The island of Kos is one of the Greek Dodecanese islands in the southeastern Aegean. As the third largest of its 18 inhabited islands, its northern tip extends to around 5 kilometers from the Turkish peninsula of Bodrum. Its capital, which is also located in the northern part of the island and bears the name of the island of Kos, has around 19,500 inhabitants and, together with its surroundings, represents one of the island’s six districts.
The language of the inhabitants is modern Greek; Greek letters are used for the writing. As in many of the Greek islands, tourism is the main industry. On Kos, this benefits above all from the long, white sandy beaches and the charm of small, partly deserted villages.
In the following we present you the most exciting tours, the most beautiful attractions and the best sights on Kos. See map of Kos on DigoPaul.
1. The Johanniterburg Neratzia
One of the most attractive sights that Kos Town has to offer as the main town on the island is the Neratzia fortress. Their mighty facility is located on the east coast of the island on a small peninsula near the city harbor. The complex, which was built between the 14th and the beginning of the 16th century and expanded at the same time, now covers a large part of the peninsula.
The fortress, built as a bulwark against the Ottomans and pirates, also served to control shipping traffic. Just a few years after its completion, the fortress of the Order of St. John was abandoned and is now a ruined city with the remains of its fortress walls, buildings, battlements and stairs and can be viewed both inside and outside.
2. Hippocrates’ plane tree
Not far from the fortress, opposite its entrance, you can admire the plane tree of Hippocrates. The legend reports that it was discovered by Hippocrates, the forefather of modern medicine in the 5th century BC. Was planted and this should have taught under her. Although the place Kos did not exist at that time and the existence of the plane tree could hardly have survived the many centuries, it is considered one of the sights of Kos.
Surrounded by a small wall, there is a cleaning fountain next to it for visitors to the neighboring, now dilapidated loggia mosque. The plane tree itself is supported by iron bars. The diameter of the trunk and crown is about 4 and 18 meters, respectively. Several young shoots growing from their roots are evidence of their enduring vitality.
3. Archaeological Museum
Not far from the port of the island’s capital, the Archaeological Museum is another of the many sights on Kos. In the Arcaeological Museum, interested visitors can find out more about Greece’s history as well as valuable items found during excavations or after an earthquake in six rooms.
In addition to sculptures from different eras, they also include magnificent mosaics and reliefs. As the museum is located in an ancient Roman villa, you can also admire its inner courtyard with its ancient floor mosaic. A visit to the Archaeological Museum is particularly recommended on days with poorer weather or as a balance to beach life.
4. Hike on the Dikeos
From the village square in Zia, you can take an exciting hike to the summit of the 846 meter high Dikeos mountain, which bears the name of the mountain range that extends behind the south coast. The ascent leads over stony and partly scree-covered footpaths through a forest on the northern slope of the mountain range and ends at a refuge under the summit cross.
For the tolerable exertion of the ascent, you will be rewarded with a wonderful view over the coast and the neighboring islands off the Turkish mainland. A visit to the Metamórfosis tou Christoú chapel, located near the summit, is also worthwhile.
5. Tigaki and Lake Alikes
In the eastern part of the north coast of the island of Kos, Tigaki is one of its most popular vacation spots. In addition to several hotels, it offers supermarkets and restaurants, souvenir shops and a pharmacy and is easily accessible from Kos Town by bus or taxi. In front of the place there is a light, sandy beach lined with shady trees, which invites you to relax, swim and do water sports.
Behind the dunes that border the beach at its western end is the Alikes salt lake. The extraction of salt ended in 1990 and the lake was placed under nature protection. During a walk on a circular path that surrounds it, both beautiful views and, with a bit of luck, flamingos or a turtle can be observed.
6. The magical mountain village of Zia
In the mountainous region of Dikeos, above the town of Asfendiou, lies the mountain village of Zia, the highest town on the island of Kos. Surrounded by olive, cypress and pine groves, the green of which is secured by some springs, about 100 inhabitants live in it. The place welcomes the numerous tourists in several restaurants.
The most beautiful sunsets on the island, announced as attractions, can be observed from their terraces. Zia is also known for the spices and herbs offered here, for its small church painted in Byzantine style, an old water mill and the adjacent, very family-friendly, small nature park.
7. Lido water park in Mastichari
In addition to the ferry service to Kalymnos, the coastal town of Mastichari offers several uncrowded beaches as well as opportunities for strolling and shopping. However, its Lido water park is considered its greatest attraction or a popular excursion destination.
This has an area of around 80,000 square meters, making it the largest of its kind in the Aegean. Equipped with several swimming pools, slides and whirlpools, a separate area for children and dining facilities, it offers an eventful holiday experience for young and old.
8. The ghost village of Palio Pyli
Pyli is located in the central part of the island of Kos above Marmari. The place itself invites you to take a leisurely stroll, during which, among other things, the Charmylos grave with a small chapel and a traditional farmhouse can be discovered. The actual attraction of the old Pyli, known as Palio Pyli, can only be admired after a somewhat arduous ascent.
The long-abandoned place is dominated by the ruins of a fortress built in the 11th century. Those who are not afraid of climbing up to it can enjoy an impressive view of the north coast of the holiday island. The abandoned and more or less dilapidated buildings also include two churches, also from the 11th century. Above Palio Pyli, a small tavern invites you to linger.
9. The peacock forest near Plaka
There is a forest park near the island’s airport, where numerous peacocks, turtles and stray cats can be found among the pine trees. The majestically striding peacocks, communicating with loud calls, naturally expect a little food and reward this with a colorful wheel.
Often the offspring accompanying the proud animals can also be admired. Picnics under the shady canopy of leaves are allowed, a barbecue area and even a clear water source are available. The peacock forest is an ideal destination for a family outing.
10. Dream beach Paradise Beach
The Mediterranean island of Kos is a true bathing paradise with its numerous beaches that meet the most varied of requirements. Paradise Beach on the south coast is one of the most popular. Easily accessible by rented car or bus, it is located in a picturesque bay and is covered in fine, white sand. Without the backdrop of large hotel buildings that is often common today, it spreads an almost Caribbean flair.
The beach with its clear water invites you to swim and snorkel. Its attractiveness is increased by bubbles rising in the water, which are formed by volcanic gases and which give the beach the nickname “Bubble Beach”. However, the gases are completely harmless! For a relaxing day at the beach, there are cafes, restaurants and showers within easy reach.