Kos (also spelt Cos) is a popular tourist destination in the Greek islands of the Dodecanese, located in the south-eastern part of the Aegean Sea, near the Turkish coast.
Kos is the third largest of this group of islands and the second most popular and touristy island after Rhodes. It is located between Kalymnos and Nysiros. It is very well organised and has everything in terms of tourism infrastructure.
The shores of Kos Island are washed by the waters of the Aegean Sea. Its coastline is 112 km long and has long immaculate beaches, therefore its main industry is tourism. Farming is the principal occupation of many of the island's inhabitants, with their main crops being grapes, almonds, figs, olives, and tomatoes, along with wheat and corn. Cos lettuce may be grown here, but the name is unrelated.
The main villages of Kos island are Kos Town, Kardamena, Kefalos, Tingaki, Antimachia, Mastihari, Marmari and Pyli. Smaller ones are Zia, Zipari, Platani, Lagoudi and Asfendiou.
Throughout its history, the island has been known by the Greek as Kos. A person from Kos is called a "Koan" in English. Kos has also been called İstanköy by the Ottomans and Coo by the Italians and was formerly known as Stanchio in English.
The Kos International Airport Hippocrates (KGS)  is located in the centre of the island near the village of Antimachia.
There are daily flights from Athens airport by Olympic Air  and Aegean Airlines . During the months of July and August Astra Airlines  flies from Thessaloniki.
Ryanair  offers flights all year around from Frankfurt-Hahn and Milan-Bergamo to Kos, prices can be as low as about €30 for a return flight. Summer flights from other destinations (e.g. Oslo-Rygge) are available too.
From May till October charter airlines fly directly to Kos from many European airports. When departing and travelling independently go straight into the departures hall and check you bags in, quite often there is a large queue for the security scanners for suitcases, if you are with a tour operator you are at the mercy of the sun waiting outside at some point.
The airport is in the middle of a complete upgrade touted to be ready for summer 2020, only summer 2020 will be able to tell if that is correct.
The bus from the airport to Kos Town is on the left of the airport, it takes 1 hour via Mastichari and costs 3,60€. Ticket is to be made on board. Buses are synchronised with Ryanair arrivals. You can find the timetable here.
There is a Carrefour supermarket just outside the airport, less than 5 minutes walking from the terminal. It's a good and cheap option for a snack or last-minute souvenirs as they sell local products like olive oil, honey, wine etc. To get there, just follow the only road out of the airport, walk a bit up the hill and find the shop on your left hand.
The main port for ferry services is in Kos Town. Depending on the season, there are many passenger ferries leaving for various neighboring islands.
Daily ferry services  from Piraeus, Rhodos, Patmos and Leros.
From Kalymnos several times daily (the main ferry to Kalymnos leaves from Mastichari).
From Santorini about 4 times weekly.
From Syros twice weekly.
It is also possible to take a ferry from Turkey, Bodrum, Turgutreis and Datça. There is the faster Ferry boat (from €20 one-way, passenger only) operated by Feribot Biletleri or the slower ferry operated by the Bodrum Ferry Association (passenger/car/caravan: €28/100/200)
Kos is a relatively flat island, therefore it is suitable to be discovered by bike. Rental offices will offer you bikes for as low as 5€ per day. A good network of bicycle paths is also present, both in the urban network of Kos Town and along the northern coast towards Tigaki and Marmari. You can also ride to Thermes beach, passing by Psalidi beach and Agias Fokas beach, the end of the route is especially scenic. See
MapMyRide - Kos
There are buses from Kos Town towards all other main island villages. Two bus stations are present in Kos Town: one, by the port, is for the urban and sub-urban buses (e.g. #1 to Ag.Fokas, #5 to Thermae); the second, inside town (Pisandrou, by Venizelou), is where the island buses stop, including the one for the airport, that passes through Mastichari. Schedules change every 30 days, so be careful if you travel across different months. See 1. All tickets are to be made on board except the local buses leaving from the terminal at Akti Miaouli St. (by the port) - where it's cheaper to buy tickets in the ticket booth.
By the port, you will also find the tourist road train. For 5€ you will get a two-way 15-minutes ride to the Asklepeion, by the village of Platani.
There are plenty of taxis on the island. From the airport they will charge at least €15, even if you just go to Mastichari, which is only 5 minutes away. Airport to Kos Town may cost you around €35.
By rental scooter
Scooters, ATVs and cars can be hired from many places. For a 50cc scooter, the daily fee is 18€-20€. Most of the places will ask 55/60 for 3 days rentals.
