About Me, My Vision and What 1s Important to Me.

About Me I am Felicity Carver, owner of The Tower House in Kos
I’m Felicity and I look forward to welcoming you!

If you are going to trust your holiday to me, you may like to know a little about me.

My name is Felicity, I am the owner of The Tower House, a beautiful villa in Kos.

I studied Travel and Tourism at Durham and have spent 30 years in various aspects of the travel industry.

I’d like to share a little about me, my vision and what is important to me.

My love affair with Kos started when I was appointed Resort Manager at a hotel in Kos for a UK Tour Operator.  For three consecutive summer seasons, I managed a hotel in Kefalos on the south west coast of the island.  Being an all-inclusive resort with sailing, windsurfing, kids clubs, restaurant and bar, it was a busy time.  Guests returned regularly and I had great teams of staff to work with.  As Manager, I got to know the local suppliers and began to understand and love the Greek language and culture.

My husband, Roger, and I found our own piece of paradise just outside Kefalos – 3.5 acres of land, with fabulous panoramic views over Kamari Bay.  We had a vision to provide a place of peace and rest for busy people and from that, The Tower House was designed and became a reality.  We spent about 20 months building the property – which is an epic saga in itself! – and after a lot of literal blood, sweat and tears, we took our first guests.

We now live in Sidmouth in Devon, where I am a churchwarden at All Saints Church.  I enjoy playing the piano and am trying to learn to sew clothes (but spend most of my time unpicking!)  We are blessed to still have a home with a sea view.

Roger and Felicity Carver are owners of The Tower House in Kos
Felicity and Roger Carver, owners of The Tower House in Kos

Here’s how it all started:

I am often asked by our Guests about me, how and why The Tower House came into being.  It is quite an exciting and encouraging story, so we tell it here.  We hope you will be encouraged to know that the Lord had YOU in mind when he asked us to build it!!

Unknown to us, God had The Tower House in mind a long time ago. The Vision for it wasn’t revealed to us until October 1999 when I (Fliss) went with my Church on a Weekend Conference on Spiritual Gifts.  A questionnaire was completed which resulted in us finding out what gifts the Lord had given us. I had Servanthood, Sympathy and Management.  I recognised that I had these gifts and thanked God for blessing me with them, and earnestly prayed that He would show me how he wanted me to use them.

I am not given to having Words of Knowledge or dreams, but the next day the Lord clearly said to me “I want you to build me a Retreat Centre, somewhere where My people can come and be loved, where they will have nothing to worry about or be distracted by and can just “be” with Me.”  The vision was quite clear – how many rooms there were to be, the fact that it was not for children, and that money was not to be a problem; God said that His love transcends the need for money so if people needed a break to be with Him, then there will be a fund to supply that need. 

I felt like Gideon, saying “What?  Me?  You really want ME to do this?  How?  Where will it be?  How will I fund it?”  God just said “Wait”.  I shared with my Pastor’s wife that the Lord had given me a vision, and it was one I knew I had to obey, but I had no idea how it was going to progress from there.

I had managed a Christian Hotel in Kos, Greece for 3 summers.  In my 3rd season I met Roger, who was sent out to be my Assistant Manager. At the end of that season I went back to working full time for another company in the UK and Roger became the Hotel Manager in Kos.  We kept in touch via e-mail, but were not close enough for me to have shared my vision with him. 

However, at the end of October, Roger e-mailed me and said he was feeling led by the Lord to look at buying land in Kefalos.  I asked him what for, and he said “to build a Retreat Centre”.  This immediately rang bells with me, of course, but I didn’t share further about what the Lord had said to me.

When Roger returned to the UK in November, I suggested that we meet up to discuss the visions for a retreat that the Lord had given us individually.  We agreed to write down independently what we believed the Lord had told us, and when we compared what we had written the list was exactly the same – how many rooms, no children, it should be a charity etc.

Roger had also been given a verse from Habakkuk 2, “I will stand in the ramparts of the Tower, and wait for my God, to hear what He has to say to me”.  This said exactly what we felt the Lord was asking us to do – to provide somewhere where people can go specifically to have time alone with the Lord.  I was completely blown away and we agreed that we should ask someone to pray with us about it. 

As Roger and I are from different areas of the UK we didn’t know the same people, so we agreed to take a week to ask the Lord whom he wanted us to ask to pray with us.  We both came up with the same name – Steve, someone we had met in Kos 18 months earlier when he had been worship leader for a week at the Hotel we worked in.  We asked Steve and his wife to meet us as we had something we would like to discuss with them.  A meeting was arranged, and we explained what we believed the Lord had told us. 

