Wander around in Kos old-town
Wandering around in the old-town is definitely a great way to spend your day. There is so many to see and do. It has a magical feeling to it and will give you a great taste of Greece’s culture and architecture. We went on foot from our hotel, which was an one-hour walk. This way we could take our time to let all the beauty sink in.
The first thing we stumbled upon was the beautiful harbor which was filled with all different kinds of boats, from expensive yachts to small fisher boats. When we stood at the north side of the harbor we could already see The Castle of Kos. We decided to visit it and figured out it is a definite must see! It’s located at the south side of the harbor. To get to the entrance you have to take the stairs to the square where the Hippocrates Tree stands, which is also stunning – even though locals say it’s a descendant! – For only €4,- you can experience the old castle that was build by the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, who captured the island in 1314. If you get to the towers you will have an incredible view over Kos-town!
Get to Zia
Zia, zia, zia… this was definitely the highlight of my trip to Kos. It is located high in mountain
Dikaios. We rented a buggy, so even getting there was an adventure! I recommend getting there with a rental buggy, car or scooter. You can get there by bicycle, but keep in mind that the road is steep and winding. You need to be in very good shape to make it up the mountain, locals aren’t used to bicycles on this road, which can cause dangerous situations. You can also take a bustrip, but this will give you limited time in the village. Trust me, even though Zia is small, you are going to want to stay.
There are colorful taverns with magical rooftop terraces. Even though the view from here is great, there’s a place in Zia where the view is even better.. Kos Natural Park of Zia. It’s a cute little park where stone paths will lead you through the local plants and animals in their natural environment to the highest point of Zia. This is the place to watch the sunset! That’s why the park is open from 9.00 until 30 minutes after sunset. Entrance only costs €4,- and kids can get in for €1,50.
Take a boat trip to Nisyros Island
The most spectacular aspect of Nisyros is the volcano which is still active! This was something we had to see so we decided to take a boat trip to the island. The cheapest way to go on this trip is by booking it yourself at Kardamena’s harbor instead of from your hotel. The price for transfer from your hotel to Kardamena, the one-hour boat trip to Nisyros and the bustour into the volcano is approximately €40,-. Of course they will also bring you back!
The best part about the volcano is that you can walk inside the largest crater, Stefanos. There’s a small rocky path that leads you right into it. Make sure to wear comfortabel clothing and shoes! I wore a skirt which made it hard to get in there, not the smartest move.. Once you get used to the smell of the volcanic gasses, you can enjoy the crater. You can see the gasses coming out of the crater and even feel the warmth when you touch the ground. It’s discouraged to get in the crater when you’re pregnant, because of the sulfur in the gasses.
Most trips will also give you the opportunity to visit Mandraki. Visiting this village is like your walking into another world. The streets are so small and colorful and the locals are really nice. This is the place to experience greek culture. A lot of the locals don’t even bother to take the key of the front door, because there is barely any crime.
Take a day trip to Bodrum, Turkey
It’s very easy to get to Bodrum from Kos, it’s so close we could see it from our hotel. It’s an one-hour boat trip from Kos-town’s harbor. If you book your trip there yourself, you will pay about €25-€35. I recommend doing this because some things in Bodrum, are better than in Kos.
You can’t do a lot of shopping in Kos, but Bodrum is perfect for this. There are plenty of shops, where you can get souvenirs, clothes etc. for a small price. You can also go to a Turkish market! Besides shopping, the beach in Bodrum is a lot bigger than the ones in Kos, also it is more beautiful.
Don’t visit Embros Thermae.
Even though this post was supposed to be about what to do in Kos, i really needed to point out the one you shouldn’t do. DON’T VISIT EMBROS THERMAE! All the friends we made at our hotel told us we shouldn’t. Being our stubborn selves we decided to go anyway. We still had our rental buggy for the day so we figured even if it was disappointing, we would still have fun driving around.
When we arrived we understood why people were discouraging us to go. Honestly, it was the most stupidest thing i’ve ever seen. It’s an area separated from the sea with a few rocks, which can fit 15 people. There’s a little trickle of hot water which mixes with the sea water. We didn’t even bother to get in because it was very busy and the entire area was filthy. Kos has got so much wonderful things to see, so don’t waste your time here. Of course it’s up to you, but i wish i didn’t.