Villas with a sea view in Kos
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If you are looking for a holiday rental in Greece, but you don't know where to start, look no further than Kos. Kos is the epitome of a Greek island, with something for everybody, whether you enjoy secluded seaside breaks, wandering through ancient cities or sampling wine in beautiful vineyards. If you fancy taking a trip to Kos for your next getaway, browse through our selection of holiday rentals on Tripadvisor or Airbnb.
Kos is found in the Mediterranean, and it is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Coupled with rolling hills, luscious green valleys, mighty crags, and numerous archaeological sites, the island is one long, endless treasure trove just waiting to be explored. Whether you enjoy the relaxing countryside or the upbeat Kos Town, you won't be disappointed by the most beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea.
Kos is lucky enough to enjoy hot summers and only mild winters – so in reality, it's good to visit any time of the year. If you're looking for a hot, sunbathing on the beach holiday followed by cocktails watching the sunset, then July through to early September is the best time to visit, although bear in mind that this is the peak tourist season. During these months, the temperature rarely falls below 29 degrees Celsius – and never below 20, which means it's always the perfect beach weather.
The autumn and winter months (October through to March) are typically cooler, with lows of 8 degrees in January and highs of roughly 14 degrees. However, with fewer tourists crowding the cultural and historical areas, it's the perfect time to visit to explore the full extent of the island's history.
Kos is a famous island off the coast of Greece, and its popularity means it's relatively easy to get to – no matter where you're travelling from. First off, you want to get on a plane to Athens – again, relatively easy no matter where you're flying from. Athens is tucked away right in the southernmost corner of the Balkan Peninsula, making it most easily accessible vie the sea or plane. From the UK, EasyJet flies out from Bristol Edinburgh, London Gatwick, and Manchester, Ryanair flies out from London Stansted, British Airways from London Heathrow, and Aegean Airlines again from Gatwick.
Once you're in Athens, there are two different ways to get to Kos. The first is flying straight out of Athens airport; Kos airport is in the centre of the island, making it easy to get straight to your holiday accommodation. It is even easier to visit Kos if you have a holiday apartment in Athens, as leaving direct from the capital means you have already completed the bulk of the travelling time. There are daily scheduled domestic flights as well as summer charters, and the taxis from the airport are reasonably cheap. There are also daily ferries from Athens port straight to Kos, which typically takes about 5 hours.
Another alternative is to island-hop between the Greek kingdoms, with many of the islands accessible by ferry. One of the most popular services travels between Kos and Rhodes, so why not choose a holiday villa in Rhodes, and visit Kos in one day, with regualar crossings taking just less than three hours.
The largest town on the island, Kos Town is the main tourist attraction – so it's the place to stay if you like to be with all the hustle and bustle. It's also the best spot for first-timers to the island as this is where travellers will find the best holiday rentals, the best nightlife, and the best restaurants. Kos Town is also the site of several historical and cultural activities, such as the Roman Odeon, the Ancient Gymnasium, and the mosaics at Casa Romana Kos.
Also known as Kardamaina, Kardamena town is tucked away on the southeast coast of the island, with beautifully clear water that attracts visitors from all over the world. Once a former fishing village, Kardamena has done a complete 180 and is now the party capital of the island. Head here for a day sunbathing at Kardamena Beach before drinking cocktails at Bar 1960 and listening to the fantastic rock and indie music at The Bands.
Nestled away in the southwest corner of Kos, Kefalos is one of the coolest villages on the island. It's very traditional, with a unique blend of cobblestoned streets, history, archaeology, culture, and more – all coupled with a number of perfect beaches. Try traditional Greek food at Maistrali Restaurant, or watch the sunset at the Acropol. Stunningly romantic, there's even the chance to sneak away to the hidden Kavo Paradise Beach.
For the best family holiday apartment rentals, head to Tigaki; a quaint little town set amongst Kos' northern coastline beauty, the village is awash with restaurants, bars, and tavernas serving plenty of Greek and Mediterranean food to keep the whole family happy. The beaches here are all immaculate and safe, with plenty of space of children to splash and swim in the shallow edge of the sea.
Known as the Sanctuary of Asclepius, who was the god of medicine, the Asklepion was first discovered during the early 20th century and is the site of where Hippocrates would train during the 5th century BC. For centuries, people would travel all over the continent of Europe to seek treatment from the sanctuary's priests. Today, all that remains are four terraces accessed by a grand stairway, and the patient's room can still be seen in the niches of the lowest foundation. Modern-day historians can download an app that showcases the 3D reconstructions of how the site once looked.
