Dodecanese, Greece

Kos is a beautiful Greek island in the Dodecanese group. It is popular with all types of travelers and is one of our favorite vacation destinations.

On our travel guide, you can find useful information about beaches, villages, attractions, and ferry schedules to Kos. Book cheap ferry tickets to Kos on Ferryhopper!

Rocks in the deep blue sea of Kos, Greece

The impressive coastline and blue waters of Kos

Vacation in Kos

Kos is the third largest island in the Dodecanese after Rhodes and Karpathos. It has a long coastline with many amazing beaches, quaint villages and seaside resorts. On the island of Kos you can also visit historical monuments that bear witness to its rich past.

The island is popular with families, groups of friends, as well as couples, since there is something for everyone! Have fun on the beach, dance till the first morning light, explore the impressive natural landscape, and enjoy top accommodations in Kos.

How to get to Kos

You can travel to Kos from mainland Greece, from the port of Piraeus in Athens. Normally, there are daily ferry crossings throughout the year and the journey duration is around 11.5 hours on average. If you’re in Turkey, you can also catch a ferry from the port city of Bodrum, just a few miles off the coast of Kos. The island is also well connected with other nearby islands, such as Rhodes, Nisyros and Kalymnos.

Find more information about ferry routes and schedules to Kos below.

Moreover, there’s an international airport in Kos, close to the village of Antimachia, 30 minutes from the main port of the island.

What to do in Kos

On the off chance you’re into culture, history, picture-perfect beaches and quaint villages (who are we kidding?), Kos is a great holiday destination. There are both remote and well-equipped beaches, historical monuments dating back to ancient times, water sports centers, and many different spots for authentic moments on the island.

Beaches in Kos

In Kos, you can swim in crystal-clear waters and join the fun of a bustling beach with bars and umbrellas or head to cute little coves, where you can recharge your batteries in absolute peace.

Here are the top 10 beaches in Kos according to Ferryhopper:

  1. Paradise: this is one of the largest beaches on the island. It has thin white sand and crystal-clear waters. There, you can find restaurants and water sports facilities.
  2. Exotic Beach (Xerokampos): it is one of the most popular ones in Kos, thanks to its natural beauty and clear waters. There are visitor amenities and a beach bar, where you can enjoy a drink night and day!
  3. Cavo Paradiso: this is the hidden gem of Kos! It’s a secluded beach, perfect for relaxing moments under the sun and swimming in friendly waters.
  4. Limnionas: this cove is wind-protected and it has golden sand and blue waters.
  5. Kamari: it is right next to Limnionas and is one of the largest and busiest beaches on the island. The sandy beach offers water sports facilities and other visitor amenities, such as local restaurants.
  6. Camel: this beach is located on the southern part of the island. It is rocky and with natural shade, which makes it perfect for relaxation. There’s also a taverna nearby, serving delicious seafood.
  7. Lagada: this beach is peaceful and popular with families. Kids can swim in crystal-clear waters and there are some visitor amenities.
  8. Kastri: the islet of Kastri is at the bay of Kefalos. You can visit the beautiful beach of the little island by boat.
  9. Psilos Gremos: this amazing sandy beach is at the bay of Kefalos and has turquoise waters. There are no visitor amenities, but you can have lunch at the restaurant nearby.
  10. Volcania: it is located on the northwestern coast of Kos. It has shallow waters and thin white sand. The beach is named after the volcanic rocks in the area.

Paradise beach in Kos, Dodecanese, Greece

The tropical scenery of Paradise beach in Kos

Sightseeing in Kos

Kos has been inhabited since ancient times and many civilizations have thrived on the island. In Chora and in some of the smaller villages, there are several monuments of historical importance that are worth visiting. Kos is the birthplace of Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician, who is considered to be the “father of medicine”.

If you are wondering what to see in Kos, we suggest you visit:

  • Casa Romana: restored Roman mansion
  • Asklepion: ancient healing temple
  • Neratzia Castle: ruins of a 14th-century seaside fortress
  • Ancient Agora of Kos: the ancient forum of the island
  • Archaeological Museum of Kos
  • Roman Odeon of Kos: 2nd-century open-air Roman theater
  • Antimachia Castle: medieval castle remnants with impressive view
  • Basilica St. Stefanos: 5th-century Christian temple ruins
  • Tree of Hippocrates: plane tree known as the teaching place of Hippocrates
  • White Stone Cave (Aspri Petra): an impressive cave with a history dating back to 2,000 BCE

The ruins of the Basilica of Agios Stefanos in Kos, Greece

The Early-Christian Basilica of Agios Stefanos in Kos

Activities in Kos

There’s a variety of things to do in Kos for kids and grown-ups. If you’re a nature lover, there are many open-air activities to try on the island.

Here are some of the best outdoor experiences in Kos:

  • Cycling from Tigaki to Agios Fokas
  • Windsurfing in Marmari
  • Horse-riding in Amaniou
  • Windsurfing in Mastichari
  • Trying water games at the Aquatica Water Park
  • Sailing with the Nautical Club of Kos
  • Traveling to the Turkish coast
  • Visiting the natural spa in Therma
  • Exploring the Kos Natural Park in Zia

Nightlife in Kos

Kos is the liveliest island of the Dodecanese. On the island, you can find many nightclubs and bars for all musical tastes.

Kos Town is the heart of the island’s nightlife. You can start with aperitifs, cocktails and appetizers in the central square (Eleftherias). Then, move on to the famous and bustling Bar Street, with bars and clubs that are crowded by midnight and offer music and drinks until the early morning. If you are looking for beach parties near Kos Town, Lambi Beach is just the place for you.