- The main port and population centre on the island, also called Kos, is also the tourist and cultural centre, with whitewashed buildings including many hotels, restaurants and a small number of nightclubs forming the famous Kos town "bar street". The town has remnants of the domination by the Knights Hospitaller of Rhodes (1315-1523), the Ottomans (1523-1911) and the Italians (1911-1943). In the urban network you will find several archaeological sites, where reperts from Greek and Roman times have been excavated and exposed. The ruins of the Ancient Gymnasium feature 17 columns. The ancient Odeon is very well preserved, together with the Roman House. The Knights' domination left an impressive castle by the port (ticket: 3€), while the Ottomans adorned the town with several mosques and fountains. The Italian domination may be noticed in some early-XX century buildings, among which is the Venetian-style palace, by the port, that now houses the local police and tribunal.
- The ancient physician Hippocrates is thought to have been born on Kos. In the center of town you will find the Plane Tree of Hippocrates, a 'dream temple' where the physician is traditionally supposed to have taught. The limbs of the now elderly tree are supported by scaffolding. The small city is also home to the International Hippocratic Institute and the Hippocratic Museum dedicated to him.
- Some 5 km out of Kos town, the Asklepeion (temple of Asclepius, hospital and medicine academy) was once the training place for Hippocrates (entry ticket: 4€; tourist road train from the port: 5€ A/R)
- Following the coast from Kos Town towards South-East and passing the cape of Agios Fokas (beautiful and less frequented pebbled beach, ), one reaches Thermae at the end of the paved road. Here on the beach, after a steep descent, thermal waters come out at a temperature of around 40-50°C all year round (bus #5 from the port, 1,50€ for the bus ticket bought in the ticket booth, 2€ if bought onboard; free entrance on the thermal beach) . Please note that the last bus going back from Thermas beach leaves at 16.30, so if you want to stay longer you would have to walk back along the road to MichaelAngelo Hotel (15/20 min) from where buses for Kos Town leave until late (last one close to 11 pm).
- Kardamena, on the south-east coast, is a popular resort for young British holidaymakers and has a large number of bars and nightclubs.
- The beaches of the Kefalos isthmus (south-west of the island) are the most renowned; among these is Paradise beach. Kefalos is near the ancient capital of the island, Astipalia, and holds the ruins of a castle. Kamari bay holds a few sandy and a few pebbled bits of beaches, with a winding road leading up to the the village of Kefalos, Be sure to check out some of the shops up in the village including the coffee and cake shops, continuing through the village will take you to the end of the island and the beach of Aghios Theologos with its restaurant waiting for sundown.
Relax on the beach, wind and kite surfing.
- Snorkeling - Independent snorkeling is probably the best close to Kefalos, especially on Agios Stefanos beach. There are lots of rocks under water, visibility is very good and there is quite a lot of marine life to observe.
- Sailing in Kos (Yacht Charter in Kos), G.Papandreou Avenue, Kos Marina, 85300, ☎ +30 22420 22195, . The island of Kos is a top yacht charter destination in Greece. You can start your sailing experience from Kos and follow any possible route to other magnificent islands. The marina of Kos is located at the old harbour and is known worldwide since it has been available to skippers and yachting enthusiasts for over a decade. It has been described as one of the hottest cruising areas in Europe as it fulfills every need for any type of boat, such as: fuel/petrol, speedboats, WC and showers, bilge & sewage pump out, waste disposal and many more. Istion Yachting is your ideal sailing provider in Kos. Visitors and tourists can find a wide selection of yachts and catamarans and suggestions about sailing itineraries from Kos to all the surrounding islands and the Turkish coast. edit
- Hot Spring There is a hot spring located on the SE coast where hot water and bubbles flow out into the sea, the section of the beach has had a small pool dug out with a little break water where the sea crashes and sprays over that makes for a great experience. Access is by car or public bus, for public bus go to the bus station that is just north of the "Aktis Art Hotel" along the waterfront.
Larger local supermarkets
- Carrefour has three branches around Kos town: the biggest one is by the main road leading from Kos town to Zipari around 5km out of town. Smaller Carrefour supermarkets are close to the corner of Porfiriou and Ethnikis Antistaseos in the northern part of town and in Zipari on the main road.
- Lidl is located on the main road around 5km out of Kos town soon after Carrefour and is one of the largest supermarkets on the island.
- Larger AB is located on the main road near Zipari and smaller ones on Ethelonto Paleon Palamiston street and off Makrigianni street.
