Island Kos - Where to go : Beaches
KOS South coast beaches
The portion of Kós southwest of the airport and Andimáhia boasts the most scenic and secluded beaches on the island, plus a number of minor ancient sites. Though given fanciful English names and shown separately on tourist maps, these south-facing beaches form essentially one long stretch at the base of a clif, most with jet-skis for rent and sunbeds.
- “Magic”, officially Polémi, is the longest, broadest and wildest, with a proper taverna above the car park, no jet- skis and a nudist zone (“Exotic”) at the east end.
- “Sunny”, signposted as Psilós Gremmós and easily walkable from “Magic”, has another taverna and jet-skis
- Langádhes is the cleanest and most picturesque, with junipers tumbling of its dunes and more jet-skis.
- “Paradise”, alias “Bubble Beach” because of volcanic gas-vents in the tidal zone, is small and oversubscribed, with wall-to-wall sunbeds.
- Jet-ski-free “Camel” (Kamíla) is the shortest and loneliest, protected somewhat by the steep, unpaved drive in past its hillside taverna; the shore here is pure, fine sand, with good snorkeling either side of the cove.
Official video of Island KOS
Dont forget Kastrí islet
Uninterrupted beach resumes past Áyios Stéfanos headland, overshadowed by a holiday complex, and extends 3km west through Kamári resort . A marked public access road leads down to beaches either side of a small peninsula, crowned with the remains of two triple-aisled, sixth-century basilicas.
Though the best preserved of several such on the island, most columns have been toppled, and wonderful bird mosaics languish under a permanent layer of protective gravel. The basilicas overlook tiny, striking Kastrí islet with its little chapel; in theory it’s an easy swim (sometimes wading) across from the westerly beach, with decent snorkeling around the rock formations, but in practice you must run a gauntlet of boats from the local watersports outit.
KÉFALOS and South part of KOS
The far west Essentially the shore annexe of Kéfalos, KAMÁRI is a sprawling package resort and watersports venue of scattered breeze-blocks, with more families and oldies than at Kardhámena.
Probably the best of a pretty Anglicised bunch of tavernas is Stamatia, by the central shoreline junction.
KÉFALOS itself, 43km from Kós Town and terminus for buses, covers a bluf looking down the length of the island. Aside from some lively cafés at the south end, it’s a dull village mainly of note as a staging point for expeditions into the rugged peninsula terminating dramatically at Cape Kríkello.
The main highlights of a visit there, along the ridge road south, include Panayía Palatianí Byzantine church amid the ruins of a much larger ancient temple, 1km beyond the village, and the Classical theatre (unrestricted access) – two rows of seats remaining – and Hellenistic temple of ancient Astypalia, 500m further via the side-path starting from an unmarked but unlocked gate.
A paved road west just beyond Astypalia leads to often windy Áyios Theológos beach, 7km from Kéfalos; the Ayios Theologos taverna here is popular at weekends, despite ruthlessly exploiting its monopoly and a snacky menu (ish on request).
Keeping to the main paved road to its end brings you to the appealing (but usually locked) monastery of Áyios Ioánnis Thymianós, also 7km from Kéfalos; an onward unmarked dirt track leads just under 4km to clothing-optional Hilandhríou beach, 300m-plus of ine sand with no reliable facilities.
The Asfendhioú villages
The inland villages of Mount Dhíkeos, a handful of settlements collectively referred to as Asfendhioú, nestle amid the island’s only natural forest. Together these communities give a good idea of what Kós looked like before tourism and ready-mix concrete arrived, and all have been severely depopulated by the mad rush to the coast.
They are accessible via the curvy side road from Zipári, 8km from Kós Town; an inconspicuously marked minor road to Lagoúdhi; or by the shorter access road for Pylí.
The first Asfendhioú village you reach up the Zipári road is Evangelístria, where a major crossroads by the eponymous parish church leads to Lagoúdhi and Amanioú (west), Asómatos (east) and Ziá (uphill).
ZIÁ’s spectacular sunsets make it the target of up to six evening tour buses daily, though the village has barely a dozen resident families, and its tattiness – particularly the kitsch rugs for sale in hideous hues and patterns – increases annually.
The best of the dozen tavernas here is Greek-patronized AOromedon (all year), serving good pinigoúri, mushrooms and local sausage on a roof terrace. Secluded Kefalovrissi near the top of the village, is good for mezédhes plus selected daily mains like pansétta or bakaliáros.
Ziá is also the trailhead for the ascent of 846-metre Khristós peak, a minimum two-and-a-half-hour round trip, initially on track but thereafter mostly by path through stands of juniper.
The route is fairly obvious, and the views, over half the Dodecanese and Turkey’s Knidos peninsula, from the pillbox-like summit chapel of Metamórfosis amply reward the effort. Up top, you can also ponder the symbolism of a giant cruciix fashioned out of PVC sewer pipe and filled with concrete.
East of Ziá or Evangelístria, roads converge at ASÓMATOS, home to about twenty villagers and various outsiders restoring abandoned houses; the evening view from the gaily painted church of Arhángelos with its votsalotó courtyard rivals that of Zía, though there are no amenities.
ÁYIOS DHIMÍTRIOS (aka Haïhoútes), 2km beyond along a paved road, is ruined except for a few restored houses next to the attractive church; in its narthex, a small photo-display documents a much larger population until World War II, when the village was a centre of resistance to the occupation.
You can continue 3.5km further to the junction with the road descending from the rubbish tip to Platáni.
Have a nice trip to Kos !
Official video of Island KOS part 2
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