2023 08 11 Telendos trip report

When we booked a couple of August weeks in Telendos we expected a warm holiday. A few weeks before we were due to fly, warm had turned into “too darn hot” and was accompanied by forest fires in quite a few places in Greece. Fortunately, it has now cooled too normal. Skillinge weather has been wet, windy and cold so even “too darn hot” would have been acceptable.

Thursday 10th: In the late morning we took the bus and train to Kastrup airport and checked into the Comfort hotel. We dumped our bags and hopped on the metro to Christianshamn. We wandered among houseboats, stylish apartments and the Opera house. Then it was a bus to the central station and dinner at Bollywood, an Indian restaurant in the meat market. Back at the hotel we took a nightcap in the Sky bar and watched the planes. A SAS plane landed and two fire engines met it to give it a water cascade tribute from both sides of the taxiway. Two cars with flashing red lights guided it to the gate. It was apparently a tribute to the last flight of a retiring pilot.

Friday 11th: We were up at 04:45 and over the road to the terminal. An OK flight landed us on Kos from which bus, boat, bus and boat got us to our hotel on Telendos. Some confusion from the owner as to our room and the key was quickly sorted. We decided the room was OK and the view exceptional. There are about 6 restaurants on the little island. We have tried 2 so far. We will rank them and choose a favourite. The ranking method is their performance with the classic Greek meze, small dishes. After a beer and Taramasalata we found a naturist beach and took our first dip. We are both tired so it will be an early night.

Saturday 12th: The sun has just risen over Kalymnos the other side of the water and has begun to warm me as I sit on the balcony writing this. After a simple breakfast in our room, we walked to the naturist beach. We were first to arrive at the small cove which has place for perhaps thirty sunbathers. The water was crystal clear and very inviting. Over the next three hours, we bathed often. Lunch was in the nearest restaurant to our hotel. Apparently, next Tuesday there is a national holiday and a party with music. We booked a table for Monday. The party begins at 21:00 and ends when it ends sometime the next day. It should be interesting.

In the late afternoon, we took the ferry over to Myrties on Kalymnos. It was hot in the evening sun and busy with traffic. We abandoned our plan to shop and have dinner. We scuttled back to a cool and car-free Telendos. Rita’s restaurant provided an excellent aubergine salad and spinach pie.

Sunday 13th: Sitting on the balcony before breakfast was cool until the sun rose over Kalymnos. We walked 13 minutes over rocky terrain to the nudist beach. It is the sort of path that you cannot walk and observe the scenery at the same time. The risks of stumbling are too great. In the early afternoon, we returned and found a restaurant for lunch. Taramasalata and spinach pie that was made as small pirogues. Before dinner, we wandered in the village which is not extensive.

Dinner was in Rita’s again. A beef stew with cheese and spicy sausage were the two dishes we chose. In an adjacent bar, an informal group of musicians played folk music.

Monday 14th: Dawn has brought with it some clouds over the Kalymnos mountains. We arrived at the beach a little later than normal. There were around 10 of us enjoying the sun and crystal-clear water. We stayed until 15:00 and then walked to restaurant Plaka for grilled fish.

At 21:00 we arrived at On the Rocks for the party. We had seen a lot of people in Sunday’s best finery gathered at the church. We heard the singing and chanting. Only when church was finished could the party begin. The restaurant must have held 150. The seating of booked diners, order taking and delivery of food was accomplished by 5 waiters. It did not all go well but with hand gestures and humour, nobody cared. At 23:00 the dancing began. All ages seemed to know the appropriate steps. A grandmother started the proceedings with her little grandson. Soon the dance floor was packed.

A short stocky man picked up a table with his teeth much to our amazement and the crowd’s enjoyment. Sometime after midnight, we wandered home in the balmy Telendos air.

Tuesday 15th: The sun has risen over Kalymnos but it will be a later start to today’s activities. We were first on Paradise Beach despite our late arrival. The day was made interesting by the fine view, passing boats and arriving sun worshippers. After the 15-minute walk along the cliffs, they were all hot and eager to glide into the cooling water. First, they set up their parasol, laid out a towel on the sunbed, placed their belongings in the shade and stripped off all their clothes. Only then could they glide into the sea. Just before we left the beach a group of four middle-aged ladies achieved all the above in double quick time with verbal encouragement from the first one in the sea to the others in the group.

Dinner was at Rita’s. We ate Soutzoukakia, meatballs in tomato sauce with cumin and cinnamon.

Wednesday 16th: It was another whole day on Paradise beach. Lunch was fruit and dinner we took later at On the Rocks. We ate an excellent tzatziki, dolmades and Lamb. The bar owner is Australian and has been on Telendos for 31 years. We asked about the party on Monday night. They had a hundred bookings but the final total was probably 150. In the kitchen his Greek wife, her mother and one other produced all the food. It finished at around 06:00 and it took to 08:30 to clear up. They opened again at 12:00 as it was a Greek holiday. “It was hell “, he said, “We had nothing left to serve. They ate everything the night before.”

