I am going on the RS Village Turkey trip in May 2012 and am considering going to Kos and maybe Rhodes at the end of the trip. I have searched through the Helpline about these islands but I still had a a practicality question. It appears to me that to go to both islands, I will first take a ferry from Bodrum to Kos. I then can take another ferry to Rhodes. I would then need to reverse the trip back to Bodrum where I plan to catch a flight to Istanbul. This seems doable but it appears it will take a lot of planning with ferry schedules. Is this a practical plan and is it worth the effort to see both islands? They each seem to be unique. Thanks!
There are daily ferries to and from Rhodes and Marmaris, Turkey; if you can catch a flight from Marmaris to Istanbul, it would eliminate some backtracking. We were in Rhodes in September and enjoyed it, although I tend to like smaller islands better. Personal preference. I've not been to Kos. From Kos, however, there are daily excursions to the tiny volcanic island of Nisyros, which we visited last summer and can highly recommend.
Another option, if you're not dead set on Kos (which I've heard varied opinions about): you could travel down to the Turkish town of Kas, and take a short ferry (daily) to Kastellorizo. This tiny Greek island is one of the prettiest places we've ever seen. From there, you could ferry to Rhodes, and then ferry (daily) to Marmaris and fly to Istanbul. Kastellorizo is tiny and gorgeous. Not a lot to do, but you'll just sit there with your camera unable to stop taking pictures! Lots of great restaurants, and a "blue cave" that is worth seeing. So if you're looking for a little R&R, this is a perfect place. There are not daily ferries from Kastellorizo to Rhodes. To be on the safe side, I'd time my trip to coincide with the Blue Star ferry schedules. Twice a week, a big Blue Star makes the run from Pireaus to Kalymnos, Nisyros, Tilos, Rhodes and Kastellorizo .... and then it turns around and repeats the trip in reverse. This schedule is set about 6 months in advance. So you'd have to find out which days of the week the ferry leaves Kastellorizo for Rhodes, and decide how many days to spend on Kastellorizo, and work backward from there to the end of your tour, to see if this would work. PM me if you have questions and would like to see pix of Kastellorizo. We spent two weeks in the southern Dodecanese in September, and I spent many weeks last winter trying to figure out how to do it!