Steve said that they had been praying that morning about what we would be saying to them, and that God had already told them about the retreat centre, so nothing we had said was a surprise!  He said that the Lord is saying “just keep pushing the doors”. From then on, the doors weren’t just opening – they were flinging wide open!

The following week, both Roger and I were going out to Kos to attend a friends’ wedding. Roger said he would take me to the land he believed the Lord was showing him and we would pray on it every day.  We did this, and felt such a peace on the land.  At the end of the week, we felt we should progress further by negotiating to buy it.  So Roger went back to Kos a month later to meet with the owner, and a sale was agreed. 

A topologist came to mark out the exact boundary of the land (nothing is straight forward in Greece, nothing is neatly box-shaped!)  He discovered that a central piece of the land, where the House was to be built, didn’t belong to the vendor at all.  There was no point in buying a polo-shaped piece of land if the central hole where the house should be was missing! Roger only had 2 days left in Kos so prayed that the Lord would show him who he needed to contact and that the owner of this other piece of land would be willing to sell. 

Walking along the beach the next day, a stranger approached Roger and asked if he wanted to buy his land – the very land we needed! Within the 2 days both pieces of land were agreed upon.

Roger met up with an architect and together they designed The Tower House.  We felt it important that a Tower was incorporated into the building, to reflect the verse from Habakkuk.   We also wanted the place to look like a cluster of Greek buildings, rather than the customary Greek “Sugar Cube” so a couple of Church roofs (in the lounge and the kitchen) and a Bell Tower were also included.  

Roger spent most of that year in Kos getting ownership of the land and making preparations for the building work to start.  We were tested all along the way, and at several points we seriously wondered if we had misheard God and were doing the wrong thing.  One example…we needed a licence from the Forestry Commission to go ahead with the building (they come and checked that the land doesn’t have any protected vegetation).  Although verbally we had been given the all-clear, building couldn’t start without the paper licence. 

Months went by, waiting for this licence.  Roger began to doubt that we were on the right track, and put a fleece out – today was Sunday, and if the licence didn’t arrive tomorrow then it would be assumed that we had made a mistake and The Tower House wouldn’t happen.  A few hours after Roger had prayed about this, the architect arrived in person at the hotel (extremely unusual for him to come in person, let alone on a Sunday) and said that the paper licence had arrived on Wednesday and he had it in his office!  An answered prayer before it was prayed!     

I spent that year back in the UK, planning and making purchases for the interior.  I shared the vision with two friends, who were more excited about it than I had expected them to be.  When I asked why, they explained that they had been given a prophecy 6 years previously, that they would be involved in a Christian Retreat Centre based abroad, but that they would be running it from the UK.  Just that week Roger and I had been discussing how the Retreat could be administered from the UK if we were both to be in Kos. 

This couple had gifts of administration and counselling among others, they know Kos well as they have holidayed here numerous times, and they know Roger and I well because of their visits.  Who could be better to answer any questions about the island or those involved in it?  I told Roger about our conversation, and we all prayed it over.  It seemed that the Lord was confirming the prophecy.  And guess who was the first person to make a booking to stay at The Tower House?  The guy who had given the prophecy!

The build took just over 18 months.  It was extremely hard work, not just physically but in project managing.  The Greeks have their way of building, which is not to the standard we are used to.  Convincing the builders that putting in damp courses and the plumber that large sewer pipes for flushable loos were sensible things to do, was quite a challenge!

We learned skills like tiling, roofing, plumbing, glazing, dry stone walling and water management out of the sheer need to do them.   

There have been many trials and tests, and times of wanting to give up and walk away from it all, the stress of it becoming almost unbearable at times.  But the Lord has been faithful, and has given us the energy to do the work necessary and all the glory and credit for this place goes to Him.

On a personal level, God had plans for us too!  The Lord brought Roger and I together firstly by working together at the Hotel and establishing a good working relationship.  Through giving us both the vision for The Tower House this progressed into friendship and best-friendship, and ultimately through to love, and have now been married almost 18 years!

Since 2020, however, for various reasons, The Tower House is run on a self-catering holiday basis for groups of all kinds.  Multi-generational families, church and yoga groups, birthday and anniversary holidays – everyone is welcome.  In 2018 I had a swimming pool installed and landscaped the gardens.  This has added a huge attraction for our guests.  People still comment on the special atmosphere in the House, which we know is that of the Holy Spirit and of the many prayers that have been said here.

