Sandy beaches, turquoise waters, lush vegetation, ancient and medieval monuments, tree-lined wide roads, large squares, parks, a superb city plan and an extensive bicycle-only routes network are the distinctive characteristics of the third largest island of the Dodecanese, Kos! Don’t miss the 4th century Asclipiion, the Antimáhia 15th century castle with its imposing battle tower, as well as one of the most scenic villages of Kos with a distinctive traditional character, Ziá nestled amongst a dense cedar forest.
With a coastline that unravels for over 290 kilometres, Kos has more than its fair share of beaches. They come in all shapes and sizes, from golden swathes backed by beach bars, to hidden bays and little-known coves. The island’s good looks don’t end with its shores, either. Inland, whitewashed villages spill down the hillsides and wild flowers blanket the fields. Then there’s Mount Dikeos, whose slopes are peppered with pine forests and castles.
In terms of where to stay, Kos has two very different sides to it. Kardamena is the best place to head for nightlife – its streets are packed with karaoke bars, English pubs and strobe-lit clubs. The cosmopolitan capital, Kos Town, is also lively, with holidays here revolving around lantern-lit dinners by the harbour-side, and cocktails and dancing in the bars of the backstreets.
Kefalos combines old and new. At first glance it’s thoroughly traditional, with its sugar-cube houses, ancient ruins and timeworn windmills. But it’s also home to the purpose-built resort of Kamari, which is bubbling with cafes, bars and restaurants. If you want to keep things low-key, Psalidi is another good option. There’s little more than a golden sandy beach and a sprinkle of tavernas and shops here.