Keeping cool under the sun is top of the agenda for families staying on Kos. Tuck into the refreshing sands of Agios Stefanos Beach and splash about in the calm waters or scramble up flower-carped hillsides to explore ancient temple ruins.
Kids can let their imaginations run wild at the imposing Nerantzia Castle, whose towers gaze out onto the sea and are packed with unique carvings and reliefs. Sample the local cuisine at restaurants serving up scrumptious yogurtlu dishes.
Lido Water Park
There are plenty of things to do in Kos for families to enjoy, but a trip to the island isn’t complete without hitting the open water. Go snorkeling to spot shoals of fish and marvel at the clear seafloor. The glistening blue seas also make it ideal for scuba diving, with experts offering trips for all abilities.
Waterparks rank highly among family-friendly attractions, and the one in Kos lives up to expectations. The Lido Water Park in Mastihari has a raft of slides suited to thrillseekers, plus a lazy river, wave pool, and Jacuzzi. There’s even an interactive kids’ area with water pistols, a rotating water bucket, and a maze of castle pieces to explore.
The best place to pay respects to the father of medicine is at Asclepion, a temple dedicated to Asclepius. The site also doubled as a medical school, and the tranquil setting – surrounded by a forest whose soothing scent would have been part of the healing experience – is still evocative today.
From swashbuckling castles to serene archaeological sites, Kos offers an array of enthralling history-themed activities. Take a walk around the Old Town and marvel at its historic homes, or set out on a scavenger hunt to discover the best of the city.
Feel like you’ve stepped back in time at the Asklepion ruins, a temple and hospital where Hippocrates once practised medicine. It’s the island’s most significant landmark, a place with a significance that spans beyond its shores.
Alternatively, stroll around the Roman Odeon in the heart of the city and admire its partially restored seats. It once had a roof, and could seat up to 750 people.
Alternatively, escape the hustle and bustle of the beaches and wander through Plaka Forest. The pine-scented glen is home to a range of animals, including peacocks and cats, where visitors can have a tranquil picnic or BBQ. It’s also a great spot to visit in the evening for a fun mini golf game with friends. Aside from this, the enchanting forest is home to various springs and is one of the most refreshing things to do in Kos.
Almost the entire island’s southern coastline is a beach, so the best way to sample the scene is by hiring a boat and sailing down the coast. The beaches vary in size and style – sand, pebbles, sunbeds, you name it – but the crystal clear waters are the main draw. The cosmopolitan town of Kardamena offers wild party nightlife, while Kefalos attracts those seeking tranquility and a laidback holiday. Kos Town embodies Greek culture and food, while walkers take to the hilly interior.
Take a day trip to visit the island’s three inhabited islands or explore the rocky cliffs of Pserimos, Plati and Nisyros. You can also spot dolphins in the water, or take a cruise that visits a trio of nearby uninhabited isles.
For wine lovers, a tour of Kos’ many wineries is a must. Discover the island’s wine-making heritage dating back to antiquity and enjoy a tasting session featuring local varieties (Athiri, Assyrtiko and Malagouzia) as well as world-class international grapes.
With miles of sandy beaches lapped by warm Mediterranean waters, Kos is a beach lover’s dream. Toss a towel down and enjoy the sun and water, or try something more adventurous with a snorkeling trip to explore sub-tropical fish.
A visit to Asklepieion is one of the top things to do in Kos, as it offers a glimpse into the ancient world’s healing practices. Wander the ruins of this sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius, the god of medicine; it was an important center for healing in antiquity and later served as a medical school. The ruins include a propylaeum, Roman-era public baths, and remains of guest rooms on the first level; the second contains an altar of Kyparissios Apollo and the 2nd-century-BC Temple to Asclepius; and the third holds a theater with a capacity for 750 spectators.
For a more immersive experience, join a private tour that includes a visit to the archaeological site, a stroll through a mountain village, and a trip to a family-run winery. The guide gives personalized attention and can answer any questions you have about Greek history, culture, and language.
Hippocrates Plane Tree
The Father of Medicine is believed to have taught his students under this centuries-old plane tree, located in Kos Town’s cobblestone Plateia Platanou. The tree now needs scaffolding to support itself, but that doesn’t diminish its mystical appeal.
The tree is near the Ancient Agora and across from Neratzia Castle, and is surrounded by two Ottoman fountains. The square is also the site of a mosque built in 1786 with funds from Gazi Hasan Pasha, the Governor of Kos.
Getting around Kos by bike is the best way to see the island’s charming streets and ancient ruins, including the Ancient Agora, Roman Odeon and Hippocrates Plane Tree. Kos has a 13km cycle path that winds past neoclassical, Italian and Ottoman buildings and offers breathtaking views of the coastline. The island also has a number of biking competitions each year.
A stroll around the central market is an essential Kos experience, offering a great selection of knick-knacks. You can also pick up some fresh, authentic Greek produce to take home.
Escape the searing Mediterranean sun in the cool reaches of Plaka Forest, where pine trees and ferns provide bags of shade for tranquil walks. Alternatively, test your agility on the multilane flume at Lido Water Park. Little ones can get in on the fun with a day of slides and water games.
A trip to the southwestern shore of Kos is the perfect way to embrace the island’s special qualities. Kardamena is the destination for wild party nights, while laidback Kefalos offers culture, food and shopping. Those keen to explore will find plenty to discover on the island’s hiking trails, where they can look down over traditional Greek villages and flower-carped hillsides.
The most popular beach on Kos, backed by a plethora of cafes and restaurants. Powdery sand and sparkling blue waters create the perfect family beach, with plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy. Try snorkeling in the crystal clear water or exploring a sea cave, or simply soak up the sun while your kids play in the safe shallows.
A short walk from Kos Town is the little-visited Casa Romana, a well-preserved ruins of a roman villa that was once home to Hippocrates. Towers gaze out into the sea, there are unique carvings and reliefs, and crenulated bulwarks. While it might not be the most kid-friendly of Kos’ attractions, it still provides a fascinating insight into Roman life.
Take a boat trip to explore hidden coves and mysterious sea caves, or venture inland for a day of mountain exploration. Discover the beauty of mountain villages where time is moved at a slower pace, and hike to summits that offer sweeping views. Or, venture to the southern island of Nisyros for a visit to its volcanic crater.
Kos is the kind of Greek island that offers a little something for everyone. From pristine beaches and glistening seas to fascinating ancient history and buzzing nightlife, it really does have it all.
Explore the wild party atmosphere of Kardamena or take it easy with a stroll through the traditional streets of Kos Town. Thrill seekers can get their fix on the water with wind surfing and snorkeling adventures. Nature lovers can hike up rocky peaks or wander through the dense pine forest of Plaka Forest. And foodies can sample the island’s finest cuisine at local taverns and cafes.
If you’re looking to relax and pamper yourself, look no further than the Artemis Hamam. This is Kos’ only traditional hammam and sprawls over half an acre in Tigaki village. Start your spa journey with a sauna session to soften the skin and prepare it for exfoliation. Then, enjoy a full body foam massage and leave feeling fresh and rejuvenated.