What to Do in Kefalos, the First Capital of Kos
Only 35 kilometers drive from Astir Odysseus Kos Resort & Spa, Kefalos is one of those idyllic island destinations you simply do not want to miss. Until 366 BC, this was the capital of the island, and today it only numbers about 2500 permanent residents.
Kefalos is divided into two parts: the traditional settlement located at the top of the hill and the coastal part called Kamari, which is the harbor of the village. Both parts are worth a visit since they offer different perspectives of lifestyle in this part of the island.
Best things to do in Kefalos
Kefalos is a popular Kos destination. Some of the island’s most beautiful landmarks are here. The village itself has remarkable architecture, with typical houses lining up along narrow streets. You will also find cozy cafes and little shops. But besides typical homes and taverns, Kefalos has inspiring landmarks no one should miss.
Aspri Petra, or the “White Stone Cave,” is located three kilometers away from Kefalos on the way to Zini. It is the perfect destination for hikers and nature lovers, but also a scenic spot, the perfect inspiration for photography buffs.
The fault of Aspri Petra stretches for 2 km until it disappears into the crystal waters of the bay of Kefalos. At an altitude of 257 meters on the slopes of Mount Zini, the 140 million years old cave can be visited by tourists.
Kamari is the port of Kefalos and one of the main tourist resorts of the island. Here, you can see the Early Christian basilica of Agios Stefanos, with beautifully preserved mosaic decorations, as well as other religious artifacts. Some of the beaches in this area are also considered among the most beautiful on Kos too. Paradise Beach lives up to its name, featuring pristine landscape and crystalline waters.
Monastery of St. John Thymianos
The Monastery of St. John Thymianos is about seven kilometers drive from Kefalos in a lovely natural setting. It is what you would expect from a traditional religious landmark: a whitewashed church with blue accents and conventional architecture. They have a small church and beautiful decorations and icons. Quite worth it if you appreciate art. The best day to visit the church is August 29th, when the church celebrates its patron saint and the feast attracts hundreds of Orthodox worshipers.
Palatia is famous for the ancient theater of Kefalos. A Hellenistic landmark, Palatia enjoys a secluded location in an area surrounded by greenery, just before the crossroad for Aghios Theologos. This will give you valuable insight into what this place was when Kefalos was the capital of Kos.
Limnionas is a small cove about five kilometers drive from Kefalos. It is the perfect destination for pristine nature and outstanding photo ops. Although secluded, Limnionas is a magnet for small fishing and tourist boats. Foodies will love the traditional cuisine of the place: freshly caught fish is what this destination is famous for.
Castle of Kefalos
The Castle of Kefalos lies in ruin on the top of the hill overlooking the southeastern end of the village. It is a Byzantine landmark, dating back to 1420, however, the 1493 earthquake damaged it badly, leading to the abandonment of the palace in 1505. The ruins can now be visited and from the summit, you can admire outstanding panoramic views.
Besides these attractions, Kefalos has much more to offer.