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Things to do with kids in Kos

Kos might be known for its quiet atmosphere that's heavy on relaxation, but it's still an island destination that has plenty to offer kids and families alike. Outside of its beaches is a patchwork of historical sites, endless scenic landscapes and just as many ways to explore them.

Plus, there's the odd waterpark, of course. If you're heading this way with little ones in tow, here are the best activities for you and your pack to check out.

Head to the beach

Kos is ringed by non-stop waterfront, and because it's rather small in size, it's easy to travel across this island from end to end.

That means nothing here is out of reach, including the beautiful beaches. There are around 20 in all, ranging from positively popular to downright secluded.

Paradise Beach in Kefalos is one of the most sought-out of Kos' bunch, much loved by families for its sunloungers, nearby cafes and watersports out at sea.

Nearby Agios Stefanos also gets top marks for its ancient ruins along the coast, while Tingaki impresses beach babies and sun worshippers alike with its white sand.

Hit the waterslides

For water-logged days away from the beach, families choose from Kos' handful of kid-friendly waterparks.

Lido Waterpark in Mastichari comes with an array of slides and pools, plus a lazy river and splash park. There's also the Aquatica Waterpark in Kardamena, which is a little more slick in its offerings. Here, you'll find a similar tangle of waterslides, pools, a splash park and a lazy river, all with the beach out on the horizon.

Step back in time at the Neratzia Castle

Construction on the Neratzia Castle began in the late 14th century and was occupied by the Knights of Saint John. While it's mostly in ruins now, visiting this stony piece of history is a great way to inject a little education into your family holiday.

The castle itself is stashed up along the coast in Kos Town, and consists of four main towers and a spacious moat. Within, you'll find original statues and columns, while outside is the Tree of Hippocrates, which is where the ancient teacher was rumoured to teach his pupils about medicine.

Hike up a real life volcano

Just off the coast of Kos is Nisyros Island, a little speck of land that's one part traditional Greek village and four parts volcano.

Hiking up this caldera along the craggy coastline, past holes of boiling mud and gas, is a real treat for little imaginations. You can catch the ferry to Nisyros from Kos Town – it takes about an hour and a half.

Once here, there are tours you can join to help you scale the craters, plus a museum on the volcano and the sweet little whitewashed towns below.

Explore Kos by horseback

Kos is a horseback-riding hotspot, flecked with stables across the island. It's one thing to see Kos' beaches and countryside by foot, but quite another to do it on horseback – it's also a great activity for kids, as they'll have the help of able guides at riding centres to show them the ropes.

From there it's all scenery, with a twinge of adventure in the form of swimming rides, moonlight rides or sunset treks.

Have a picnic in Plaka Forest

The Plaka Forest is just outside Kos' airport, but you wouldn't know it from this spot's peaceful atmosphere. With ample shady spots, picnic tables and walking trails, it's a great place to let kids run loose.

Plaka Forest is also renowned for its famous peacock population, members of which freely roam the grounds and take shelter up in the trees.

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