Close to the Turkish coast, Kos is a very popular destination, with one of the busiest airports in Greece. Thankfully, the remote beaches of Kos enable those who seek a quieter holiday to rent a car and drive away from the crowds to more quiet areas. The historical town of Kos with the Venetian and Ottoman architecture is an open museum that will take you back in time.
Rent a car in Kos and discover…
Kos town, at the northeastern part of the island
Built at the northeastern part of the island, the port is also the capital of Kos. At the same time it is an open museum. Take some time to walk in the wide alleys among the ruins from ancient, roman and byzantine times and stop to enjoy the shade of the rich vegetation. Visit the square with the Hippocrates plane tree and cross the bridge over the Palm Tree Avenue to get to the 15th century Castle of the Knights of Saint John. South of the castle are the remains of the ancient Agora, revealed after the severe earthquake of 1933. If you decide to visit Kos town by night expect to see some really busy streets, as the bars and clubs attract both visitors and locals.
Asclepeion, 4 km southeast of Kos town
Dating back to the third century BC, surrounded by pine trees, is Asclepeion, the ancient healing temple dedicated to the Greek god of Medicine Asclepius. This is where Hippocrates is said to have received his medical training. Built on three terraces are the remains of the Doric temple of Asclepius, a more recent Roman temple, as well as roman baths.
Wetlands of Tigaki, 11 km west of Kos town
There are two main reasons to visit Tigaki. The first one is the long sandy beach with the inviting blue shallow waters, where you can relax under the trees, or if you prefer the umbrellas, sunbathe, and try some water sports. The second one is the salt lake nearby which is ideal for bird watching especially during the migratory season in spring.
Thermal Springs, 12 km southeast of Kos
The famous thermal springs can be visited during the summer as well as during the winter. The hot springs with their beneficial properties blend with the salt water offering a warm bath inside the sea. Keep in mind that the space there is limited. However, if some of you prefer a more spacious swim, there is a beautiful pebbled beach next to the springs.
Kefalos, 40 km southwest of Kos town
At the western part of the island and much closer to the airport than Kos town is Kefalos. Here you will find a variety of accommodation options and travel services and staying in this area will allow you to discover beautiful beaches within only a short drive. The sandy beach of Kefalos is also popular and organized, but you will need to rent a car to make the most of the beaches of the area.
The town itself feels welcoming especially in the old part with the small narrow streets and stone houses. Park your car and walk to the ruins of the old castle and the famous windmill of Papavasilis. To discover more about the history of Kefalos and Kos visit the traditional house turned into a Folklore Museum with exhibits from the villagers’ agricultural life. The ancient capital of the island called Astypalaia (not to be confused with Astypalaia island) with the ruins of temples dedicated to Asclepius and Dimitra is only 3 km away.
Agios Stefanos beach, 37 km southwest of Kos town or 4 km east of Kefalos
Rent a car and take a short drive from Kefalos to Agios Stefanos, one of the most beautiful beaches of the island that you should not miss. Sand and pebbles, rocks by the sea where you can climb and the remains of an old Christian temple create a dramatic scenery, especially under the sunset colors. You can also swim or snorkel to the islet of Kastri and climb to the small church for a different view of the beach.
Limnionas, 43 km southwest of Kos town or 5 km north of Kefalos
At the north coast above Kefalos or 43 km southwest of Kos town is the small fishing harbor of Limnionas (=Greek for harbor). Protected from the strong winds, partly organized, it provides all basic comforts from a few sun beds to fish tavernas, while offering peace of mind away from the crowds. You will need to rent a car to get to Limnionas, as public transport for the area is not available.