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.