The spring in Dodecanese & especially on Kos Island, is an early summer! The weather conditions are ideal & the nature landscapes are full of beautiful colors. During this period, at the salt lakes Alikes (a protected wetland), make their passage, special birds species, such as the Greater Flamingo. The landscape & the scenery is unique & breathtaking!
The capital of Kos is almost an archeological museum! Ancient Greek ruins are everywhere you turn, and an imposing castle, the Neratzia castle is situated at the entrance of Kos harbour, from the 13th century, where the knights of St. John had a stronghold. Houses, temples, baths and mosaics from different eras have been found here as well as the statue of Hippocrates.
Kos is well known, as the Paradise for cyclists! It is a flat island, easy for cycling & the best choice for bike activities. The bicycle path starts from Faros beach and goes up to the end of the beach of Psalidi, a 13km distance.
Has also many small villages worth visiting, and it is a good idea to rent a vehicle and explore them on your own. Palio Pyli, Asfendiou, Zia, Antimachia, Kardamena, Kefalos, are some of the villages, where you can visit many interesting little, old churches & some Ancient/Venetian/Byzantine castles.
Easter, also well known as LAMBRI, is the 2nd largest religious Greek Orthodox celebration. Most of the Greek people leave the big cities to the villages, the islands & the countryside, to celebrate this special day with their families, friends & neighbors every year.
The housewives on Kos, usually have a very busy week, before the Easter day, as they whitewash their houses with lime (especially at the villages) & prepare the local customs, beginning with the dying of eggs on Holy Thursday. They also knead AVGOULES (small breads in the shape of the number eight with red eggs on them), prepare LAMBROPITES, handmade pies filled with cheese, eggs & just a pinch of cinnamon.
On Holy Friday, in the evening, the picturesque streets of Kos are illuminated by the “lampades” – candles & lanterns, held by the people following the processor of Epitaph. After a small walk following the Epitaph, all the churches’ epitaphs in the city of Kos, are gathered at the big Eleftheria square. The scenery is atmospheric, mystical, inspiring, preparing us for the night of the Resurrection.
On the night of Holy Saturday, the main dish for Easter day is properly prepared by the families. The most delicious dish, is baked goat, stuffed with rice & spices, placed in a ceramic big bowl and then straight to a traditional, outdoor, built oven. The dish is taken out of this sealed oven, the next day at noon, when all the family is gathered, the table is ready & the feast can just begin!
Visiting Kos at Easter, gives you the opportunity to watch a unique traditional custom, “the Horse races” at Agios Georgios feast, which takes place at Pyli village, on Monday, the day after the Easter day, following by songs & dancing.
words & photos by Kiki Kapasakalidou