Things to do in Kos, Greece

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Kos is one of the most popular islands of the Dodecanese. It has golden sand beaches, crystal clear waters, archaeological sites and activities for the whole family. If you are looking for nightlife you can head to Kardamena and if you are looking for a family vacation, Tigaki is a good choice. There are many things to do in Kos, here are my suggestions:

Interesting things to do in Kos, Greece

A visit to Asklepeion

The Asklepieion of Kos - things to do in Kos
The Asklepieion of Kos

Located just 4kms to the south-east side of Kos town, Asklepeion is reputably the most visited tourist destination in Kos. This archaeological site was built in honour of Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician who cured people and taught the art of healing to his students. Asklepeion is located just a few meters from natural springs and has the remains of the temples of Asclepius and Apollo that was initially destroyed by an earthquake.

This sanctuary is rumoured as the world’s first hospital.  While on the top of the terrace you can have a great view of Kos town below which is an amazing experience. Tickets: Full: €8, Reduced: €4

More information and opening hours.

Hippocrates tree

Located in the centre of Kos town and just outside the Castle of Knights, Hippocrates tree is one that you don’t want to miss on your visit to this beautiful Island. Hippocrates that was considered the father of medicine used to taught his students under this plane tree. Although the current one is only 500 years old, there is a possibility of being a descendant of the original tree that stood there 2400 years ago.

 

Visit the castle of knights – Neratzia Castle

Fortress of Neratzia Castle - things to do in Kos
Fortress of Neratzia Castle

Located on the entrance of Kos harbour this piece of architecture was built by the Knights in an attempt to protect the island from the Ottomans. In 1945 this piece of construction was damaged by an earthquake. However, not everything was damaged. In your visit to Kos town, spare some time and tour this place and see the remains of this castle.

Archaeological Museum

Although the Kos Archaeological Museum is small, it houses a mighty collection of sculptures dating from the Hellenistic to late Roman and Venetian periods. Located in the Plateia Eleftherias, the neoclassical building was constructed in 1935. Among its more notable treasures are beautiful mosaics, statues, and pottery from the Asklepion site and a statue of Hippocrates. Anyone interested in archeology, art, or the history of the island would be remiss to pass up the opportunity to see the museum’s unique artifacts.

Roman Odeon

Kos’ famous theater, the Roman Odeon, dates back to the 2nd or 3rd century. The once grandiose theater served as a venue for concerts, music competitions, and theater performances and could seat up to 750 people. The site has undergone a great deal of restoration, but many of the front rows of the Odeon are intact. The first nine rows were cut from marble and were designated for royalty and members of the upper echelon of ancient society. The remaining rows, those intended for the lower classes, were carved out of granite. The Roman Odeon is located near the ruins of Casa Romana. The Odeon is open to visitors daily and it is free to enter.

Ancient Agora

Ruins of the Ancient Agora - things to do in Kos
Ruins of the Ancient Agora

The Ancient Agora was once the main marketplace of Kos. Exposed by an earthquake in 1933, today the area is filled with archaeological finding including remnants of mosaics, columns, temples, houses, and baths. There is also evidence of a shrine to Aphrodite, a small temple that is connected to Hercules, and a Christian Basilica dating to the 5th century. The Agora’s location next to the harbor made it the perfect meeting place and a prime location for the movement and trading of goods brought into the harbor. Admission to the Agora is free and the site is open to visitors daily.

Castle of Antimachia

Castle of Antimachia - things to do in Kos
Castle of Antimachia

This impressive medieval fortress is located in the center of the island, to the southeast of the village of Antimachia. The Venetians began in the 14th century and the inscription above the gate denotes that the Venetian Castle was built up even more in 1494 by the Knights of Saint John, like Neratzi Castle. However, Antimachia is rumored to have been used as a prison for condemned knights. Despite the numerous attacks over many years, the outside fortifications of the castle still stand strong. The castle’s only entrance can be found in the double gates on the north side of the fortress. Inside the church not much remains, but you can see the two Venetian churches built in the 16th and 18th centuries. Although the churches aren’t as old as the original structure, they do still hold services. Views from the top of the battlements include the Kardamena coast and the island of Nisyros. The Castle of Antimachia is free to visitors and open daily.

