Sandwiched between Kalymnos and Nisyros, Kos is one of the larger Dodecanese Islands and has firmly established itself as a favourite with both families and couples. It boasts some of the best beaches in the Aegean, complete with caramel-coloured sands that shelve gently into the navy-blue waters. 300 days of sunshine and cloudless skies make holidays to Kos a superb choice at virtually any time of year.
However, if basking on a sun-bleached beach isn’t your thing or you’re travelling with children, you’ll find plenty of attractions and things to see and do. Couples looking to enjoy some quality downtime together will find the island offers a vibrant nightlife scene.
Kos has gained an excellent reputation for those looking for a holiday where partying is the main priority. The resort of Kardamena offers the best nightlife on the island, perhaps in the whole of Greece too! Spend your days topping up your tan on the beach before dancing the night away in the many bars and clubs that line the famous ‘Bar Street’. With excellent shopping and some superb, authentic restaurants to enjoy, Kos has all the ingredients for the perfect holiday.
Things to do
Kos is one of the best Greek islands for sailing, with yachting enthusiasts flocking to sail around the island. In the evenings, you can pick the pace of your nightlife. The quieter resorts have plenty of restaurants and waterfront bars to relax in, or you could turn it up a notch in one of the island’s clubbing capitals.
Wherever you stay on the island, visiting Kos Town is a great day trip where you can soak up the culture, walk the winding streets, and see what traditional Greek life is like. Centred around the historic port, looking at any Kos Town map will show you just how many ancient archaeological sites there are. With Neratzia Castle, the Ancient Greek Agora (meeting place) and baths, plus a stadium, Kos Town is the perfect blend between a modern holiday destination and the incredible history of Ancient Greece.
Get into the Kos way of life and explore its dazzling golden coastline, with gorgeous beaches to chill out on and a top choice of water sports on hand for when you’re feeling energetic. Kos has some fantastic beaches to lay back and soak up the warm Greek sun.
If you want plenty of things to do in the form of water sports, music, bars, and cafés close by, then head to Kardamena Beach for non-stop entertainment. The beautiful Tigaki Beach offers a much more laid-back vibe, perfect for chilling out. This is particularly popular with couples and families looking for a more peaceful spot in the sun. Paradise Beach on the island’s south coast offers what it says on the tin. The crystal-clear waters make it perfect for snorkelling, and you can also experience the thermal bubbles that rise from the seabed, warming the water around you.
Perfect for families
Kos island is the ideal choice when selecting a destination that the whole family will enjoy. There are cultural experiences to be had around every corner. The excellent selection of beaches makes for great, lazy days spending quality time together by the sea.
If you feel like taking an excursion, take a trip to the Castle of the Knights and learn about the island’s exciting history. Located in a corner of the Old Town, these impressive ruins will give kids an insight into how leaders of the past lived.
Kos is also home to a range of waterparks which make the perfect playgrounds for little ones. Kids will love the local Aquatica Water Park with its water slides and huge pools where they can spend the day making a splash. Or for something really different, take a day trip to the resort of Bodrum in Turkey, which is just a short boat ride away.
Heritage sites of Kos
Kos boasts a rich, illustrious history, and is home to an abundance of heritage sites that spark interest among locals and holidaymakers alike. When you fancy some time away from the beach, familiarise yourself with Kos’ fascinating past with a day of sightseeing. Evidence of the many cultures and people that have settled here can be found right across the landscape.
Take a trip down to the Roman Odeon where you’ll discover the large and impressive remains of a 2nd‐century stadium, once used to host great musical competitions and theatrical shows. Today, this spectacular auditorium holds cultural happenings and events. It’s a must‐visit for those with an avid interest in Roman history.
Or visit the three surviving Ottoman mosques on the island. In the city’s centre, these buildings remind us of the Ottoman rule, which lasted around four centuries. You can also discover a range of Venetian castles and ancient temples scattered across Kos. Head to the south of Kos Town where you’ll find the Castle of Antimachia, one of the medieval castles on the island built by the Knights of Saint John. Located on a small hill above the village of Antimachia, this stunning architectural feature overlooks the entire southern shore of Kos. It contains two churches that are free to look around.
Places to stay
On Kos’ sun-drenched northern coast are the laid-back beach resorts of Lambi and Tigaki. Lambi is within walking distance of the cosmopolitan island capital, Kos Town. A peaceful place for families and anyone wanting to get away from it all, you can still experience the capital’s attractions anytime you like. A 20‐minute bus ride from the capital is Tigaki, a resort famous for its gleaming white-sand beach.
On the south coast, Kardamena is the best choice for spending long days on the beach and long nights with your mates. Clubbing, karaoke, or beach parties – you name it. And as for Kardamena’s best hotels? Whether you’re there for party nights or family time, you’ll find yourself in beachfront bliss when you stay at Mitsis Norida Beach Hotel or Mitsis Blue Domes, just outside town.
More travel guides
If you like the look of Kos, check out these travel guides too: Kardamena | Kefalos | Psalidi