Greek islands: Kos or Rhodes? – 10 May 2007

Rhodes and Kos are the two largest of the Dodecanese chain of islands and share the same rich cultural heritage, though both are different enough to merit their own visit.

Rhodes, one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Med, dwarfs its smaller sibling and has an unbeatable choice of resorts and activities.

Kos has a more laid-back, small-island atmosphere – the bicycle is still a popular mode of transport, its beaches are more intimate and its resorts less crowded.

So which is the best for your clients?



Attractions: Cultural sights include the UNESCO-listed Old Town where sights include the 14th century Palace of the Grand Masters, the candy-striped Mosque of Suleiman and the ruins of the Temple of Apollo.

The winding alleyways of traffic-free Lindos merit exploration, as does Trianda, a settlement of 30 stone houses built in the middle ages.

For family days out, there’s the Valley of the Butterflies, a scenic gorge filled with the rare species Kalimorfa. There’s also a water park at Faliraki.

But beaches are Rhodes’ main attraction. The best is at Faliraki, but quieter Pefkos and Lindos are also good.

Food and drink: Fresh fish and green salads are staples and most restaurants will offer meze – small dishes including calamari, olives, feta cheese and pitta bread.

In Rhodes Town, Tsampikos Fish Tavern, next to the Paradise Resort is very popular with locals, while Ixia boasts some of the best restaurants on the island and Lindos has some nice waterfront tavernas.

Nightlife: Faliraki’s nightlife is notoriously lively, but in recent years a few smarter bars have helped widen its appeal beyond the Club 18-30 crowd. For something more sophisticated, suggest the appropriately named Bar Street in Rhodes Town.

Ixia also has a variety of lively clubs, bars and tavernas and even sleepier resorts such as Lindos have a dozen or so places open till the small hours.

Sample product:Planet Holidays has seven nights at the four-star Lindos Mare Hotel from £599 half-board with flights and taxi transfers.

Sell to: Rhodes is one of the hottest sellers in the summer and it has such a variety of resorts it can truly be all things to all people.

Faliraki is great for partygoers, Rhodes Town has the sort of accommodation that appeals to families and older couples, while Ixia is good for lively couples and families.

There are also plenty of traditional Greek villages such as Haraki and Kalathos and less developed resorts such as Kalithea and Pefkos that are ideal for couples who just want to chill.

Flight time: three hours, 50 minutes.

Transfer time: Rhodes Town is 20 minutes by coach, 15 minutes by taxi; Faliraki is 40 minutes by coach, 25 minutes by taxi; Lindos and Pefkos are two hours, 30 minutes by coach, one hour by taxi.

Accommodation: The choice in the larger resorts ranges from budget self-catering apartments to smart five-star hotels, such as the Rodos Park Suites in Rhodes Town. There is a handful of all-inclusive properties and a few spa hotels, such as the Atrium Palace Thalasso Spa Resort and Villas in Kalathos.



KosAttractions: The island’s greatest claim to fame is that it was the birthplace of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine. As such, it’s home to quite a few historical attractions.

Places of interest include the Sanctuary of Asklepios, which was built on Hippocrates’ teachings, and the Tree of Hippocrates, where he is said to have taught his students.

Also worth a visit are the 14th century Castle of the Knights and the archaeological museum.

The longest stretch of sandy beach is in Kardemena while the beach at Lambi, near Kos Town, makes it a good choice for windsurfing.

Food and drink: While much of the food in the Greek islands is imported, in Kos, one of the greenest, it is locally produced and clients are likely to find fresh melons, figs and olives.

Grilled seafood and lamb sprinkled with herbs are often on the menu together, and another popular dish is saganaki, fried goat’s cheese.

Wines are produced locally and fruit spirits are served as an aperitif or liquor.

Kos Town has a good selection of restaurants but for a traditional meal, seek out one of the tavernas in the less visited villages of the island’s hinterland.

Nightlife: Kardamena is the clubbing capital of Kos, with all-night bars and discos pumping out club anthems till dawn. Kos Town centre is buzzing but much smarter, with plenty of bars to choose from, and its Moorish buildings provide a more romantic backdrop.

If your clients are looking for a good meal in a beautiful setting, steer them towards Kefalos where there are  waterfront bars and tavernas on the long sweep of Kamari Bay.

Sample product:Kosmar has seven nights’ all-inclusive at the four-star Club Kalimera Mare Hotel, on the edge of Kardamena from £379 including flights.

Sell to: Though small, Kos caters to all-comers. Kardamena is ideal for young couples and groups who want to party all night, while, at the other end of the scale, Kefalos and Psalidi cater for those wanting a quiet, relaxing holiday.

Kos Town won’t disappoint classier clientele looking for cafe culture by day and chilled out beach bars and cosmopolitan nightlife. Tingaki offers a good compromise for those who want to relax on a quiet beach but party at night.

Flight time: three hours and 45 minutes to four hours and 10 minutes.

Transfer time: Kardamena is 50 minutes by coach, 20 minutes by taxi; Kos Town and Kefalos are one hour, 20 minutes by coach, 30 to 45 minutes by taxi; Psalidi is two hours by coach, or one hour, 30 minutes by taxi.

Accommodation: Families are well catered for with a good selection of self-catering apartments and two and three-star hotels. For those who want to splash a bit of cash, there is a smattering of more luxurious hotels, such as the Hotel Aegean Village in Kardamena and the Grecotel in Psalidi, both five star.

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