We hope you will enjoy your time here and whether you are a person of faith in God or not, we trust that you will be really blessed during your stay.

To start planning your stay, check out our availability here.


Walking in an active Volcano…are you brave en0ugh?

Walking in an active volcano


Walking in an active volcano is not something you usually do on holiday! 

When you look out of any south-facing window at The Tower House, you will see the active volcanic island of Nissyros on the horizon.  It lies south of Kos and north of Tilos and Rhodes.  The island is circular with a huge caldera in the middle – think of a Polo mint and you get the idea!  There is not much tourism here, so it is very unspoilt.  Daily ferries bring tourists across from Kos and Rhodes to experience the huge volcanic crater in the summer months.

Kastri island and Nissyros

There are not many places in the world where you can actually walk on the floor of a “dozing” volcano.  Nissyros is still active; seismologists live on the island, taking daily readings of its rumblings.  When I first came to Kos 20 years ago, an eruption was being expected “soon” but nothing has happened as yet!  If it does erupt again, there won’t be anything dramatic to see from Kos because the lava will be contained in the huge caldera. 

The Tsunami

The top of Nissyros blown off during a major eruption about 16000 years ago. People say that Kastri Island was that very top and that it landed in the sea by Kefalos.  I don’t know how true that is, but I do know that it caused a tsunami.  If you look around the land at The Tower House, you will see lots of fossils of shells. We found these when we were building the House, and continue to find more.  We think this proves that the waters came up as high as the House.

Kamari Bay, the shoreline below The Tower House, was originally the capital town of Kos island. “Kefalo” means “Head, or chief”, hence the name “Kefalos”.  The tsunami completely submerged the town. If you go snorkelling you can still see outlines of buildings on the seabed.  You can also see ruins of houses along the shoreline in between the tavernas and restaurants.  A particularly good example can be found at the back of Faros Beach, which lies directly beyond Kefalos harbour.

Going into the Volcano

Anyway, back to Nissyros itself.  From Kefalos Harbour, you can take a ferry to the harbour village of Mandraki on the north coast of Nissyros.  This is a beautiful place to explore and is mainly level.  From the harbour you can hire cars or take one of the coaches up to the volcano.  The ride is spectacular, climbing higher and higher until you eventually enter the top of the caldera.  As you come around the last corner, the land falls steeply away.  The vista opens up and reveals a huge expanse about 2km in diameter. 

The first time I visited Nissyros, I didn’t appreciate the magnitude of the size of the whole caldera. It really is enormous.  The road winds gently down to its floor.  From here you can go down (by foot) into the very epicentre of the Stefanos crater.  This is the largest of 10 craters on the floor of the caldera.  You will be immediately struck by the smell of sulphur and the heat. 

I recommend sturdy shoes or trainers for getting down into the crater. The floor is still very warm and geothermal geysers are still bubbling, so don’t get too close!  You can crack an egg on the floor and it will cook in seconds, so be careful!  Greece is not known for its health and safety measures but they have now put some warning tape around the most active geysers.  An hour or so will probably be enough in the crater as it is very hot and smelly.

The crater floor is very hot. Look out for the steam holes.

The crater floor is very hot. Look out for the steam holes.

Where to Eat

Coaches will return you back to Mandraki village, where you can have lunch at any of a number of  tavernas.  Alternatively, take one of the little side streets inland.  You will come across a beautiful square, enjoying shade from ancient trees.  There are traditional restaurants here (which are also cheaper). 

If you’re in a car, it is worth driving a little way along the coast to the harbour village of Pali.  This is much quieter than Mandraki, and private yachts moor here.  I can recommend Taverna Salonikios where everything is made fresh to order and is authentically Greek – and delicious!

One of the harbour villages on Nissyros
One of the harbour villages on Nissyros

Back in Mandraki, if you are feeling energetic, follow the signs to Ag. Panayia Monastery.  This does involve climbing up quite a number of steps, but it is worth it.  The sea views across to Kos are fantastic, and the monastery itself is really interesting.  It is cut into the rock.

As you go in you will see hooks with what look like capes hanging up.  It is polite and customary to have your shoulders and knees covered when entering a place of worship.  If you are wearing shorts or sleeveless tops, please use them.  Inside the monastery, you will find an icon of St Mary holding her palms up and forward.  It is said that her hands are permanently warm, and have healing properties.

The Annual Festival

The festival of Ag Panayia (The Assumption of St Mary) is celebrated on August 15th each year.  The whole island population goes up to the Monastery.  Thousands of people from Kos, Tilos and Rhodes also arrive for the huge event.  There is plenty of food, wine, singing, dancing and fireworks.  If you are staying on Kos in August, it is well worth going.

