Located very close to the coasts of Turkey, Kos island is the second most popular island of Dodecanese, after Rhodes. Due to its large size, Kos Greece keeps a balance in tourism development. On this page you may find where is Kos island, how to get there, things to do and see, what to do in Kos, beaches and villages, where to stay, hotels and accommodation and more.
In Kos island, some spots are very organized, while others are almost secluded and away from mass tourism. Kos Town is a mixture of Venetian and Ottoman architecture with interesting sightseeings, such as a Medieval Castle, an Ancient Agora, a Roman Odeon and of course the famous Asklepieion, an ancient healing centre, in short distance from the Town and great place to visit in your Kos holidays. The most tourist places are located on the southern side of the island, including Kardamena and Kefalos. This is where visitors can find large golden beaches with crystal water.
On the edge of the Dodecanese, Kos island is a feast of emotion, experience and excitement. Chicken soup for the soul, the body and the eye. Tall palm trees, endless sandy beaches, alternating landscapes and layers of archaeological sites and attractions left by ancient Greeks, Romans, mediaeval knights, Venetians and Ottomans make Kos – or Cos as it is also spelt – more than just a pretty face. Hippocrates, antiquity’s most noted physician (he of the oath), was born here, on one of the most visited islands of Dodecanese. Whichever you choose of the aliases Kos has gone by – Meropi, Nymphaia or Karys – this fascinating island in the Aegean will engrave itself into your holiday diary.
Where is Kos
Located very close to the coasts of Turkey, Kos island is the second most popular island of Dodecanese, after Rhodes.
How to get to Kos
Flights to Kos
The airport of Kos gets very busy in summer. It receives daily flights from Athens all year round. The flight time from Athens to Kos is 1 hour. In high season, there are also flights to Kos from other islands, such as Heraklion Crete, operated by Sky Express. In summer, there are many charters and international flights to Kos from other countries, mostly European countries.
Ferries to Kos
There are ferries to Kos from Piraeus, the largest port of Athens, 4 times per week. Due to the long distance, the trip takes 11 hours to cover the route. Along the way, it connects Kos with many other Greek islands, including Rhodes, Patmos, Leros and Kalymnos. From the port of Mastihari Kos, there are ferries to Kalymnos 2 or 3 times a week. In summer, there are also ferries from Kos Town to Bodrum Turkey.
Transportation in Kos
Kos is a beautiful island with rich history and picturesque spots. There are several transportation options available, so choose the one that is more convenient to you and explore this wonderful place!
Public transportation is the less expensive way to reach most places on Kos. There are some blue buses that cover routes only in the capital and some green buses (also known as KTEL buses) for further destinations. The itineraries are carried out frequently and the central bus station is spotted at the center of the town. KTEL buses link the capital with Kardamena, Tigaki, Zia, Mastihari and other villages and beaches around Kos. Get more specific information about timetables on www.ktel-kos.gr
Taxis and private transfers
Despite being a more pricey option, taxis are much preferred because they are a fast, convenient mean of transport. Many taxis are spotted all over the town, mainly close to the port entrance and in many other central spots of the island.
Car and Motorcycle rental
With a car or motorcycle, you can explore the island at your own pace and gain access to the most secluded spots! In case you don’t have your own vehicle, it is an excellent idea to rent a car for your sightseeing trips!
Travel guide to Kos, Greece
One of the most popular destinations in Greece, Kos island is located on the south eastern side of the Aegean Sea. This is a place with both tourist and secluded spots. As Kos receives many charter flights from abroad, many places around the island are getting really busy in high season. However, there are also places staying away from crowds and keeping their relaxing atmosphere. Beaches in Kos vary from organized coasts with luxurious hotels and water sports centres, to secluded, naturism-friendly beaches. Holidays in Kos can be combined with many other islands of Dodecanese, like Rhodes, Nisyros or Leros.
Best time to visit Kos
Kos weather: Because of its mild Mediterranean climate, the island of Kos has a lot of sunny days throughout the year. The temperature of the water remains quite high for many months and allows the visitors to enjoy it even in the low season. Kos weather is characterized by the endless sunshine which is very attractive during the summer months. The climate of Kos is quite pleasant with mild temperatures that range from 13°C during the winter to 30°C in the summer. Rain is quite rare in Kos, especially in the summer.
August is the hottest month in Kos with an average temperature of 26°C (79°F) and the coldest is February at 10°C (50°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 10 in August. The wettest month is January with an average of 169mm of rain. The best month to swim in the sea is in August when the average sea temperature is 26°C (79°F).
Things to do and see in Kos
As this is a tourist developed island, things to do in Kos are plenty. A very popular activity is windsurfing. There are windsurfing centers in many beaches around Kos island that rent equipment and offer courses. The most popular windsurfing beaches in Kos are Mastihari and Kefalos.
Diving is also gradually developing on the island and diving trips are organized to close uninhabited islets and old wrecks. On the most organized beaches of Kos, there are also water sports centers with fun games.
Hippocrates’ Asclepeion, a holistic healing centre
Just 4km northwest of the town of Kos, on a verdant hill with a spectacular view, you’ll discover one of Greece’s most important archaeological sites, the Asclepeion. A holistic healing centre, it contained infirmaries, temples, hot springs, hostels, a school for physicians and much more. In the 3rd and 2nd century B.C., the Asclepeion of Kos became the third most important institution of its kind in the ancient world, following guidelines set down by native son Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine. It’s worth making time in your holiday itinerary to visit it.
Hippocrates Plane Tree
This plane tree has a perimeter of twelve meters, which gave it the reputation of being the largest in Europe. The island’s authorities have taken some measures in order to preserve it. A short surrounding wall with a metal railing prevents it from extending excessively and keeps people in the proper distance. The wall has Turkish ornaments on one side of this wall, while on the other there is a historic white engraved tap in the Arabic language, put by a Turkish governor. Water can be taken from it, even in our days.
