Europe | Kos, Greece
Kos is a relatively unknown Greek Dodecanese island, located close to mainland Turkey. The fact that its qiite unknown makes my love for it even bigger. On all 3 of my visits I stayed in Kardamena as opposed to the bigger Kos Town. Kardemena has a long sandy beach, bars, clubs and also large, lavish hotels for familys.
Although most of the town isn't that easy on the eye, the people are nice, everything is cheap and its at nighttime the places comes alive anyway. There is definitely no doubt in my mind that Kos was a better option than its competitors like Ibiza, Magaluf etc because I just feel like it was a lot more personal experience and less crowded.
There is actually one short story that stands out in my mind from the 3 visits to emphasise how small and personal the place is. After my second visit in 2014 (1 week) I returned almost exactly a year later and when we all went to my favourote bar "H2O" the Greek bar maid didn't just recognise me but remembered my name and gave us discounts all week. I mean, come on, she'll of seen and served hundreds of people in that time but remembers my name and Josh's name regardless. Crazy. Anyway, here's my stories...
I first visited the Greek island of Kos when I was 17 after my 5th year of high school and myself and 3 friends went for a week. First of all, I’ve just gotta get this in somewhere… we met James McAvoy in the airport as we were leaving Glasgow which was pretty cool.
To be honest most of our time was made up of either lazing at the beach or going out to “bar street” or the local 3 clubs.
On this holiday we found out that the TV programme “Sun, Set & Suspicious Parents” were filming in our hotel and I actually managed to get myself about a 1 second cameo at our hotel’s bar. We got speaking to the guys on the show who, when the filming was done, actually broke their confidential contracts to tell us how the whole thing was staged and scripted and they knew their parents were there the whole time – what a shocker!
Having loved my first time in Kos I returned in 2014 with a friend. I managed to convince him that it was a great place to party despite heavy competition from places like Magaluf, Ayia Napa and Zante. It was also a lot cheaper!
On this trip we did a lot more exploring of the island instead of just sunbathing. We made friends with 3 bar reps called Jay, Wayne and Kellie. With them we rented quad bikes for a day (very cheap) and drove from our hotel to Kos Town (about half way across the island). On the way we went go-karting and, as there isn’t really anyone around to enforce road laws, we took the bikes deep into the mountains along narrow footpaths. We also discovered a place called the Sunken Forest thanks to a local who told us about it, and it was here that my bike broke down. Typical – no signal and no sat phone in the middle of nowhere… So Jay drove back to find someone and I got a lift back to town and a new quad.
It was a sick day spent doing donuts in a quiet forest surrounded by green hills and we even found a half-built house which we were able to drive into using a workman’s ramp and park up in someone’s future living room and watch the sunset. We biked up to Antimachia Castle by accident which was a cool experience too.
Overall a very adventurous holiday.
My final visit to Kardemena. After my first year of college myself and Josh convinced Tim and Chris to come back with us. It was obvious that Kos was losing it’s appeal to young party goers as there was hardly anyone there! This trip was very similar to the last one as we wanted Tim and Chris to experience everything we did. We made friends with some girls from Glasgow who were on our bus and in our hotel and did a boat party and bar crawl with them. Again, we rented quad bikes and did the same trip although we were unable to find the Sunken Forest again. Josh managed to flip his bike which caused a bit of damage to the bank but other than that another awesome trip! We visited Antimachia Castle again and got ambushed by about 60 sheep and their farmer who took up the whole path.
After this year it was obvious that Kos was dying with lots of bars being closed and only one club remaining open. Due to this I have not gone back since and I also think, even though I’m only 23, I have past the “lads holiday” type of scene. Kos will always hold a place in my heart, though, and it would probably still be a nice place for a chill family holiday (there are actually some pretty fancy hotels on the island!)