Kos town - things to do in Kos
Kos town

Souvenir shopping In Kos town

Kos town has a handful of shops scattered all over the town selling souvenirs all in pocket-friendly and affordable prices. Also, there is a public market just before entering the town where you can shop for mementoes and souvenirs at affordable prices

View the Sunset at Zia village

This is a mountainous village located 10 miles from Kos town. This village has a rich landscape, and your visit to Kos will not be complete if you don’t get to see the amazing view of the sun setting while in Zia village. There are also some nice restaurants serving traditional food in the village.

sunset from Zia Village - things to do in Kos
sunset from Zia Village

Wineries and wine tours

Greece is reputable for wine-making, this history ranges back from 500Bc. High-quality wine brands are made, and this is evidenced by the fact that a number of local wine brands have won international awards.

Kos lives up to this reputation, and there are several wineries that you can visit. Triantafylloupus vineyard is the winery to visit if you are seeking for a wine tour with high-quality wine brands. It is open from Monday to Saturday from 7:30  until 15.30. What is even more interesting about this place is that the tour is free and there is no much pressure to purchase a bottle of wine.

Another place to visit if you are looking for a wine tour is Hatziemmanouli winery which was completed in 2004. This winery accepts tours and offers quality wine. For more information.

Kos island Zia village
Kos island Zia village

Nightlife and food in Kos

Instead of Kos going dull at night, this Island rather gets to life at night. The numerous trendy restaurants and bars will ensure that you stay entertained. There is cool pop music being played around and making the experience one not to miss in your visit to Kos.

Different towns and cities in Greece have different signature meals. In Kos, you will find Krasotyri which is a unique spicy cheese that contains wine. Another traditional local delicacy that you have to try is the tomato spoon dessert.

Beaches in Kos

Greece has some of the best beaches in the world. Kos also does not disappoint in this. With most of them being sandy beaches and having crystal blue waters they offer those who visit with plenty of activities to ensure they stay entertained. There are more than 20 beaches in Kos but here are the four major ones:

Mastichari Beach

things to do in Kos - Mastichari beach
Mastichari beach

This is the most famous beach in Kos Island. Located 20kms on the south-west side of Kos town Mastichari is an exotic sandy beach that ensures the visitors stay entertained. There are umbrellas and basking beds too. The major water sports are kite surfing and windsurfing.

Lambi

Things to do in Kos - Lambi beach
Lambi Beach

Just 3kms to the north of Kos town, Lambi is a popular beach barely a stone throw from the Kos town. Just like Mastichari, Lambi also is organised with umbrellas and sun beds which are just a perfect recipe for a good time with your family. The major water sporting activities are waterskiing and surfing.

Tigaki

Things to do in Kos - Tigaki Beach
Tigaki beach

Tigaki beach is another sandy beach 10 km long awarded with a blue flag. It is just 11 km away from Kos town and is great for families and sports lovers.

Psalidi

Just 3 kilometre from Kos town, this beach has both sand and pebbles. It is organised with umbrellas, sunbeds and watersports. It also has many seaside restaurants in case you get hungry.

Thermes

Located 12 kilometres to the south of Kos town, Thermes is a black pebbled beach with hot water. There is no water sport, but this beach offers a secluded, private and cool place to spend time with your spouse.

 

A day trip to Nisyros Island

Mandraki villlage, capital of Nisyros - things to do in Kos
Mandraki villlage, capital of Nisyros

Nisyros is famously known as the Island of the Volcano. It is here you get to see a crater volcano and feel lava rumbling beneath your feet at only 19.5 Euros. There are daily boat trips to Nisyros from Kos ensuring that you visit the Island and return on the same day.

the active volcano in Nisyros island, things to do in Kos
the active volcano in Nisyros island, – things to do in Kos

The tour also includes a visit to the monastery of Panagia Spiliani and free time to explore the town of Mandraki with the white and blue houses.

For more information and to book a day trip to Nisyros click here.

Lido Water Park

Can you believe that this tiny island is home to one of the largest waterparks in all of Greece? Lido Water Park is located 25 kilometers outside of Kos town and occupies over 75,000 square meters. Race friends and family down their multi-lane waterslide, or for a real rush, opt for a ride down the Kamikaze slide or in the Black Hole. If you’re looking to relax, spend some time floating down the Lazy River or kick your feet up in the Jacuzzi. Families will love the kids’ area with pint-sized slides, waterfalls, and a rotating water bucket. You’ll definitely work up an appetite having all that fun and when you do, Lido Water Parks is full of restaurants, snack bars, coffee bars. There is something for everyone and enough to make this a full-day attraction.

