With a coastline that unravels for over 290 kilometres, Kos has more than its fair share of beaches. They come in all shapes and sizes, from golden swathes backed by beach bars, to hidden bays and little-known coves. The island’s good looks don’t end with its shores, either. Inland, whitewashed villages spill down the hillsides and wild flowers blanket the fields. Then there’s Mount Dikeos, whose slopes are peppered with pine forests and castles.
In terms of where to stay, Kos has two very different sides to it. Kardamena is the best place to head for nightlife – its streets are packed with karaoke bars, English pubs and strobe-lit clubs. The cosmopolitan capital, Kos Town, is also lively, with holidays here revolving around lantern-lit dinners by the harbour-side, and cocktails and dancing in the bars of the backstreets.
Kefalos combines old and new. At first glance it’s thoroughly traditional, with its sugar-cube houses, ancient ruins and timeworn windmills. But it’s also home to the purpose-built resort of Kamari, which is bubbling with cafés, bars and restaurants. If you want to keep things low-key, Psalidi is another good option. There’s little more than a golden sandy beach and a sprinkle of tavernas and shops here.
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Helona Beach keeps its head down on the southeast side of Kos. This hushed little place has just a sprinkling of shops and tavernas, all neatly topped by hike-friendly rolling hills. Things look equally good down at the beach, where a ribbon of fine white sand looks across to Nissyros Island. There’s an altogether relaxed vibe here, but although you’d never know it, the very lively Kardamena is just up the road.
Kardamena, on the southeast coast of Kos, makes no apology for its party-hard attitude. It used to be a simple fishing village but now this town is the liveliest holiday spot you’ll get outside of Kos Town – which by the way is only about half-an-hour away. These days it’s all about Brits abroad enjoying the full line-up of bars and discos, then recharging their batteries on the local beach.
Set on the northeast coast of Kos island, the capital Kos Town wears its history well. The Romans, Ottomans and Italians have all left their stamp here in the architecture and ruins, while a 15th-century castle plays up to the resort’s Medieval roots. There’s plenty of room for modern Greece, too, as you’ll see in the lively bars and harbour-side restaurants. There’s a beach in the centre of town, too.
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