The north of the island is flat and featureless, making access to resorts easy but providing little in the way of scenic interest except out to sea where Pserimos, Kalymnos and Turkey are all visible.

Waters in the north are warmer but there is almost always a breeze especially in August when the meltemi blows.

Cycling and horse riding are popular here thanks to the flat landscape. Beaches tend to be quieter than in the east and south.

ANTIMACHIA

Around 5km inland from Mastichari is one of the most photographed windmills on the islands at ANDIMACHIA.

Pretty impressive it is too standing on the main street with sails unfurled and preserved as a working museum.

Just to the east along a well signposted road is a crusader castle overlooking the straits. It has an imposing gateway and you can walk along the west parapet for great views. There are a couple of interesting chapels nearby well worth a visit. Andimachia itself is a picturesque hamlet of white washed houses and flowers nearby the large Venetian fortress dominates the central plain.

In Andimachia village we meet the homonym castle. It is an imposing building, built on the remains of an older Venetian castle. Its walls are saved in a good condition. In the interior of the castle are saved remains of residences and water tanks.

LAMPI

LAMPI beach lies across the headland to the west of Kos town within bus, cycling or even walking distance, though dogging the traffic – mostly bikes – can be a headache.

The sands have become more and more popular as people try to escape the crowded beaches of the island capital, thus defeating their principal attraction. The beach is a fine one though, long and sandy and shelving gently enough to make it safe with children.

It used to be occupied by the military but the Greek army has long lost the battle with the tour operators.

MARMARI

A few miles along the coast east of the salt pans is the beach resort of MARMARI where the sands broaden and banks up into low-lying dunes.

Slightly more sheltered from strong winds, Mamari enjoys quieter seas than Tingaki with the sand sloping more gently into the sea, though it can still get pretty rough.

There is a local horse riding centre that takes full advantage of the flat sands.

MASTICHARI

The beach is sheepish white sand seen right devoid of sunbeds, a rare sight these days when you are lucky to get a glimpse of the sand. At the western end of the beach are the remains of a 5th century basilica.

Those seeking privacy take one of the many tracks that appear past the power station and tumble down to several sandy coves backed by low cliffs. Underwater rocks can make the sea less than inviting for swimmers.

The long harbor wall stretches out to sea and, once you’ve braved the half-mile walk you can catch one of the frequent ferries that leave for the nearby islands of Pserimos and Kalymnos

PYLI

The inland road south from Marmari brings you to PYLI, the joint name for three neighboring hamlets of ARMANIOU, AGIOS GEORGIOS and AGIOS NIKOLAOS.

The hamlets are set within verdant countryside and villagers here are mostly cattle farmers.

From Pyli the road leads to Palio Pyli, where there is the remains of a Byzantine fortress which shelters a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary within its walls.

TIGKAKI

Further west along the coast and separated from nearby Mamari by a vast salt marsh is TIGKAKI, a busy and often crowded beach resort increasingly popular. The resort is a one-street affair packed with the usual bars, cafes and tourist shops.

The beach is narrow in places but made up of good white sand backed by low, nudist- populated dunes and you can wade out a good way offshore making it good for children.

Sand improves the further west you go until you reach the salt pans where there are good flat sands and shallow seas.