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parking coordinates for navigation:
Agios Stefanos beach
36.75307, 26.98843 - next to the ruins and the island
36.7523, 26.98391 - at the pedal boat rental
36.75049, 26.97963 - close to windsurfing equipment
parking in Kefalos
parking 36.73002, 26.95529
theater 36.730234, 26.956304
I suggest starting the day with sunbathing, although depending on your preferences, you can end your trip here.
Agios Stefanos beach - It amazed me like no other so far, taking into account not only the island of Kos. This is because I am not a lover of sunbathing or swimming in the sea. Here, however, is what I love during my summer travels - excavations of archaeological excavations. Because in the middle of the 5th century CE the first basilica was built here, then the second. They were damaged by earthquakes, but partly authentic, partly restored, delight every sunbather. You can enter here in a bathing suit, you can enjoy the view from a deckchair. There is also a tiny island with a church, which you can swim to on your own, you can rent a pedalo or a boat. The beach itself is quite wide, sandy but with small pebbles. The sunbeds fill up quickly in the morning, because the place is also famous among the local Greeks, who willingly come, especially on Saturdays and Sundays.
There is a rather winding road leading to the town of Kefalos. On the way, it is worth stopping for a moment at a small, white church, to which also white stairs lead. It is a place that is often photographed. The town itself is famous for its narrow Greek streets. There is a large parking lot here, because there are optional trips. Numerous taverns invite you to stop by. There is a castle here, a remnant of the Knights Joannites. However, there is not much information about him. A short walk takes you to the windmill, one of the many that the island is famous for. This one, however, captivates with its appearance. It is made typically for tourists.
A Hellenistic theater to which an easy road leads, though in the last part of the gravel road. The theater, and actually parts of the first two rows of audiences, are completely authentic. Although archaeological research shows that it was once huge, with a capacity of about 13,000 spectators, today it does not impress. It is difficult to see its former glory, maybe that is why it is unlikely to meet anyone here. The excavation is open to the public and no one is guarding the site, and I have not found any plaque informing about the history of the theater. This fact discourages some, and even attracts others. After all, if you think about it, the theater is / was in the center of the settlement. There must have been a city here, so there's still a lot to discover ...
Green car route
parking coordinates for navigation:
Tigaki beach 36.890528, 27.174913
Palio Pyli 36.838225, 27.185081
Zia town 36.847054, 27.204085
AB shop 36.87747, 27.21935
Special ice 36.87688, 27.2087
If you want to get to know Kos a little and get interested in the history and monuments of this beautiful island, this is the most important itinerary. I will say more, it is best to choose a hotel, i.e. accommodation, in the vicinity of the capital, i.e. the city of Kos. No need to live downtown - loud, crowded and expensive. Preferably a few kilometers away, because everyone rides here on bicycles. Wide bicycle routes and many rentals favor this form of communication. Pedestrians often have no way to go, because a narrow patch is stuck with trees or at least their roots. The choice of accommodation is important because: with hotels, there are hotels in the center spread over a small space with small swimming pools, often on the roof, because there is expensive ground there. The further away from the city center, the more extensive the hotels are, with beautiful swimming pools and slides, and therefore dedicated to families with children.
Living in the capital, I often saw optional trips when the guide was hurrying, because there is little time and a lot to visit. The tired children clearly felt that they had enough. Because the capital city is full of monuments, which can be visited gradually over a few days, and can be a nice addition to your vacation.
Suggested places for sightseeing:
Embros Baths - this is real hot water, with a huge amount of smelly and bubbling sulfur. Many people were delighted with this place, as it is said that it is a salvation for all rheumatic problems. You can leave your car upstairs and walk down to the beach with your own feet, but it is quite tiring, especially on the way back when you have to climb up. You can go by car, almost to the thermal baths, however; it's quite steep and the road is rocky, in case of damage to the undercarriage, insurance thread. My impressions: You can see that Spa was supposed to be built here, but now there are deserted buildings. The water is so hot and thick that you don't want to get in. Fortunately, we arrived around six in the morning, so the heat of the day hadn't bothered us yet. Although the place definitely did not impress me, the thermal baths are very popular and I know that there are always a lot of people here, even trips. I would like to add that there are no sunbeds here and the sand is very dirty.
Asclepieon is the most important monument on Kos. Every day a lot of tourists come here with rented cars, but also as part of trips. While staying in a hotel in the capital city, you can come here by bike, as the sanctuary is only 5 kilometers away from the city center. I suggest arriving before 8:00 am. I did it and when I was leaving before 10:00, the first bus arrived. My husband and I were the only tourists all the time.
The capital of the island, i.e. the city of Kos - There are so many historically interesting places here that for people interested in antiquity, one day is definitely not enough. In addition, there are very atmospheric streets and taverns where, after dark, you can listen to quiet melodies live. I recommend having dinner in the tavern by the Hippocrates tree. There the mood is shared by everyone; photographers and random passers-by who record both the melody and the place.
Each point of this route can be interesting, although of course it depends on your preferences, because:
Tigaki Beach, you can start or end with it. Both variants have advantages. The beach here is wide, with very nice fine sand. No wonder, Tigaki or Marmari are tourist destinations. There are beautiful hotels, lots of amenities for families with children, shops, taverns, playgrounds. Nightlife favorites will also be pleased. You can buy a hotel here, but you can only visit the beach. I was personally enchanted by the beach because of the beautiful, light and fine sand.
Going to Old Pyli, you can go for the delicious Special Ice Cream. Admittedly, it is an additional 1.5 km, but the family will be grateful. I know from experience that such a trip is fun after hardships, or ... before.
