Kos is the second biggest island in Greece and can be found between Kalymnos and Nisyros.
Due to its size, some parts of Kos are crowded, while others are very isolated.
This makes Kos a very appealing destination for holiday seekers who like a delicate balance of noise and quiet.
The island is beautiful, historically rich, and lots of fun.
Visitors are often spoiled with choices of what to do and may find it hard to decide whether to explore the many archeological monuments on the island like the Asklepion and the Roman Odeon, to lounge on one of the many gorgeous beaches like Agios Stefanos or Paradise Beach, or to simply spend their days cycling around the town and enjoy the clean air and wonderful views.
Things To Do in Kos
Below, you’ll find a list of 26 Things to Do in Kos, Greece. If you think we missed something on this list, please feel free to leave a comment below with your recommendations.
1. Visit the Asklepion
The Asklepion is the sanctuary of the Grecian god of medicine and healing, Asclepius, and the most eminent archeological site in Kos.
Explore this ancient temple, which was used as a spa and healing center, and learn about the different in-house sanctuaries like the ruined theatre and gymnasium that the Askeplion provided to help visitors find revitalization and wellness.
2. Visit Antimachia Castle
The Castle of Antimachia is an ancient Venetian style fortress that is located in the center of Kos.
Abandoned in 1840 and partially ruined in the earthquake of 1926, the castle is ideal for exploration during the daytime and still contains many old reservoirs and at least two churches.
There is no charge to look around and visitors can go alone or with kids.
3. Visit the Neratzia Castle
Neratzia Castle is an ancient fortress at Kos’ harbor that was built by the Knights of St. John between 1436 and 1514 AD.
Long abandoned, the castle is a well-preserved example of the architectural style once employed by the Knights and features well-built towers and walls decorated with inscriptions and carvings as well as an on-site museum that holds more sculptures, inscriptions, and altars.
4. Visit Amallos Mill in Antimachia
The Amallos family mill at Antimachia is the only functional windmill on the island of Kos.
Built over 150 years ago, it fell into disrepair in the 1980s when the family stopped using it as much.
In recent times the mill has come back into operation, and now visitors can tour the mill, learn about its history and see how it works in the present.
The mill is open for visits from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM and entry cost €2.5.
5. Visit the Roman Odeon
The Roman Auditorium of Kos was excavated in 1929 by an Italian archeologist and is believed to have been one of the most important public places in ancient Kos.
Erected during the 2nd century A.D and built on pillars of caster masonry, the auditorium served to host musical competitions and was also the presiding seat of the Senate.
Today, the Odeon regularly hosts cultural events and also houses the exhibition of photography of the Aegean Institute of Archeological Studies.
6. Visit the Castle and Old Town of Pyli
The Old Town of Pyli and its Byzantine castle are believed to have been established in the 11th century thanks to the Monastery of Panagia Kastriani and reinforced by the Knights of St. John in the 14th century.
Built on the hillside of Mt Dikeos, 3-4km from the modern village of Pyli, the old town contains archeological monuments like the 14th-century Church of Ypapanti with its beautiful wall paintings and its wonderfully carved altarpiece.
7. Visit the Ancient Agora
The ancient agora of Kos was the city’s commercial and social center.
Built during the 4th century B.C., near the city’s port, the agora had three main roads which converged right at its center in an internal courtyard.
The agora was destroyed by earthquakes and rebuilt multiple times over the centuries, and among its ruins, visitors are able to see ancient points of interest like the temples of Hercules and Aphrodite, the altar of Dionysus, and building blocks from private buildings which have now collapsed.
8. Western Archeological Zone
Opposite the ancient theater, the Western Archeological Zone is part of old Kos that was excavated to reveal some of the most important structures of the ancient settlement.
Some of the monuments excavated include the Harbor Thermes, the ancient Stadium, the Gymnasium, the Western Baths, and the Thermes Nymfeo.
9. Relax in the Therma Hot Springs
Thirteen kilometers from the town of Kos in the southeastern part of the island is a naturally formed sea-pool with thermal springs.
Known as the “Therma”, the waters of this spring are rich with chemical elements potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and sodium, and are known to possess healing properties.
The hot springs are open twenty-four hours, and visitors are free to sit and experience its healing wonder which has been known to help with skin arthritic or rheumatic diseases.
10. Cycling in Kos
Cycling is the preferred means of transportation on the Island of Kos, and there are dozens of bicycle rental shops all around with bikes for children, adults and even tandem riders.
Beginning from Faros beach and extending to the end of the beach of Psalidi, the bicycle path of Kos measures an astounding 13km and gives riders the freedom to go anywhere in the town including the beaches and the many cafeterias.
Riders can also find more mountainous routes outside the city, which provide not only a good ride, but great views of nature on one side, and the island on the other.
11. Visit Asomatos Village
14 Km from Kos, Asomatos village is a small and pretty haven that is situated on the slopes of Dikeos Mountain.
Over the years, this village has been untouched by tourism and is really quite charming with its whitewashed houses, quiet alleyways, and surrounding lush vegetation.
Visitors will be entranced as the trek through this peaceful place and will be able to visit the church of Agioi Asomati which stands tall over the village and the Church of Evangelistria which can be found at the village’s center.
12. Visit the Archeological Museum of Kos Town
The archeological museum of Kos holds some of the town’s most prized historical artifacts and is itself housed in a historic two-story building on Eleftherias Square that was built in 1935.
Each floor of the building is well occupied with artifacts and the most important sculptures and mosaics can be found on the ground floor and in the atrium.
