Beautiful beaches, lively resorts and affordable flights and accommodation have turned this Greek island into a popular package holiday spot in the Med for families and couples. It is often dubbed the jewel of the Aegean.
Kos Town and Kardamena are two of the biggest resorts on the island, which is part of the Dodecanese chain. Apart from its numerous beach, there is plenty of history in the shape of Greek and Roman ruins, activities and water sports to enjoy. Island-hopping is also possible.
Package holidaymakers will fly to Kos Airport in the centre of the island. If you haven't arranged a hotel transfer with your operator, buses and taxis are available from the airport.
Kos Town is well connected with other tourist resorts and villages via several bus operators or taxis. Getting around is easy. Renting a car, cycle or motorbike are other options while sea-farers can hire yachts.
Most of the mass market tourism resorts are located to the north and east of the island. Between Kos Town and Psalidi and Lambi, the beaches teem with tourists and offer all the usual water sports facilities and sun loungers. Thermes beach six miles away is also popular thanks to its hot springs and warm, shallow sea water. Kardamena Beach on the south east coast is long and has well developed tourist amenities.
Other good beach spots include: Kefalos, Kamari, Mastihari amd Tingaki. Aghios Theologos beach on the southwest coast is more remote but offers excellent swimming and windsurfing. Paradise beach is far busier and is lined with seafront tavernas offering fresh fish. It is sandwiched between Kamel Beach and Magic Beach which are not as crowded.
Culture vultures should start their holiday in Kos Town. Check out the 14th century Venetian castle which is dotted with statues and pillars and offers lovely views of the town and the harbour. The Agora is the ancient ruins of what used to be a market. Nearby is an excavated site which has unearthed Roman ruins, including a third century villa with courtyards and swimming pools, a former theatre and some houses. There is an archaeological museum displaying ancient pottery and sculptures.
Apart from churches and monasteries, one of the most noted landmarks is the Asklepieion ruins which was built by the ancient Greeks in honour of the god of medicine, Hippocrates. The terraced site tumbles down a hill and offers incredible views.
Away from the beaches, take time to visit some of the villages for a glimpse of traditional island life. Platani near Kos Town is heavily influenced by its Turkish history while the mountain village of Asfendiou is also wonderful for its tranquillity and views.
Kos marina is within a 45 mile radius from around 20 islands, some of which can be visited in a day but beware, the throng of day-trippers descending on these otherwise peaceful islands can mar what should be a pleasant experience. Pserimos is deluged in the summer - instead opt for Nisyros, a volcanic island boasting active fumeroles and bubbling mud pools. Kalymnos, Patmos, Leros and Giali offer alternatives. Island hopping packages can also be arranged.
Day-trippers can also make enjoy an excursion to the Turkish resort of Bodrum during the peak summer months. Boats depart daily from Kos marina. The journey varies between 20 minutes and one hour. The resort is dominated by a castle, but also boasts a pretty marina and a maze of cobbled streets lined with bars, cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops. You could even indulge in a Turkish bath.
During the summer, daily hydrofoils go to Rhodes, as well as Samos, Ikaria and Fourni.
Foodies on holiday on Kos can enjoy traditional Greek cuisine featuring an assortment of dishes including meatballs, seafood, vine leaves, tzatziki (a garlic and yoghurt flavoured salad), cheese, olives and moussaka. Ouzo, an anise-flavoured liqueur, is also popular.
Typical tavernas are found in all the resorts but if you fancy international or British fare, you won't have to look hard.
Kos is known for its raucous nightlife - expect foam parties, kareoke, clubs and discos catering to all kinds of music lovers from R&B to house. Kardamena is particularly riotous; it's a magnet for young holidaymakers looking for booze-fuelled fun. Some of the more popular bars there include the Kings Arms pub and Ronnies Bar.
Kos Town is also lively but has a more sophisticated side. Classier bars and restaurants line the harbour front, but most of the action is around Diakon and Nafklirou streets. Top nightclubs include Heaven, Kalua and the Fashion Club.
Many operators organise touristy evenings offering Greek food, wine and dancing in traditional bar or mountain village.
Kos Town and Kardamena have the widest choice of shops but all the main resorts are more than well stocked for souvenir hunters.
The old quarter in Kos Town has a pedestrianised shopping area - where you can pick up everything from affordable sarongs and beach wear to ceramics, jewellery and leather ware.
Apart from the beaches, there are numerous water sports available from diving, windsurfing and sailing to paragliding, kite surfing and canoeing.
If your kids tire of the beach, take them to Lido Waterpark near Mastichari. It has a gigantic wave pool as well as numerous other slides and attractions.
Holidays are fulfilled by Truly Travel Ltd under the trading name Teletext Holidays unless otherwise stated. Holidays are subject to availability and Truly Travel Ltd’s terms & conditions. We don't sell package holidays. Each product is priced separately, creating a direct contract between you and the supplier. Each product is protected under ATOL scheme T7300 and Travel Trust Association scheme U6466. All ratings shown on this website are those of the supplier and may not be the official classification. Ratings can be affected as much by facilities as by quality.
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