When you think of Kos, we can bet what springs to mind. Lively club scenes with thumping music until the early hours, rowdy crowds on the beach that disturb your sun-soaking time and a constant bustling atmosphere with non-existent peace and quiet. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! Olympic Holidays is here to debunk all your misconceptions about Kos, which is nothing less than a glorious island perfect for an unforgettable holiday that caters to friends, families and everyone in between. The island is the third largest in the Dodecanese, offering beautiful sandy beaches, Romano-Greek architecture and an infectious ambience that’ll put a spring in your step as soon as you step foot on the tarmac. If you’ve not visited this well-rounded Grecian gem, there’s probably so much you don’t know that is certain to fascinate you – let us fill you in…
Did you know…
Kos is the perfect starting place for an island-hopping adventure
Staying put in one location in Greece is a difficult feat – there’s just so much to see! Kos is no exception due to its coastal location that means you can venture left, right, up or down to explore neighbouring islands such as Kalymnos, Plati or volcanic Nisyros on day trips or longer excursions by boat. But why not go one step further and visit a whole other country – another continent even? Turkey’s Bodrum is located just 50 minutes away from the port of Kos and all you need is your passport and an attitude for exploration. The port of Bodrum is a landmark unto itself, with white houses built amphitheatrically around it and an imposing castle towering above the bobbing yachts situated in the marina. Embark on a city tour and be introduced to a multitude of fascinating historical sites before wandering through the sokaks (narrow streets) and indulging in the local cuisine or a Turkish coffee. End the day by bargaining at one of the bustling bazaars where you can pick up anything from souvenirs to spices before returning to the port for the short sail back to Kos. Prefer to stay on Grecian land? Rhodes is less than three hours away, travelling to Symi takes roughly 90 minutes and you’ll be in Halki in just over two hours. Your island-hopping adventure awaits!
Hippocrates was born here
Everywhere in Greece is engulfed by spectacular history and Kos embraces their heritage to the fullest. The founding father of medicine, Hippocrates, was born on the island in 460 BC and studied at the Asclipio School of Medicine before distributing his knowledge and medical expertise all over Greece, not to mention developing the well-known Hippocratic Oath which is still used to swear in medical graduates to this day. There are homages to Hippocrates all over the island, one of the most popular being the 500-year-old plane tree which is said to have descended from one under which Hippocrates taught his students around 5 BC. Located in the centre of Kos Town, it’s a popular spot for a shady picnic but be sure to also visit the statue of the founding father near Kos harbour which is inscribed with sections of the oath.
Kefalos boasts the best of both worlds
One glance around Kefalos will let you know that you’re immersed in the traditional side of Greece, located on the southwest of Kos. Charming windmills stand strong on the rolling hills, iconic sugar cube-white houses and crumbling ruins take centre stage, and friendly locals shoot you a warm smile as you pass them on the cobblestoned street. But, if you look a little closer, Kefalos also has a cosmopolitan edge that makes it one of the most popular areas on the island. This dual-sided town is home to both pleasant family-run apartments such as Haralambos Studios and the luxurious five-star Ikos Aria resort, fascinating historical museums and modern boutiques, traditional tavernas and contemporary bars. We told you it was the best of both worlds.
Foodies will be in their element
We hope you’re hungry! Like many places in Greece, the food in Kos is out of this world and perfect for those who want to sample the finer things in life. Posa cheese, also known as wine cheese, is one of the island’s specialities which is a creamy goats’ cheese fermented in rich red wine and served as an appetiser alongside other cold meze dishes in traditional tavernas. Cheese and tomato are a match-made in heaven so why not sample the local tomato stew? This simple yet delicious delight consists of home-grown Kos tomatoes in a thick, sweet syrup that can be used as a topping on bruschetta or a savoury pie filling. Meat lovers aren’t neglected either – don’t leave Kos without indulging in pligouri, which bears resemblance to an Indian pilaf. Soft bulgur wheat, tender slices of meat, fresh garlic and herbs come together to create this flavour sensation – top it with tangy Greek yoghurt and wash it down with Retsina, a dry white wine produced on the island for over 2,000 years, and you’ve got yourself a meal you’ll never forget.
Family fun is guaranteed
If you thought you couldn’t put ‘Kos’ and ‘kids’ in the same sentence – think again! Contrary to popular belief, a holiday to Kos is one for all the family thanks to the fascinating culture, gorgeous beaches and the child-friendly accommodation on offer throughout the island. Don’t miss out on visiting one of the two waterparks in the island; Lido is ideal for those travelling with younger children while those slightly older will enjoy the thrills and spills at Aquatica. Blue Flag beaches are also plentiful in Kos, complete with calm, paddle-friendly waters that make splashing about in the shallows suitable for any age. Are your children budding historians? Wander around Kos Town and spark their imagination as they admire ancient ruins before stopping for a delicious lunch and refreshing beverage at one of the many restaurants or cafés.
Beaches are in abundance from the lively to the laidback
Coming in all shapes and sizes, most of the island’s good looks come from the stretches of white sand and glistening waters. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the number of beaches that range from hidden bays and exclusive coves to vibrant shores with watersports and beach bars – but if there’s one you can’t miss out on, it’s Paradise Beach. The appropriately named stretch of sand is located near Kamari and is known to the locals as Bubble Beach due to the sea being enlivened by the gases which seep from the volcano on nearby Nisyros Island. Swimmers will delight in the unique waters while the shoreline has dark, soft sands lined with plenty of sunbeds for the perfect day out underneath the Kos sunshine. Relaxation lovers will adore Therma Beach which is nothing short of an open-air spa experience. A short distance from Kos Town, the waters here are more like hot springs mixed with sea water, encompassed by a semi-circle of rocks off the shoreline and accompanied by a sulphurous aroma to truly complete the therapeutic experience. But if you’re seeking something with a little more vivaciousness, Lambi Beach is the one for you. The kilometre of white sands begins from the port and has plenty of sunbeds and parasols, restaurants, bars and tavernas for your convenience. Lambi Beach is also surrounded by elegant five-star resorts including the Aqua Blue Boutique Hotel and Spa and Diamond Deluxe, as well as the charming self-catering Aegean Houses.
…But if you are looking for a good time, Kos is the place to be
Even though there’s so much more to Kos than its nightlife scene, it can’t be denied that the island is a hotspot for those seeking a good time. The sun, sea and sand provide the perfect backdrop for calm days and lively nights when the likes of Kos Town transforms and invites those in the mood to dance until the early hours of the morning. If you prefer something a little more lowkey, there are plenty of traditional Greek nights where locals and tourists alike come together to celebrate the culture with dancing, music and exciting performance. Get ready to shout opa!
Did you learn something new? Kos is an all-rounded destination, offering all types of travellers a splash of sunshine on the beaches, a touch of culture at the historical attractions and a dash of adventure on the surrounding islands. Kickstart your Grecian getaway in no time with Olympic Holidays and let your loved ones know exactly what they’re missing in Kos when you return home.