Thursday 17th: Breakfast in the hotel. I chose a Greek variant of an English which will not be repeated. All day in Paradise and then dinner at Baba Stathis. It is a one-woman restaurant that serves OK food but with slow and chaotic service. The grilled whole fish was expensive but quite good. This will also not be repeated.

Friday 18th: After breakfast, we took the boat to Kalymnos and window-shopped when they opened. Not much was purchased other than breakfast supplies or balcony drinks. We did find two large slices of spinach pie which we consumed back on our balcony with an Alpha beer. In the afternoon we lazed and read in our room or around the pool.

Dinner was in Rita’s where we ate Chicken Tigania and Briam.

Saturday 19th: A whole day on Paradise. The lady who manages the beach is a mature Swedish lady who has been to Telendos 6 times and is a high-ranking police officer from northern Sweden. She says she is thinking about early retirement and is taking a long holiday to make her mind up. She manages the beach with calm authority. She is obviously a regular naturist sunbather.

Sunday 20th: The nice thing about Telendos is that you are not tempted to take long sweaty sightseeing walks. There is nothing to see and the paths are few. If you are a climber however then it is paradise. We often see young fit climbers carrying ropes and helmets.

Nude beaches have understandable rules. Clothed bathers are not welcome. The principle of, “I will show you mine if you show me yours,” rules.   Staring is not polite despite the variety of body shapes on display.

Lunch was on the rocks. Alpha is becoming my favourite beer. Dinner again at Rita’s which is also becoming our favourite. We ate fried courgette, aubergine cooked in the oven with tomatoes and cheese and Chicken Tigania. I asked for the ingredients of the chicken dish but the waiter said it was his mother who did the cooking he had no idea.

Monday 21st: It is hotter today and we decided to avoid the beach. We wandered instead to the backside of the harbour. Scrap and sunken boats, it was quite a different scene. Above it stunted pines and low-growing shrubs that were tinder dry. It is not hard to understand how quickly fires can spread, like on Tenerife right now.

We sat and watched activity in the nice part of the harbour for a while. A steady stream of travellers fed the ferry boats which did their half-hourly dance and left for the five-minute journey to Kalymnos. A small fishing boat delivered bottled water to the local mini market. From the quay to the store was by wheelbarrow. Then it was Plaka for lunch. An enormous, tasty hamburger broke with the Greek theme.

At 19:15 we boarded a boat for a sunset tour around the island. The sunset was dramatic and the views of the mountainous island from the sea amply explained why only a very tiny area of it is inhabited. After we ate Cardamon leaves, Soutzoukakia and Feta Saganaki at On The Rocks.

Tuesday 22nd: Time is running out for us on Telendos. The next few days will be focussed on Paradise and food. A ta. talkative English lady came and went from Paradise and was not missed. Salty cheese, Taramasalata and a rather runny Briam was our choice for dinner.

Wednesday 23rd: Same procedure as yesterday. We ate a superb lamb on the bone, aubergine salad and green beans at Rita’s.

Thursday 24th: We walked down to the harbour and ate breakfast at Rita’s. We watched the early morning travellers and a fisherman with a novel technique. He laid out his net in a ring near the shore and then hopped in with a snorkel and did his best to scare any fish in the area in to his net. He caught fish and some of them were a decent size.

Telendos is a quiet and relaxed place. There are lots of children of all ages that play unhindered in the harbour area. They do not have mobile phones they just have riotous fun. It was wonderful to see them enjoying their childhood, as I did, without their mother or father looking over their shoulders. A young son of one of the ferry captains followed him to work. He helped with ropes and sometimes drove the boat. After his shift, they walked down the quayside with his small hand holding his father’s. It was charming to see. The Paradise beach has been wonderful. Our hotel, Porto Potha was OK but no more than that. It is tired and worn but clean and sits on the hillside between the harbour and the beach with wonderful views. If expectations are realistic, it is acceptable.

Friday 25th: The hotel tuk-tuk took the bags down to the harbour and a boat appeared as promised at 07:30. The bus that picked us up from Mirthe was terrible, not much room between the seats and some of them were not adjustable out of recline position. The boat from Kalymnos to Kos was okay and Anna managed a few moments of shut eye. We ate breakfast whilst we waited for a bus to the airport. The airport is too small for the traffic with too few places to sit and very busy food services.

The flight went well and the inflight food was quite OK. We took the train to Hyllie and then to Ystad. A few minutes delay meant we just missed our bus and arrived in Skillinge an hour later than intended.