Sometimes even travel bloggers need time to chill out, and that is exactly what took me to the remote island of Kos, Greece. Time and time again locals told me that American’s never visit Kos because it’s too far away. It must be true because although I met a lot of Europeans on the island, I only met one American and that was in the airport on the way home. One thing is for certain, the island of Kos, Greece is the perfect place for rest and relaxation.
Kefalos is a cute little traditional Greek village on the western side of the island. There are plenty of archaeological excavations and ruins to explore that are remains of ancient civilization. It is all jam packed of more modern places, including some fancy hotels, restaurants and night clubs. My hotel was located in Kefalos, and although I didn’t care for my accommodations, the pool was delightful and the town is right on the beach. Make sure you spend a day at Paradise Beach enjoying the warm turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea.
Old town Kos is the main hub of the island where you will find great shopping, interesting museums, quaint cafes specializing in traditional Greek or Italian cuisine and of course, a lively night life. For 5 euros, or a couple of drinks, you can enjoy a day of lying the sun on the beach with your own umbrella and attentive personal service. The sand is courser with a lot of pebbles, but provides for some superb beach combing. I found some gorgeous agates and sea glass that I kept as a reminder of the beauty of the island.
Tourist have a plethora of water sports to choose from. Everything from parasailing, to jet skis, paddle boards and sailboards are available for rent. They aren’t cheap, but they provide a good time and lasting memories.
ATV, Scooters & Dune Buggies
The island is very desert like, with lots of sand (and dust). A favorite activity of tourists is to rent an ATV or dune buggy and going tearing through the dessert for hours on end. I rented a scooter for a couple of days so I could see the entire island at my own pace. I was surprised when I found a forest of large pine trees up at the top of the island. The smell of tree sap and fresh pine reminded me of home.
On one of my scooter days I got terribly lost. I wasn’t too worried about it, because really, how lost can you get on an island? Eventually I ended up at the top of Kos in a charming little village called Zia. The narrow cobblestone streets were lined with colorful shops and authentic Greek restaurants. The view from the top was amazing and there was a pleasant breeze blowing through the trees.
Greek food is delicious! My favorite was the Mousakka! It is basically Greek lasagna, but it is made with eggplant and there is a layer of something I can only describe as an egg custard on the top. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it! I also enjoyed the Greek Salad. It was so fresh and they give you a huge wedge of feta cheese across the top, not just some little crumbles!
One of the most wonderful things about the Greek Islands is how easy it is to island hop. Nissiros and Bodrum are probably the most popular places to go from Kos. Nissiros has an old volcanic crater and Bodrum is actually not Greece at all. It’s part of Turkey. I spent a day there and it was so wonderful I am going to an entirely separate blog about it.
There are a few things to remember when visiting Kos. It is desert and therefore very hot, so be ready for scorching sun, especially in the summer months. Many locals do not speak English, so prepare yourself for a notable language barrier. Also, it’s not near as cheap as I hoped, but maybe that was because I was there in peak season. The great thing about Kos though is the ability for rest and relaxation. If you want to chill out, Kos is the place for you!