We went to Kos in June 2012 and if I am honest the thought of going here didn’t inspire me, it was never on my radar and not a place I would have gone by choice. But we had a family wedding to attend and wanted to make the most of our first time in Greece and discovered there is lots to enjoy in Kos for the traveller.
Kos town itself can be a little tacky and full of tourists, but dotted around the island are small villages with amazing little restaurants, markets and traditional buildings.
The pick of the bunch is Zia which is on the side of the mountain and as well and affords amazing views over the island and across the waters to Turkey in Asia!
Again, there are a lot of beaches on Kos being an island and all, but not all are the same. Lambi beach for example can be either amazing or horrific!! Most people head to the main Lambi beach area with the sun loungers and speedo wearing Germans, but take a 15 min walk along the coast and you will have the beach all to yourselves!
The mountain is accessible via a 1/1.5 hour hike from Zia and is 846 metres tall again providing amazing views and a great adventures. There is also a little traditional church at the top which provides a great scene against the backdrop. I recommend an early morning trek to avoid the midday sun although the walk is quiet easy going.
Renting quads/ Buggies/ Bikes
All over the island are places to rent out bikes, quads, buggies and cars and all a really good prices. The island is quite small and you could easily get from on end to the other and back in one day. The quads and buddies are great fun on the mountains and getting around town but equally there is some great mountain biking routes and terrain.
Apart from the other beaches dotted around the island there is Therma beach. It is a volcanic hot spring located down by the rocks where the main road ends, if you go a little later on in the day it is usually a lot quieter and used more by locals than tourists. Along the beach there is also little coves and inlets where you can relax in privacy.
The small island just off Kos called Kalymnos is world famous for sport climbing and is only a short ferry ride away, most people who come here to climb do so via Kos. Unfortunately we had only just started climbing at this point so instead took the buggy over to kardamena for some bouldering on the mountain side.
This is the main square in Kos Town and is a far cry from the main strip with it’s clubs and bars. Here there is a great cosmopolitan atmosphere with coffee shops and great places to have break fast and watch the world go by. Also here is a market hall and stalls selling all sorts of traditionally crafted goods and a beautiful mosque.
Kos also has it’s fair share of ancient Greek and Roman ruins and artifacts. The main ones being the Asklepion (The site of Hippocrates hospital), the Roman Odeon, Gymnasium and castle erected in 1315. There are also lots of smaller sites dotted around to be found and explored.
Greek food can be amazing, fresh and tasty and Kos has many traditional Greek Tavernas offering the likes of Mezes, Moussaka, fresh fish and goats cheese salads. My advice would be to avoid the English restaurants and instead try some of the local cuisine in the smaller places on the edge of town.
One of the great things about Kos is it’s proximity to other islands and also Turkey. There are many trips to take from Rhodes a little further afield, the 3 island cruise which seems popular and also over to Bodrum in Turkey. We bought tickets direct from the boat owners down on the harbour the day before to get the best price and headed for Turkey for the day to take in another country and culture on this trip (Bear in mind you will have to pay for a day visa before boarding)
To read all about our amazing adventure over to Bodrum, crossing from Europe to Asia, See our post here:
So overall Kos offered us a very enjoyable week and I believe any travel is an adventure and this proves wherever you go there is always explorations to be had. But I don’t think it will be somewhere I will be returning, although I would love to visit Athens and maybe some other parts of Greece.
Don’t forget to ask for your passport to be stamped if you are within the EU!! Everyone loves passport stamps!