Book Your Day at Lido Water Park Here

Kos Island Jeep Safari

For a great way to see the island, hop on a Jeep safari! This 7-hour tour in a 4×4 Land Rover will take you off-road to some of Kos’ most beautiful hidden gems. After you make your way through the dense vegetation, you will get to stop at a traditional coffee shop. Then, you’ll continue on to the peak of Mount Dikaios, where you’ll experience some of the best views on the island. Your guide will then bring you to a tavern in Zia village where you will get to indulge in a traditional Greek lunch with delicious local wine. After lunch, you’ll stop by the peacock park before the tour comes to an end.

Book Your Kos: Full Day Jeep Safari with Lunch Here

Scuba Diving Day Trip

One of the best ways to experience the Aegean Sea is to be in it! You’re going to spend plenty of time swimming on Kos’ beaches, but another way to enjoy the water is by scuba diving. Even if you’ve never been scuba diving before, don’t worry! The excursion starts with an in-depth briefing on safety and how to properly use your equipment. You will have 2 dive instructors with you every step of the way as you swim between 2 different countries and explore the gorgeous underwater world of the Eastern Mediterranean. You can choose to take a second dive or spend your remaining time on the boat soaking up some sun, or grab some snorkeling gear and take it easy in the water for more incredible marine life encounters.

Book Your Scuba Diving Day Trip Here

Take a Boat Cruise to Kalymnos, Plati, and Pserimos

port of Pothia, Kalymnos - things to do in Kos
port of Pothia, Kalymnos

This all-day boat cruise is a great way to get out and see some of the other islands surrounding Kos. The cruise’s first stop is in the beautiful village of Vathi on the island of Kalymnos. The scenery as you pull up to Vathi is breathtaking and the village itself is picturesque. Once you return to the boat, a souvlaki buffet lunch is served.

Pserimos - things to do in Kos
Pserimos

After lunch, you might get to spot some dolphins looking for their own lunch as you pass the nearby fish farms. The cruise will then stop at Plati islet where you can jump in the turquoise-blue water for a swim. The last stop of the cruise is the island of Pserimos. Take a step back in time as you explore the island with no streets. Brimming with pristine natural beauty and charming panoramas, Pserimos is a true escape!

Book Your Day Cruise Here

Where to stay in Kos, Greece

Here are my picks for the best accommodations in Kos, Greece:

In Kos town:

Grecotel Kos Imperial Thalasso is ideally located close to Kos Town this luxury resort offers a private sandy beach, a spa center, gourmet dining, and beautiful gardens. It offers air-conditioned rooms with private balcony, and satellite TV. It also has three swimming pools with waterfalls and rivers, and a swimming pool only for children. Although the hotel is near the town it is situated in a quiet location.

Check out the latest prices and more details at Hotels.com or Booking.com

Triton Hotel is located in front of the beach and within walking distance from Kos town. It offers air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi.

Check out the latest prices and more details at Hotels.com or Booking.com

In Tigaki:

Jonathan Studio Apartments offers self-catering rooms with air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi and swimming pool 2 minutes walk from the beach. Outside the hotel, there is a bus stop. It takes the bus 15 minutes to get to Kos town.

Check out the latest prices and more details at Hotels.com or Booking.com

Astir Odysseus Kos Resort and Spa is a 5-star hotel located on the waterfront. It has 5 swimming pools, a spa, sports facilities,  kid’s activities and a variety of restaurants.

Check out the latest prices and more details at Hotels.com or Booking.com

Wind Surfing in Kefalos beach - Things to do in Kos
Wind Surfing in Kefalos beach

How to get to Kos, Greece

By Plane:

Kos has an international airport with direct flights from Athens (1 hour) and many European cities.

A great way to get from the airport to your hotel is by private transfer. Welcome Pick ups, is  a company I have used a lot around Europe, they charge the same as a taxi, but there is an English speaking driver waiting for you at the arrivals with your name on a paper, a bottle of water and many tips to share about the island.

Click here for more information and to book your private transfer.

By Ferry:

Ferries to Kos run almost daily during the summer from Piraeus port in Athens  (prices are around 20 € one way) and the journey takes at least 10 hours depending on the island it stops on the way. Prices and journey times depend on the ferry company.

Kos is also connected with other islands like Patmos, Leros, Rhodes, Kalymnos, Nisyros, Lipsi, Astypalea, Tilos, Symi, Karpathos and Kastelorizo.

For more details about the ferry schedule and to book your tickets, you can check here.

Kos is an island with many things to do that will ensure you have a great vacation.

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THINGS TO DO IN KOS - things to do, where to stay and how to get in Kos island Greece

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