Athens & Kos, Greece || Island Hopping Trip

My trip to Greece was a first for many things; first time visiting Greece, first time on holiday with Haydn’s family, first time at an all-inclusive hotel with Haydn and the first time we went on a couples trip (I am also cringing as I type). This was a particularly easy trip as no testing was required beforehand, I simply got to the airport and boarded a plane (basically), it was just like the good old days of pre-2020.

Day 1 – Monday 6th June

I made getting on the plane pretty straight forward but actually the part after that was somewhat chaotic. We were travelling as a group of 4, myself, Haydn, Haydn’s sister and her fiancé. The flight left Manchester airport, which – despite many news articles – was relatively quiet. The flight was full and after 4 hours in the end we ended up flying through a thunderstorm that happened to be taking place over Athens. The pilot attempt to land but decided it wasn’t safe to do so and we ended up being diverted to Crete. We sat on the runway for about an hour before taking off again and eventually landing in Athens – more than 3 hours later than we had expected too… But we were there. After getting to the AirBnB I was exhausted, hungry and pretty miserable but we headed to Mcdonald’s for some late-night snacks. I decided not to make any judgements of Athens on that first night as knew my bad mood would probably make it negative. Instead, I focused on eating and making it back to bed without falling asleep in the street.

Day 2 – Tuesday 7th June

This was the day to explore! I was really excited to see some of Athens, we made a plan to head straight to the Acropolis and this was the main thing everyone wanted to see. Tourist attractions in Athens offered discounted prices for adults under the age of 25 so it worked out quite affordable for Haydn and I to get up close and personal with the Acropolis (which at this point I was solely referring to as the Acro-pop-olis, hilarious I know…). As expected the architecture was incredible and it was truly amazing to think about how something this magnificent was built so long ago – 5th century bc.

The Acropolis

On route to our next sightseeing spot we made a detour to see the National Gardens. I love finding green spaces to just have a wander and take it easy. The best part about the experience was that the gardens had a pond in the middle that had lots of turtles in it! I love seeing these little creatures swimming about and they just always make me smile.

National Gardens

After a lovely stroll in the sun we made our way to the Panathenaic Stadium which was the site of the first modern Olympic games in 1896. This place was huge, it has a capacity of 50,000 seats. We spent some time just sitting and taking it all in, from the seats at the back you could see the Acropolis in the distance which made for an amazing view.

Panathenaic Stadium

After we finished at the stadium we meandered through the Greek streets and made our way back to the AirBnB. Being out in the sun and having a late night before meant the 4 of us were quite tired. My favourite part about streets abroad is the different plants and trees you can see. In Athens, we saw tree-lined streets that had oranges growing on them!

Orange trees in the street

We refreshed at the AirBnB and choose a spot for dinner. We tried some classic Greek dishes – Ceaser salads, chicken gyros and moussaka. Dinner was good and after we headed to the Philopappos Monument which has a fantastic view across Athens including a view of the Acropolis. The golden hour we were treated to was incredible! We watched the sunset and whilst it wasn’t the most colourful sunset it was still a lovely spot to watch the sun go down.

Golden hour at Philopappos Monument

Day 3 – Wednesday 8th June

Plane ride number 2 of the trip, and that meant it was time to travel from Athens to kos. This was only a short flight which I was pleased about because it was a propeller plane which isn’t my favourite way to travel. Everything ran on time this time around which was refreshing. For the rest of the trip we stayed at Akti Beach Club which was an all-inclusive resort near Kardamena. When Haydn and I first checked in there were a few issues with the key card which meant we had to be given a physical key to get in and out of the room. Other than that the room was nice and the facilities around the resort looked pretty good. Plus the views of the nearby mountains were so beautiful.

Views from our hotel room

More of Haydn’s family were staying at the resort including another of his sisters and her family as well as his parents. We joined them around the pool in the afternoon and sat down to have dinner together which was lovely. It was so nice to laze around in the heat. After dinner we all went down to the beachfront and enjoyed the sound of the waves and watched the sunset.