The rest of the Island

Car hire is reasonable, but limited, so it is best to book in advance. Hiring a car gives you more flexibility and opportunity to explore the rest of the island.  There are several mountain villages worth seeing, like Emporio, which was abandoned after the earthquake of 1933.  Properties are now being renovated so it is slowly coming back to life.   Nikia sits high above the Caldera and has amazing views into the craters.  The narrow, cobbled streets and white-washed town houses are impressive. I like the colourful central square with a patterned cobbled floor – it is a good place to rest.

 You’ll just have time to have a freshly-squeezed orange or lemon juice before needing to get back for the ferry.  And you never know, you may be accompanied back to Kos by some dolphins! And when hyou get home, you can impress your friends by telling them that you were walking in an active volcano!

A visit to Nissyros should certainly be put on your holiday list. 

Book Now!

Nikita church on the horizon as seen from the crater floor
Nikita church on the horizon
Nikita church bell tower
Nikita church bell tower
A walker meets a new friend in this local cat
A walker meets a new friend
An attractive island house with overhanging balcony and painted shutters
An attractive island house
aerial view of the biggest volcanic crater on Nissyros
View of the largest crater in the caldera
Walking in an active volcano
Investigating steam holes on the crater floor
A mud geyser in the volcano crater on Nissyros
A mud geyser in the volcano crater on Nissyros

Greek Language Lesson 1: you can impress and achieve

Greek Language

The Greek Language is not easy to learn, but it’s well worth getting the basics.

When in Greece, it is fun to try to learn and speak some of the Greek language. The Greek language is not particularly to learn, especially because of its non-roman alphabet, multi-syllabic words and grammatical rules. But don’t let that put you off. Have a go – the Greek people love it when tourists make an effort; they appreciate how difficult it is for us!

Here are a few common phrases that you could try on your first visit to Greece. I have written the word phonetically, as you would say it, and have underlined the syllable that you should stress.

Greek Lesson 1

Hello/Goodbye (to someone you don’t know, or to a group of people) Yassas
Hello/Goodbye (to someone you are familiar with) Yassoo
Good evening (to someone you don’t know, or to a group of people)Kalispera sas
Good evening (to someone you are familiar with)Kalispera
Good morning (to someone you don’t know, or to a group of people)Kalimera sas
Good morning (to someone you are familiar with)Kalimera
Thank youEfharisto
I would like…Tha ithela …
…a coffee (you will be given a traditional Greek coffe)Enas caffes
…a Nescafe (if you don’t want a Greek coffee)Mia Nescafe
…a beerMia beera
…a small bottle of waterEna mikro boukali nero
…a large bottle of waterEna megalo boukali nero
…the menu, pleaseTo menu, parakalo
…the bill, pleaseTon logariasmo parakalo
Where are the toilets?Poo eene ee tooalettes
Do you speak English please? Milaatay Anglika parakalo

I often give my guests an easy way of remembering some of the words.  For example, saying “a ferret’s toe” quickly, sounds very much like “efharisto” for Thank You.  And “parrots galore” said quickly and without sounding the “s” sounds very much like “parakalo” for Please.

One evening a guest came back to The Tower House, having been determined to practise some Greek that day.  She was quite despondent, saying that no-one understood her when she was trying to say “Thank You”.  I asked her what phrase she had been using.  “A weasel’s tail” she replied.    Hmmmm….. not quite the same as a ferret’s toe, but I can see her line of thinking…!

The BBC offers some Greek tuition for free.


Greek Language Lesson 1: you can impress and achieve - The perfect villa for that celebration, family or group holiday!  Greek Language Lesson 1: you can impress and achieve - The perfect villa for that celebration, family or group holiday!

Wildlife on Kos is an amazing mix that will surpr1se you!

Wildlife on Kos includes donkeys. They are well cared for by their owners and loved by tourists
This old gentleman loves his donkey

Wildlife on Kos is more interesting than the usual lizards and geckos



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The wildlife on Kos really surprised us when we first arrived here.  We weren’t sure what to expect in terms of wildlife on Kos, but we hadn’t expected wild peacocks!  They live in Plaka, which we call “The Hidden Forest” because you can’t see it until you’re in it.  This is a beautiful and tranquil area, not far from the airport.  There must be 50+ peacocks living in the forest.

