Our Greek Adventure: One excursion you WOULDN'T want to miss!
Back in 2016 myself and three girlfriends were venturing out on our first proper holiday without parents, to the beautiful Greek island of Kos. It was such an exciting but also scary time for me because despite being lucky enough to get away on holiday at least once a year since I was small, the idea of doing it without the safety blanket that is my mum and dad made me so nervous. I obviously didn't give us enough credit because we made it to our all-inclusive hotel in one piece, and settled nicely into what would be our 'home' for the next seven nights.
When we arrived, a tour operator ran us through the excursions that were on offer, and one immediately stood out to my friend and I. For only 40 euros (bearing in mind prices may vary depending on hotel and the season you're travelling in, as well as inflation) we had booked ourselves onto a full-day Three-Island Boat Trip, including transfers to/from the hotel and lunch included on one of the islands. Quite frankly I feel like this was one of my all-time favourite travel experiences, and I'm pretty sure my friend would agree with me when I say that it was one of the best days we've ever spent together. Especially for two 18-year-olds who weren't that bothered with the whole party scene, this was the perfect opportunity for an adventure and to explore parts of the country that we otherwise probably would never get a chance to see.
Okay enough of the waffling... so when the day of our excursion arrived and we boarded the eccentric pirate ship (not even kidding, it was genuinely designed and decorated as a pirate ship), we weren't really sure what to expect. The deck had a fair amount of shaded seats to choose from, but we went for the sun-soaked centre, which was pretty much one big waterproof cushion that covered most of the deck so that people could sunbathe.
The first island we came to was a really remote island called Pserimos, which is only populated by 15 families in the winter (but gets slightly busier during the summer months). The beach was lined with market stalls and we had about an hour or so to have a look around and swim in the clear shallow water of this beautiful sandy beach. We loved how bouyant the water made us, and we literally just laid there in the water talking about how much it was making all of our Mamma Mia fantasies come true.
The next island we sailed off to was the island of Kalymnos. I felt so relaxed while we were out at sea, with no phone signal or internet to have us aimlessly scrolling on our social media, we had no other choice but to read our books, chat to one another, and enjoy the views, and it felt amazing. They also sold drinks on board which was useful, especially in the heat of the Greek summer, and a photographer who could take photos of you that you could purchase at the end of the day. When we arrived on Kalymnos we were all directed into a restaurant for our lunch. It was a classic Greek lunch of chicken skewers, tzatziki, Greek salad and some bread, but it was definitely enough to satisfy (and there were vegetarian options as well).
We were then guided to a local shop where we were told all about the history of sponge diving on Kalymnos island, which is the oldest known form of underwater diving and the intention of it is to retrieve natural sponges from the sea floor for human use. Sadly due to over-fishing the sponge diving industry has almost become extinct, but luckily before we left the shop we were given the option to buy some of these sea sponges as souvenirs. Before getting back onto the ship, my friend and I had some time to spare so we paid a couple of euros to hop aboard the mini train which took us on a scenic route around the island and through the village so that we could witness what life on the island was like for the locals.
The final stop on our adventure was the tiny and uninhabited Plati islet, which was only about 500m away from the previous island we visited. This was the coolest part of the day for me because although we didn't actually step foot on the islet due to there being no port and therefore no where for the boat to berth, we had the option to jump off the boat and swim to the island. So we tried to summon our best Dancing Queen-style jump and in we went. We didn't spend very long at the little islet, but we had enough time to swim to the giant rock, climb it, and then jump off, which for some reason was what everyone else to doing so we thought we'd follow suit.
After a long and busy day of doing nothing much at all, we were safely dropped back off at our hotel, and I think we both agree that it was the highlight of the whole trip for us. So naturally I wanted to come on here and rave about it a little, because if there's one activity or excursion in Greece that I would recommend, it would have to be this! I had a quick look online and I've found that several other Greek islands offer very similar tours so it's not something that's limited to Kos, so if you're headed in that general direction make sure you don't miss out. Take care, Em x