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Kardamena, Kos, Greece.July 2022

A return visit to Kos and more pictures of the beautiful seaside village of Kardamena. An idyllic spot and a perfect base for the rest of the island. The long straight harbour front with the tropical trees adds character to the place and there are some delightful places to eat out and watch the world go by. Food is a must in Kardamena.

Thomas’s Meze is a favourite restaurant of ours and I enjoyed the traditional Greek foods that were served. The sea bass was particularly tasty and the bones were expertly removed by our waiter. The pictures show the before and after result. Other favourites included home made Moussaka and Feta Filo.consisting of feta folding in pastry, sprinkled with sesame seeds. The local honey that is poured over the pastry comes from those bees that I saw in the mountains. It was also a chance for me to become re-acquainted with Retsina. The taste of this Greek resinated wine is not to everybody’s liking with some people spitting it out as soon as they taste it! For me it is a refreshing taste and goes well with fish and other Mediterranean foods.

Kardamena, Kos, Greece.July 2022
Spot the bottle of Retsina.

We also dined at the restaurant, Avli, which is based in one of the oldest houses in Kardamena. The restaurant is in an old courtyard which is cool and adds a local greek atmosphere to the proceedings. My choices here were the home made stuffed vine leaves to start with followed by the catch of the day which was red snapper. Both were delicious and prepared well.

Kardamena, Kos, Greece.July 2022
Vine leaves starter at Avli restaurant.
Kardamena, Kos, Greece.July 2022
Entrance way to Avli restaurant.

Breakfast was taken at the Harbour lounge on the sea front where you could watch the yachts and the various ships such as the Pirate ship leave for a tour of the islands. The owners prepare a sumptuous breakfast which can either be English or Greek depending on your tastes.

Kardamena, Kos, Greece.July 2022
Greek breakfast at the Harbour Lounge.
Kardamena, Kos, Greece.July 2022
Watching the sails from the Harbour Lounge.

Coming back from Kos Town on our final evening, we had our last meal at Chris snack and cocktail bar. A friendly family run restaurant where we had some simple but tasty home cooked food. The seating is on several tiers and we sat close to the sea, enjoying the sight of local children catching a crab and watching the pirate ship come home for the evening.

Kardamena, Kos, Greece.July 2022
The pirate ship on its way home to Kardamena.

Eating out in the town was excellent and was a welcome break from the all-inclusive food at our hotel, which was fine but unadventurous. After breakfast or evening meal, then it was only natural that we wandered along the streets of Kardamena. There was a chance to see the shops, view the boats in the harbour or see the antics of the local cat population. Here are a selection of photographs out and about Kardamena during the day.

Kardamena, Kos, Greece.July 2022
View of the islands south of Kardamena.
Kardamena, Kos, Greece.July 2022
Villagers in the setting sunlight.
Kardamena, Kos, Greece.July 2022
Villagers and the tourists.
Kardamena, Kos, Greece.July 2022
The central building.

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My last post on Kardamena was back in 2020 and is fun to compare to this one.


Lesser Kestrel, Mountains in Kos

The album “Reach for the Sky” was released by Sunderland Brothers and Quiver in 1975.  The cover is very evocative and has an eagle flying across the sun.  My picture of the Lesser Kestrel flying over the valley between Kardamena and Pyli reminds me of that LP record.  It is one of many pictures taken on a day out with the wonderful photographer Sarah Longes (Twitter @miradordesign).  With my 200mm lens working to its limit, Sarah taught me to be patient on taking photographs. Not one of my strongest virtues but I am learning. 

Lesser Kestrel, Mountains in Kos
A pair of lesser kestrels take a rest from hunting
Lesser Kestrel, Mountains in Kos
If you look closely, a bee is following the kestrel as it sets off in flight.

Sarah spotted where the lesser kestrels were hunting on the edge of the valley.  The view from our photography spot was spectacular and one of the interesting features were the large number of bee hives scattered across the landscape. Sarah has a sixth sense of where to find wildlife. I have known her virtually for a few years now and luck would have it we were both on Kos at the same time. She is a super photographer and teacher.

Gecko lizard in the mountains of Kos Island
A gecko lizard out and about.

We left the Lesser Kestrels hunting in the mountains and moved onto Pyli to walk around the village.  Pyli features a natural water spring.  Although it was the heat of the day, there were several people filling up containers with spring water.  It was quiet when we visited, although two coach tours did descend on the area whilst we were having lunch in a local restaurant in the square.  

