Kos Greece - Greek Island Holiday, Beach, Walks and Photos Guides.
Kos is one of the most popular Greek Summer Holiday Islands offering plenty of nightlife if you want it, lots of things to do and see and of course quite a few beaches.
Kos is part of the Sporades Island group of the Dodecanese, Greece - it's a fairly thin shaped island measuring around 42kms long by as little as 8kms wide in places. An ideal time to have a holiday on Kos is mid to the end of June - this being immediately before the real start of the holiday season (as with most Islands in Greece) so things
are still relatively quiet and prices for just about everything not too bad. Much of Kos Island is quite flat with it's mountainous area located to the North-east. Kos has beaches around most of it's coastline - some are of sand but many of the beaches are often quite narrow shingle affairs and can have a nice layer of weed on their edges - and ever present flies.
About getting to Kos by flying or ferry if island hopping. Ferries to Kos
. Kos is well served by the Greek Ferry network system - with the usual large car ferries, the Flying Dolphins serving
nearbye islands and the excellent Dodekanisos Express Cats running at least daily between Rhodes and Patmos Island - incidentally calling in at the excellent little island of Lipsi on the way.
On top of this there are other small ferry companies which you can use to get to various islands - the timetables for these you have to find from their actual departure points (say at the harbour in Kos Town) since
these are not easily discovered on the web etc. Once available to use around the Greek Islands at pretty low cost sadly ferry prices have increased enormously in recent times making island hopping ever more expensive.
Sort of related to ferries - whilst on holiday on Kos many people take the day trip over to Nysiros to see the volcano. It is probably better to take this trip from Kardamena as the town is very much closer to Nysiros and therefore the prices should be considerably lower. The coach ride to the calderon is quite and interesting experience to say the least. On most day trips you get around 45 minutes to an hour when
there - remember to take some water with you and also wear shoes or decent pumps as wearing flip-flops or similar flimsy footwear is not really a good idea on the hot surfaces.
Flying to Kos.
The international airport has reasonably good facilities - you get through quite quickly - and the usual variety of services to get you away on your holiday - buses, taxis and so on. As far as leaving is concerned the
facilities are not at all bad once you get through the inevitable security bits - currently you have to go to a check-in desk for your seats etc and get your luggage labelled and weighted then you take the luggage to another queue and
it's put through the scanners and taken away. They only allow around 20 or so people at a time inside so if you arrive behind a load of coaches you can be stuck outside in the hot sun for some time. The airport facilities in the waiting
area are the usual snack type food, cold drinks and so on and the whole area has quite a few seats and is air-conditioned. There are several screens showing departures - gates - boarding etc and they usually give one tannoy announcement in both Greek and English for the flight boarding warning.
Getting Around and About on Kos Island. There is a variable bus service running out of Kos Town going out to most of the towns - with some buses running
as often as every 15 minutes in peak times - these buses operate well into the evening. Buses from Kos Town visit locations such as Psalidi/Agios Fokas, Platani, Mesaria and Kardamena - but you need to check times which are often displayed at the bus stops. For instance bus 1 and 5 (Psalidi route) are meant to run every 15 to 30 minutes depending on the time of day but you can find nothing at all turns up for an hour.
Kos Island Beaches.
The best sandy beaches on Kos - for instance around Kardemena - are often inundated with beach chairs and umbrellas and it can be difficult to actually see the sand in places.
Please see our Kos Beaches guide which includes the beaches at Tigaki, Mastichari, Kefalos, Piso Thermes and Kardamena.
Kos (particularly Kos Town) has some excellent archaeological sites
to visit whilst on holiday - most of them are free to enter - however quite often these
sites are not at all maintained and there can be lots of long grass, thistles and shrubbery to have to negotiate which is disappointing. The exception is the Asklepieion which you pay a few Euros to enter - this site is well maintained with good paths and clear views of the archaeology. There is of course the magnificent fort to visit which dominates the harbour area of Kos Town - there is a small charge to go in. The Turkish mainland is extremely close to Kos (around 4kms away at one point) and therefore it is of no surprise to find lots of Greek military
presence on this island - so sometimes watch where you aim your camera. Actually the military seem to have removed themselves from some areas on the island compared with what we saw when we were last there - for instance the huge out of bounds areas around Cape Chelona now seems to be completely accessible.
