Live the mainstream side of the Island

AGIOS FOKAS

Popular with windsurfers AGIOS FOKAS has little else to offer the visitor.

The resort backs onto a scruffy beach of grey sand and grit to add to the delights.

ASFENDIOU

West beyond Asklepieion is a group of hamlets clustered on the green slopes of Mount Dikeos known collectively as the ASFENDIOU district. Lost in the greenery of the island’s thickest forests this sadly is the only part of Kos that can genuinely be called traditional Greek nowadays.

At PALAIO PILI there is an amazing ruined castle perched proudly on a pinnacle of rock with wonderful views of the hills and sea.

ASOMATI has the most picturesque whitewashed houses on the island while EVANGELISTRIA has some of the best tavernas.

Facing the west, ZIA the rot is already setting in as tour buses unload visitors to enjoy romantic sunsets. Tavernas are noted for good food and the village boasts the oldest windmill on the island.

EMBROS THERMI

Beyond the headland on the southern coast are the hot thermal springs of EMBROS THERMI.

The crowds thin out a little here and it is not too hard to understand why. Backed by brooding rocks, the black volcanic sands are unattractive and narrow.

The proximity of Kos town, a regular bus service, and the novelty of hot natural springs makes the place a popular target for day trippers.

The hot springs flow straight into the sea over a gravel beach so it’s ideal for swimming and snorkeling but it’s a long, hard trek back up the steep hill.

KOS TOWN

Ravished by package tourism Kos, somewhat amazingly, it still has something left to offer the more discerning visitor.

KOS TOWN is a lunatic mix of beach resorts, open air nightclubs and ancient ruins that spreads in all directions inland from the enclosed port.

There was an earthquake in 1933 that unearthed most of the ancient ruins and they were subsequently excavated and restored by the Italians.

The town’s main Eleftherias Square, now mercifully traffic free, has the neatly restored Defterdar Mosque and some imposing, if pompous, Italianate buildings one of which houses the Archaeological Museum with its small but excellent collection of 3rd century Roman sculptures and mosaics.

PLATANI

Inland from Kos town is the village of PLATANI, the last refuge for the island’s dwindling Muslim community.

In the 1960s there were around 3,000 Muslims from Turkey here and now are a few hundreds.

Nearby is a Jewish cemetery surrounded by pines.

Dates on the headstones end abruptly in the 1940s when the occupying Germans shipped the Jews out to concentration camps in 1944.

PSALIDI

Around 3km to the south of Kos town, and really just an extension of it, is PSALIDI.

Beaches are consisting of scruffy pebbles and harsh shingle with access mainly down some very steep pathways.

The best area is known as Blue Beach where there is at least a pleasant grassy area on which to sunbathe.

The only thing to recommend the place is the proximity to Kos Town for those who like holidays with nightlife. Buses are frequent and cheap.