This year a large number of babies hatched.  They are SO cute! The wildlife on Kos are ared for by The Animal Welfare team from Kos Town came to feed them every day.  The van honks its horn as it comes into the forest and the peacocks all come running to the clearing, their legs going as fast as they can, like Roadrunner from Looney Tunes!  So funny!  There is also a pool of Terrapins and frogs in the forest.  They are hard to spot, but once your eyes get used to what you are looking for, you keep seeing more and more of them.  Plaka is definitely worth a visit.

Wild Tortoises…

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We were also surprised by just how many wild tortoises roam the island.  You can find them everywhere – on the beaches, in the mountains and just crossing the road.  There is one particular area on the mountainside near Pyli where they congregate each May for a certain activity. Let’s just say there’s a lot of clonking going on!

One day we took a group of tourists on a “tortoise hunt” in this area.  We soon lost count of how many tortoises there were.  One of the tourists was a Grecophile, you know the type – knew everything about anything to do with Greece and had to correct everything we said.

When we were recounting our visit to a (gullible!) friend later that day, Roger (who likes to tell tall tales) said that there were so many more tortoises than usual today, and that there was one huge, old tortoise, sitting on a rock, surrounded by all the other tortoises, as though they were having their annual Tortoise Conference.  The Grecophile was eavesdropping on the conversation and blurt out in frustration “Oh blow, I must have missed that!”  We quietly giggled and didn’t put her right!


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The wildlife on Kos of course includes sheep, although not as many as I had expected.  The flocks are well contained, and more often than not are huddled together, having a prayer meeting. They huddle in a circle, heads down under each other’s bellies, to shade their heads from the sun.  This makes me think of them having a holy, woolly, prayer meeting!

Sheeps cheese is often steeped in red wine, creating a lovely rind.  It goes off very quickly though, so has to be eaten very fresh.  It is not often found in the supermarkets but can be bought directly from the shepherds, if you know where they live.


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Grouse are beautiful birds.  They used to wander over the land and around the House, making their cheerful, chirrupy, clucking sounds.  With their black “sunglasses”, striped wings and red beak, they are very distinctive.  Unfortunately, hunting is traditionally a favourite pastime for the Greeks during the winter months and many of the grouse get shot.  It’s not a case of needing them for food anymore, but more a case of having them as trophies, which I find very sad.


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When I first worked in Kos in 1996, there were only about 15 cars in the village of Kefalos.  People still travelled about on donkeys.  Since joining the European Union in 2001, this scenario has reversed.  Donkeys are still around but in fewer numbers.  They are well cared for and owners are usually very happy for them to be photographed.


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Wildlife on Kos includes wildlife around Kos – Octopus swim in the waters around all of the Greek islands.  They are very shy, yet inquisitive creatures.  In shallow waters, they can curl up at rest on the seabed and look like large pebbles – so much so that I actually managed to step on one by mistake.  Its tentacles quickly unfurled and he swam off, rising to the surface to have a look around and see who had trodden on him.  They like to cling on to rocks and walls too.

We once watched a young man walking along Limionas Harbour.  He suddenly quickened his pace, went to the edge of the harbour wall, knelt down, placed his arm into the water and snatched out an octopus, all within about 5 seconds!   They are delicious to eat (apparently!) and to prepare them, (once killed) they are rinsed in the washing machine and hung out to dry (literally!)


Yes, honestly!  They spend their time divided between the salt pans near Tigaki in the winter, and the wetlands north of Kos Town in the summer.  They are very shy, so tend to stay near the middle of the salt pans/wetlands, so you need a good pair of binoculars or zoom-lens camera to get a good view of them.  Sadly, I currently have neither – but that’s a challenge for you when you visit!

I hope you will enjoy looking out for some of the wild inhabitants of this beautiful island during your stay!  We can point you in the right direction to find them.  Just get in touch to make your reservation.

Horiatiki – Light, refresh1ng and delicious

Horiatiki Greek Salad

Horiatiki is the first dish I usually order when I arrive in Greece.

Horiatiki is the Greek name for Greek Salad

 You just can’t beat the freshness and flavour; the combination of red onion and feta is just sublime.  There are only 6 ingredients for a real Greek Salad, which should be as fresh as possible  – and it doesn’t include lettuce (even Cos lettuce!)

In a large bowl mix together:

Juicy red tomatoes, cut into chunks

Peeled cucumber, cut into chunks

Green pepper, cut into thin slices

Red onion, cut into thin slices

Place a slice, or chunks, of feta cheese on the top and add some Black Olives (Kalamata are best)

Dress with vinegar and olive oil and enjoy with some fresh bread.  Kali Orexi!

The BBC Good Food Receipe for Greek Salad can be found here.