If you're looking for a great day out, something exciting for just yourself, for you and your friends or your family, why not take a day trip to Kos while you're on holiday in Didim?
It was an easy decision, just the day before in fact, when I decided to take a short trip to Kos. I had seen the advertisements a couple of weeks before that the boarders were now open again and ferry trips had re-commenced. So, the very next morning, after booking with https://bit.ly/Didimsealines I boarded the fast catamaran ferry boat at Bodrum harbour at 8.30am for departure at 9am, excited to be taking a day trip to Kos. Despite the journey being only 25 minutes, I still bought a hot cup of coffee on the journey, which cost €1.50 from the ferry café. There was a variety of hot and cold drinks (soft drinks), beer, wine and sweet snacks, crisps and sandwich on offer at a reasonable price. I hadn't had breakfast but wanted to eat at a restaurant or café once I arrived in Kos so no snacks for me! The ferry boat wasn't full, about half I'd say, (though its capacity could hold up to 324 people), so it didn't take too long to disembark and pass through passport control.
Kos is one of Greece's Dodecanese islands, and is known for its abundant sandy beaches. It's also rich with Greek and Roman landmarks, particularly in and around Kos Old Town. This harbour town is dominated by the 15th century Neratzia Castle and Fortress. South of the castle are the ancient Agora Ruins, with a temple, shrine and columns. Kos is such a beautiful and fascinating island where you can make many wonderful memories. You can start your sightseeing just a few minutes after exiting the harbour, just turn left and as soon as you go round the corner you should see a little train you can take that will slowly take you to the other side of the old town and save little ones (and big ones lol) legs from tiring. I don't know the price for this as I didn't use it. Maybe next time though as my legs were so tired and feet very sore after so much walking. It was definitely worth it!
While eating breakfast in Fikos Restaurant, I noticed many people going by riding bicycles, some driving quads and some in colourful buggies to get around. I guessed that the majority of these people were holiday makers and day trippers so they would have rented them from a tour agent, which later I saw many around the Island. I also noticed a City Tour 'hop on hop off' bus that takes you round certain parts of the island, which I didn't use so I don't know the price. I might just hop on next time I go to save my legs and feet from getting sore.
After walking around for a while I saw a map showing the route for the Agora Temple, Neratzia Fortress & Castle and the Marina so off I went in that direction. I was surprised to find that there was no entrance costs to go inside the grounds of Ancient Agora Temple and also free to enter the Fortress & Castle. The Ancient Agora of Kos, Dodecanese: Ancient Agora (Ancient Market) is an impressive excavation area where a number of Temples, baths, and houses with remaining mosaics, columns and other pieces of construction belonging to several periods have been found. The Ancient Market has also some ruins of an Aphrodite Shrine as well as a small temple, seemingly in the honour of Hercules, and a Christian Basilica dating back to the 5th century, all of them facing north. Some other findings are the mosaic floors of some precincts, which date back to the 3rd century BC and a statue of Hippocrates. There are also other interesting findings inside the above mentioned Aphrodite Temple.
Next I visited Neratzia Fortress and Castle, also known as: The Castle of the Knights of Saint John on Kos, was constructed with local stone and with remains of previous constructions and buildings. It was built during the occupation of the knights, which lasted over 2 hundred years. This piece of architecture and construction engineering amazes visitors by the sight of a stone bridge that used to link that area of Kos, which used to be an Island, with the mainland. today it is called 'Phoinikon,' which means palm trees. I spent quite a while here as there’s much to cover and a spectacular view at the highest point with panoramic views of the ocean and harbour. You will also see The Plane Tree of Hippocrates in front of the Castle of Knights. It is claimed that Hippocrates used to sit under it and teach his students. Though, as the tree is 500 years old, it’s obviously not the one Hippocrates planted, since he lived around the 5th century BC.
The Archeological Museum of Kos, situated within the town, is housed in a neoclassical well-preserved building that was designed in 1935. At that time, the Italians were ruling Kos and all the Dodecanese islands. Situated in Eleftherius square, the museum stands out for its architecture. It hosts several findings which came to light during the excavations around Kos, Rhodes and smaller Dodecanese islands in the late 20th and 21st century. Most archeological findings cover a long period from the ancient till the post-Roman and Hellenistic times. The most impressive exhibits include beautiful mosaics, statues from the ancient site of Asklepeion, an extensive collection of prehistoric pottery and metallic objects, exhibits from a tomb of a young athlete dating back to the 3rd century B.C, coins, anaglyphs with various representations and many other items. Frequently the museum organizes educational programs for students and other groups in order to familiarize with the history of the island.
If you want an organised tour around the island there are a few Travel Agents situated in the old town offering daily tours and boat trips too which you will easily notice as you walk along the front by the harbour. There's so much more to see and do though, as I have only just mentioned a small part of the amazing things that await you on this beautiful island of Kos. To end my fabulous day I enjoyed a delicious, healthy salad of fresh spinach, strawberries, feta cheese, fine pieces of almonds with a dressing of balsamic vinegar at Mesogios restaurant along the front opposite the daily boats. I then sadly returned back to the harbour to board the 18.00 ferry back to Bodrum. The day had gone so fast, yet I was happy I had done so much even though I still have other parts to see, so as Arnold said..... I'll be back! :)