A young city with a rich history
Following a major earthquake in 1933, the town of Kos was redesigned by the reigning Italians with large squares, sidewalks and wide tree-lined streets, flanked by modern buildings with shops, cafes and restaurants. That said, history buffs will love this place.
What other modern town can claim so many attractions: the Nerantzia Castle of the Knights of Saint John, late 14th-century walls hastily erected to keep out Sultan Bayezit I, an ancient Greek agora, a mediaeval district, an old harbour, and Roman ruins in the west? Don’t forget to pay your respects to Hippocrates’ huge plane tree – 12m in circumference – which, legend says, was planted by the doctor himself.
Beaches that go on forever
Got your tape measure? Almost every beach on Kos is a kilometre long. You’ll probably give first place to Kardamena beach, with its glorious scenery and deep blue water but don’t miss Mastihari, Tigkaki, Marmari, Chrysi Akti, Kefalos and Paradise.
Antimacheia castle and the power of a few
In June 1457, this castle was besieged by 16,000 Ottomans. Just 15 knights and 200 locals were left to defend it, but they held out for 23 days and the Ottomans eventually withdrew. Built by the Knights of Saint John in the 14th century, it is now a peaceful but impressive ruin.
What to do in Kos
A verdant hideaway for peacocks
Kos is an island full of surprises. Planted by Italians in the 1940s, the woods at Plaka, near Antimacheia, have become a sanctuary for peacocks and other birds. Carry some seeds to offer and they’ll be eating out of your hand.
Thermal springs at the edge of the Aegean
Alone of the Dodecanese islands, Kos has three different kinds of mineral water springs: hot, warm and cool. You’ll find them at Agios Fokas, Piso Thermes, Kokkinonero and Volkanous. The names themselves carry meaning: Rear Hots and Redwater are the middle two while the last needs no translation.
The Archaeological Museum of Kos
You’ll find the museum in Eleftheria Square in town. A larger-than-life head of the goddess Hera greets you in the vestibule while impressive statues and mosaics await within.
Eat and Drink in Kos
As this is one of the most important islands for nightlife in Greece, places to eat and drink in Kos are numerous. Restaurants and cafe are actually found all around the island, both in tourist and secluded places. The most tourist places with places to eat in Kos are Kos Town, Kardamena, Zia, Tigaki, Agios Stefanos, Mastihari and others. The best nightlife spots on the island are Kos Town and Kardamena, where most bars and clubs are found. Clubs in Kos stay open until the early hours and frequently organize theme parties.
Nightlife in Kos
Kos is definitely the liveliest island of the Dodecanese, proposing a wide plethora of nightclubs and bars for all musical tastes. The nightlife of Kos is concentrated in two famous streets, right at the center of the capital. The streets are lined with the best bars and clubs you can find in town and wild parties take place almost every night. Whether you like electronic music, rock sounds, jazz, and blues or modern pop, you will find the place for you.
Far from the city center, there is the resort of Kardamena, which is mostly frequented by British tourists. Many all-night clubs are also found there. Tigaki, Agios Stefanos, Psalidi, and Lambi also has few bars and clubs to enjoy a drink.
Villages of Kos
The villages of Kos stand out for their different style: there can be found developed tourist villages along the coastline and secluded traditional places on the island. Kos Town is the capital of the island and its architecture has been influenced by all civilizations that conquered Kos.
Discover our guide to 11 Kos villages. They are all presented with detailed description, photos and their location on a map of Kos. For the most popular ones, we also provide information about sightseeing in the area, a selection of hotels and reviews.
Beaches of Kos
The beaches in Kos Greece are some of the most beautiful in the Dodecanese islands. The majority of Kos beaches are sandy with crystal blue waters. Many Kos beaches are organized and offer plenty of tourist facilities, like Kardamena, Agios Stefanos, Kefalos and Lambi, while others are secluded and frequented by naturists. You will find below a list of the best beaches in Kos island.
Discover our guide to 35 beautiful Kos beaches. They are all presented with detailed description, photos and their location on a map of Kos. For the most popular spots, we also provide information about sightseeing in the area, a selection of hotels and reviews.
Where to stay in Kos
The most convenient hotels in Kos are found either at beaches around Kos Town, such as Tigaki, Lambi and Psalidi, or at the seaside village of Kefalos, on the southern side of the island. These places have many tourist facilities and good access to the beach. Nice Kos hotels are also found in less tourist places, like Mastihari and inland villages.
Kos Hotels: Look and search hotels of Kos island, accommodation, rooms, apartments, studios and pensions.
The 10 Best Hotels in Kos, Greece
- Michelangelo Resort & Spa, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Sovereign Beach Hotel, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Michelangelo Resort & Spa, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Aqua Blu Boutique Hotel & Spa, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Diamond Deluxe Hotel, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Neptune Convention, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Kos Imperial Thalasso, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Kipriotis Panorama Hotel & Suites, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Astir Odysseus Kos Resort and Spa, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Lango Design Hotel & Spa, Adults Only, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
Recommended Hotels in Kos Town
- Kosta Palace, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Astron Hotel, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Hotel Sonia, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Milva Apartments, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Kos Aktis Art Hotel, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Orpheus Studios, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Jacksons Luxury Suites, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Aspa Holidays, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Erato Studios & Apartments, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Blue Lagoon City Hotel, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
Recommended Budget Hotels in Kos, Greece
- Captain Yiannis Studios & Apartments, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Gelli Apartments, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Andromeda Hotel Apartments, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Mary’s Maisonette, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Evdokia, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Maritina Hotel, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Orpheus Studios, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Catherine Hotel, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Triton Hotel, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Hotel Koala, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com