One of the most visited Greek islands, Kos manages to combine its traditional soul with mass tourism.
Famous as Little Rhodes, Garden of the Aegean or Island of Hippocrates, the third largest island of the Dodecanese is a fascinating combination of western and eastern elements, the result of its geographical proximity to Turkey.
Rich in history, with ancient ruins scattered here and there throughout the island, Kos is kissed by the sun all year round and enjoys a wonderful Mediterranean climate, with very little rainfall.
Due to its geographical position, Kos is also the perfect choice for those dreaming of an island hopping vacation, with stops in different islands of one or more days.
There are plenty of tourist services, apartments and hotels of different price ranges, restaurants and clubs able to attract a chic clientele, tourists eager to taste the typical specialties and hordes of young people who come here in search of music and fun.
Kos Town is the capital of the island and its main tourist resort. It is a lively town with a bustling harbor from which boats for sightseeing excursions, yachts and fishing boats come and go; behind it is the characteristic waterfront, with an almost uninterrupted row of traditional taverns, bars and restaurants.
The pride of this city is its millenary history, which has left evident traces: walking through the old town you will come across ruins of Greek, Roman and Byzantine times and you can admire a splendid medieval castle. Do not miss the ancient agora, the excavations of 1933, the temples of Hercules and Dionysus and the road and the theater of the Romans.
Kos is an ideal base for exploring the island, no matter what type of vacation you want to take. Those who love the nightlife will find streets dedicated entirely to night owls on vacation, with many places to have a drink and listen to music late, but if the noise is not for you slip into one of the most chic, charming and much less chaotic streets.
The offer of accommodation in Kos is very wide. There is a good choice of budget or mid-range hotels and apartments with a good quality/price ratio, but if you are willing to spend more you will also find elegant villas and 4-5 star hotels, including a couple of boutique hotel spas reserved for adults for the ultimate in relaxation and luxury.Accommodation in Kos Town
South of Kos is Kefalos, a quiet resort recommended for those who want beautiful beaches nearby.
It is a good choice if you are looking for a low cost accommodation because there are many apartments, studios and cheap hotels, many of them with outdoor swimming pool. However, there is no shortage of superior facilities.Accommodation in Kefalos
Another resort to the south is Kardamaina, a former fishing village now entirely devoted to the tourist industry, ideal for those looking for nightlife. There is a good choice of apartments and vacation homes, while there is less supply of hotels and lodges.Accommodation in Kardamaina
Tigaki, Marmari and Mastichari are the three most famous tourist resorts in the northern part of the island, with many tourist services and beautiful sandy beaches.
The offer of apartments and studios is good, especially if you are looking for medium-low categories; also regarding hotels and two-three star hotels there is enough choice. If you have a slightly higher budget at your disposal you can choose between elegant villas and luxury spa hotels.All accommodation in Kos
Kos is famous for its beautiful sandy beaches, long stretches of fine golden sand bathed by a crystal clear sea. Do not waste time looking for the most beautiful beaches of Kos, we have found them for you:
Discover more about the beaches of Kos
Kos is an island rich in history, with archaeological sites, ancient ruins under the open sky and interesting museums. If you love ancient history or want to take a fascinating walk among ancient temples, Roman baths and altars visit the most famous archaeological site of the island, Asklepieion.
Dedicated to the worship of Ascepius (or Eusculapius), god of healing, this religious center founded in the 3rd century BC was also a medical school and healing center.
What we see today are the ruins that survived the terrible earthquake that occurred in the 6th century AD, arranged on three levels, plus a museum with a video that explains the history of the archaeological complex of Asklepieion.
From the top of Asklepieion, immersed in a beautiful landscape with many cypress trees that offer a bit of coolness, you can enjoy a wonderful panoramic view.
Leave the lively coastal resorts for a moment and rent a car to explore the quaint inland villages. This is the best way to discover the most authentic Kos, where the island’s traditions are still passed down.
The village of Zia is definitely worth a visit: the road to get there is surrounded by greenery, olive trees, vines and figs, and once you arrive at your destination you can enjoy an extraordinary view of the nearby islands and Turkey. From Zia you can walk to the top of Mount Dikeos, the highest in Kos.
Also stop by in the evening because Zia is famous for one of the most spectacular sunsets on Kos as well as for its typical taverns, where traditional evenings with music and dancing are organized. Don’t leave without tasting the cinnamon syrup typical of Zia, called Kanelada.
Other lovely villages to visit are Platani (also called “the Turkish village”), Pyli and Palio Pyli, Asfendiu, Asomatos, Evangelistra and Lagudi.
Find out more about things to do in Kos
The island of Kos is famous for its nightlife, the liveliest in the Dodecanese.
In Kos town , the fun is concentrated in the bars and discos that are located along the streets of Diakon and Nafklirou. The main square is then surrounded by bars and clubs ideal if you are looking for a quiet evening or if you are traveling with children.
The harbor area of Kos boasts numerous restaurants and bars with great views of the fortress.
Kos manages to satisfy even the most demanding party-goers. In the numerous clubs on the island and in its capital you can listen to electronic music as well as rock, jazz and pop.
Very lively is the resort of Kardamena, frequented by tourists from all over Europe, with premises of house and techno music. Also in Tigaki, Agios Stefanos, Psalidi and Lambi there are many nightclubs to spend your evenings.
If you are looking for a night on the beach based on mojitos the best choices are the Paradise Beach bar and the Mylos Beach Bar.
To get to know Kos better, let yourself be accompanied by an expert guide: with one of the many tours of Kos that are organized daily you can explore the island, its beautiful coastline and the picturesque villages inland.
If you love boat trips, the island of Kos is perfect for you: from the port of the main town and other tourist resorts of the island depart many excursions by motor boat, catamaran or traditional gulet.
The most popular is theboat excursion to Turkey with a visit to the city of Bodrum, a popular Turkish tourist resort with many stores, restaurants and clubs where the oriental charm and traditional Turkish flavors are mixed with the modern and cosmopolitan atmosphere of modern Bodrum.
Other popular destinations are the nearby islands of Nisyros, famous for its volcano, Kalymnos and Pserimos.
The island of Kos boasts excellent ouzerie, the taverns where you can taste the wonderful dishes of Greek cuisine, and numerous restaurants of international cuisine.
The traditional cuisine of Kos, and the Greek one in general, boasts very tasty dishes based on fish, meat and vegetables.
Do not miss the traditional Greek dishes such as mousaka, pastitsio and tzatziki, those based on fish, exceptional those based on octopus, lobster, shrimps and sea bream, the katimeria, a fried mizithra cheese cake served with honey and cinnamon.
Very appreciated are pork meat slowly cooked in earthenware pots and served with rice, fried squids and local cheeses xinomyzithra and galomyzithra, all to be accompanied with local wine and a glass of ouzo.
Dessert lovers will appreciate sarsoymades and loukoumades.
Kos offers a great variety of restaurants and ouzerie, the traditional taverns, but also places of international cuisine such as Indian, Mexican, Chinese and Italian.
The island of Kos is connected to the rest of Europe with direct flights departing from several cities: they are mostly seasonal flights and fill up soon, so it is worth booking well in advance.
In case you can’t find a flight from the airport of your city, you can reach Athens with a low cost flight and from there take a ferry or a domestic flight to Kos. You can also take a ferry or hydrofoil to Kos from other popular Greek destinations such as Rhodes and Santorini.