Discover the Islands of Santorini and Kos Greece

Island Hopping in the Mediterranean

The very last spring break we spent in Europe were on the islands of Santorini and Kos Greece. We flew into Kos for the astronomical price of 3.99 Euro each on Ryan Air or for about $5.00. In my mind, this meant that I didn’t need to look for budget digs and I booked us into the Kos Aktis Art Hotel, a beautiful boutique hotel that had the city center at the front door and the ocean at the back.

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!

FB_IMG_1448175313205 Discover the Islands of Santorini and Kos Greece


Kos & Santorini Islands in Greece

It has a stunning glass balcony that affords unobstructed views to the ocean. It was such a lovely hotel, that I booked it for three out four trips to the island. However, if you are looking for creamy white sands, this is not the place for you. The beach is not exceptionally beautiful. It is mostly pebbles and black sand. It backs up to several restaurants and hotels. However, the water is still crystal clear. You may have noticed that the sounds and view of the beach take priority to the actual beach. I don’t like to “rough it” on vacation. We are pool people. lol

Where we stayed: Kos Atkis Art Hotel

 

FB_IMG_1448175303779 Discover the Islands of Santorini and Kos Greece

FB_IMG_1448175318951 Discover the Islands of Santorini and Kos Greece

FB_IMG_1448175264239 Discover the Islands of Santorini and Kos Greece


Kos, Greece

The city of Kos is both modern and ancient. The capital, Kos Town boasts an agora or collection of freestanding marble Greek columns that date back to the 3rd century. It takes imagination, and a guidebook, but if you squint a certain way and the sun is at a perfect 45-degree angle, you just make out the remains of a shrine to Aphrodite, Hercules Temple, and a 5th-century Christian basilica.

FB_IMG_1448175290099 Discover the Islands of Santorini and Kos Greece

FB_IMG_1448175295881 Discover the Islands of Santorini and Kos Greece

FB_IMG_1448175153295 Discover the Islands of Santorini and Kos Greece

 

Ancient Greece

North of the agora is the lovely cobblestone Plateia Platanou, where you can sit in an outdoor café or McDonalds while pondering the meaning of life. Hippocrates Plane Tree, once magnificent, is now propped up with scaffolding, ripe with the whispers of ancient knowledge, but unable to stand on its own. On a future trip to Kos, I couldn’t help but stop and ponder the imagery of seeing my husband departing wisdom to the boys under the same tree as Hippocrates. An old mosque turret sits silently in another corner of the square.

Of course, there are castle ruins and its an easy stroll across the stone bridge that spans over Finikon Street, once a moat that protected the Knight’s Castle from marauding Ottomans. The 14th-century castle strikes an imposing backdrop for approaching ships to this day. There are tons of columns, Roman remains of bathhouses, gymnasiums, and temples overgrown with sweet oleander and well-preserved mosaics all over the island. And on the four trips we took there, we never managed to see them all.

FB_IMG_1448175273940 Discover the Islands of Santorini and Kos Greece

FB_IMG_1448175257914 Discover the Islands of Santorini and Kos Greece

FB_IMG_1448175280193 Discover the Islands of Santorini and Kos Greece


Santorini, Greece

We caught the slow, overnight ferry to the island of Santorini to catch up with my daughter who is in the Navy. The ferry left Kos around 8 pm and arrived in Santorini early in the morning. I called ahead and the owner of the hotel sent a taxi for us and had tea and biscuits waiting for us in our room. My daughter’s ship was anchored off the coast of Santorini for a week. We rode the cable car down to the jetty where we received a brief tour of her ship.

Where we stayed: Blue Bay Villas

FB_IMG_1448175165761 Discover the Islands of Santorini and Kos Greece

FB_IMG_1448175170341 Discover the Islands of Santorini and Kos Greece


Gyros fyi– It’s Pronounced heros

We spent the next three days enjoying the gorgeous weather and many, many, many delicious Greek gyros. Fyi– it’s pronounced heros, but I digress. And, unlike the hotel on Kos, I found a lovely budget motel for about $35 per night that we had almost entirely to ourselves. There wasn’t anything special about the rooms, a matter of fact, there was no cable on the little console TVs that only had 2 or 3 fuzzy channels. It didn’t matter to us and I’d stay there again in a heartbeat. The kids spent the whole time in the pool or building sand castles on the black volcanic sand. We also took a day trip over to Bodrum Turkey.

FB_IMG_1448175241831 Discover the Islands of Santorini and Kos Greece


Mules in Santorini, Greece

However, the winds had picked up by the time we returned to the island, so we weren’t able to take the cable car back up the steep cliffs. It was either walk, dodging the largest mule landmines you can imagine or ride the stupid animals back to the summit. We chose the mules, who lazily lumbered up the steep steps, angling either too close to the edge or up against the stone wall. Either way, it was a terrifying ride I’ll never forget– the slowest adrenaline-packed ride you’ll ever have.

 

FB_IMG_1448175213930 Discover the Islands of Santorini and Kos Greece

FB_IMG_1448175208930 Discover the Islands of Santorini and Kos Greece
FB_IMG_1448175218427 Discover the Islands of Santorini and Kos Greece
FB_IMG_1448175149151 Discover the Islands of Santorini and Kos Greece

Oia, Greece

And on the final night, we headed over to Oia to watch one of the most phenomenal sunsets I had ever seen in my life. It left me speechless and for a huge change, I didn’t hear much from my kids either. They didn’t fuss with each other. I didn’t hear the beeps or buzzes from their handhelds or the shuffle of their sneakers. We all sat quietly, staring into the horizon unable to utter a single word.

Santorini-sunrise-and-sunset-683x1024 Discover the Islands of Santorini and Kos Greece

 

I Love Greece

We all do!! Greece and Croatia are where we spent the most time getting rid of the winter blues. The dollar goes far a long way, even longer since it has experienced its deep financial difficulties and bailouts. Kos was a great jump off to other parts of Greece like Santorini and Rhodes because of Ryan Air’s cheap fares. We made a few friends there that made it an even better deal for us. But Santorini isn’t the first place I would normally take my teenage boys. Matter of fact, It’s not the 2nd, 3rd or 4th place either. There are no attractions unless you call great food, magnificent vistas and left affirming sunsets an attraction. Surprisingly, it managed to be one of their favorite vacations without them.

Comments

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Hi Brandi!! I hope you do get to Greece. We all loved the islands of Greece. We never made it to the mainland, so I can’t speak on Athens. But Rhodes, Kos, Santorini and some of the other islands are stunning and cheap. And the people are so welcoming and fun loving. And I can’t even tell you how amazing the sun and water are.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *