Kos – the island of Hippocrates


N. Back and P. Pack are packing their swimsuits to go to the amazing Greek island of Kos. It does not matter that they are backpacks, they do enjoy the white sand and blue waters. Well…who wouldn’t?

N. Back has booked a hotel 3 months in advance, so the price for this relatively new hotel was low and acceptable for Nelly and Philipp. We stayed at hotel Esperia for 3 nights and we definitely recommend it! Nice staff, beautiful pool and big, clean rooms. Perfect, also for a longer time period! It is also conveniently situated in Marmari. The beach was walking distance and there were a few restaurants close by. By foot it took us only 3 minutes to reach the beach, where free sunbeds were already waiting for us.

The more you know:
As it is often the case in Greece, the sunbeds and umbrella on the beaches are free. It is expected that you consume in return though. However, a Mythos and a Frappe for 3 € each, is a price we’re willing to pay for a relaxed day at the beach.

This experience helped us to forget the troubles we’d had in the beginning…

Arriving at Kos airport and checking the bus station was the first disappointment. The bus that goes to Kos Town only departs every 2 hours (and we’d just missed one). The other option is to leave the airport by taxi, which is not very expensive and most of the people chose that option. The problem was the lack of cars! The huge line of tourists waiting for a taxi for hours in a row is a guarantee for a disaster trip. So better be prepared and have a pickup arrangement agreed in advance. This will ensure a smooth and relaxed start of your holiday.

After the difficult start of our trip, we jumped in our swim suits and enjoyed the refreshment of the turquoise sea water. Every bad mood will be erased after a cold Mythos beer and a bite of a tasty Greek gyros. YAY! Finally some Greek experience!


The next day was reserved for some more sun and way more swimming and splashing in the sea. We needed this lazy time to save our energy for the sporty evening activity we had planned. We went to a sunset horse riding with the people (and horses) of “Salt Lake Stables”. Nelly was assigned to the most beautiful horse, with a long mane the perfect name “Dain” and Philipp got “Ben”. Dain was such a funny character. He did not allow anybody else take the lead. If some horse tried to go in front of him, there was some biting and pushing. What a macho he is!

Ben on the other hand, was very calm and relaxed and took Philipp even on a trot. After the awesome experience (and many, many photos and pain in the butt) we ended the evening with a beer and a chat with the owners of the stables. Big THANK YOU for the amazing time and experience we’ve got! Yammas!


Next day arrived quickly and we were ready for it! We rented a 4×4 buggy for the whole day. It was our plan to explore the island, and visit some famous beaches. It took us around 30 minutes to reach the first stop on our island tour: the Hippocrates gardens. It was still morning and we would enjoy the visit without burning under the hot sun. The facility is relatively small, but talking to the woman that takes care of the gardens turned out to be very interesting. She gave us very helpful advices how to use herbs and other home remedies to cure pain – like the use of cinnamon to fight menstruation cramps. The knowledge she’s possessed seemed to come directly from the wisdom of Hippocrates. What a magical experience gardens could be.

As a next stop we dropped the humans at Kefalos, more specifically to the ruins of Basilica St. Stefanos. The Basilica dates back to 469 AD and is free to visit. What a gem it is, lying right between hotel complexes and private beaches. Together with the Agios Nikolaos chapel, which is just a 10 minutes swim away, they make an inspiring view. And just when you think that this place has some special spiritual protection, an angry bird protecting its nest might attack! One better be careful once you swim to the chapel.


We cannot just close our eyes and agree that it is all perfect there. One might say there are not enough beach facilities, or not enough tavernas, but you could not have it all! If you are hungry and you want to lay down on this beautiful beach to enjoy the freedom of not doing anything, except maybe drinking a Mythos and eating Souvlaki, we would recommend you the tavern “Katerina”. The grandma is still there, helping her family with the cooking. And you can definitely taste that she has a long experience in preparing Souvlaki. 😉

We could not indulge ourselves too much, because we had another appointment that evening. We took a pick-up service from Marmari to the lovely town of Zia. The expectations were high and we were not disappointed. The drive took 20 minutes and we ended up on the mountain, overlooking the island of Kos. The heart of Mount Dikaios is this charming, cobbled village, full with handcrafts, tavernas and shops. The reason why so many people are taking the road up to the mountain is different though. Once being in Zia, one cannot close his eyes for even a second. The picturesque view of the sunset above the green slopes and the blue waves of the Aegean sea is breathtaking. We could only wish for more time to be able to absorb this tranquillity.


Our Kos fairytale was almost over. On our last day on the island we took a bus to Kos town. The Kos island is known as the island of Hippocrates and we had to see the tree where he taught his pupils. The town is very beautiful and unsurprisingly for Greece, one can find a lot of churches. Other sights are the Neratzia castle and an ancient agora. What a perfect place for a summer holiday.

With deep feeling of “Saudade” we had to leave our new favourite Greek island. Hopefully not for very long!

Your backpacks

N. Back & P. Pack


Secrets revealed:

  • Kos airport is small and there are not enough taxis/buses in the high season. Book you transportation in advance!

  • Renting a buggy for a day costs around 100 €. It was okay to drive, but a car in comparison would be only 30 €, which is a way better deal. In both cases the fuel is paid additionally.

  • In Zia, we went to Taverna Zia (“No Stress”). The prices were reasonable, and the star of the menu was the lamb baked in an oven for 5 hours! It was almost as spectacular as the sunset there.

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