Back in 2016 myself and three girlfriends ventured out on our first proper holiday without parents. We had settled on one of the beautiful Greek islands of Kos, and we were super excited. It was such a fun 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. Although I obviously didn’t give us enough credit. Because we made it to our all-inclusive hotel in one piece, and settled nicely into our ‘home’ for the next seven-nights.
Choosing our Excursion
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-Islands Boat Trip. This included transfers to/from the hotel, and lunch on one of the Greek islands. Quite frankly I feel like this was one of my all-time favourite travel experiences. Plus I’m sure my friend would agree when I say it was one of the best days we’ve spent together. Especially for two 18-year-olds who weren’t that bothered with the whole party scene. It 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. It was pretty much one big waterproof cushion that covered most of the deck so that people could sunbathe.
Island no. 1
The first of the Greek islands we came to was a really remote island called Pserimos. It’s actually 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. We literally just laid there in the water talking about how all of our Mamma Mia fantasies were coming true.
Island no. 2
The next island we sailed off to was the island of Kalymnos. I felt so relaxed while we were out at sea. We had no phone signal or internet to have us aimlessly scrolling on our social media. So we had no choice but to read, chat to one another, and enjoy the views, which felt amazing! They also sold drinks on board which was useful, especially in the heat of the Greek summer. There was also a photographer whose photos 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 guided to a local shop where we were educated on the history of sponge-diving on Kalymnos island. It’s the oldest known form of underwater diving and the intention 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. However, 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.
Island no. 3
The final stop on our adventure was the tiny and uninhabited Plati islet. It was actually only about 500m away from the previous island we visited. This was the coolest part of the day for me because although the boat didn’t actually 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 around and cool off a bit.
After a busy day of doing nothing much at all, we were safely dropped back at our hotel. 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. Until next time x
Looking to visit Europe for yourself, read our post of 5 European Cities to visit in 2021: https://www.emgoingplaces.com/2020/06/5-european-cities-to-visit-after-covid-19/
Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/emgoingplaces
Find Em on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emgoingplaces