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Kos is one of Greece’s sun-drenched islands. Its white-sand beaches and turquoise waters get the most attention, but beyond the shores there’s a rugged side to discover. The Dikeos Mountain towers over the area and provides some of the best views out to sea, while its valleys offer scenic routes for trekking adventures. Kos packs in thousands of years of history with ancient Roman cities and medieval castles, as well as a buzzing nightlife in town.
You can stay in the island’s main hub, Kos Town, or out towards its quieter regions in the west. No matter which Kos hostel you pick, you’ll be close to the coastline. There are hostels in Kos with beach views from balconies or places with suntrap swimming pool areas. Look out for Kos hostels with organised activities and an on-site bar if you’d like to socialise, or lush gardens for a quiet atmosphere. Many of the hostels have free Wi-Fi and some put on a free breakfast too.
Kos Town is the capital and major port of the island, home to a cobbled old town, cosy taverns and a lot of the district's nightlife. As you head inland, you’ll come across Zia, a colourful mountain village with far-reaching panoramas. There's Asfendiou Village, which has kept its traditional architecture and authentic feel. To the west of Kos, on the Kefalos peninsula, you’ll find the island’s natural beaches, such as Agios Theologos Beach, that are free from crowds.
Take a day to stroll around Kos Town. You’ll see Casa Romana, the Roman Odeon of Kos and ruins, like the Nymphaeum. To refuel, find a café in Eleftherias Square where you can also take a wander to the Defterdar Mosque. A 30-minute walk from here is the Asklepieion – the ruins of a 400BC temple and hospital with views of the town. Plaka Forest offers plenty of hiking trails and a glimpse of vibrant peacocks and you can also climb the pine-clad Mount Dikeos from Zia.
Kos International Airport is a 30-minute drive from Kos Town. There are buses that can take you into town, as well as services that run in the opposite direction towards Kefalos. You can reach Kos by boat from the other Greek islands including Rhodes, Tilos and Halki. To get around the island, you can hop on the bus (the main KTEL station is in Kos Town) or hire a bike from as little as €5 a day.