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.

Little island Kastri near Kos, Greece
Little island Kastri near Kos, Greece

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.

Where is Kos, Greece
Where is Kos, Dodecanese, Greece

How to get 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.

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.

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.

Things to do and see

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, Kos, Greece
Hippocrates Plane Tree, Kos, Greece

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.

Asclepeion of Kos
Historical ruins of Asclepeion, ancient Hospital made by Hippocrates in Kos, Greece

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

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.

Kos Map, Dodecanese, Greece
Beaches, Villages, Caves of Kos island, Greece

Villages of 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

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.

List of All Beaches in Kos

Where to stay in Kos

Kos Hotels: Look and search hotels of Kos island, accommodation, rooms, apartments, studios and pensions.

The 10 Best Hotels in Kos, Greece

Recommended Hotels in Kos Town

Recommended Budget Hotels in Kos, Greece

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