- There is a comparatively large Vassiliadis Supermarket located on Verioupoulou Street (from the harbour you go up Meg. Alexandrou Street, take the second right, continue, cross Omirou Street and you will find Vassiliadis Supermarket on your left - can't miss it you will see the trolleys outside). (May be closed on Sundays)
Larger tourist supermarkets
- Supermarket Konstantinos is located in Kos town on Ethelonto Paleon Palamiston street and in the towns of Tigaki and Marmari.
- There are a few larger style supermarkets dotted around Kos Town. One is the Agora Supermarket located on the corner of Harmilou Street and Artemisias Street, just off from the Marina. Agora Supermarket is open all year round. It has a wide range of products (including cheese, ham, bacon, drinks, fruit and some vegetables). (Open 7 days, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.). BEWARE - very expensive.
- In general small local shops found in less touristic zones (=further from the shore) would have better prices. Fruit Corner located at the corner of Plastira and Makrigianni St. in the SE part of town is one of them.
If you're on a budget, there is pita gyros for € 2,5 sold by most restaurants (some for 2€, e.g. at Shangri-La on square Diagora), to be accompanied by a pint of Greek beer for 1,50-2,00€. In general, try to look for the cheaper and not-that-super-touristic places a bit further from the beachside street. Usually 2-3 blocks should be enough.
- Mummy's Cooking Restaurant (Evdokia), 13 Bouboulinas, Kos Towns (near Dolphin Square)). Tavern with traditional Greek food. Let mummy's son help you decide what to order and be surprised how good it all tastes. He tends to pick expensive choices so ask for the price in advance. Reasonable prices, f.e. Moussaka 7€. edit
- Restaurant Alexandros, Irakleous, Kos Town (city center, near church with bright blue, illuminated cross on the steeple, walk up the stairs). Tavern with traditional Greek food. Full almost every night, but just keep trying to see if there is a place free. It is worth it. Reasonable prices, e.g. Moussaka 6€. edit
- Meraklis Corner, corner of Patr. Germanou/Antimachou, Kos Town (in the northern part of town, between the beach an Averof St.). Family run tavern with traditional Greek food and owners little daughter hanging around. Very friendly owners and mouth watering food. They have delicious grilled octopus and fried squid. Also huge grilled meat mix plate for only 9€. Gyros 2€. Live music on Friday nights. Reasonable prices, f.e. main dishes 6-8€. edit
- Taverna Antonas, corner of Grigoriou E'/G. Ioannidi, Kos Town (in the eastern part of town, quite close from the beach). Great local atmosphere, mostly Greek customers, run by elder local gentleman. You can feed neighbourhood cats with your leftovers. Highly recommended for typical unspoiled local experience. Reasonable prices, f.e. main dishes around 8€. edit
- Grill Bar, corner of Makrigianni/G.Ioannidi, Kos Town (close to Taverna Antonas). Great grilled meat and gyros dishes. edit
- Posidonia Restaurant, Kardamena (from the centre of Kardamena take south until Arciri Hotel. The restaurant is by the beach.), ☎ 00302242091430. A family-run restaurant 5 minutes south from the centre of Kardamena, with a very nice and peaceful terrace directly on the beach. Reasonable prices and home made Moussaka 7€. edit
- Aegean Restaurant, Kardamena Port, ☎ +30 22420 92224, . Offering Greek and international cuisine, in the centre of Kardamena Port. The menu includes a big variety of dishes with meat, vegetables, cheeses and seafood dishes with fish, prawns, squid, lobster. edit
Three brands of Greek beers are present on the island: Alpha, Mythos and Fix. The most international taste is the one of Amstel, produced in Greece under license from the Dutch company (50cl: 1,10-1,40€ in shops, 2,00-3,50€ in restaurants and bars). Ouzo (similar to sambuca) is the local strong drink, served with snacks and with a glass of water (2,00€). Don't miss Retzina which is white (in most cases) wine flavoured with pine resin, very typical.
- Kos' bar street is formed by a couple of intersecting streets enclosed by the port and the ruins (Nafklirou) . Usually very calm during the day, the area becomes bustling as from 12pm until morning, with lots of North European adolescents strolling through. Bars and clubs are very similar and the music is only very mainstream. Waiters and bar touts will approach you the moment you enter the area, by asking "where are you from" and offering supposedly advantageous deals (e.g. two beers and two shots for 6€); just turn them down.
