The south coast is the most popular coast of the island with endless stretches of sandy beaches.

The seas in the south are usually much calmer than the north but much colder too.

Mountains provide more scenic interest than can be found in the flat north and in the far west the landscapes can get very wild indeed.

AGIOS STEFANOS

The beach from Kamari stretches west to AGIOS STEFANOS.

At this point the island is only 1km or so wide and even south facing beaches like this one have little protection from the howling meltemi winds.

On the nearby headland are the remains of a couple of well preserved triple-aisled 6th century Basilicas. There are some excellent bird mosaics here but they are usually covered in gravel and dust.

SOUTH BEACHES

CAMEL beach is very pretty with fine golden sand. It is the favorite beach for nudists.

PARADISE beach is also known as BUBBLE beach on account of underwater volcanic vents which warm the water.

BANANA beach is cleaner and the most picturesque with junipers straddling the low sand dunes behind. This beach is also called Lagada.

SUNNY beach is less crowded than the others.

MAGIC, also called Poleni, is the longest, broadest and least tamed of them all.

XEROKAMBOS beach or EXOTIC beach is backed by an army tank and artillery range so keep your heads down.

KAMARI

The KAMARI bay area is the resort area of Kefalos with a 5km stretch of shingle and sand (mostly shingle) stretching almost to Agios Stephanos.

The shingle shoreline turns into large stones under the sea and dips sharply so the beach is not much good for children. The best sand is found near the Club Med complex and there is good swimming and snorkeling to be had.

The offshore islet of KASTRI is said to be within wading distance . The water is crystal clear but known to be the coldest on Kos.

KARDAMENA

A generation ago, KARDAMENA was everything a picturesque Greek fishing village should be.

Charming, friendly and famous for its particularly fine ceramics.

A uniform grid of concrete closely follows the coastline and rows of bars and cafes open out onto wide sandy beaches that sweep out for around 5km either side of the resort. The usual beach entertainment and watersports abound.

You can catch a boat from here to the volcanic islet of Nisyros, probably the most worthwhile thing to be done if you’re not a headbanging clubber.

KEFALOS

The village sits high on a headland with views along the whole south coast with the old town above and the sprawling bay of Kamari below. The old town is an attractive mix of whitewashed houses with colourful doors and windows.

Even higher, and forming an impressive backdrop are the twin peaks of Mt Zini and Mt Latia, both spoiled by radio masts and Zini by extensive quarrying. This is is also the end of the line for island buses and an outpost for more adventurous hikes into the western wilderness that ends on the rugged peninsular at CAPE KIKELLO.

Regular tours are offered to a nearby Byzantine church, to the ruins of the ancient Astypalaia amphitheatre (once thought to be island capital) and to a cave at ASPRI PETRA said to be inhabited in Neolithic times.