Kos Island is right in the middle of the Dodecanese island chain’s South Sporades group in Greece, just a few kilometers from the Turkish coast. Right on the beach at the Gulf of Cos, off the Aegean Sea are many of the resorts that make visiting here utterly blissful on the islands many beachfront resort bays: Mastichari Beach; Marmari Beach; Antimachia and Kardamena Beach; Psalidi Beach; Kamari Beach - Agios Stefanos Beach.Kos has attracted tourists for many years and although it does get crowded the big size of the island means it never feels too overrun. However, it is home to high-rise hotels which can feel a bit like a package tour centre which in many ways attracts and repels. Hardly any hotels and resorts can claim to be true beachfront. Just over 5% of resorts that qualify for The Beachfront Club and so visitors really need to source which hotels have the coveted position right by the sands in one of the most renowned beachfront destinations in Europe.
Mastichari lays claim to some of the most attractive beaches in Kos and the pretty port town is not just an attractive beachfront but a lively spot with restaurants and bars and a place to watch the fishermen come and go.
Marmari Beach is a popular surfers’ and windsurfers’ beach and the influx of adrenaline sport enthusiasts is set against a lovely white sandy beaches and equally pretty whitewashed houses in the town here.
Antimachia and Kardamena Beach have a timeless quality that stands out from the more developed tourist areas. Windmills dot the landscape and there is a picturesque harbour here too.
Psalidi Beach is a sandy, shingle, quiet retreat of a beachfront with a laid back attitude and relaxing bars and tavernas.
Kamari Beach is the stunner in the beach lineup on Kos. The pretty beach is backed up by the town which has less of a hip party scene than a real life atmosphere of local shops and good places to eat with the people who live there. Agios Stefanos Beach is a good windsurfing beach and rarely gets too crowded because of its remote location.
Fine wines and silks have been staple products of Kos since time immemorial. Today there’s serious ecotourism potential—Kos is a great source of olives, almonds, grapes, figs, lettuce, tomatoes, wheat and corn. The 112-kilometre-long beachfront has waves and sand in all the right places. Tourism is now a major industry, as it is on all of the Greek Islands.
Kos sports the classically whitewashed walls of the Greek Islands. Leading beachfront hotels, beach restaurants and a few nightclubs are here too. The town itself has a castle near the harbour, erected in 1315 by The Knights of Saint John of Rhodes. The International Hippocratic Institute and the Hippocratic Museum is here as well; it is dedicated to the ancient physician and father of medicine, Hippocrates, who was born on the island and established the Great School of Medicine of Kos.
Kos Island’s residents are generally steeped in Greek Orthodoxy. Zia has a particularly attractive Greek Orthodox Church. The Catholic Church and a mosque are here as well. A restored synagogue marks the center of what was a vibrant Jewish quarter. It is no longer in religious use but remains a base for festivals.
The Marina of Kos Island is worth walking through to admire the harbour and its seaworthy vessels. Some of the best cruising and sailing in all of Europe can be enjoyed in the waters surrounding Kos. On the streets and at the beachfront in Kos, arguably the best mix of culture, history and total relaxation in all of Europe can be had too.