The flat landscape means that cycling is a really popular way to get around the island and there are several cycle hire companies to choose from. This is a really great way to take in the scenery at your own pace and get off the beaten track, not to mention checking out some near deserted beaches. There are even some dedicated cycle roads between the big hotels.
If lazing around on the beach all day isn’t your idea of fun, why not check out one of the many varied water sports? With everything from water skiing and windsurfing to banana boating and jet skiing, there is a lot of fun to be had out on the crystal clear waters. Those who prefer to take life at a slower pace can explore the island on pedalos or canoes, while parascending offers a great view of the island from way up high.
If you’re looking for a fun and leisurely way to explore Kos, why not do it on horseback? There are several companies offering a variety of packages including hacks for beginners or experts and supervised pony rides for children. It is possible to either book lessons or take it easy on a leisurely trek, which will take in historical sites and small villages that are off the beaten track. Safety is taken very seriously and all companies should offer riding hats.
As Kos is mostly flat, it’s a great place for beginners to try out a hike across the island. There are loads of great trails, which you will be able to find on a map that will take in historical sites and gorgeous beaches. The natural scenery with its rugged cliffs, lush green forests and lively wildlife makes for a great day out walking. Whether you check out Neratzia Castle or some of the other ancient ruins, there is plenty to see on a walking tour in Kos.
History and culture buffs will find plenty to keep them interested on Kos, with its stunning heritage sites that combine history and beautiful scenery in one. The ancient Roman Odeon dates from the 2nd century and was found along the remains of some Roman baths and gymnasium. It is a great place to start your exploration of the island’s history. The earthquake of 1933 caused devastation on the island but also unearthed many ancient sites including the Temple of Hercules and the ruins of Pandimos Aphrodite's Temple. Meanwhile the Agora Ancient Market is one of the oldest market sites in Greece.
Folklore museums have become very popular in Greece and The Kos Folklore Museum is one of the best in the country, offering a display of tools and other objects from daily life over the centuries. The archaeological museum of Kos, in Kos Town, is also well worth visiting if you want to learn more about Kos’s rich historical background. There are a variety of ceramics and statues from the Roman and Hellenistic eras, which are some of the finest in Greece.
If you want to get away from the touristy side of Kos the definitely steer clear of Kardamena, which caters more to young groups rather than serious foodies. Kos Town has several more upmarket tavernas and restaurants offering traditional Greek food including moussaka, grilled meats and mezze plates. For a real culinary adventure, hire a car and head out to some of the small fishing towns around the island, where you will find small family run restaurants offering stunning fresh seafood. Oromedon restaurant in Zia is well worth the trip for some of the best views on the island. To check out the island’s only genuine ouzeri, head to Pote tin Kyriaki in Kos Town. This is a really untouristy and traditional restaurant that offers the potent Greek drink ouzo alongside delicious mezze plates.
If its souvenirs you’re after, then the many stalls and shops along the beach in Kardamena will have more than you could ask for. Be sure to barter though as it is possible to get heave discounts. Kos Town offers a much more cosmopolitan shopping experience and it is possible to get beautiful homemade trinkets from the quant family run stores in the old town. The city’s central market is a great place to browse locally sourced produce including olive oil and honey. Be sure to pick up a bottle of ouzo to take back home.
The young, tanned and beautiful flock to Kardamena’s beaches, a paradise for golden sand loving holiday makers. The two long beaches are packed with beachside bars, shops and restaurants, which means everything you could want is within easy reach. If you feel like checking out the rest of the island, hire a car and check out the island’s picturesque beaches including Magic Beach and Banana Beach. The popular Paradise Beach to the south is unique in that volcanic bubbles rise up from the sea bed, a very unusual experience not to miss.
Kardamena is the place to be for young groups going out in Kos. Packed full of fun cocktails bars, karaoke bars, English pubs and clubs, the town literally never sleeps as there is a party every night. Whether you like RnB, House or cheesy retro pop, it’s impossible not to have a good time with the party atmosphere. Downtown is a popular bar that churns out a mix of dance and 80s music, while Starlight is Kardamena’s hottest club and is famous for its Saturday night foam parties.
Adrenaline junkies will love the variety of water sports available on the beach, which include water skiing, banana boating, wind surfing and jet skiing. Parascending is a really popular activity. Whether you brave it alone or do it in a pair, it offers the rare opportunity to see Kardamena from above. Those who want to take a slower pace will enjoy taking out a pedalo or kayak and leisurely whiling away the day in the ocean.
Lido Water Park
The Lido Waterpark is a big hit with young groups looking for a fun filled day out. You can either get one of the buses to the park or organise a day trip through a tour operator. There are a variety of attractions, from giant slides to wave pools, meaning daredevils and easy going types will be equally satisfied. The park’s highlights include the Kamikaze, a high speed water slide 80 meters high and the Black Hole, a 130 meter plunge into darkness, to which scaredy cats should steer clear of.
Family Friendly Beaches
You can take your pick of beautiful, long beaches in Kos. Whether you want to indulge in some watersports on the lively beaches in Kardamena, or get away from the crowds at the pebble beaches at Kos Town or the quiet shingle beach at Lambi, all you need to decide is which one sounds best for your family. Head west to Kefalos and you will find a range of family friendly sandy beaches with names the children will love such as the huge Magic Beach or Banana Beach with its lovely white sand dunes which are perfect for kids to run up and down.
This area is great for family dining because there is such a great selection of both traditional Greek and British and international food. Got kids that will eat only fish and chips? No problem, Kardamena is full of chippys and even has a MacDonalds if that is what you want. Those with more adventurous taste buds should check out the many waterfront tavernas in Kos Town. Try local specialities like moussaka or grilled meat with tzatziki and pitta. The small fishing villages around the island boast some great family owned restaurants so hire a car and go and explore.
Things to Do
Kos Town is a great place to visit as families will enjoy wondering around the impressive historical architecture while indulging in a spot of shopping. The imposing Castle of the Knights of Saint John, which is on the eastern side of the harbour and accessible by a bridge, includes towers, battlements, moats and altars dating from the 12th century. The small town of Antimachia also has a Venetian castle with some amazing views of the island that is worth a visit.
Lido Water Park
The Lido Waterpark is a great family day out for all ages. Gentle wave pools and relaxation pools are joined by family play pools and slides for children and adults, which means mum and dad can relax in sun loungers while children play safely nearby. Dare devils will love the Kamikaze, a high speed water slide 80 meters high and the Black Hole, a 130 meter plunge into darkness. There are also rapids and gentler slides for those who want to take it slightly easier.