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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Kos

Kos holidays

A small Greek island lying off the coast of Turkey, Kos holidays offer terrific beaches mixed with areas of outstanding beauty with the occasional opportunity to party.

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A small Mediterranean Island

Kos is only 40 kilometres long but still manages to evenly distribute a good selection of resorts within. To add to the tourist inhabited areas there are historical ruins, forests and spectacular coastline attractions too.

The capital of Kos is Kos Town and this large resort is a charming area with beaches, a harbour and many impressive structures such as the large castle. Elsewhere many of the resorts are focused on relaxation with the exception being Kardamena that is an active town both day and night.

Holidays to Kos can be enjoyed by couples and families who want to take it slow underneath the Mediterranean sun. Young people from all over Europe flock to Kardamena with its 24 hour bars but even this resort is family friendly with some exciting activities on offer.

Where to stay in Kos

Quick Tips

  • Greek Orthodox
  • Euro
  • Greek
  • Approx 34,000
  • GMT +2

Natural attractions

The beaches of Kos are ideal spaces to lie out underneath the summer sun. Some of the coastal areas in the north are a mixture of sands and shingles but there are plenty of sunbeds available to keep you comfortable.

The largest beach space on the island is found in Tingaki with a massive 6km of continuous sand to enjoy. Down in the south west Kefalos is ideally placed to enjoy a wide range of idyllic beaches. The natural hot spring Embros Therme is not far from Psalidi and is also definitely worth a visit.

Walk inland and you'll find many green areas with thick forests occasionally leading out towards traditional villages and hamlets. Plaka Forest is a favourite spot for tourists to visit as the wooded tour brings you face to face with a number of colourful peacocks.

Thousands of years old

The island is so close to Turkey that you can see the country's mainland from the beaches towards the north of Kos but the inhabitants of this island are still predominantly Greek.

Kefalos holds an old town aura in the resort and close to Kardamena you can visit the Antimachia Castle which is by a small village. However the island's largest historical areas are found within Kos Town. The Castle of Neratzia is the largest structure but Hippocrates Plane Tree, the Roman Odeum and several excavation sites tell thorough stories of Kos's history.

24 hours of fun

Despite having a serious side and a long history to share, Kos is an island where you'll have no problem finding fun. The majority of the beaches offer a wide range of exciting water sports as well as offering rental boats for you to take a solo trip out on the waves. In the middle of the island is Aquatica Water Park which is an exciting area for families with kids of all ages to visit.

The majority of resorts in Kos offer a quiet nightlife where, after enjoying a quiet drink in a taverna, you can enjoy a peaceful and early night. Kos Town and more-so Kardamena bucks the trend with some great nightspots to stay up late and enjoy some evening entertainment.

The nightlife capital is Kardamena with its varied offering of bars and clubs, some of which offer 24 hour service. Bar Street has a good selection of pre-drink venues that close up at midnight and this is when the late night revellers migrate towards the bars and nightclubs by the harbour.

Kos cuisine

A firmly Greek island in culture and tradition, the restaurants of Kos follow the same theme with a large percentage of eateries being tavernas. The proximity to Turkey isn't forgotten about as there are also a few Mediterranean restaurants to try.

It's not all souvlaki and gyros though with Italian and seafood venues as well as a couple of expat owned pubs in some of the larger resorts.

Capital shopping

The two best places to shop in Kos are Kardamena and Kos Town. Most people head towards the capital for a range of items and a variation of shops. Within Eleftherias Square there is a good selection of gift shops and locally owned boutiques. Just next to this square is a large indoor market that is a great place to pick up some handmade crafts or locally grown produce.

Getting there

The flights from the UK to Kos Island International Airport take around four hours in total. The airport is centrally located inland on Kos so the transfers to resorts in all directions take no more than half an hour.

A public bus service runs at least every hour from most resorts towards the capital, Kos Town. Car hire is available from the larger resorts if you want to travel on your own schedule.

Many resorts are small and you can get to most places via long walks along the coast. Many people choose to hire a bicycle to get around parts of the island, especially in Kos Town as the paths provide wonderful views of natural scenery.