Kos

travel | get there and get around

Greek Islands » Kos » Travel

Getting to Kos

Dodekanese map

Where is Kos? The island is in the middle of the Dodecanese islands that closely follow the east coast of Turkey from the islands of Lipsi in the north to Rhodes in the south.

It's is one of the easiest of Greek islands to travel to as Kos has not only an airport that takes charter flights from all over Europe but also has a large harbour at Kos Town.

As Kos lies in middle of the Dodecanese islands it is on the main ferry route from Rhodes to Athens (Piraeus) and also the fast daily catamaran services of Dodekanesos Seaways.

Roads on Kos are very good. The island is flat in the north and cycling is popular. Public transport around Kos island is also good with bus services to most resorts and a regular bus service between the airport, in the middle of the island, and Kos Town on the coast, 26 kilometres to the east.

Updated for 2016

Kos flights: travel by air

Find a flight to Kos

Kos Airport is in the centre of the island between Mastichari in the north and Kardamena to the south, and some 26 kilometres west of the capital port at Kos Town.

As well as summer charters there are daily scheduled domestic flights to Athens and to Rhodes. Cheap airlines like EasyJet and Ryanair also offer direct flights to Kos.

Hippocrates Airport, or Kos Ippokratis, has 12 check-in desks and three baggage belts but expect queues in the high summer season.

With annual passenger numbers of more than two million the airport opens 24 hours in the summer to cope with the holiday traffic.

The airport is not particularly well equipped. It has a restaurant, a health centre, some shops and a cafe/bar but not much else and there are no hotels nearby. There is parking for about 200 cars.

Public buses run to Kos Town via Mastichari and Marmarias and there are services to resorts at Kardema and Kefalos. Details are on the KTEL Kos website.

Taxis are a cheap way to reach nearby resorts like Kardamena and Mastichari but its expensive to Kos Town.

Kos ferries: travel by sea

Kos lies on main Dodecanese ferry routes, both from mainland Greece and the north Aegean, so there are many connections from Kos Town.

A few ferry services operate from the north coast port resort at Mastichari, mainly ferries to Kalymnos where other other ferries services can be picked up.

Daily ferries leave from from Kos to Athens (Piraeus), a journey time of five to six hours, usually in the afternoon.

Kos Town is also a main port of call for routes operated by Dodekanesos Seaways which runs services from Rhode to Kos and on to Kalymnos, Leros, Lipsi and Patmos.

There are sailings by Blue Star Ferries to the islands of Syros, Samos, Thessaloniki, Ikaria, Fourni, Amorgos, Kastellorizo, Astypalea, Nisyros, Telos, , Mykonos, Paros, Agathonisi and Symi throughout the summer.

Ferries of ANES Lines depart from Kos to Nisyros, Tilos, Symi, Rhodes and Kastelorizo.

The harbour area at Kos Town is packed with travel offices with offers of boat trips and day excursions both for Kos and for other nearby islands.

Boats leave daily in the summer to Bodrum in Turkey leaving around 9am and returning at 4pm with a journey time of 45 to 60 minutes. You can book online at FerryBodrum.

Excursion boats also leave for many of the Kos island beaches as well as to outlying islets such as Pserimos, Plati, Nisyros and Giali.

Night cruises around the island are also popular and passengers get food, drink and music on the boat. The ferries depart and arrive at the main port of Kos.

Kos map: getting around

Kos is the third largest island in the Dodecanese chain. It's 40 kilometres long by eight kilometres wide and narrows to just two kilometres. The island lies just four kilometres off the coast of Turkey.

Mostly flat and low-lying, Kos has two low mountains, Dikaio and Simpatro, in the chain of hills that run along the south coast.

The population of about 31,000 is mostly engaged in tourism and farming with the fertile plains laid down to olives, grapes, almonds, figs and tomatoes.

With an all-year average of 25°C, the summer months are hot and dry and rainfall virtually non-existent.

Highs of more than 30°C are not unknown in summer. August brings the northern 'meltemi' wind to relieve the heat and temperatures ease off in September.

Many tourists visit Kos in May or October when it is still warm, sunny and the nights are relatively cool. December has the highest rainfall but there are still plenty of days of sunshine.

Kos transport: travel on land

Car rental

Roads on Kos are reasonably good between the main resorts. A couple of tourist trains run in Kos Town. The green one does a round trip of Kos Town and a blue train heads for the nearby ruins at Asklepieion.

The DEAS bus company run routes in Kos Town while KTEL operates further afield and service schedules are on the KTEL Kos website.

Most DEAS buses run from the south side of the harbour while KTEL is based on Kleopatras, just north of the centre. There are 10 buses daily to Tingaki, six to Kefalos via Paradise beaches, five to Mastichari and Pyli with three daily to Zia.

Town buses leave every 30 minutes s to Psalidi and to Agios Fokas, Mesaria and Platani. Times are posted at the harbour and the bus station.

Taxis are plentiful and found at the harbour area, beneath the minaret, or across from the castle. Taxis fares are fixed (see Greek info pages) but check the price before getting in. It costs extra to pre-book from a hotel.

Cycling is very popular on Kos. It's flat and there are dedicated cycle lanes. With around 4,000 cycles for hire on Kos but beware; they look alike so it's a good idea to mark yours with a coloured ribbon or something.

Kos rooms: places to stay

Rooms

Such a popular holiday island offers a wide range of holiday accommodation, from luxury hotels to cheap family-run domatia. It's not a good idea to turn up on spec in the high summer as many hotels are block booked.

Kos Town which has a large number of small family-run hotels and many offer excellent value as they try to undercut the big hotels. Almost every street around the harbour has small hotels that offer cheap rooms.

There are no campsites on Kos nor any youth hostels either which is strange for such a popular holiday island.

The north coast beach resorts cater mainly for the package holiday market but smaller hotels and apartments can be found, especially in the beach resort of Mastichari which also has a small port with ferries to Pserimos and Kalymnos.

In the south, Kardamena is packed with hotels and apartments but high demand tends to push up prices. Kefalos Bay, further west, is cheaper and many small apartments can be found on the hillsides above Kefalos village.