Regarded by many yacht charter enthusiasts as the entry port to the Dodekanese Islands, the town of Kos boasts a rich and vibrant cultural life but also caters to the tourist with many attractions, lots of restaurants, plenty of accommodations and after dark entertainment. And if you happen to land here in the middle of the summer season, you're bound to catch one of the local music festivals which means Kos should be on the top of your yacht charter Greece priority list.
Otherwise known as Cos, this town is situated on the island which shares the same name, a fact that can be somewhat confusing for some sailors out there. The island is part of the Dodecanese in the Gulf of Cos, near the Turkish coast. The town Kos is the largest of the island and also acts as the administrative center.
The city of Kos is the biggest port of the island and thus is the main gateway for tourists which is why you’ll find it has the most touristic facilities, not to mention the most vibrant cultural life.
Travel & Arrival
The only way to get to Kos on a plane is to get on a flight from Athens or from Rhodes and land at Kos International Airport which during the summer season caters to a wide number of visitors with its charter flights to many locations in mainland Europe.
The other way of getting in is by boat, of course, the main connection to the Greek peninsula being the port of Piraeus, with daily ferry trips. There are also links to several other Dodecanese islands like Lalymnos, Nisyros, Patmos, Leros and Rhodes. Hydrofoils travel to and from Rhodes, Patmos, Leros and Samos.
Avant & Apres Sail
Since the town has been around since early antiquity, it’s only natural that there are a lot of historical sites worth checking out. The Asklepion, the complex of early Christian Basilicas of St. Stephen, the church of St. John the Baptist (Epta Bemata), the Neratzia Castle and the Hippocrates Plane Tree are but a few locations which rank tops on visitor’s to-do list.
In order to make it easy for enthusiasts, the local authorities have set up a small train which actually makes a tour within the town of Kos, passing by all major sightseeing spots. The departure point is located near the harbor and the ride lasts around 20 minutes.
Eating out is not just an option when in Greece, it’s the law so to speak, as the locals consider it a national pastime and it shows in the menus of all the restaurants. The local food in Kos is a mixture of traditional Greek cuisine and international dishes. From the fancy restaurants and the local tavernas and ouzeries, the choices are unlimited, both as far as menu choices and price ranges for all budgets.
As other places in Greece, Kos is a good place to shop for touristy trinkets but also general goods such as jewelry, quality leather products and fine ceramics. The town boasts an impressive number of tourist shops which are open 7 days a week, coming to meet the high demand from aficionados.
The nightlife is anything but dull, as Kos is by far the liveliest place on the island. There is an actual bar scene which is worth checking out, with the famous Blues Brothers in Dolphins Square and the Hamam in Akti Kountourioti being the most frequented by fun seekers. But there are also quieter places, such as the open air cinema Open Cine Orfeas which play recent films, often in English.
Events & Actions
Other than the very popular sunbathing and swimming in the sea, there are several events that make Kos a place sought by the parties. In July and August, there’s the yearly Hippocrates Festival which is a cultural celebration with music and numerous art exhibits. But there are regular events being held throughout the year round the Hippocretes Tree, anything from live jazz music to laser shows.