THINGS TO SEE AND DO
The main thing to do in Mastihari is, of course, relax. However there are things that are worth leaving the beach for (apart from another bottle of wine or cocktail).
One thing that I would recommend that you may do is to pop into the church at some time. Greek Orthodox church services are different to most other Christian church services in as much as it is acceptable to pop in for as long or as short a time as you like! The bigger churches are all highly and very beautifully decorated with icons, gold candelabras and intricately carved wood, whilst the small ones are plain, immaculately kept and decorated with icons of their patron saint.
You will always be welcome in a Greek church whether to take part in a service or just for a look. The only criteria is to be correctly dressed i.e. shoulders covered and no mini shorts.
If you should happen to come in the early part of the year then it is worth getting out into the surrounding country side with your camera because the range and variety of wild flowers and plants here is amazing. Wild iris, monkshood, orchids, saxifrage, euphorbia, anemones,chrysanthemums and orleanders are just a few examples. Also, watch out for the local wildlife!!
A large variety of herbs grow wild. I pick wild thyme and sage from my garden whenever I need them. Later in the summer you can pick wild figs off the trees just outside the village. In other parts of the island you can pick almonds, walnuts,quinces and prickly pears. Towards the end of the season you can see the olives weighing down the branches of the trees and start to see the two olive presses on the island become active as they get ready for the business of producing olive oil.
Also as you are poddling around, look out for beehives as a lot of honey is produced on the island.
Every year in August, there are two local festivals which you should not miss if you happen to be here. One is the Wine Festival in Mastihari, where you can eat, drink and be merry whilst watching traditional Greek dancing. All this at the invitation of the local council.
The other, in Antimaxia, is the Honey Festival. You can taste honey jelly; pancakes with honey; honey and walnuts and honey with loukoumades (which are small doughnuts soaked in honey syrup). Again, all is complimentary and you will have another opportunity to watch traditional Greek dancing.
For those of you with families,in 2006 a Waterpark opened about 3 kilometres outside of the village with a great array of waterslides and a small animal zoo.
Since Kalymnos is now so much more accessible I would recommend a visit as it is totally different to Kos. Kalymnos didn't suffer the same devastation as did Kos from earthquakes and it has retained its totally Greek character. As you arrive in the port the brightly painted houses seem to grow out of the rocks which form the sides of this natural harbour. Have your cameras ready!
Also, don't forget that Kalymnos is the sponge divers island and a visit to one of the sponge factories is very interesting. They still trim sponges with sheep shears made in Sheffield!!
If you are into rock climbing, Kalymnos is rapidly getting a world-wide reputation for it.
The island of Nissyros is also just a short hop away and there are not too many places where you can walk into the crater of a live volcano!
The opposite coast line with its white houses is Turkey. Trips are offered from the local offices.
As far as the rest of the island goes there is a whole host of things to see and do. Fantastic ancient sites including the Asklepion which was an ancient temple which became a centre of medicine. It used many of the theories and methods of Hippocrates.
Palio Pyli is a fascinating Byzantine village perched on a steep hillside with the new village nestled underneath .
The villages in the mountains, around Zia, are beautiful with many traditional houses. Heading to the top end of the island will get you to Kefalos through the PLaka; to Limnionas and Agios Theologos.
The city of Kos is a very cosmopolitan, and a lovely way to spend an evening is to visit the old town with its wide variety of shops and cafes in narrow streets, overhung with bougainvillea. The harbour and castle are very picturesque and there are ancient sites all over the place.
There are many beaches all over the island which are worth visiting and many offer a wide variety of the noisier water sports. There is, literally, something for everyone.
For more information about what to see and where to go pop along to 'Local Interest' for a veritable mine of useful facts with photos from one end of the island to the other!
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