Clearly, finding a beach in Kos without parasols and deckchairs proved a challenge in such a touristy place, but we set out to do so and succeeded in finding a nice beach with no one else there during most of the day. Well, may be because there were no bars or other facilities, just the beach and the lovely clear water. Also, it was quite windy with waves and therefore not a place to go swimming with small children or suitable for snorkelling. However, we could sun bade wearing nothing and thus soak up some sun before heading back to Denmark where you can never be sure of the sun in the summertime. This beach is situated on the south-western part of Kos and features no tavernas or the like, but lots of goats.
It made a wonderful contrast to an awful place we went to the day before. I don’t know if you can call it a tourist trap as we didn’t pay to get there. It is one of these places that would be interesting if no one else were there, but – everybody was there. I am talking about the hot springs in Therma Loutra. Big stones sort of form a pool around the centre of the springs and the closer you get to the springs, the hotter the water is. But – be prepared to share this experience with literally hundreds of people, crowding together in the pool and surrounding area, all looking like boiled something. We thought this was too awful a place to stay there, so we took a quick dip and left again.
We found one nice restaurant in the old part of Kefalos town. She served us stuffed zucchini flowers which were really nice. No, they were not on the menu, but that’s what happens when you get to talk to people. They turn out to be very friendly and this woman’s teenage sons loved her stuffed zucchini flowers so she wanted to see what our teenage sons would think of them. They loved them and so did their parents.
One place that we can recommend in Kos is the old crusaders’ castle at Antimáhia. It is located high up in a desolate landscape with a beautiful view to far away. We spent a couple of hours there till just before the sun set and it was really interesting to see all the remains from that period. Some places it looks as if the authorities have wanted to do some renovation or installing various facilities, but gave up half way. Whether the lack of facilities is the reason that no one seems to visit the crusaders’ castle, I don’t know, but it is definitely worth a visit. We probable saw 5 other people while we were there.
Our last night in Kos and on the Greek Islands before leaving Greece this summer we spent in Zia high up in the hills/mountains. Apparently you can go there by bus from Kos town, but we went by car. It is very very touristy, but a must if you have the chance to go. You go there for one reason only – to see the amazingly beautiful sunset over the islands. But be prepared to leave your car at a parking lot when entering the town and then walk through the worst kind of tourist markets that you can imagine. Then find yourself a restaurant with a view of the islands and have your dinner there. Take your time and enjoy the scenery. In such a spot even Kos offers its advantages.
I hope that I have been able to pass on some of the information and experiences that we had on this first Greek Island Hopping trip of ours. Time to start planning our next backpacking trip to the Greek Islands.