring the building to life.
Within the village itself you’ll find the Folklore Museum that details the history of the area and the legends and myths that surround it.
To catch a glimpse of the real Kefalos, go along to one of the many Greek festivals that are held there throughout the year. The two most popular are the wine festival (August) and the fish festival (September). The wine and fish industries are very important to Kefalos, so it’s no wonder that they are celebrated with such a great party each year.
No matter where you are in Kefalos, or what you want to see, it is easy to get around this beautiful part of Greece. There is a useful and regular bus service that will take you from Kefalos to a variety of different towns, including Kos Town, and they are perfectly cheap for staying in line with your Kefalos holiday budget. If you want a bit more speed and a bit more flexibility, what about a quad bike? You can hire these easily, and they really do make getting around a lot of fun.