Day 4 – Thursday 9th June

I wanted a lazy day in the sun so on Thursday Haydn and I decided to stay around the shared pool we had access to from our hotel room and just enjoyed the heat. I read my book, we swam in the pool and just genuinely enjoyed time doing nothing. I’ve also decided that I love life in a bikini, I’ve embraced the things I’m insecure about a lot over the last couple of years and worked hard in the gym so it was nice to feel confident.

Loving life in a bikini

Haydn and I got ready for another family dinner and that was really the most effort we had to put into anything all day. The evenings were breezier than I had anticipated and on the first few nights, I wished I’d bought a light jacket with me.

Mountain views

Day 5 – Friday 10th June

I think Friday was my favourite day of our entire trip! In the morning Haydn and I walked to Kardamena to explore the little town. I loved wandering the streets and taking in the classic Greek architecture with white walls, blue windows and flowerings growing up the side. After wandering the streets we sat down at a beach bar and grabbed a fruit smoothie.

Whilst we were in the town Haydn’s sister and Fiance picked up some quad bikes we’d decided to rent for the day. It was a cool way to explore the island and not something Haydn and I have done together before. The first stop we made was to the village Pili, this was such a quaint town with plenty of traditional Greek homes to admire.

Pili village.

We continued over the mountain and made our next stop at the beach! We went to Tigaki which was known to be popular for its sand and scenic views. The beach we explored a little was Andreas Beach, it had a cute beach swing which made for the perfect photoshoot opportunity.

Andreas Beach Swing, Tigaki

After exploring all morning I was getting hungry so we drove on to Kos Town. In the town, we explored some of the ruins and then enjoyed a bite to eat.

Kos Town

After finishing in Kos town we made our way back through the mountain – which consisted of some windy narrow roads and great views. That morning as we were driving through the mountain we spotted some viewpoints and decided to look out for them on the way back through. We spotted a great one and were able to park the quad bikes and go for a little hike into the mountains – which I mostly hated because it was so steep and definitely not a safe path to be explored… but it was an adventure?

Our quad biking adventure!

Once I was back at the hotel I made a beeline for the pool! It was probably the most refreshing swim of my life, I washed off the sweaty sunscreen and did a few laps to cool down.

Day 6 – Saturday 11th June

After a busy Friday I was looking forward to a lazy day and that was really all I did. I read my book by the pool, caught up with Haydn’s family and then went down to the beach with Haydn to enjoy the sea and sand. I went for a paddle in the sea and absolutely loved it, I’d forgotten how much I loved sea swimming. The hotel we stayed at, Akti Beach Club, was quite pretty so it was nice to spend a bit of time there and take in the scenery.

Akti Beach Club Hotel

Day 7 – Sunday 12th June

As our trip was coming to an end we wanted to make the most of our time left so Haydn and I booked a day trip to Bodrum, Turkey. A coach picked us up from the hotel and we met our tour guide for the day. To get across to Turkey we went by boat which was interesting as we went through passport control and then ended up delayed for nearly an hour. This cut into our day a fair bit as we had to be back on the boat mid-afternoon. Once we got off the ferry our tour guide told us we could take a free city tour which we decided to do in order to see more of Bodrum. The tour was weird! Despite telling the guides we spoke English we were put on a German bus and had no clue what was going on for the majority of the trip, Haydn did know a few words but it wasn’t enough to know what was going on. To make it weirder it ended up being a bit of scam, the tour took us to a jewellery factory/shop where the store tried to sell to us. It was so uncomfortable and we couldn’t wait for it to be over. The only benefit of the entire tour was the view at the top of a hill we were taken up.

View across the sea

We spent the rest of our time in Turkey exploring the markets and just having a good wander around.

Day 8 – Monday 13th June

I’m glad we kept busy on Sunday as for the rest of the trip I was so unwell. I didn’t do anything on our last day except lay in bed and try desperately to get some sleep. We weren’t able to stay in our original hotel for the final night so instead when down the road to a nearby hotel. The hotel was lovely and had a great pool, but we got there too late to use it.

Day 9 – Tuesday 14th June

On our final morning, I still felt terrible so I stayed in bed as long as possible before we had to head to the airport. The flight home was fine, I just slept the entire time to try and keep my mind off of how unwell I was feeling.

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