Sunday, July 09, 2006

2006 Summer Beach Holiday in Kos, Greece (and Kalymnos & Pserimos Islands and Bodrum, Turkey)

Our one-week-and-a-half summer holiday in Kos, Greece was a great success!

Kos is situated by the east border of Greece/EU and west of Turkey (see light red dot in the map) and is part of the Dodecanese group of islands.

The Kos sun and beach holiday was reaped with the perfect combinations of relaxation, some historical quests and a variety of summer activities, i.e., boating and island hopping; snorkeling; lazing and swimming in the white sand beaches or the pool; motor biking; visiting ancient ruins (Byzantine and Romanesque), castle fortresses and Greek windmills; trips to the striking mountain villages of Kos; enjoying the nightlife; long walks by the coast with the sweet smell of jasmine wafting in the air; shopping a bit of course; sumptuous and romantic dining experiences in the city center along the beach, harbor, and city squares; and sailing out of the Greek and EU borders to visit another world, Turkey.


Map of Kos, Kos town center is located at the northern tip of the island. Next map is the detail of Kos town center. The green patches in the map indicates the locations of antiquity ruins (a lot, eh?!).

For the summary of this holiday, see below.

KOS ISLAND: Kos Town

Kos Island is the birth place of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine (460 B.C.). In this album, you will find a collection of Kos white sand colorful beaches; the harbor boulevard decked out with 16th century traditional European ships bidding a variety of island excursion trips throughout the Dodecanese region; city ruins way back during the Hellenistic age; Roman ruins; the imposing Neratzia fortress built in 1450 anchored securely by the harbor which is also known as the Knights of St. John’s castle (has a twin sister castle in Bodrum, Turkey called St. Peter’s castle, also built by the Knights of St. John); the abundant shopping streets in the Centrum; beautiful market squares; blue and white Greek houses, pretty churches and a minaret; inviting Greek taverns and just the normal Kos daily life scenes.

KOS ISLAND: Embros Thermae, Platani, Asklepion, Kefalos and Kardamena

Embros Thermae is a hydrothermal spring (about 40C) that draws its hot water source from the volcanic mountain rocks and spits it back towards the Aegean Sea. Rocks were placed to lock the hot temperatures from the cold sea. Platani is the only place in Kos (perhaps in Greece?) where Orthodox Greeks and Muslim Turks live side by side peacefully. Greece and Turkey have a long history of shared hostilities. The Asklepion ruin, probably the most remarkable ruin in Kos, is said to be the oldest hospital complex in the world built in honor of Asklipios, the god of healing/healers. Some of the remaining pillars in Asklepion were said to be Hippocrates medical school. In the olden times, Kefalos was the capital of Kos. Today, it is well known by locals and tourists for its pristine blue flag beaches and as a surfing paradise. Kardamena is a popular beach destination by the English, lots of nightlife and beach partying in this place.

KOS ISLAND: Antimachia, Tigaki, mountain villages of Asfendiou, Lagoudi, Zia and the Old Pyli Castle

Have a glimpse inside of the old castle fortress of Antimachia built in 1404; the castle walls up to this day are still in tact. Check the delightful white sandy beaches of Tigaki (and Marmari). Enjoy the beauty of the striking and picturesque mountain villages of Asfendiou, Lagoudi and Zia. Charming Zia is said to be the most photographed of all mountain villages in Kos Island. Then visit the Byzantine Old Pyli castle, situated in Old Pyli, once the seat of the Byzantine empire, now a deserted village. The villagers moved to another location a few kilometers away when a cholera plague struck the area. They named the new village, Pyli.

PSERIMOS, PLATI and KALYMNOS ISLANDS

Come and tour with us in this 3 island get-away in the Dodecanese: Pserimos, Plati and Kalymnos. Pserimos is a small island with only about +- 100 inhabitants, a great place for a serene retreat. The harbor is snug right beside the beautiful and pastoral white sandy beach cove of the island. Plati, an islet where nobody lives is a nice secluded place to swing around for snorkeling and swimming. And Kalymnos, famous for its production of sponges, is the biggest island of the bunch and another favorite tourist holiday destination. Shops, café-restaurants, white-washed Greek houses nestled on top of each other and boats adorned the Kalymnos harbor.

BODRUM, TURKEY

Bodrum is one of Turkey’s affluent districts that cater to European beach summer holidaymakers. Its Marina is the biggest in Western Turkey. The St. Peter’s castle in the harbor, built by the order of the Knights of St. John is told to be the sister castle of the Neratzia Fortress, also known as the Knights of St. John castle that guards the Kos harbor in Greece. Aside from the inviting Bardakci beach cove in Bodrum, shopping in the Centrum and experiencing the exotic Turkish hamam are one of the many things a tourist must do and try. Ancient ruins to see are: Bodrum Amphitheater, Myndos gate - the city gate of Halikarnassus (now called Bodrum), Turkish wheat windmills, and the Mausoleum of Halikarnassus, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, houses the tomb of King Mausolos – this, the latter I haven’t been to, such a pity.

Tags: 2006 Summer Beach Holiday: Typically Greek

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