One of the most beautiful beaches on the island, Agios Stefanos Beach is a fantastic blend of white sand and pebbles set amongst a sea of stunningly clear turquoise water facing the islet of Kastari. Hire a pedal boat to head out to the islet and visit the church of Agios Nikolaos, or visit the two early-Christian basilicas that still remain along the eastern edge of the beach – first built between the year 300 and 500 AD.
One of the most important historical sites in Kos, the Ancient Agora is just a few steps away from Nerantzia Castle – another incredible sight. The Agora in Kos is one of the largest in all of Greece, first built during the 4th century BC and rebuilt continuously throughout history to repair faults and damages caused by earthquakes. The original remnants can still be identified, as they were built from limestone while the renovations used marble – which has a more secure structure to withstand earthquakes.
The interior of the island of Kos is so uniquely interesting; it's impossible to visit without exploring all of it. Therefore, it makes sense to hire a car, especially if you're planning on staying in a coastal holiday villa in Kos. It was the crown of the island until the population was forced to flee in 1830 following a cholera epidemic, and it has been abandoned ever since. Explore the village to spot the remains of the Byzantine castle, first created during the 800s and used repeatedly as a retreat from pirate attacks.
Just along the outskirts of Kos Town is the ancient remains of the Roman Odeon, first built during the 2nd century AD. Now, the Odeon is a stark reminder of what once was, although since it was first excavated during the 20th century, nine of the rows have been restored to what they once looked like. Statues that once lined the site can now be seen in all their glory in the Kos Archaeological Museum.
Casa Romana is unique in that it shines a light on what domestic life on the island of Kos was like over 2000 years ago. It wasn't discovered until the early 1900s, and the reconstruction that has taken place since then has perfectly recreated the 36-room villa, complete with splendid columns, statues of nymphs, mosaics, frescoes, and more. Initially, the house dates back to as early as the 2nd century, and the foundations sit on an even older site from the Hellenistic Period – which took place between 323 BC and 31 BC.
Neratzia Castle was first built during the 1400s, used by the Knights of St. John as a fortification against the Ottoman Empire. Made with two layers of walls, the second layer was built after Kos was captured by the Ottoman Empire, who turned the castle into a garrison, as a well as the main seat for the commander of the island.
Kos is full of incredible beaches – and Cavo Paradiso is yet another one. It's one of the wilder beaches found on the far south of the island near Capo Crichelo, and it is entirely remote – so much so, that there isn't the slightest sign of human activity on the entire beach. Along the southern end, travellers will find a tall craggy headland and a deserted, isolated section, while the north of the beach has a little bit more life to it, complete with a beach bar. Be wary of swimming at Cavo Paradiso beach as the surf is strong due to the wind, but there is a shallow area great for paddling.
A pine forest just west of Kos airport, Plaka Forest is the perfect spot to get away from the midday heat. It's mostly shaded, with picnic tables often visited by wild peacocks and tame cats that live in the forest – all prided for and looked after by a volunteer keeper. There's also a pond where visitors can sit that is the home of many turtles.
Known as one of the most beautiful beaches on the entire island of Kos, Paradise Beach is precisely that: paradise. The Paradise name comes from the beautiful mix of the pale sand with the bright blue, shallow, clear water. There are several sun loungers and parasols which are available to hire, and the sea is calm enough that children can enjoy paddling along on their inflatables. There's also water-skiing and banana boating available from the water sports centre, and travellers will also get to witness the strange Paradise Beach natural phenomenon: bubbles continuously rise to the surface from the seabed. This wonder is all thanks to the volcano on the island of Nisiros which is just a few kilometres south of the island.
One of the best things about heading to Iceland is the geothermal hot spring pools. But Kos has some that are just as amazing, and the island is a fraction of the cost that a week in Iceland will be. The east of the island is mostly covered with nature reserve, wherein lies a beach that has hot springs bubbling up through the rock. While the beach itself is covered with gravel and doesn't make for the best spot for sunbathing, the springs are the real high point. First discovered during the early 20th century, the hot springs are walled from the sea by a collection of rocks, creating a small pool perfect for bathing and relaxing in.
Just south of Kos airport is the Aquatica Water Park, a fantastic day out built directly on a slope – giving the added advantage to the step and scary water rides. Compared to some big holiday resort water parks, Aquatica can seem fairly small, but nevertheless, there is an excellent range of activities and trips – such as single and multi-laned slides that offer views across the Turkish mainland, as well as a river for tubing, and a number of flumes that go at various speeds. There's also a mini pool and playground for babies and toddlers to enjoy themselves as well.