I havent taken a solo trip in a while and I adore traveling and having little adventures on my own. I really thrive in my own company and having now traveled and lived in 4 different countries and next on my list is Bali in a weeks time! But anyway back to Greece, I found super cheap tickets from Manchester to Kos and even though they were shitty flights I wanted a little solo adventure.
Greece feels very safe for solo female travelers and the locals are friendly and helpful. Men can be more forward and I wont lie they do seem to stare an awful lot but if you can ignore that then you will be fine.
My first nightmare!
Leaving for the airport Sunday night and arriving at Kos airport at 12 am in the morning a felt a little uneasy I won’t lie. When its pitch black and you are in a new environment it can feel overwhelming. I always just jump in a trusted taxi and have my hotel address ready. So… I get in the taxi and arrive at my apartment. I had already notified the apartments that I would be arriving late so they advised me that my key had been left in the door 27. However – and this is where shit starts to get very annoying, there was no key in 27 and no one else around to ask or to help. So I am stumbling around till 2am in the dark trying to find this dam key and with no luck ringing them I call Booking.com. The hotel was out of the way and in the quiet area of Lambi so no local taxis or anything.
I have to tell you that Booking.com was very helpful. They advised me that they will book another hotel and pay for it for me which was a huge relief. Just as I was on hold about to make another reservation in another hotel, a couple who had seen me pretty distressed at the beginning of the nightmare came back with the key that was in apartment number 24! I could have kissed them both (I nearly did) in my joy as they handed over the key. I felt so lucky the couple had been there to help as I was too stressed to actually look for this dam key anymore! Anyway moral of the story is – 1. Always book through a third party site like Booking.com if traveling alone as they usually have 24 HR customer service incase anything goes wrong. 2. Make sure your phone is fully charged when getting off the plane. 3.If checking in later make sure you speak to the hotel beforehand to make an agreement of what to do.
Anyway, onwards and upwards the rest of my trip was SO MUCH FUN!
I wakeup the next morning early, eager to start my day I look around for coffee and stumble into a cute bar where I ask the woman serving if she has soya milk for my coffee. She doesn’t, however, she tells me where to deserted beachy spots are that I can go and film and take pictures in peace. Tip – Speak to the locals, they know all the best spots around!
After nipping to the supermarket and (to my surprise) finding soya milk (Ok it was nearly 4 euros but I NEEDED my soya milk) the lovely lady made me a creamy soya latte and then off I go wandering down to the beautiful Landi beach. The water is crystal clear with a slight tone of green, you can see fishes swimming freely and my heart feels full. I take some time for me, I do some yoga ( currently practicing my headstands) I read and I set up my camera to take some pictures. Life feels good.
I meet some people from Holland and agree to meet up with later for some lunch. I decided to rent a bicycle and this was the best decision as it was so much quicker to get out and about and from one place to the other. Renting a cute bicycle only cost 3 euros a day! SO affordable.
Feeling pretty darn hungry I hop on my ride and go to Mylos Beach bar, this seems to be one cool hangout spot. Situated on Lambi beach near Kos town, Mylos Beach Bar has an impressive stone mill as a natural backdrop, is one of the spots that draw in the most youthful crowd on the island. I really wish I had visited at nighttime as they have DJs and a chilled, relaxed music vibe.
Being vegan in Kos was actually fine and you can find plenty of options for typical dishes that can be made vegan. The vine leaves with rice inside was so delicious! The giant beans in tomato sauce and oil which was to die for and the hummus – OMG! beautiful!
Kos town is so much prettier and chilled than I thought it would be. The port is super pretty and they have a small old town which can be explored with plenty of cute shops for bohemian style clothing. Walking around the streets of the old town I decided to go on a 3 island day trip the following day. As I only really had two full days I wanted to make the most of it. I walked around and had a feel for what I can get for my money and ended up returning to the very first one as they seemed the most excited about the trip – they had a good energy about them. The company was called Odyssey and they had a boat located at Kos Old Port on Kountouriotou Street, at the port near Dolphin Square.
For 25 euros they picked me up from my hotel at 9.30 then to the boat which set sail at 10 am sharp. Visting 3 islands – first stop is Vathi, a beautiful village on the island of Kalymnos. The boat enters a magnificent natural fjord and as the valley of Vathi is slowly revealed. It was so beautiful it took my breath away. I explored for around an hour, enjoying fresh orange juice, then a cerveza and dipping my toes in the gorgeous ocean.
Lunch was then served and having notified them beforehand of being vegan they handed me a delicious meal of beans, dolmades, bread and salad instead of meat. After lunch, the cruise continued and circled around the fish farms nearby. The smell of the fish attracts wild dolphins and most of the time you can see them jumping out of the water. I really hoped to see the dolphins as they are one of my favorite animals!
The next stop is Plati islet. The boat anchors close to the land and once the engines stop, you can jump in and swim around the boat. The sea is unbelievably clear, meaning you can easily notice the sandy bottom through the blue and turquoise waters. Meanwhile, on the boat, happy hour started and the party vibe was in full swing! The crew made this day trip actually, they were vibrant, full of life and so friendly!
The last stop is Pserimos island, which is inhabited by only 15 families during the winter and gets busier in the summer. I swam on the shallow, sandy beach, discovering small hidden paths as I looked for quiet spots to take some pictures. We board the boat and the crew starts to yell in greek and everyone looks around wondering what the hell is going on and then I see – DOLPHINS! This has to be the highlight of my trip! They are much bigger in the flesh than I had expected however I was too engrossed in looking that I couldn’t capture any images of them. However, my heart feels happy and full and I can’t believe I have to leave in a few hours.
We make our way back to Kos port and I am relaxing sunbathing on the deck thinking this is what I want my life to be. Out in nature, in the sunshine, fresh air, these simple pleasures make me feel alive.
For my last dinner, I wanted to try out a place called Noahs Ark as when researching I discover they offer very good vegan options. It is actually Armenian food the lovely owner tells me and she helps me decide what I should go for. I trust her word and order the hummus, tabouleh, and a lentil dish and I can say it was one of the best meals I have ever had! Truly delicious.
Now it is time to go back to my apartment and pack to leave for the airport. My first solo trip in a while and I can honestly say I have loved every second. Greece is a wonderful place for solo women travelers to explore. I felt safe and at home which is essential if you want to explore on your own for the first time.
Now, next up – Barcelona for a few days then on to my move to Bali. Feeling ever so grateful always.