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Kefalos, Kos Island

Built on a hill at the western part of the island, Kefalos is a beautiful small town, situated at a distance of 40 kilometers southwestern to the town of Kos. In antiquity it was the capital city of the island; today it counts some 2.500 permanent residents.

The town is built upon a hill, with the houses clung one to another and narrow streets, quite characteristic features of the architecture of the islands, which make strolling around a very interesting and fascinating experience. There are several things worth seeing in Kefalos: the «traditional house», which in fact is a folk museum, presenting the agricultural life of the village in past times. Beside the traditional house, you will see the traditional windmill, which complete the image of the way of living of the past. Finally, don’t miss to visit the ruins of the old castle, just off the main settlement.
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At Kamari, the port of the town, some 1 kilometer at the East, a marina is available for yachts and small boats, offering facilities for mooring and supply. Here, it is worth seeing the Early Christian basilicas of Aghios Stefanos, dating back to the 5th century; there are preserved parts of the mosaic decoration as well as remnants of the sculpture decoration of the churches.

In short distance across, quite close to the coast, there is the islet of Kastri with the small church of Aghios Nicolaos, the protector of seamen.

If you feel like visiting the area, you may drive to the nearby site of Palatia, at a distance of 3 kilometers southern to Kefalos, where you will see the ruins of «Astypalaea», as it was the name of the ancient capital of the island. The ruins of a temple of Demeter, the godess of agriculture, dated to the 5th century b.C., along with the remnants of a temple dedicated to Aesculapius, of another Doric temple and of a theater of the Hellenistic period is what is visible today. Within the archaeological site, upon a hill you may also visit the church dedicated to Virgin Mary; from here you will have an excellent view of Kefalos and of the sea below.

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At Zini, some 1-2 kilometers southern to Palatia, it is found the small church of Panaghia Ziniotissa (Virgin Mary), with excellent view of the sea. Close to the church you may visit the cave of «Aspri Trypa» («white hole»), where archaeological excavations have brought to light several finds of the Neolithic period, but also of recent times.

It is worth visiting the Holy Monastery of Aghios Ioannis (St. John) at a distance of 7 kilometers southern to Kefalos. The most interesting sight seeing here is the perennial plane tree, covering almost totally the small church and reaching even the nearby bell tower.

Another place to go for its wonderful view of the sea, is the small church of Aghios Mamas, built near the ruins of the homonymous old one; the church is found at a distance of 11 kilometers southern to Kefalos.

At the North, some 5 kilometers far from Kefalos, you may visit the small cove of Limnionas, with a small port, a shelter for the small fishing and tourist boats in case of rough sea.

Your exploration of the area is not complete if you don’t visit the remote small church of Aghios Theologos, very close to the sea, within an area with small coves and rocky beaches. If you overcome the problem of the bade road ( some 5 kilometers of dirt track), not only you will see the cute church, but you will also enjoy some nice, remote beaches, where you will meet few people, or you will be alone.

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Several hotels of all categories are available for accommodation, both in Kefalos and in the broader area up to the coast.

Food is good, both in the sea front taverns and in the inland ones. Don’t miss to taste the local sweets, above all those made with the famous local honey.

Several beaches around are nice for swimming. Apart from Kamari, you may enjoy swimming at the rest of the beaches of Kefalos Bay, as Chryssi Akti («golden coast»), Polemi, Sun beach, Xerokambos, Langades, Paradissos and Camela. Also you may go northwards to the beach of Limnionas, or to Aghios Theologos at the western coast of the area.

If you are at Kefalos in July or August, don’t miss the local feasts («panighyri») on the 26th of July in honor of Aghia Paraskevi, on the 15th of August, celebrating the Assumption of Virgin Mary and on the 29th of August in honor of Aghios Ioannis (St. John). In October it is organized the «tour of Kefalos» and during the Carnival in February or March, the locals and the few tourists have the chance to have fun at the local Carnival feast.

In case of health problems a local Medical Center is available at the town, where you will also find a Police Station.

Access from the town of Kos (40 kilometers far away) is possible with public bus, running frequently, as well as by rented or private cars and motorbikes.
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