The name of Kefalos could be misleading, as it actually applies to the old village but has come to include the whole area that it looks down onto. So you might find yourself staying in Agios Stefanos when you think you have booked to stay in Kefalos!
Agios Stefanos is the start of the area proper and the straight road then passes through Kambos and splits to sweep round the beautiful bay of Kamari and to climb up to the old village itself.
It is a long, steep road down into Agios Stefanos, with a similar climb at the other end to get to the village itself, but the area in the middle is flat and easy to get around. There is a mini train and local bus service for getting from Agios Stefanos to the old village, and places in between.
The main road runs parallel to the beaches and is lined with tavernas, cafes, shops, apartments and mini markets. If you prefer not to use the beach there are plenty of swimming pools around and about which are open to the public.
At the end of the long straight, the road divides to go to Kamari Bay or the village.
At the end of Kamari there is another road leading up to the village and to the roads to Agios Yiannis and Agios Theologos. Also in this area is the 'Aspri Petra' or white stone cave.
As the area was once the capital of the island, and so heavily populated, you will see ancient ruins scattered around all over the place. Look carefully amongst the weeds and stones and see what you can find!
An earthquake in about 400BC largely destroyed the place and that was when Kos town became the capital of the island. What is left here is a legacy of ruins everywhere. It is virtually impossible to dig anywhere in the Agios Stefanos, Kambos and Kamari areas without finding something from thousands of years ago.
The road then winds up to Kefalos, passing churches and houses. A footpath part of the way makes it rather easier to walk.
If you head to the back of the Kambos area there are some dirt tracks that take you up to the village. Follow these paths to see traditional houses, wood burning ovens and caves that are now used for storage or animals but which were inhabited in the past. Enjoy the wide variety of flora on the way, as depending upon the time of year there are figs, quince, pomegranates, wild dill, thyme sunflowers and others! It can be a wonderful journey of scents if you want it to be.
The old village itself is very different from the coastal region. Perched on the top of the rock it could be easily defended from the many invaders who wanted to control this geographically important island. It is high enough to avoid being flooded by tsunamis and a great vantage point to spot incoming raiders!
Take time to enjoy the wonderful view to Nissyros and Turkey and reflect for a moment on the history.
The village was built in traditional Greek style; small narrow streets with houses crammed together. Being so close together offered shade but also allowed for economy in building materials as the houses were all stone built. Stone built houses, with thick walls and small windows are much better suited to the climate, being cool in summer and warm in winter.
Be aware, and have your eyes and ears open as you wander round the village, as a little time spent looking at the old buildings brings rewards. The intricately carved doors and the iron work screens (another defence) are beautiful in their own right. Fortunately, quite a lot of houses are now being restored instead of being replaced by modern builds. There are still real Greek cafenios and a couple of traditional houses that are open to the public.
You will find a bank and pharmacy here too.
The lively square is great for sitting in and absorbing the ambience of local life. Everything and everybody has to pass by and there is always something going on.
On the other side of the village is the castle which was built on the highest point of all. Farther on from there, the old windmill sits atop its rock.
All in all, Kefalos is a fascinating area which, like much of Kos, jumps from many centuries BC to nearly as many AD, and somehow manages to work it all in together. It is an area that you might want to reseach before your holidays so that you know what you are looking for - and you will still find something unexpected!
.......... watery wanders