Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Holiday Inspirations: Kos

Need a break? Don't worry we all do from time to time! Today's holiday inspiration destination is Kos. This blog suggests the many reasons why you should give this beautiful island a go if you are seeking rest and relaxation.

But Where is Kos you may well ask?

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Kos is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea a couple of hundred miles South East of mainland Greece and a stones throw away from Turkey. From the North east of the island you can see Turkey across the sea.

A Greek Island:

It takes around 3 hours to fly to Kos from the UK and 10 or more hours if you are traveling from the East coast of the USA. Travelers from the States will most likely need to change at a major European hub airport - such as London Gatwick or Athens - for a connecting flight to Kos.

What is there to do in Kos?

Kos is with out doubt the most beautiful, tranquil and relaxing place I have ever been to. Spring time is the time to go as the skies are blue and cloudless but at 25 degrees Centigrade it is not too hot.

The locals are friendly and you are never under any pressure to do anything.

If you need some stress free time away to lounge, read a good book, and rest after a hard couple of months, there is no where on earth I would recommend more than Kos.

Great Drives:

Car hire prices are on par with many EU island destinations. However Greece has the some of the highest petrol prices in Europe. If you are worried about cost make sure you ask for a diesel vehicle as diesel is usually cheaper to buy (in Europe) and gives you more miles per gallon compared to Petrol.

Kos is a small island, you can cross from North to South in a couple hours. However I would take your time and take 2 or 3 days to visit the sights. I traveled South on the 1st day - the south is less developed, sees fewer tourist, has great views, fun roads, stunning beaches and good surf. The only issue is the night club town of Kardamena - unless you are 18-30 years old and want sun, sea and sex - its worth avoiding sadly.

On the second day I went up North. I was less impressed with the North as I felt it was over devleoped and full of tourist traps. 

However there were some really fun roads and stunning scenery - in the far North you can look out over the water and see Turkey in the near distance(pictured above).

Easy Going eating:

 I found a truly amazing cafe (pictured above) at Wave Beach which is an undeveloped stretch of beach far off the tourist trail on the South West Coast. My tour rep mentioned it in passing but suggested that the road to it wasn't good enough and "only locals go there". I'm glad I ignored that advice, as Wave Beach as the nicest beach on the island and the cafe served great sea food with a view to match. If you like surfing and body boarding, Wave Beach is worth a visit.

Impressive History:
 One place defiantly worth a trip to is the Asklepeion, which is an amazing archaeological site. It was built as a sanatorium and the "father of Medicine", Hippokrates worked there at one point. It's still an impressive and unexpected site and its slap bang in the middle of no where. Its worth a trip into the hills for a look! I was shocked at how big it was.

Stunning sunsets

If you go on one trip while you are on Kos you need to visit Zia at sunset. Zia is a village in the hills in the center of the island - South of the tourist town of Tigkaki. From Tigkaki it take around 40 minutes - careful driving - to Zia. It's best to leave plenty of time, as the sun sets pretty sharpish in that part of the world. If you turn up early you can bag the best spot (its a popular place to see the sun go down). Kos has stunning sunsets and Zia is arguably the best part of the island to view them from.

If you want a break from the hustle and bustle of life then you need a week or two on Kos! You wont regret it, however you may find it hard to go back home.

For more holiday ideas and advice check out What is a Staycation? and Why Fly Jet2: the Review.

Happy travels,

Dom O'Neill

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