Cruise Port Atlas | Kos, Greece Day Trips | Attractions

Kos, Greece Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Kos: Star Clippers, Voyages to Antiquity, Azamara Club Cruises, Oceania, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea, Costa

Key Attractions: Nerantzia Castle (Castle of the Knights of St. John), Asklepieion, Odeon, Hippocrates Plane Tree, Agora, Archaeological Museum, Antimachia Castle, Lambi Beach, Tigaki Beach, Marmari Beach, Mastichari Beach, Kardamena Beach, Kefalos Beach, Platani, Zia, Pyli

Ancient and Medieval Attractions on Kos

Kos Cruise Dock to Nerantzia Castle - 0.2 KM, 3 minute walk
Kos Cruise Dock to Hippocrates Plane Tree and Agora - 0.7 KM, 2 minutes, 8 minute walk
Kos Cruise Dock to Archaeology Museum - 0.9 KM, 3 minutes, 12 minutes
Kos Cruise Dock to Stadium - 1.1 KM, 3 minutes, 14 minute walk
Kos Cruise Dock to Odeon and Roman Villa - 1.6 KM, 4 minutes, 19 minute walk
Kos Cruise Dock to Asklepieion - 5.8 KM, 11 minutes
Kos Cruise Dock to Antimachia Castle - 25 KM, 32 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Significant Greek and Roman ruins and sites dot the old part of Kos Town. The first you will see entering the town is a small park with a Plane Tree sitting in the same spot where Hippocrates, the father of medicine taught students. Just beyond the park is the ancient Agora and short walk into town you reach the Stadium. The best preserved site is the Roman Odeon (2nd century BCE), an elegant outdoor theater still used today. Next to the Odeon is a Roman Villa (2nd and 3rd century AD) which features many mosaics, three atriums and frescoes. Artifacts and sculptures from the Hellenistic and Roman eras are offered by the nearby Archaeological Museum. A short ride to the west of town is the most extensive archaeological site, the Asklepieion. Named for Asklepios, god of healing and son of Apollo, this was a healing center starting in the 3rd century BCE. Temples, baths and what may have been a medical school are spread on three levels of a hilltop overlooking Kos Town.

From the Medieval Era is the Nerantzia Castle which sits next to the dock where cruise ships dock. Originally a separate island, the castle and dock area are now part of Kos, though the bridge that connected the castle still sits at the entrance to the castle. The crumbled down castle was built and renovated by the Grand Masters of the Knights of St. John from the 14th-16th centuries. The Grand Masters' coats of arms decorate the walls and are featured in a small museum. There is another smaller castle in the town of Pyli and a larger Venetian fortress at Antimachia, with two small churches inside its walls.



Photo of Nerantzia Castle by hofman1, Photo of Asklepieion by Moonshadow

Kos Beaches

Kos Cruise Dock to Lambi Beach - 3.5 KM, 8 minutes
Kos Cruise Dock to Tigaki Beach - 12 KM, 16 minutes
Kos Cruise Dock to Marmari Beach - 16 KM, 22 minutes
Kos Cruise Dock to Mastichari Beach - 21 KM, 24 minutes
Kos Cruise Dock to Kardamena Beach - 29 KM, 33 minutes
Kos Cruise Dock to Kefalos Beach - 39 KM, 46 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Though replete with historic sites, most visitors to Kos go for the beach and the water. All the beach areas mentioned here offer beach chairs for rent, tavernas and small villages of the same name. Though there is a beach area right in town, the nearest popular beach area is just north of town at Lambi, which is nice when the winds are calm, but rough when it is windy. The next big beach area on the north coast is Tigaki, which is not as developed and crowded as the more popular resort areas of Marmaris and Mastichari. One of the islands most popular resort areas is Kardamena on the south coast of the island. The most famous and scenic beach on the island is Kefalos, which features the iconic Kastri Island in its bay.



Photo of Tigaki Beach by H. Zell, Photo of Marmari Beach by Hihawai

Kos Villages

Kos Cruise Dock to Platani - 3.3 KM, 8 minutes
Kos Cruise Dock to Zia - 15 KM, 21 minutes
Kos Cruise Dock to Pyli - 17 KM, 21 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Just west of Kos Town is the village of Platani which is the home to Greeks of Turkish background and features a mosque, a Orthodox church and a Jewish cemetery. The most popular inland village in the island is Zia, which a shopping mecca for those interested in local crafts. Zia sits on the slope of the island's tallest mountain and offers excellent vistas to go along with your cup of Greek coffee or glass of ouzo. Nearby is the smaller and less developed Pyli with its ancient tomb and ruined castle.



Photo of Zia Church by Karelj, Photo of Zia Taverna by Thomas Feldes

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible