A week in September in Kos at the Pantheon was a great choice offered by 'On The Beach' who tied us up with RyanAir and an efficient transfer to make this a relaxing holiday destination.
On arrival at 10pm we were given a big welcome by Janet who been there 20 years, and a beer and a toastie by her Greek husband Pappis.
Our room was in Block 2, a smart looking 3 story balconied building on the top of the hill, with views both sides to the coast - good for taking the breeze (Meltemi, I think for our first three days) - and over the pool, and breakfast terrace down to the bay. It's an absolutely fantastic view, spoilt only by Club Med's defunct beach-side resort below. It's a prime site and there are no tavernas on the beach there the best sand in the bay, too.
The room was typically Greek standard, with a proper WC (paper in bin, please!) with shower and basin. However we never really enjoyed one hot shower as the solar powered hot water was always exhausted, and then when it did come on it was too hot and the base got blocked up and over-flowing before we could get it right! Janet had it 'fixed' on 2nd attempt, but we never had it how we'd liked.
We should also mention, too that when the wind died, the room was invaded by mosquitoes and it was hell in there. We wrapped in our individual sheets (twin beds), but it was too hot to stay like that with the balcony door closed so we had to suffer. The answer is to have gauze panels fitted to the windows, and maybe an offer of a mosquito net (a hook was there on the wrong side of the room, oddly?).
But apart from all that, The Pantheon offered its guests Half-Board (we chose just B&B) which was quite popular with those without their own transport to reach the beach bars and restaurants down below (a slog back uphill on busy main road). A knackered (hardly MOT standard) bus was used by pappis to take us down and back at 10am, 1.30 pm and 6pm, which was convenient, but there was no evening service now they have their own dinner service!
Don't worry though, it is cheap and easy to hire a scooter or quad bike, or car to travel all over the island at the pace you like.
We took the bus to Kos at the other end of the island, and travel to almost every quarter on its winding journey in an hour to explore the main town, its fortress castle, the harbour and some ancient ruins before taking lunch in a pretty side street away from the meltemi's blast, and we found all the restaurants offering a super choice of seafood and traditional meals which were very reasonably priced and delicious.
Another day was spent on a boat trip over to Nissyros, and island on the horizon visible from the pantheon, and there we were ferried up the mountainside into the volcano within! What a memorable place, Not only was it so strange walking over the crusty ground with steam belching out in a moon like crater, but it was amazing to try and understand how they built the mountain side's terraces, layers of stone boulders reaching for ever upwards. Who worked them, and how did they get their produce back to civilisation? No guides were available to answer these questions, so we remain intrigued!
Hire a car and you can explore the other coastal resorts, and the magical mountain top interior at Zia where they attract coach loads to watch the sun go down over the island from fabulously perched restaurants scattered around the maze of alleyways.
Returning each evening to the Pantheon we were given a cheerful welcome by Janet and her family and staff, and it was the best place to be for an evening drink watching the boats, wind-surfers, and planes zoom about their business!
If only Janet had wifi, free like the rest of Kefalos. She had an Internet Corner, charged at €5/90 mins, but it was inconvenient, and not practical. She's losing out on guests telling their friends how good it is there, and we just missed out on news of our kids back home (good or bad?).
Some of the countryside is mucky with refuse chucked over the side, and there's unfinished building work all over the place, so we urge the Greeks to work hard, and get things sorted out soon. So much of the land could be used for useful farm produce, but it's just wasteland, rugged and cracked wher perhaps earthquakes have heaved the land up and down?
So, if you are looking for a place that is a bit away from the hoards, and want a super view, this is it!
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- Also Known As:
- Pantheon Apartments Hotel Kefalos
- Pantheon Apartments Kefalos, Kos