- For a more local experience, try Alsos bar on Epicharmou st.  Here, local elderly men gather all day long to chat, have an ouzo or watch the match. The owner will gladly welcome off-the-beaten-track tourists too. Ouzo 2€, beer 2€, Greek salad 4€.
- For a more hardcore local experience, try Retro Cafe on Sp. Oikonomou st. close to the corner with Laoumzi. You'll find strictly Greek clientele. Local men playing cards and watching football in TV.
- For a modern local experience (more than 30 greek craft beers) try "Zero cafe-bar" on Irodotou 1 st.Just a few meters from the harbor,seated in the park.Artistic design,nice coffee & drinks.
- Mix&Match Coctail Bar, Psalidi (3km from Kos town), ☎ 22420 45854, . 18:00 until 03:00. MIX & MATCH cocktail bar, steak house and sushi corner is located in Psalidi area and is adjusted to Zona Club. edit
- Zona Club, Psalidi (3km from Kos town), . ZONA CLUB offers the ultimate night-life experience. Enjoy live music events, theme nights, mainstream sounds and dance music. edit
- Aegean Houses Hotel (Hotel in Kos), Ethelonton Palaion Polemiston, Lambi, Kos, ☎ +30 22420 48410, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. One of the most beautiful Kos hotels, Aegean Houses is a combination of traditional and modern architecture, 300 metres from the sandy beach. (36.907288,27.27967) edit
- Ampavris Hotel, (Kos Town), ☎ +30 22420 25780, . A family-run hotel, located in Ampavris area on a small hill just a short distance walk from Kos Town with nice view. edit
- Artemis Hotel, (Lambi, Kos Town), . Artemis hotel apartments is located in Lambi area, just 1km from the harbour and Kos town center. The most popular beach of Kos island is just 150m away. edit
- Gaia Hotels, (Kos City, Mastichari, Tigaki), ☎ +30 22420 25804, . A hotel chain with four resorts hotels located in Kos. edit
- Katras Hotel Apartments, (Tigaki), ☎ +30 22420 68238, . It is located in Tigaki and consists of 55 sunny rooms. edit
- Leonidas Hotel and Studios, Sintagmatos Dodekanision st., (Kos Town), ☎ 00302242026921, . Leonidas Hotel and Studios is the most popular 2 star hotel and the first discount hotel on Kos island. Price for a Double Room from 15€/night. edit
- Michelangelo Resort & Spa Hotel, Agios Fokas, Kos 85300, ☎ +30 2242045810 ([email protected], fax: +30 2242045825), . A modern hotel with rooms and suites with views to the sea and gardens. edit
- Mitsis Blue Domes Resort & Spa, Kardamena 85302 (just 7km from Kardamena), ☎ +302242092500 ([email protected], fax: +302242092405), . Blue Domes Resort & Spa, a member of Mitsis Premium Collection, is a 5-star plus hotel opened in 2010, offering an incredible range of leisure facilities, superb cuisine and 499 beautifully furnished guest rooms, bungalows, villas, family rooms and maisonettes all combined to make an ideal holiday hideaway for discerning travellers. edit
- Mitsis Family Village Beach Hotel, Kardamena 85302 (just 6km from Kardamena), ☎ +302242092741 ([email protected], fax: +302242092745), . Family Village Beach Hotel is a superb view, peaceful family beach resort in Kos, built on the foot of Mountain Dikeos but only 5 minutes walk from a crystal-water pebble beach. A true oasis by the sea, where you can really relax! Guests staying at the Family Village Beach Hotel also have the opportunity to use the facilities and the all-inclusive programme of the Mitsis Ramira Beach Hotel, located in Kos Town, at no extra charge. All you have to do is show your “all-in” bracelet! edit
- Mitsis Norida Beach Hotel, Kardamena 85302 (just 6km from Kardamena), ☎ +302242091230 ([email protected], fax: +302242091580), . Norida Beach Hotel is a comfortable high-standard all-inclusive resort, where good service meets hospitality and original smile. It is the right choice for couples and families seeking quality accommodation in a quiet location combining sea and mountain views. Guests staying at the Norida Beach Hotel also have the opportunity to use the facilities and all-inclusive programme of the Mitsis Ramira Beach Hotel, located in Kos Town, at no extra charge. All you have to do is show your “all-in” bracelet! edit
