Kos is worth it; a dream trip to the idyllic isle

EuropeBy Jenny Finlay
Kos is all about indulgence at a great price
Kos is all about indulgence at a great price

Holidays can be an expensive luxury. Snacks, lunches and dinners, a few wines, a few beers, a few cocktails... It doesn’t take long to deplete the holiday fund.

But last month I discovered a sun-drenched island of paradise a few short hours from Dublin where you can wine and dine like a king without it costing a fortune.

Measuring just 40x8 kilometres, the Greek island of Kos, situated in the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea, is a truly little piece of heaven on earth. This island left me breathless, with its raw natural appeal, beautiful seaside and classic Greek charm.

After a miserable washout week in Spain with torrential downpours, last May, I needed to find a place where I was guaranteed clear-blue skies and perfectly-warm waters - so I jetted off to the little idyllic Greek island.

Travelling with Falcon holidays, my best pal Julie and I jetted off to the luxurious Sensimar Oceanis Beach and Spa resort in Psalidi for a week of total rest and relaxation.

Travel brochures can sometimes be misleading, but every corner of this hotel is exactly as it looks on the glossy pages.

The luxurious Sensimar Oceanis Beach and Spa resort

This exotic beach-front hotel has a secluded feel, thanks to the 60 acres of gardens that wrap around it. It’s not cut off from civilisation, though – the main town of Kos is just a over a five-minute drive away.

Situated in the tiny village of Psalidi, this modern resort on the east coast of the island has it all. It’s so close to the actual old town of Kos, that it could almost be classed as a suburb.

And, with some of the island’s most-exclusive hotels lined up along Kos’ unspoilt seafront, this island is the ideal spot to recharge your batteries.

With the Turkish mainland in the distance, it’s really picturesque. And just a 20-minute walk away is Therma Beach, where you can simmer in the hot springs that bubble up from the earth.

The hotel is an adult-only destination and, from the moment we arrived, we were made to feel so welcome by some of the friendliest staff you will ever come across. The rooms are spacious and airy and either have a garden view with balcony, or sea views with balcony or terrace. All have efficient air conditioning, which was well appreciated as the mercury rose to 38°C during my week.

Our sea-view double room had tea/coffee making facilities, bathrobes, slippers and a mini bar that was, thankfully for us, re-stocked three times a week.

Grab your beach towel (or they’re supplied at the beach), walk out the rear of the hotel and you’ll be in a little piece of paradise. From the fantastic flora, to the golden sandy beaches, you will feel like a total castaway on a lonely, idyllic island.

You can spend your days lounging around one of the hotel’s two pools or, like us, chill out on one of the king-size lounge beds on the private sandy beach.

Being an all-inclusive hotel, you can treat yourself to some tasty local beers and spirits at the beach bar or, push the boat out like we did (regularly) by sipping the finest cocktails on the island.

If sport is more your thing, the hotel beach has an abundance of activities for fitness freaks; beach volleyball, tennis courts, mini golf, a water sports centre or, for the more adventurous types, you can even rent a bike to explore the hotel’s gardens or Kos’s golden coastline.

However, if like me, food is more your thing, you’ll be in culinary heaven. The Sensimar Oceanis Beach and Spa resort features all-you-can-eat buffet breakfasts, lunch, snacks and evening meals.

Being a coeliac, I am cautiuous with my diet - but the grand display of food served on the buffet every day ticked all the boxes for me. The dishes were all clearly labelled to be gluten-free or not.

All meals include a massive selection of locally-sourced fish, vegetables, cheeses and salads; something to suit everyone’s taste. Also included in your stay is an evening meal in the exquisite a-la-carte restaurant, which overlooks the beach and main-pool area.

Every day there is something new on the menu, and you can while away the hours listening to live music while you have freshly-prepared food cooked right in from of you by one of the hotel’s chefs.

But there is a lot more to Kos than just the Sensimar Oceanis Beach and Spa. Just a short taxi ride away (approx. €10) is the stunning old town of Kos.

The town has a bustling hub of shops, bars and restaurant and old-style Greek white-washed walls. It overlooks a stunning marina where magnificant yachts and charter boats dock. It was there that we soaked up the atmosphere during Ireland’s incredible Euro 2016 journey alongside fans from nearly every other competing nation.

As well as being a beautiful spot to spend an evening, the town is also great value - a three-course meal for two, including wine, will cost you between €40 and €50, while local drinks/beers will set you back just two or three euro.

We counted ourselves extremely lucky to have found the only Irish bar on the island, called Shennanigans, which is just a stone’s throw off the main strip.

This was the place to be to cheer on the boys in green. Run by one of the friendliest managers, the lovely Veronica from Co. Leitrim, we couldn’t have been made feel more welcome. She introduced us to the owner, Michael, who joined us for the tastiest freshly-made mojitos I’ve ever tasted - and a bargain at €5 each.

Michael also very kindly invited us to take a trip on board his speed boat for a tour around some of the Greek islands. This was too good an offer to refuse, so we accepted and set sail next day. We anchored beside a remote island in crystal-clear waters and jumped in for a dip to cool off. The water was so clear you could almost see the bottom. We then moved on to what has to be the most precious hidden gem of an island called Pserimos, where we ate lunch in one of the three seafood restaurants on the 

Julie, Jenny and Veronica

I wasn’t really a seafood fan before, but I brought out my adventurous side to sample incredible octopus, among other things. This boat trip was one of the highlights of the week for both Julie and me.

If you are not as fortunate as we were to be offered a private cruise from a warm and welcoming local, you can bag a wonderful experience on one of the charter boats docked in the marina for about €25. These trips visit three of the picturesque islands surrounding Kos. You can also take daily boat trips to Turkey for markets and shopping bargains for a small fare of €20 return.

The island and its people are magical, and will hold a special place in my heart. If the Irish summer is getting you down, treat yourself to a Greek geataway to Kos you know you are worth it. 

Jenny travelled with Falcon Holidays to the Sensimar Oceanis Beach and Spa resort. Prices start from E859pps. Package includes return flights, baggage (15kg), accommodation, all meals, snacks and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). It is an adult-only beach resort, perfect for weddings or honeymoons. It features free WiFi zones and one  complimentary spa treatment for two.

Book now for Sept 17, 2016 for seven nights’ all-Inclusive accommodation from just E859pps. Or book now for May 2017, and pay E100pp deposit for seven nights’ all-Inclusive accommodation from just E859pps.