Horseback riding in Greece

Photo by Valentyn Leshchymenko
Photo by Valentyn Leshchymenko

Horseback riding in Greece

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

Crystal clear, sparkling blue water, the warm sunshine beating down on your back, mountainous islands just barely visible in the distance and nothing but you and a horse, and perhaps a friend or two. Intrigued? You should be. The Greek island of Kos is part of the Dodecanese island chain in the southeastern Aegean Sea and is an amazing location to go horseback riding both on the beach and in the water. Salt Lake Stables, located between the seaside towns of Tigaki and Marmari, is the perfect place for all levels of experience riders to go for an epic adventure along the coast.

If you really want to “live like someone left the gate open,” consider taking one of the various rides offered at the stables. From a one-hour ride on the beach to a three-hour ride that includes swimming with the horses, there are options for everyone. Ride at sunrise, sunset or midday. The opportunities for multi-tasking are truly spectacular midday, as you can not only ride a horse, but also get a killer tan! Pro- tip, do not skip putting on sunscreen or you risk leaving looking like Sebastian the crab.

I opted for a private swimming trip with the horses and was pleasantly surprised that for three hours, the cost was only 55 euros per person with a 10 euros pick up/drop off cost. It was just myself, my husband and the tour guide who made our way from the stables to the ocean, where we were free to frolic with the horses for an entire hour. What an interesting sensation! The weather in October could not have been more perfect, as the water was warm and ideal for swimming. The horses provided were definitely suited for our levels of experience and they could not have been more well behaved as we braved the waves and headed out into the water. We were also able to gallop along the beach with one of the most spectacular backgrounds I’ve ever experienced.

As both an animal lover and travel enthusiast, this experience could not have been better. Gina, one of the stable managers, was so down to earth and easy to work with to schedule our trip. She is originally from Canada and speaks perfect English. Yannis, the other manager, was an amazing tour guide and full of information about their sheep heard and horse breeding program. It was immediately clear that both Gina and Yannis have a true passion for horses, Greece and creating the perfect holiday for their visitors. Their laid-back attitude will immediately put you at ease and remind you that you are on holiday, in Greece of all places! Relax and have some fun.

After you’ve gone for one of the most memorable rides of your life, head into Tigaki for some outstanding food. Start at O MONAXAΣ on Epar. Od.Tigakiou Road, the main road that leads to the beach. Here you’ll find authentic, homemade gyros that are out of this world. It’s like no one really knew how to make tzatziki sauce until you’ve tried it here. The pita is wonderfully soft and the meat is flavored to perfection. The best part is the French fries that they put on the gyro to take it to the next level.

Once you’ve had your fill of gyros, take two steps next door to Palapanis for some serious sweets. Though not technically Greek, you don’t want to miss out on their waffle with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. Simple as this dish is, the fantastic blend of various sweets come together for melt in your mouth goodness. For the sweet fanatics, try the frappe with ice cream. You won’t be disappointed. For those who don’t have a sweet tooth, there are plenty of other options, like savory crepes and beer.  

 

If Greece has been on your travel bucket list for a while and you love riding horses, don’t give a second thought to traveling to Kos. This laid-back island is full of food, fun and fantastic resorts. The real question is: How many hours do you want to spend riding around a gorgeous island on the back of one of the world’s most magnificent creatures?

Tips:

You can fly directly into the Kos Island International Airport from Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Nuremberg and Stuttgart. Heads up: though the airport is small, you may still have to wait in an incredibly long line to get through security when you depart. This airport is not particularly well kept.

Euros are the accepted currency and as with many European countries, expect to pay for most things with cash

The best way to get around the island is by renting a car, taking a taxi or taking the bus. If you take a taxi, establish the price before you get in.

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