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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. It 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 is caressed by long immaculate beaches, leading to its main industry being 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 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.

Get in

By plane

The Kos International Airport Hippocrates (KGS) [12] is located in the centre of the island near the village of Antimachia.

There are daily flights from Athens airport by Olympic Air [13] and Aegean Airlines [14]. During the months of July and August Astra Airlines [15] flies from Thessaloniki.

Ryanair [16] 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.

The bus from the airport to Kos Town is on the left of the aiport, takes 1h via Mastichari and costs 3,20€. Ticket is to be made on board. Buses are synchronised with Ryanair arrivals.

By ferry

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 [17] 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 Turkish coasts, Bodrum and Datça. To Bodrum there is the faster Hydrofoil boat (from €30 one-way, passenger only) or the slower ferry operated by the Bodrum Ferryboat Association [18] (passenger/car/caravan: €28/100/200)

Get around

By bike

Kos is a relatively plain 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. See MapMyRide - Kos

By bus

Buses run often 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 and 2. All tickets are to be made on board.

By the port you will also find the tourist train that for 5€ will give you a two-way 15-minutes ride to the Asklepeion, by the village of Platani.

By taxi

There is 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. An aiport-Kos Town ride may cost you around €35

By rental scooter

Scooters, ATVs and cars can be hired from many places. An island-wide tariff is applied by all retailers, so it's futile to try to negotiate. For a 50cc scooter, the daily fee is 15€; some discount if foreseen for longer rentals (3 or 7 days). Fuel is not included (around 1,80-1,90 €/lt, i.e. around 10€ for a round trip of the island, around 90 km)


  • 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 "barstreet". The town has main legacies of the dominations 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 archeological fields, 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 imponent castle by the port (ticket: 3€), while the Ottomans adorned the town of several Mosques and fountains. The Italian domination may be noted by some early-XX century buildings, among which 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, and in the center of the town is 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 [19] [20] (temple of Asclepius, hospital and medicine academy) was once the training place for Hippocrates (entry ticket: 4€; tourist train from the port: 5€ A/R)
  • Following the coast from Kos Town towards north-east and passing the cape of Agios Fokas (beautiful and less frequented pebbles beach, [21]), one reached Thermae at the end of the paved road. Here, after a steepy descent, on the beach thermal waters come out at a temperature of around 40-50°C all year round (bus #5 from the port, 1,60€ for the bus ticket; free entrance on the thermal beach) [22].
  • 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 istmus (south-west of the island) are the most renowned; among these is Paradise beach. Kefalos is near the only capital of the island, Astipalia, and holds the ruins of a castle.

About Kos



Relax on the beach, wind- and kitesurfing.

  • Sailing in Kos (Yacht Charter in Kos), G.Papandreou Avenue, Kos Marina, 85300, +30 22420 22195, [1]. 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-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 Turkey coasts.


  • 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.).
  • Further afield, there is the Alexandros Supermarket which is a part of the Proton supermarket chain located on Cleopatras Street about 10 meters from the main bus station and directly in front of the Olympiada Resturant. (Open Monday - Friday from 8 or 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and again from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays - mornings only and closed all day Sunday).
  • 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). (Might close of Sundays)

For a map of the supermarkets on the island: [23]


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€

  • 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. Reasonable prices, f.e. Moussaka 7€.
  • 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. Almost every night full, but just keep trying if there is a place free. It is worth it. Reasonable prices, f.e. Moussaka 6€.
  • Shangri-La, square Diagora. One of the cheapest eateries in Kos is this Greek-Chinese restaurant, the last on on square Diagora, where you will find a puta-gyros for 2€, a salad for 4€ and a drink for 1,80€
  • 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 cuisine Moussaka 7€.


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, to be served together with snacks and with a glass of water (2,00€)

  • Kos' barstreet is formed by a couple of intersecting streets enclosed by the port and the ruins (Nafklirou) [24]. 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 in the very 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. [25] 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€.


  • Aegean Houses Hotel (Hotel in Kos), Ethelonton Palaion Polemiston, Lambi, Kos, +30 22420 48410, [2]. 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)
  • Ampavris Hotel, (Kos Town), +30 22420 25780, [3]. A family-run hotel, located in Ampavris area on a small hill just a short distance walk from Kos Town with nice view.
  • Artemis Hotel, (Lambi, Kos Town), [4]. 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.
  • Gaia Hotels, (Kos City, Mastichari, Tigaki), +30 22420 25804, [5]. A hotel chain with four resorts hotels located in Kos.
  • Katras Hotel Apartments, (Tigaki), +30 22420 68238, [6]. It is located in Tigaki and consists of 55 sunny rooms.
  • Leonidas Hotel and Studios, Sintagmatos Dodekanision st., (Kos Town), 00302242026921, [7]. 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.
  • Michelangelo Resort & Spa Hotel, Agios Fokas, Kos 85300, +30 2242045810 (, fax: +30 2242045825), [8]. A modern hotel with rooms and suites with views to the sea and gardens.
  • Sunny Days Hotel, (Tigaki), [9]. It is situated at Tigaki of Kos 500 meters from the beach.
  • Nissia Kamares Hotel Apartments, Kardamena (Close to the church), +306936207428, [10]. 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)
  • Marianna hotel apartments, Tigaki Kos, 2242049943,2242069090, [11]. checkin: 14.00; checkout: 12.00. Cozy studios and apartments by Marianna 3 star hotel in Kos, Greece. 65€. (36.882576,27.186191)

Stay Safe

Kos is a very safe area and should not be a major problem for travellers. Just take normal precautions.

The area of the bar-street and the port, by night, is not of the most safe (fights sometimes erupt among alcoolised 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.)


  • Almost all cafés and restaurants in town offer wi-fi access. Connection quality may vary, though.
  • The internet-café e-Global (2, Artemisias st., Kos town; 0030 22420 27911) has internet, printing services, and even consolle games. Smoking is allowed inside, unfortunately. Open until 1am. Discounted tariffs for members (internet: 2,50€/h, printing: 0,20€/page b/w)

Get out

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