- we stayed in the Psalidi area and found the tavernas to be really nice - there are several situated alongside the beach
and it was great to spend a relaxed evening watching the ferries go by etc whilst drinking some nice wine and having a good meal. It was quite difficult to spend more than 45 Euros for two of you in one of these Tavernas - as often in Greek Islands the amount of food you get is considerable. We did not actually use any of the tavernas at Kardemena but the
prices seemed similar as those at Psalidi - however what you do get around Kardemena is the eventual annoyance of being approached and asked to have a meal as you wander by every taverna - something not so apparent in for instance Kos Town
and certainly not at Psalidi.Supermarkets.
Well food prices - milk - bread - fruit - everything - has all shot up in price in the islands compared to the old Drachma days - in a similar way and in amounts to that which are now "enjoyed" elsewhere in the E.U..
In and around Kos Town and elsewhere cycling is extremely popular with holidaymakers - it helps of course that most of the island is fairly flat. There is a wide well surfaced cycle lane (and also pedestrians are allowed to use it too cyclists please note) going from Kos Town harbour along the coast passing the
pebble beaches and continuing well past Psalidi. Cycle hire ranges from a bit of heap at 3 Euros per day through to brand-new well geared bikes costing around 8 Euros or so.
Car-hire - is really expensive for some reason on Kos - we went to several different car-hire companies in Kos Town (you can find several of these just off the main road to Psalidi a little bit past the yacht marina).
Scooters etc. - these are widely available on Kos as are buggies and quad bikes. All in all hiring motorised transport on
Kos island is quite expensive - however this helps to keep the roads fairly quiet since most people seemingly take a hire out for only 1 or 2 days and pack their sightseeing in
quickly. In truth you can see most of the archaeological sites by using a bus out of Kos Town (a road-train takes you the 4kms from there to the Asklepieion for instance for a few Euros). The Fortress of Andimachia is just outside of Kardamena and can be walked
too if you fancy it or if you have the energy you can cycle as far as the monipath and walk the rest of the way. So apart from having a drive round some of the villages in the mountains (Zia is a favourite spot for
tourists) and taking a look at some of the more isolated beaches etc. a couple of days car-hire is plenty since much of Kos Island is somewhat featureless.
Taxis. There are loads of taxis running from the main square in Kos Town - as is adviseable generally when using taxis on the Greek islands you should get your price agreed prior to your journey. On Kos you do not usually pre-book a taxi - you just ring for one when you wish to make your journey.
Several places to wander around and visit on Kos Island.
Kos Town. Kos Town is of course the island's capital city and where you will find the main ferry terminals for both the large car ferries and also for the Kats and Dolphins. Quite close by you will also find quite an extensive yacht marina which you can wander around and admire the often expensive boats.
There are numerous cafes and shops, a huge castle and perhaps one of the largest free to enter archaeological sites to look around on any of the Greek Islands.
Kardemena. Previously having visited Kardemena we went back to just to see what is was now like - there are still groups of teenagers wandering around with cans of beer in their hands and one wonders just what things get
like later into the evening. Talking to a family whilst in a taverna back near Kos Town one evening they said they had felt a little nervous about walking around Kardamena with their two children in the evening because of these groups of teenagers and had got themselves moved out of the town. Worth perhaps noting that in Kardamena the bars are allowed to be - and therefore are - often noisily open until 3 or 4 a.m.
Please see our Kos Beaches topic for a bit more about Kardemena.
Pyli and Old Pyli. Pyli is a populated village situated up in Kos's hilly area whilst Old Pyli is now deserted and really only consists of the ruins of the village and an old castle.
Zia marks the start point for a walk up to Kos's highest point - Mt. Dikeos - this nice
Kos walk is on rocky paths and initially through forest and ideally you do need walking boots or good trainers and you do also need plenty of drink with you.
Our other items about Kos Greece:
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