- Mitsis Ramira Beach Hotel, Psalidi 85300 (just 3,5km from the town of Kos), ☎ +302242022891 ([email protected], fax: +302242028489), . The epitomy of service, the Ramira Beach Hotel, a unique 5-star beach resort in Kos completely renovated in 2008, is a gorgeous hotel built on the beach amidst green gardens. This sprawling resort is designed to surpass the expectations of the most discerning traveller, providing excellent service in a secluded setting and promising unforgettable holidays in Kos. Guests staying at the Mitsis Ramira Beach also have the opportunity to use the facilities and all-inclusive program of the Mitsis Norida Beach, located at Kardamena, at no extra charge. edit
- Mitsis Summer Palace Beach Hotel, Kardamena 85302 (just 5km from Kardamena), ☎ +302242092730-6 ([email protected], fax: +302242092740), . Summer Palace Beach Hotel is a dreamlike deluxe 5 star all-inclusive hotel built on the beach with fabulous 360o views over the Aegean Sea, Nissiros Island & the Bay of Kardamena, just 5 km away from the city of Kardamena. Guests staying at the Summer Palace also have the opportunity to use the facilities and all-inclusive program of the Mitsis Ramira Beach Hotel, located in Kos Town, at no extra charge. All you have to do is show your “all-in” bracelet! edit
- Sunny Days Hotel, (Tigaki), . It is situated at Tigaki of Kos 500 meters from the beach. edit
- Nissia Kamares Hotel Apartments, Kardamena (Close to the church), ☎ +306936207428, . checkin: 12:00; checkout: 11:00. Built in a very distinctive traditional Greek island style, Nissia Kamares Hotel Apartments comprises 38 studios and apartments on two floors. Varies. (36.78176639244232,27.140661478042603) edit
- Marianna hotel apartments, Tigaki Kos, ☎ 2242049943,2242069090, . checkin: 14.00; checkout: 12.00. Cozy studios and apartments by Marianna 3 star hotel in Kos, Greece. 65€. (36.882576,27.186191) edit
- Diamond Hotel, . Kos Island ís premier 5 star hotel Diamond Deluxe, brings a new notion to Greek Islands Hotels, as a top luxury boutique hotel in the Dodecanese islands in Greece. edit
- Kipriotis Panorama Hotel&Suites, Psalidi (3km from Kos town), ☎ 2242057000, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Luxurious 5* hotel offering comfortable rooms with stunning views. It is located just 200 meters from the sea and 3 km from Kos Town edit
- Kipriotis Village Resort, Psalidi (3km from Kos Town), ☎ 2242055300, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Beach front 4* family resort offering great facilities for children and adults. edit
- Kipriotis Maris Suites, psalidi (3km from Kos town), ☎ 2242024401, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. 5-star luxury hotel offering superb accommodation for leisure travellers. The residents can enjoy the facilities of Kipriotis hotels complex including 2 holistic wellness spa, 4 tennis courts,basketball and volley court,amusement park, water-slides (upon charge)etc edit
- Kipriotis Hippocrates Hotel, psalidi (3km from Kos town), ☎ 2242024401, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. This 4 star hotel is right next to the beach of Psalidi, 3km from kos town. It offers spacious rooms with porch, as well as 2 pools and a palm-tree garden. edit
- Kipriotis Panorama Aqualand, Psalidi (3km from Kos town), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. This 4 star family friendly hotel has an Aqualand park with water-slides to entertain the little ones. The extra large rooms offer stunning views to the Aegean sea. edit
- Diamond Deluxe Hotel, Nea Alikarnassos, Lambi 85300 Kos, Greece, ☎ +30 22420 48835, . Diamond Deluxe Hotel, the new premier 5 star hotel can only be described as a haven of luxury and style, situated on the Dodecanese island of Kos in Greece. edit
Kos is a very safe area and should not be a major problem for travellers. Just take normal precautions.
The area of the barstreet and the port, by night, is not the safest (fights sometimes erupt among drunk youngsters). Private bodyguards are present at the exit by the port.
For every need, just refer to the local police; they are housed in the Venetian palace by the port, near Hippocrate's tree (G. Papandreou st.)
The services in the local hospital are quite cheap: e.g. an X-ray is only 3,50EUR ( as of summer 2014).
Remember to count given change as many vendors tend to 'forget' about 1 or 2EUR.
- Almost all cafés and restaurants in town offer wi-fi access. Connection quality may vary, though.
- The Cafe - Bar "Zero" (1,Irodotou st.,Kos Town;0030 22420 20182) offers free "wi-fi" access plus laptops & tablets for freeaswell.Open all year round.
- You will find another internet cafe "Factory" on Alexandrou St. about 30m after you pass the traffic lights on the corner with Eleftheriou Venizelou.