Kardamena is the second favorite to those who seek entertainment in Kos and is probably cheaper and full of events. The village’s bars and nightclubs attract mainly young people and host parties until dawn. You can also find great nightlife and lively bars, such as Sydney Bar, in the settlement of Kefalos.

Food in Kos

The island of Kos is a gastronomical paradise perfectly combining the Mediterranean tradition with the island’s historical influences and unique local ingredients and techniques. You can enjoy fresh organic products and mouth-watering festive dishes in one of the island’s tavernas and restaurants.

Before you leave, we recommend that you visit one of the small markets to take some honey and olive oil with you back home.

Here are some of our favorite dishes and products of Kos:

  • Posia: wine-cured cheese
  • Pitaridia: homemade pasta cooked in meat broth
  • Zucchini blossoms stuffed with rice
  • Pork stew served with bulgur wheat
  • Honey
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh seafood
  • Pasa makarouna: festive thin lasagna tray baked with minced meat
  • Katimeria: fried flat dough with cinnamon and clove

Blue-and-white traditional restaurant at Kos town, Greece

Beautiful, quaint restaurant in Kos Town

Villages in Kos

Kos is a large island with many villages, where you can enjoy an easy-going vacation. Visit a traditional kafeneio to have a cold coffee in the morning and an invigorating tsipouro at night. 

Here are some of the best villages in Kos:

  • Chora
  • Kardamena
  • Kefalos
  • Zia
  • Marmari
  • Mastichari
  • Antimachia
  • Pili
  • Tigaki
  • Zipari

The village of Zia in Kos island, Dodecanese, Greece

The village of Zia with a panoramic view of Kos island

Useful information about Kos

There are many visitor facilities in Kos. You can find ATMs, banks, pharmacies, supermarkets, and a hospital in Chora (Kos Town). There are more ATMs in Kardamena, Mastichari, as well as other villages on the island.

If you’re driving during your holidays in Kos, there are plenty of gas stations on the road from Chora to Kefalos.

Important phone numbers for your stay in Kos

These are some useful contacts for your stay in Kos:

  • Port Authority of Kos: +302242026594
  • Tourist Office of Kos: +302242020107
  • General Hospital of Kos: +302242360200, +302242028050
  • Medical Center of Kos: +302242023423
  • Municipality of Kos: +302242028724
  • Public bus service (KTEL): +302242022292

Transportation in Kos

There is a regular public bus service in Kos. The bus network of the island serves most of the major villages, popular beaches and ancient sites. You can also drive on the island, bringing your own vehicle by ferry from Piraeus or renting one there.

Moreover, there are taxis operating throughout the island. One of the most popular ways to get around the island is by bicycle, used by locals as well as travelers. There are bike rental places, where you can get a bicycle to explore Kos in an eco-friendly way.

Good to know: much of the island is rather flat and you can find some bike lanes, but there are some challenging areas too. Make sure you are an experienced rider and have a look at the route before starting your adventure.

Bike lane by the sea in Kos, Dodecanese, Greece

Bike lane by the sea in Kos

Ports in Kos

There are 3 ports in Kos: Chora, Kardamena and Mastichari. From the ports of Kos, you can travel to mainland Greece, nearby islands, as well as to the coast of Turkey. The ports of Kardamena and Mastichari are approximately 30 minutes from Chora by car.

The port of Chora

It is the main port of Kos, located on the northeast part of the island. The port serves the majority of ferry routes from Piraeus, Rhodes, Patmos, Kalymnos, Leros, the Cyclades, as well as Bodrum in Turkey.

The port of Kardamena

Kardamena is the smallest port in Kos. It is located on the southern coast of the island and mostly serves ferry routes to Nisyros and Tilos.

The port of Mastichari

From the port of Mastichari on the northwestern coast of the island, you can catch the ferry to other Dodecanese islands, such as Kalymnos, Pserimos and Leros.

Yacht marina and ferry terminal at the port of Kos in Greece

Yacht marina and ferry terminal at the beautiful port of Chora

Island hopping from Kos

Kos is situated at the center of the Dodecanese island group in the southeastern Aegean Sea. This means it is a perfect starting point for island hopping! From the 3 ports of Kos, you can catch a ferry to the following islands:

  • Kalymnos
  • Leros
  • Nisyros
  • Leipsoi
  • Symi
  • Rhodes
  • Patmos
  • Astypalaia
  • Karpathos
  • Kasos
  • Samos
  • Ikaria
  • Amorgos
  • Syros
  • Santorini
  • Naxos

On Ferryhopper’s Map of ferries, you can see all available ferry connections from Kos. Find the best routes and ferry schedules, to easily plan your trip in the Aegean Sea!

Tip: the company Saos Ferries operates island-hopping connections from April to October that include Kos and make for rather convenient solutions to explore the beauties of the Dodecanese.

Kos ferry: schedules and tickets

You can travel by ferry from Athens (port of Piraeus) to Kos all year round. During the summer, there is at least 1 daily ferry crossing from Piraeus. The Piraeus - Kos ferry route takes from approximately 9.5 hours to 14 hours.

Tip: make sure to book a cabin to enjoy the sailing across the Aegean Sea and arrive in Kos relaxed and well-rested!

The Tree of Hippocrates in Kos, Greece

The mythical Tree of Hippocrates in Kos

Book your ferry tickets to Kos online

Are you looking forward to visiting the island of Hippocrates, drinking delicious wine, cycling, and visiting amazing beaches? On Ferryhopper, you can find all ferry schedules, compare ferry companies and prices, and book tickets to Kos online, without any hidden fees.

Kos ferry timetable

View the complete ferry schedule from and to Kos for the upcoming week. Find up-to-date trip information, including departure and arrival dates and times, ferry operators and ticket prices.

Frequent ferry connections

Nearby destinations

Kos has direct ferry connections to 30 ports :