The water fountains at Pyli, Kos Island
The water at the springs in Pyli is particularly sought after for its mineral content.
The water fountains at Pyli, Kos Island
Yannis, a local resident, filling up containers. The water will be taken to restaurants throughout Kos.

Following lunch, we made our way to the Alikes Salt Lake that was next to the town of Tigaki.  The lake was teeming with wildlife in spite of the serious levels of pollution present.  The salt works are no longer operational and are visited by a few tourists and locals.  More interest is from the paragliding sails that pepper the horizon.  The salt lake was interesting with graffiti on old abandoned buildings,  several varieties of birds and even some turtles swimming around.  It was here that once again I learnt to be patient, as I photographed the birds, resisting my natural temptation to rush forward to get as close as possible.

Aliki Salt Lake, Kos Island
Evocative image of the Black winged Stilt flying over the salt lake.
Aliki Salt Lake, Kos Island
Turtle and Bird not talking to each other.
Aliki Salt Lake, Kos Island
No talking please whilst flying.
Aliki Salt Lake, Kos Island
Looking out for food.
Aliki Salt Lake, Kos Island
These legs were made for wading.
Aliki Salt Lake, Kos Island
Nice reflections.
Aliki Salt Lake, Kos Island
Amy Whitehouse looks out from the abandoned salt works.
The salt lake was so hot and this dramatic view of the mountains puts it in perspective.
Aliki Salt Lake, Kos Island
Heading out for the paragliding.

Our final stop was the Traditional Windmill of Antimachia.  This is a restored windmill and the intricate sails were quite magnificent as they turned around.  I chatted to the owner of the Windmill and accompanying restaurant/bar and showed him Chesterton Windmill near Leamington Spa.  The owner was very interested, and I hope that I have forged an international link between the two windmills.

Antimachia Windmill on Kos
The striking Antimachia Windmill on Kos

A memorable day and thank you to both Sarah for allowing me to accompany her on her photography tour and Simon her husband for chauffeuring us around Kos.  Hope you as the reader enjoy the pictures.

If you want to know more about Kos then there are two sites I would recommend,
Visit Kos Island Greece
Visit Greece

For the pictures of Sarah Longes then I would recommend her Twitter feed as she regularly posts there. Comment on her pictures and Sarah is sure to reply!

Sarah in photographic action in the mountains.

If you want to discover the song “Reach for the Sky” by Sutherland Brothers and Quiver then there is a YouTube link with the lyrics.


Sunrise and boat

The village of Kardamena was not far from the hotel where we stayed for Natasha and Rob’s wedding.  It is a small resort with an attractive harbour and a big heart.  I was very impressed with the place.  It has many backstreets which are pleasant to stroll through and are relatively cool in the midday sun.  The harbour front contains many bars and restaurants which come alive in the evening.  Every morning, I ran into Kardamena and took many iPhone pictures which often included the sunrise.  This did depend on whether I got up in time. 

Table in the sun
A breakfast table in the sun
Church on the Road
A small Church on the Road that I ran past every morning.
Church and sea
Church and sea
Boat in the harbour
Boat in the harbour

The light on the Island is best in the early morning when the first rays break though over the waters.  At night the sun sets behind a small mountain ridge but some of the last rays of the day still make for a pleasant picture.  In the town we ate at several restaurants and the food was always tasty and delicious.  It was also good to drink Retsina again which I know is an acquired taste but it brings back memories of my time Greek island hoping when I was a student.  These are some of the pictures that I took which are all on my iPhone. It was not practical to bring the grown up camera out on either a run or in the evening when alcohol was flowing.  However I know that I will visit Kos again taking my cameras to catch the beautiful light. 

Sunrise at Malibu Beach
Quiet streets of Kardamena
Bike in the sun
Bike in the sun
Main Church
Main Church
Greek Meze
Greek Meze
Boats in harbour
Boats lined up in the harbour
Sunrise and boat
That boat again on the final day of the holiday

The final picture is not in Kos but taken at the Sunset Taverna in Zia on the mountains.  It was an adventurous journey in the mini bus up and down the steep mountain roads from Kardamena to Zia but as the picture shows is was worth it for the sunset. This was taken with my Canon 5D with two pictures stitched together.

Sunset at Zia
Sunset at Zia