Via Kos

Archived posts about getting to and from Symi

Via Kos

Postby mr wotsin » 22 Mar 2010, 21:40

Have any of you travelled through Kos to get to Symi, as an alternative to flying to Rhodes? If so what is the time scale like?
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Via Kos

Postby Andy W » 23 Mar 2010, 10:49

Fly to Kos if you want to include Kos as a part of your holiday. There's quite a lot to see, and it is also a good starting point for visits to other islands such as Kalymnos, Nissyros or even Astypalea.
However I wouldn't recommend it if all you want to do is go to the port and catch a boat to Symi.
Firstly there are many fewer flights to Kos than Rhodes and they are usually more expensive. They are also mostly charters with the increased risk of flight time changes and flight delays.
Secondly Kos Airport is much smaller than Rhodes and if you think Rhodes gets overcrowded, you've never seen Kos. To get to Kos town you have to use a taxi, unlike Rhodes which also has a frequent public bus. Last year the taxi fare from Kos Airport to Kos town was EUR25 when the equivalent fare on Rhodes was EUR18. Maybe the competition has something to do with this?
Finally, from Easter onwards to the end of October there are always at least 2 ferries a day each way between Symi and Rhodes.
On Wednesdays in April and early May there are actually six! There are only six a week in the same period between Kos and Symi, two of which are the Proteus stopping off at Nissyros and Tilos on the way, and two the Ierapetra to and from Piraeus, which is often late. The fare is also higher, because the distance is greater. (EUR25 as against EUR15 on the Dodecanese Pride, for example).
The actual service as published so far is: Tuesday afternoons, Wednesday midday, Thursday very early morning, Thursday afternoons, Saturday very early morning (2 sailings).
So, by all means spend a few days on Kos and then move on to Symi, but it really doesn't work well as a straightforward transfer point from plane to ferry.
In terms of timescale, you probably need a minimum 3 hours between scheduled plane arrival and scheduled ferry departure, allowing for more delay margin than you would in Rhodes, because if you miss the ferry you're guaranteed to need an overnight stay, maybe two. The actual ferry sailing time is about 1hr 25 min on the Dodecanese Pride (as against 50 min) 2hrs 30 min on the Ierapetra (as against 1hr 25 min)and 5hr 30 min on the Proteus because it stops twice en route.
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