Greece has a tremendous number of islands, so many that the “count” is merely an estimate of somewhere between 1,200 and 6,000, depending on how small you want to go. Of this vast range, somewhere around 200 of the islands are inhabited.
The Dodecanese islands (Δωδεκάνησα in Greek, literally “twelve islands”) are 15 larger plus 150 smaller Greek islands in the southeastern Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey. They’ve been inhabited since prehistoric times, and they’ve changed hands on numerous occasions.
After leaving the volcanic island of Nisyros, the next stop on our yacht tour of the Dodecanese was Kos. Kos is known for many things, including being the home of Hippocrates, the father of medicine. This was fortunate for me, since I was running low on Dramamine, a very necessary thing to have when one is sailing on a small private yacht and being tossed about the sea like a damselfish in distress.
We pulled into the harbor of Kos and sailed past the Castle of the Knights of the Order of Saint John, also known as Neratzia Castle. Neratzia means “bitter orange” in Greek and refers to the trees growing around the fortress.
After Rhodes, Kos is the second-most touristy of the Dodecanese Islands, and the port had a more international flair than the other places we’d docked so far. There were plenty of incredible Greek restaurants near the harbor, most of which offered freshly-caught seafood, but there was also a Mexican restaurant, and Irish pub, and even a McDonald’s.
Many diners arrived on Kos by yacht, and there was no shortage of elegant cocktail bars and cafes catering to these chic travelers. The loveliest of these were H2O Restaurant, with its modern tables on the water, and Sunset Taverna, with its beautiful fountain and top-notch steaks.
As for the aforementioned seafood, you’ll find it all on Kos. Our favorite place for fresh catch turned out to be Sifis Restaurant Taverna. With choices including lobster, calamari, scallops, shrimp, and a variety of fish along with chicken, lamb, and steaks, there was literally something for everyone in our family (plus Max, of course).
All of the dishes were served with fresh salads, grilled vegetables, potatoes, and bread, and the prices were very affordable, particularly given the fact that Kos is a bit more of a resort town than most we’d visited.
We were thankful for a hearty meal on our first night in port, since we were diving Pserimos the following day. Join us on the rest of our Greek sailing adventure!