My top 15 Things to do in Kos
Trip Index (what we have published so far):
Why you should visit the Princes' Island Istanbul
My Top 20 Things to do in Istanbul
Why you should make the trip to Ephesus Turkey
Things to do in Izmir
Things to do in Bodrum
Kos is one of the 1,600 islands that Greece features. Kos is located just on the other sides of Turkey and is one of the major tourism targets in the Aegean Sea.
The population of Kos island swells from just ~33,000 in winter to about 100,000 given the tourist arrivals. It can be hard to get there in winter but in summer almost every European town has a flight to Kos.
Things to do in Kos - Kos Town
Kos Town - despite the strong influence of mass package tourism - is actually a pleasant town. It has lot of tree lined walkways and many random ruins to look at.
The town of Kos is right at the ferry building but a good 30 minutes drive from the airport.
The Kos Castle
The Kos castle sits right on top the port and provides great views of Turkey and the town. It's just EUR 3 to get in.
Kos Town Ruins
Kos city center' is filled with numerous ruins from the city's Byzantine times. They are impossible to miss when you explore the town on foot or by taxi. You will also get a chance to see the pretty Kos Mosque and Kos downtown church.
Things to do in Kos - Kos Town Food and Drinks
Mummy's is not about Egyptian food but home-style Greek food. Mummy's may look like other eateries along the streets of Kos but it features mostly local guests and has wonderful reputation among locals. I went there twice in just 4 days for lunch and dinner and loved every item I ordered.
Ο Λάμπρος (O Lampros)
O Lampros is another recommendation by the locals. A classic Greek grills with wonderful service and affordable and delicious food.
My favorite app Foursquare does not really 'work' well in Kos since so many places are very touristy and rated very well in the app. However these places aren't worth your time unless you like to spend a lot of money for just ok food.
The Cup is a proper 3rd wave coffee shop. It brews excellent Espresso drinks without any attitude. Some of the snacks (like the ciabattas) are delicious and cheap. The Internet is very fast here with more than 15Mbit and the service is excellent. You can imagine I felt right at home here :)
There are a number of other coffee shops around like Senses and Ciao that feature more food options.
Mylos Beach Bar
The Mylos Beach Bar is a fantastic retreat from the busy beaches further south. The beach is sandy, rather empty and the beach bar exudes an incredibly relaxed atmosphere. The wine is cheap and the food excellent. There is really no excuse to not enjoy the beautiful views here as often as you can.
Things to do in Kos - Day Trips
Kos island stretches about one hour driving South-West of Kos Town. The beaches around Άγιος Θεολόγος (Agios Theologos) are very scenic and worth the drive out. They are all pebbles when you enter the water but after that it's perfect sand, clear blue water and a calm but fun surf.
The closeby town of Kefalos isn't pretty and while there are beaches like Paradise Beach you can safely skip that area if you are under time pressure.
Close to Kos Town are the ruins of Ασκληπιείο Κω / The Asclipeion that are a main tourist highlight for Kos visitors. The ruins are just ok - beware the area will get really hot on most summer days so it is a good idea to come early or later (check hours here).
Close to the ruins is the Triantafyllopuolos vineyard which steps into the tradition of making wine which has 2,500 years of history in Kos.
The Kos volcano hovers over Kos town and Zia is the main town on the slopes of the volcano. Unfortunately Zia is a major tourist trap and while the sunset views should be great it is safe to skip the town entirely (I did after a 15 minutes quick stop).
All the items above can easily be reached by renting a car (I used Avis) or an ATV/ scooter. However the main road is a bit of a stretch and going there form Kos can be tiring on an ATV or scooter. There are a lot of unpaved roads in Kos so an ATV will come in handy if you want to explore the backroads.
Things to do in Kos - Where to Stay
I had booked the Aqua Blu Kos hotel which turned out one of the best hotels I stayed in this year. Excellent service was paired with a beautiful, boutique environment - I actually found just a few things that I consider worth improving!
Even if you do not stay at the hotel - go there for the beach (free access but no sunbeds) or drinks at the patio (awesome sunset views).
You can read more in my Aqua Blu Kos review.