Kos in Greece

Kos in Swedish.
Camel, Paradise, Lagadas, Markos, Sunny and Polemi  beach in Kos.

Kos belongs to the Dodecanese islands and lies between Kalymnos and Nisyros. It is the Dodecanese's third largest island to the surface (290 square kilometres), only Rhodes and Karpathos are bigger. In terms of number of inhabitants (33,400), is Kos in second place after Rhodes. Highest mountain named Dikeos (843 m) and lies close to the village of Zia.

Kos is a fantastic island! I have to start writing that. Unfortunately, many people still see Kos as a party island with drunken young people in every street corner - it is time to change that misrepresentation.

Kos has changed a lot in recent years, and today it is a much quieter island with a completely different character. Certainly there still is some nightlife, but not like before. Today's tourists are attracted of other things: a wide range of tavernas and restaurants serving great food, fantastic beaches that few other islands can compete with and many interesting historical sites. Maybe it's finally time for Kos to get a rebirth.

Greek food on Kos.

If you like Greek food you find it in Kos.

Go by air to Athens and continue from there with domestic flights or by ferry from Athens port, Piraeus. From some countries it is possible to buy a seat on a charter flight directly to Kos, or to nearby islands as Samos or Rhodes who has boat connections with Kos.

Book ferry tickets online here »

You can get around the entire island by bus. If you are going to discover Kos on your own, car is preferable since Kos is a large island. If you only are going to be in, and around, Kos town, you can rent a bicycle, there are many that do so. Kos and the immediate surrounding area are flat and bicycle friendly. The municipality has built cycle lanes to the nearest beaches to facilitate cycling further. Cars, mopeds and bicycles for hire can be found in Kos town and in all tourist areas.

Kos is dominated by the capital, Kos town, where most of the things happens and it is around Kos town were most tourists stay. Bellow some of the villages on Kos are described. Other villages are Platani, Lagoudi, Pyli, Antimachia, Kefalos, Mastichari and Kardamena.

Rent bike on Kos.

Kos is a very bike friendly island.

Camel beach. Kos.

The beaches in the south west Kos is fantastic! This is Camel beach.

Kos town is with its more than 15,000 inhabitants one of the largest towns in the Greek Islands. In the Dodecanese islands there is only Rhodes town that has more inhabitants. It is a town that is easy to fall for. Especially if you are interested in history.

Here is as much things to see as you like. Such as the impressive Castle of Knights in the harbour, which dominates the skyline. The castle served as one of three defences for the Knights of Saint John, the other two were the castle in Rhodes old town, and the one in Bodrum in present Turkey. The Castle of Knights was built in the 14th century, but has over centuries been extended and renovated several times.

Close to the Castle of Knights is the ancient agora, which once was one of the main squares in Kos town. North of the agora is another square named Plateia Platanou which has its name after the Plane Tree of Hippocrates as is said to have been planted here during his lifetime. Beside the tree is a beautiful Ottoman fountain facing the Mosque of Hassan Pasha with its impressive minaret. In the town, there are many Roman remains which are all well worth exploring.

Kos Ancient town.

Kos ancient town.

Kos town is not only full of history, it is also a town with lots of cosy narrow alleys and big squares with tavernas, cafes, bars and shops. The selection is enormous. Here is everything you can imagine. The hard part is to choose where to go to eat. And what type of food you want to eat. Chinese? Indian? Italian? Mexican? Thai? Everything seems to be. Greek then? Yes, there are many Greek restaurants too. When I visited Kos the last time, I ate extremely good Greek food and I would consider myself to go to Kos just for the food.

In Pyli, west of super touristy Zia, tourism do not take over as much as in many other villages on Kos. Here you still find a Greek everyday life. The centre of Pyli is dominated by a large square with many tavernas. An exemplary orientation map of the surrounding area stands in one corner of the square. If you turn right at the sign, you soon come to an old water cistern, here the villagers still get there water from the fountains.

In Pyli is an old tomb. In the tomb, Harmyli, one of Kos great heroes, is buried. Outside the tomb is an old church. But neither the tomb nor the church is much to see. When I was there, an old man sat outside the church, he was tilting a chair and was listening to The Pretenders. That was a real attraction!

Kardamena beach. Kos.


There are many sandy beaches of superior quality on Kos. The best ones are located on the northern and southwestern parts of the island. In and around Kos town there are several beaches, but the best are to be found outside the town, as in the tourist resorts Tigaki, Marmari and Mastichari on the north coast.

The absolutely best beaches are in the southwest, where there is one beautiful beach after another. There is very little difference between them, except that they change name. It begins with Exotic Beach, followed by Magic Beach, Sunny Beach, Markos beach, Banana beach (see picture on top og the page), Paradise beach, Camel Beach, Agios Stefanos and Kefalos beach. There are some to choose from, isn't that so? The most popular of these beaches are Paradise beach, which actually lives up to its name: fine light sand, perfect sandy bottom and crystal clear water. Very shallow and ideal for children, even for the smallest ones.

My favourite beach is Agios Theologos, located as far south as you can get on Kos. The beach is exposed to the wind and weather. The waves are roaring towards the shore and if you like to bellysurf, this is the beach you should choose. Above the beach is the super nice taverna, Agios Theologos Restaurant. It uses produce from the owners' own garden. Even the cheese and the bread they make themselves. Another of my favourites is Therma beach. The beach is fairly mediocre, but the surroundings are awesome and there is hot springs to bathe in.

Markos beach. Kos.

Markos beach.

As I said before, Kos has many historical monuments. Almost all sights are within an easy distance in, or just outside, Kos town. You do not even have to search for them, it is just to go for some shopping in the town, monuments are everywhere.

The biggest sight outside Kos town is the old temple area Asklepieion . Asklepieion was devoted to the god of healing, Asclepius, who afforded healing and recovery to those days patients. The area is quite large, and was even bigger in the good old days. Today it is mostly ruins and stones left. Here is a ruin of Temple of Asclepius and other minor temple ruins and several copies of columns and pillars. The most fascinating pillars are the ones at the ancient Temple to Apollo. From the steps that lead to the third terrace you have impressive views of Kos town and Turkey.

In between Zia and Pyli is the castle Palio Pyli, located in an incredibly beautiful landscape. The nature are different here, the mountains seams to be from the wild west and there are forests of pine and cypress trees. The castle was built as protection against pirates and was built as inaccessible as possible. And now the tourists have to pay the price, the path uphill is steep. On both sides of the old village there are high rocks where it previously existed defence fortifications. The hike up to Palio Pyli is worth the effort, the reward is a formidable view. A small café is at the top. One of the most inaccessible cafes I've seen.

Other interesting sights are Plaka forest and the castle of Antimachia.

Asklepieion. Kos.

Asklepieion. Turkey in the background.

Most people who travel to Kos go by charter and stay in Kos town, Tigaki or in Marmari. If you are travelling to Kos on your own, I can recommend you to book room ahead. To search for a room on your own is pretty tough. Believe me, I've been looking for a place to stay in Kos several times and it has not been easy.

Book hotel, studios and apartments in Kos here »

Accommodation in Kos.

Paradise beach. Kos.

The beaches of Kos are truly like paradise. There is even a beach called Paradise beach, and you see it above.

Ferry timetable »

Book ferry tickets »

Photos from Kos »

Accommodation in Kos »

Kalymnos - nearest island »

© 2007-2017 | Janni Eklund | Kalispera and Kalimera