Cycling & Eating around Kos, Greece

When I returned from the Alps, my Mum and I decided to book our annual mother-daughter vacation. We have previously island hopped the Greek Cyclade islands and loved it, so decided we’d return to Greece. I saw a TV advert for cheap Jet2 holidays so within a couple of days we’d booked a self catered apartment for a week on the island of Kos. Six months after booking, our holiday was almost upon us. Everything ran very smoothly leading up to our flight and we even landed 30 minutes early. We flew over uninhabited Greek islands that looked stunning from above. On arrival we were met by our enthusiastic “rep” and led to our transfer coaches.

The last stop in Tigaki resort was ours. Tigaki is located on the northern coastline of Kos. You can see the rock climbing mecca, Kalymnos island and the Turkish resort of Bodrum from it’s beach. We stayed at Kalloudis Hotel and Apartments. Our apartment was spacious and clean with a kitchenette and a huge balcony. We’re not luxury travellers so we were happy with anything really. Our balcony overlooked the Dikaios mountain range, which at dusk had a beautiful soft light showing off its crags.

As this was the last week of package holidays running, Tigaki resort was very quiet and a lot of the Tavernas had already closed for winter. This was nice as I couldn’t imagine how busy this small resort would be with hundreds of holiday makers.

There are lots of things to do in the area with various villages to visit and different beaches to sunbathe on.

Hiring bikes is very popular as the back roads are generally quiet and perfect for cycling. We hired 2 bikes for 4 days for €25. Manolis from Manolis Motors ensured us that this was a good deal. We used them a lot for cycling around the resort and heading further afield. Kos Town is about 12km away and there is a coastal road that takes you to Lambi beach then you can head south towards the town itself. Kos Town is picturesque with a huge harbour and various historical sights. We stopped off at Sifis restaurant for a late lunch. If you haven’t been to Greece before, you are seriously missing out on Greek cuisine, I love it and it’s great for vegetarians. Gyros is a thick pita with tzatziki, sliced onions, tomatoes, chips and pork or chicken. On previous trips to Greece, I ask for mine just without the meat but I decided to try my luck and ask for feta cheese instead. The waiter was great and said “Vegetarian? Sure!”. It was really tasty. Gyros are made fresh, the chips were hot and the pita warm and chewy.

From our balcony you could see the village of Zia which sits in the shadows of Mount Dikaios. It is 7km away from Tigaki so we decided to cycle up to it. This proved to be harder than we thought as it was all up hill and we had vintage style bikes. However, it was totally worth it for the beautiful views of the sea and nearby mountains. The village itself is geared towards tourism with a  variety of cafes, restaurants and small shops. The shops sold the usual tourist trinkets but also some great local products. I got some thymian honey, extra virgin olive oil and cinnamon syrup. You can use the cinnamon syrup as a cordial to make a refreshing soft drink. We ate at a lovely restaurant for lunch called Oromedon which had a rooftop eating area. We ordered a selection of appetizers; grilled halloumi, fries, tzatziki and toasted pita. It all tasted delicious and was a treat after all our hard cycling. Zia has some quirky cafes hidden away further up behind the thoroughfare which are worth a visit too. Sunset is spectacular from Zia too.

As well as hiring bikes from Manolis, we also hired a moped for one day. It cost €15 for 24 hours. As I was filling the moped with petrol, the petrol assistant (they fill up for you) told me about Agios Stefanos beach across the island. We didn’t have any specific place to go so decided to take his advice. We drove across the island through quite high winds, past the airport into the town of Kefalos. In high season you can imagine this place being very busy but everything was pretty much closed. We had the whole beach to ourselves! From the beach you can see the islet called Kastri. I grabbed my snorkel and fins and decided to swim the 200m to get there. On the island itself, there is a small blue and white chapel  dedicated to Saint Nicolas and the remains of an old castle. This used to be used to guard the bay from enemies and pirates. Other than that it is totally rocky and barren apart from a random peacock wondering around which startled me!

Kos is a beautiful little island with quiet beaches and crystal clear waters. It has great traditional restaurants with friendly locals happy to help you. It made me love Greece even more. One day I hope to buy a moped and travel around all the Greek islands…

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