Some of the artifacts housed in the museum include the statue of Hippocrates, a wall-mounted relief from the Roman era which portrays a full symposium, a mosaic which portrays the bottom of the sea, and other statues of Demetra, Kore, and Athena dated from the 4th to the 3rd century BC.
13. Visit Kefalos
Kefalos is located 43km west of Kos Town and is easily identified by the windmill of Papavasilis which stands high above the town.
Beneath the town is the Bay of Kamari, which has taverns, bars, and beach houses.
Visitors to Kefalos will find ancient attractions like the ruins of a castle, the Basilica of Ayios Stefanos which can be found at Kamari, the Monastery of Ayios Ioannis, and Mikro Limanaki beach.
14. Watch the Sunset from Zia
The village of Zia can be found 14 km away from the town of Kos on the slopes of Mount Dikaios and is the highest inhabited point of the island of Kos.
This elevated village is surrounded by lush vegetation like pine and olive trees, and water springs from the mountain flow down through it.
Visitors to the village can walk around and enjoy the majestic views from the top, including the breathtaking sunset which casts a golden glow over the waters, vegetation, and whitewashed village houses.
15. Go to the Hippocrates Tree
The Hippocrates Tree can be found opposite the Neratzia castle, next to the Agora of Kos.
This tree is thousands of years old and is believed to have been planted by the great teacher Hippocrates, who spent many years instructing his students in the art of healing and medicine, under the tree’s shadow.
While some of the branches of the tree have become rotten with age, the tree itself stands tall at 12 meters and is visited by thousands of pilgrims every year.
16. Visit the Lozia Mosque
Lozia Mosque – also known as The Gazi Hasan Pasa Mosque – can be found on Lozia Square, close to the Hippocrates Tree.
Constructed in 1786, legend has it that the Mosque was built over what was once a church dedicated to St. John.
This legend is highly plausible, as the stones used to build the mosque are similar to those used by the Knights of St. John for other construction works.
17. Visit the Casa Romana
Casa Romana is a gigantic manor that was built in Kos between the 2nd and 3rd century AD, over a previously existing Greek home.
The manor has thirty-six bedrooms and three atriums. While the exterior of the manor is huge and imposing, the interior is astoundingly beautiful, with stunning statues, masterfully-designed mosaics, and reservoirs of different sizes.
18. Explore the Cave of White Stone in Kefalos
The Cave of Aspri Petra is 100-140 million years old and sits 257 meters high atop Mount Zini in Kefalos, which is on the southwestern end of Kos Island.
Excavated by the archeological school of Athens in 1922, the cave contained decorations of ceramic bowls, weapons, and human fossils.
It was used as a place of worship and residence, and its many layers of solid and dry rock are thought to have contributed to its suitability for use.
19. Visit the Temple of Hercules
The Temple of Hercules is located near the Tree of Hippocrates and is thought to have been built as far back as the 2nd century BC.
Although there have been doubts as to the patronage of the temple, inscriptions and objects associated with the demi-god Hercules have been found on site.
20. Visit the Altar of Dionysus
The altar of Dionysus is very close to the Casa Romana and is on the same level as the ancient Agora.
Although ruined, the parts of the structure which have survived show that it was built in the 2nd century BC, and its building is thought to have been funded by the King of Pergamon, in Asia Minor.
Visitors to the altar will be able to see the remains of one of the walls, as well as a portion of the foundation and the entrance.
21. Visit the Ancient Stadium of Kos
The ruined Stadium of Kos can be found opposite the Church of St. Ann and dates back to the 2nd century BC.
Different excavations of the stadium have taken place over the last century, and archeologists have uncovered plaques, columns, and column heads made of white marble.
22. Visit the Tigaki Beach
Tigaki Beach can be found 11km from Kos and is particularly suited for taking a revitalizing swim or bathing in the sun.
The beautiful beach spans 10km of sparkling white sand, and along that length, there are lots of sunbeds and umbrellas available for rent.
There are also little bars and restaurants, and visitors to the beach can enjoy a restful, fully catered day of repose there.
23. Experience the Cavo Paradiso Beach
Cavo Paradiso is an isolated beach that can be found on the southernmost part of the island, thirty minutes from Kefalos Village.
Its clear blue waters and golden sands create a magical effect and call to visitors to come and dive into the deeps or just lay back on the sands.
There are very few services on the beach and it is accessed through a backroad that comes from Kefalos.
24. Enjoy the Agios Theologos Beach
Agios Theologos Beach is about 7km away from Kefalos Village and was named after St. John the Theologian whose chapel sits a few meters from the shore.
The beach is a favorite among aqua-sport lovers due to its gentle waves and is very isolated, making it perfect for sunbathing.
There are very few organized activities on the beach, so visitors must bring along their own beach towels, umbrellas, and food.
25. Visit the Agios Stefanos Beach
Agios Stefanos Beach is a small, well-organized beach which is located 3km Northeast of Kefalos Village.
The beach offers various amenities and is regularly visited by a large number of tourists for the water sports that are played there.
The beach also houses the ruins of an early Christian church and can be reached by following the road that leads out of Kefalos.
26. Visit Paradise Beach
Visitors to Paradise Beach often find that it is very aptly named, as the clear sands, cool waters and lush landscape definitely bring thoughts of paradise to mind.
This beach is one of the most organized on Kos, and seekers of sun and surf will find all their needs met here.
There are restaurants and bars, and a variety of water sports can be played here.
The Island of Kos is a vibrant, beautiful haven that welcomes lovers of nature and history.
Between the many villages, archeological treasures and beaches, visitors will always have lots of things to do and will find themselves wanting to come back once their trips are over.
Interested in visiting the Greek islands? If so, be sure to check out my full collection of Greek Island Travel Guides.
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