This summer I went on my annual girls holiday. This year, we chose Kefalos, in Kos, Greece. It's located about on the south west of the island, 43 kilometres from Kos. We really like Greece as a girl's holiday destination, because it offers everything we need.
There's the fascinating ancient ruins, delicious Greek food, almost guaranteed hot, sunny weather (in the summer) and of course, the beautiful beaches. We have been to Rhodes twice, staying in a picturesque town called Lindos, which I would really recommend visiting. This year we wanted to try out a different Greek Island to see how it compares.
Just before we were about to go on holiday, Kos was in the news. There were stories about Kos having to cope with a big influx of immigrants, and that people's holidays were being spoiled by their presence. I did a bit of research and found that most of the immigrants were in Kos, not Kefalos where we were staying. However, I don't think it would ruin my holiday, these people are just trying to find a safe place to live.
I had hoped to go on a day trip to Kos with the girls, to see what the city is like but also to learn more about the immigrants there, but unfortunately the day trip we wanted to go on was full. We end up having a relaxing holiday filled with watersports, stunning beaches and mouth-watering meals.
Kefalos isn't exactly a party town, it's the ideal destination for those looking for a peaceful beach break. There's a long road filled with restaurants, and also some ideally located on the seafront, with some fantastic views. The sea is cool and clear blue, and there are stretches of sandy beaches. Here's what we got up to in Kefalos.
This is a beach that's very famous locally because of the bubbles that you can see in the sea when you swim out to a certain point. It's probably the most famous beach on the whole island. The reason you can see the bubbles is due the volcanic gases coming from the beach floor.
There's a beach bar/cafe above the beach which has breathtaking panoramic views of the beach and sea. You can also do a wide range of watersports here. I wanted to do some waterskiing but when we went the sea was too rough.
An eventful paddle boarding adventure
On the beach at the bottom of our hotel you can go paddle boarding and windsurfing. I really enjoyed sitting on the beach watching the windsurfers zoom along the horizon. Windsurfing is one of the few watersports I haven't tried.
However, we decided to go paddle boarding in the end, thinking it would be the easier option. I have been paddle boarding before, but it was in the Liverpool docks in the pouring rain. It was pretty straightforward, but then again, I didn't have to deal with any waves or a strong current.
As it was windy when we went paddle boarding in Kefalos, I had quite a different experience. I was surprised when we weren't given life jackets, but unphased as I am a really strong swimmer. We took a few pictures on the beach and then climbed onto our boards. Unfortunately there was a strong current, and we ended up drifting out to sea! No matter how hard we paddled we couldn't get back towards the shore.
My two friends just waited on their boards while I swam back in to get some assistance! It was definitely an experience we will never forget and will laugh about in years to come. A little piece of advice, if you are going to go paddle boarding and you are a beginner, make sure you try it somewhere with no current or strong waves. I would also always recommend asking for a life jacket.
Stumbling upon ancient ruins
We went for a walk along the beach in front of our hotel and came across some ancient ruins, Agios Stefanos. These were built between the 4th and 5th centuries AD, we heard that they were later ruined by earthquakes. It wasn't until 1932 that this site was rediscovered by an Italian architect.
One day we went on a run down to the ruins and did a workout on the beach overlooking the Agios Stefanos. There's also a little island that you can swim or kayak to with a small church like building on it. It's a great place to get some stunning photographs if you enjoy travel photography.
Riding on a speed boat
Speed boats are so much fun, there's no better feeling than speeding through the ocean and breathing in the fresh sea air. Having spent a lot of time riding around on jet skis in the past, I have developed a bit of an addiction to adrenaline fuelled water sports. We were trying to find out how to get to the famous Paradise Beach, and found out from an excursion shop that you can catch a speedboat to the beach for just 5 euros return.
It's like a water taxi service from Kefalos to Paradise beach, but you get the added benefit of enjoying a fast speed boat ride. It's a fantastic way to take in the local scenery. I think we went to the beach two or three times, which means we managed to squeeze in lots of speed boat rides.
Our favourite Greek dishes
Greek food is so delicious, it's hearty and rich and very satisfying. I usually eat quite large meals, so the Greek portions suit me perfectly. I always get cravings for these dishes as soon as I get back to England. I wish I could recreate them at home, but it's so difficult to get the flavours on point.
Our favourite Greek dishes include Beef Stifado, which is a beef in a tomato stew served with potatoes. Lamb Kleftiko is also very tasty, at one restaurant they served it in a filo pastry, that was my favourite meal of the whole trip. Greece is also the best place to have Moussaka, which is one of my personal top favourite dishes. Also make sure you try Chicken Souvlaki (chicken on a skewer) and Gyros Pitta (cooked meat, salad and chips served in pitta bread).
Somehow we managed to go parasailing for free. We walked past the watersports hut on the beach in the morning and they said we could go for free. Basically, each day they give someone a free ride in the morning so all the people on the beach see, and it generates interest. You are strapped into a huge parachute and launched high into the sky off the back of a speed boat. Once you get up into the air it's actually quite peaceful and relaxing, the view is also breathtaking.
Kefalos and Us
All in all it was a very pleasant holiday, although I wish we had longer to explore the island a bit more. Kefalos is a great place to go if you prefer a very quiet holiday, but we all agreed that we preferred Lindos in Rhodes as a holiday destination. Although Paradise beach was lovely and it was nice to stay somewhere that wasn't overcrowded with tourists. I wonder which Greek Island we will go to next? Perhaps Mykonos, Santorini, or one of the lesser known, more authentic islands.