Abandoned Palio (Old) Pyli. Although the roads in Kos are relatively good quality and not so steep and winding, the last stretch of the road is neither asphalt nor even concrete. However, for people who like hiking in the mountains, it will be a nice time. The hill is not high, only 300 m above sea level, but with high temperature and in places without the possibility of sheltering from the sun, it is quite a strenuous travel point, which does not mean difficult. You must wear decent shoes (I forgot to change clothes when I left the hotel, so I went in the pool flip-flops - it turns out that you can do it anyway), take a lot of drinks and something to eat with you - something that will give you energy. While visiting Palio Pyli, I did not meet many tourists, but the most joyful were the children who rushed forward quickly, and the elderly, with their knees wrapped around them, who proudly "reached the top". The place has an interesting, though sad history, I encourage you to read it.
The small but extremely charming town of Zia. The place is deserted during the winter, in summer it literally bursts at the seams from the early hours. Every day, a lot of tourists come here by rented cars or as part of a trip. It is best to come to the sunset, it is said to be spectacular. The road leading here, especially on the last stretch, is very winding and although the parking lots are large, there is always a shortage of space. So it's worth going here at least an hour earlier. The town is very charming and the walk itself is a nice end to the day. Personally, I was here in the morning and although I did not see the sunset, the town made a nice impression. However, I advise against buying souvenirs here, everything is more expensive by at least 20%.
Well, souvenirs - you can't come back without. The cheapest and with a good expiry date, I suggest you buy in the store of the AB chain.
parking coordinates for navigation:
Embros Thermal Baths 36.846013, 27.322148 or 36.845300, 27.319355
Asclepieon 36.876591, 27.259496
the capital of the island 36.889765, 27.289560
parking coordinates for navigation:
Mastichari beach 36.84763, 27.07536
Lido water park 36.85269, 27.10674
park Forest 36.7907, 27.07061
Antimachia Castle 36.80339, 27.12711
Kardamena 36.78376, 27.14267
or 36.78109, 27.14309
Special ice cream 36.78278, 27.14273
Aquatica 36.76529, 27.11544
Go kart 36.81334, 27.17229
Yellow car route
Blue car route
Jak nazwa wskazuje, jest miejscem ciekawym przyrodniczo. Stąd bowiem wypływają źródła, które zaopatrują wyspę w wodę słodką, a więc źródlaną. Miejsce jest bardzo urokliwe i przyjemne latem, bowiem liczna tu zieleń nadaje przyjemny klimat i zieloną, bardzo naturalną kolorystykę miejsca. Miejsce nie do końca jest dziełem natury. Włoscy inżynierowie zbudowali tunel transportujący wodę z naturalnego źródła.
The route has several variants, depending on your preferences and needs, and which are shown in a lighter colour on the map.
Mastichari beach. I admit, I was not, I was simply more captivated by others. However, for families with children it is nice in my opinion - very wide with fine and fine sand and lots of bars where you can buy something to eat.
The beaches are fun, however I know children love water parks so I suggest Lido water park alternatively. Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., unfortunately I have not found the ticket prices. And since sightseeing is not only about sunbathing, I suggest you go further after approx. 3-4 hours.
Park Forest - praised by families with small children. Lots of cats, peacocks, various bridges, benches, swings, that's what the youngest like. Moreover, it is surrounded by trees, so you do not have to worry about too much sun. It is worth taking something delicious for the animals so that the baby would be interested in, for example, peacocks. I do not recommend this place to adults, I suggest going straight to point 4.
Antimachia Castle, very famous among tourists, although I have the impression that everyone, like me, comes back with a certain amount of hunger. A very large place, walls visible from afar, but restored, so inauthentic. There are two interesting churches and several abandoned, closed buildings in the area. However, the place has an interesting and turbulent history. I suggest you read the Antimachia Castle website and see if it's worth your time.
Kardamena town, is worth a walk. It is a well-developed accommodation base, there are many hotels here. Very nice streets in which you want to get lost, you can also buy nice souvenirs, because there are plenty of shops. The promenade lined with palm trees is beautiful here. There are also special ice cream specials on Kos. Not cheap, € 1.60 / scoop, but a scoop is almost 0.25 l. Better not to buy more than two, because the portions are really enormous. At the end or the beginning, it depends on who is more comfortable, I suggest two more points.
Aquatica, i.e. the water park, is in my opinion better organized and has more attractions than the above-mentioned point. 2. Open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, and the cost of the ticket is only € 2. Here, both the older and the younger ones can have fun.
Go kart is an offer for those looking for a dose of adrenaline.
And that's it for the red route. What do I find interesting here? My husband loves the sea, so is the beach. The son would prefer go-karts and Aquatica. Daughter ... well, probably like me, so the city of Kardamena, where we would buy a souvenir, e.g. a statue of Asclepius, the protector of the island and at least two scoops of ice cream :) In general, everyone in the family would be happy, though tired, because contrary to appearances, the route it is quite exhausting.
Sightseeing by rented car is what I like the most during the holidays. I can do everything at my own pace, stay where I want and for as long as I want, and most importantly for me, I choose the places I want to see. Sometimes I see tired people during organized day trips; tired and in a constant hurry, when the guide urges them, because there is still this or that to see. The fact is that during the optional excursions there is a person who will tell you everything, often a lot of interesting facts that cannot be read in the guidebook. And yet they are expensive, because usually one optional trip for a family of four is the cost of renting a car for several days.
I encourage you to discover the island on your own, this is Kos. The following routes are only suggestions. You don't have to hang on tightly. However, they give some idea of the distance to be covered and what is worth seeing, of course in my subjective opinion.
Red car route