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  • Writer's pictureHakan Şule Efil

LET'S GO TO KOS BY FERRY! KALIMERA! May / 2023

Hello! :)

In this post, we will try to share our experiences of the places we visited and saw in Kos during our trip in May.

We usually try not to coincide our travels with official holidays, but our Kos vacation happened to fall on such a date. We will cover what we managed to do on these two days of our planned vacation from May 19th to 21st, including details like how we got there and how much we paid for tickets.

For Kos Island, you have two options from Istanbul:

The first is to fly. However, there are no direct flights; you will first fly to Athens and then to Kos. The flight takes approximately 4-5 hours. The price for a one-way ticket ranges from 10,000 to 12,000 TL.

The second option is to go to Bodrum and take the ferry to Kos. For the May period, the round-trip airfare is 2,000 TL per person, and the ferry ticket costs 25€. Although the total time is similar to flying, budget-wise, this option is more affordable.

We chose the second option and set out, opting for Bodrum first and then taking the ferry to the island.


By the way, you need to have a Schengen visa to enter the island.

Now, let's talk about where we got the ticket.


We bought our tickets online from here. The round-trip ticket cost 25€ for May. Seasonal ticket prices vary, so it's best to check the website for the most accurate information.

The ferries depart from the Bodrum Castle. We can't speak for what it's like during regular times since our experience coincided with official holidays. Just a heads up from us.. :)

We arrived early in the morning to catch the ferry and joined a pretty crowded line at Bodrum Castle. We boarded the ferry on time, but the main challenge comes after the 1-hour journey to Kos Island – passing through the border. We waited for approximately 1.5 hours for passport control. After that, KALIMERA! :)



As soon as we arrived, we took a break in a touristy restaurant-café to have something cold. Coffees were around 2-3€, beers ranged from 2.5 to 4€, and Aperol was around 6€. This was more or less the situation in all places.


We stayed at Maritina Hotel.


The price for two nights for two people was 110€ for May 2023.

The hotel was within walking distance from the ferry port and the center. Therefore, we were quite pleased with our choice.

Let's share a photo from the hotel's terrace right away. :)


Yeesss, now that we've taken care of our basic needs, accommodation, and transportation, let's move on to our culture and art corner. :)


Brief Information about Kos

Kos became part of the Roman Empire in 82 B.C. and lived under Roman rule for many years. In a period when the Roman Empire weakened, it fell into the hands of the Venetians in 1204 and was later conquered by the Knights of Saint John in 1315.

If you're wondering, "Who are these Knights of Saint John?" let's provide a brief explanation. They were originally known as the Knights of Rhodes because they chose Rhodes Island as their base. They changed their name due to the island and began operating as a charitable organization to help sick and poor pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem. Established in the 11th century, this knightly order consisted of about 2,000 members who considered themselves accountable only to the Pope.

Now, let's return to Kos.

After the Knights, the island was ruled by the Ottomans for approximately 400 years from 1523. In 1912, it was ceded to Italy, and later, according to the Treaty of Paris, this island, along with 12 others, was handed over to Greece.

Rich in Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Italian cultural heritage, this island offers a glimpse into history. Let's see where we explored in our two days.

It's worth noting that all the places we visited were within walking distance. Since we had only a few days, we could explore only the part of the island where we set foot. However, on the other side of the island, Kefalos is one of the must-see places. There are options for taxis and public transportation. Whether you choose a vehicle, public transport, or a taxi, you can arrange your transfer.

PLACES TO VISIT

Neratzia Castle

This castle, mentioned above, was built by the Knights of Saint John at the harbor entrance. Constructed on the ruins of an old castle, it is situated on Foinikes Street and connected to the mainland by a still-standing bridge.



Eleftherias Square

This square, the most central place on the island, features places where you can take a break, such as the Municipal Market, Defterdar Mosque, and the Archaeological Museum. Moreover, when you wander into the side streets from here, you'll find small shops for shopping.



Ancient Agora

One of the largest archaeological sites on the island of Kos, the Ancient Agora, dates back to the 4th century BC and is said to contain the foundations of many houses and temples. It is one of the largest agoras excavated in Greece to date.




Casa Romana

Located in the neighborhood that once constituted the aristocratic houses during the Roman period, Casa Romana was discovered and excavated after the earthquake of 1933. At that time, under Italian administration, the island's authorities decided to restore the house. From the outside, it may appear ordinary, but once you enter, a large pool and an impressive view await you. Casa Romana boasts the most well-preserved frescoes in the sunlit courtyards. There is an entrance fee, but they provide a free guide device (couldn't figure out what it's called). It's definitely a place worth seeing.



Roman Odeon


Built in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, the Roman Odeon was generally in good condition in the early 20th century, along with the Gymnasium and Roman baths.




Archaeological Museum

After the major earthquake in 1933, the museum building, constructed by the Italians, houses artifacts from the Asklepion health center and other islands. The mosaic depicts the arrival of the Health God Asclepius to Kos.


You can see many busts and statues. In ancient cities, we have our own small rituals that amuse us. One of them is the "Bust Ritual," and another one is the "Ancient Ritual." You can see our "Ancient Ritual" in the previous photo.





Hippocrates Tree

According to a legend, it is believed that Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine who lived in ancient times, planted this plane tree 2400 years ago and taught his students under its shade. At the same time, its branches have been offered as a gift to medical institutes around the world. Of course, we will share a photo of our family doctor from here. :



KOS STREETS

Don't forget to wander through the streets of Kos. There are more local places and picturesque areas inside. We're leaving something here. :)



WHERE TO SWIM?

Mylos Beach Bar

It was a bit cold in May, so we couldn't swim, but it was one of the most beautiful places we reached with a taxi for 8-9 € near the area we stayed in Kos. The concept, food, music, and atmosphere were fantastic. If we go again, we would definitely go here. Sunbeds are for two people, and the cost is 15 €, which may vary during the season.

You can access the Mylos Beach Bar website from here.



As we come to the end of our tour in Kos, we can say that our return journey was crowded, considering that it was also during the official holiday return period. Duty-free areas at airports are quite small, and here it was also small and crowded.



Finally, here are our recommendations in a numbered list:

  1. Make sure to explore the historical sites. In our opinion, understanding a place involves experiencing its history.

  2. Two days may not be enough to explore and fully enjoy everything; consider extending your stay for an extra day or two to visit the other side of the island.

  3. There's no need to stress about finding special places for dinner; there are plenty of great places to eat in the main square or in the side streets. Make sure to have dinner at least one evening in places frequented by locals.

  4. Even if it's just for half a day, go to the beach (if the season is suitable, of course).

  5. Avoid going on official holidays as it tends to get very crowded, resulting in time wasted.

  6. Sit in the cafés or restaurants in the side streets or squares to savor the island's atmosphere.

For now, that's all from us. Feel free to ask if you have any questions. :)

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