Things You Need To Know About Kos
Kos is a truly amazing place and it feels like more and more people are finding out just how amazing it is with each year, but there are a few things you need to know before going out.
1. Don't flush the toilet roll
Sounds weird I know but the plumbing on the island is so old that it can't handle toilet roll as well as everything else. This is why there is a little bin in every toilet you go into. It is really strange at first but you will get used to it.
2. You will get pestered
When you are walking along and come to a restaurant, there will be members of staff trying to call you. "It is hot today, come have a drink", "it is lunch time, come have food" and so on. Simply say no thank you and they usually leave you alone but there are a few that will keep trying. Just say you are full and keep walking. We had one lady really pester us as we walked past and she actually said "please come in, the economy is bad and we need money". I was quite shocked at how bold she was being but we had just eaten so we wasn't going to be eating again any time soon.
Also, once you are sat down at their tables, some of them will try to keep you there by giving you free plates of Greek salad, olives, bread, etc. We were given a big plate of Greek salad and a carafe of wine for free in one place when all we wanted was a drink. Don't get me wrong, there is only a few places that do this, it's not all of them.
You will also get pestered by some people who have stalls selling jewellery, souvenirs, paintings, etc to buy things, just say no and carry on, they will soon leave you alone.
3. Try the little restaurants and bars
We found that going to the restaurants and bars in the little side streets were a million time better than the ones on the main road. They couldn't do enough for us, the food was amazing and in one place we ended up with free garlic bread, olives and then dessert because there was a group of 4 of us.
4. You don't have access to a pool? No problem
IF you don't have access to a swimming pool because you are staying in an apartment or hotel that just doesn't have one, you can go to a hotel nearby that does. All you have to do is go to the reception desk of the hotel with the pool and ask if you can use their pool. Most of them will say yes as long as you buy food and drink throughout your stay. I have done it plenty of times where I have just brought some drinks and then stayed by the pool for day.
5. Sometimes it's easier (and faster) to just get a taxi
Kos isn't a very big island and even though it does have public transport, I have found that sometimes it is just easier to get a taxi. If you are looking to get transfers through a local company, try to go for private transfers as this will be loads quicker. I ended up on a coach for well over an hour because I went with the coach transfer instead of spending a bit of extra money on a private transfer. The journey would have only been half an hour if I had. I didn't fancy that journey on the way back to the airport after the holiday so I got a taxi for 40 euros.
6. Everyone feeds the cats
In Kos there are a lot of cats, there are so many that there is a local charity that works through the winter months catching and neutering the cats so that they don't become a problem. You can tell which ones have been done because their left ear will be clipped. But one thing you will notice is that it is very rare to see a skinny cat because everyone feeds them. The hotels, bars, restaurants, locals and tourists all feed them. I've seen a few going from table to table meowing for food until they get fed and then move on.
7. Book a boat trip directly
If you are staying in a town with a harbour, it's very likely that there will be boats running tours and day trips. If this is the case, instead of booking through a tour operator, go down to the boat and see if you can book directly with them. We booked a boat tour one year for 30 euros each with a tour operator and on our last trip, we went with the same boat but it only cost us 15 euros each.
8. There is history everywhere
Kos is bursting with amazing history, make sure that you properly explore Kos Town, they have the tree that Hippocrates would sit under and teach his pupils and the ruins that you can walk around.
9. The locals are amazing
I have never met a local in Kos that I didn't like. They are all so nice and chatty, if you want to know the best places to go to, ask a local, they know the best places to go for food, drinks, fun and sightseeing.