Where to Stay in Kos, Greece: Best Area & Hotel Travel Guide

Where to Stay in Kos by Best Areas and Hotels Travel Guide

Welcome to my insider guide to where to stay in Kos, Greece. Kos is one of the most rewarding Greek Islands to visit since it has a bit of everything. If you’re looking for beautiful beaches and attractive white-painted Greek villages, then you will find plenty here. 

The island has an incredibly rich history, too, so there are many ancient Greek ruins to explore. And it’s a huge island, so you can find busy places with thriving nightlife or little hidden away corners for a peaceful retreat, whichever you prefer. 

This stunning Aegean island has something for everyone, and this detailed guide will tell you everything you need to make the most of your stay.

Where to Stay in Kos: Tips & Info

Kos is one of the larger islands in the Dodecanese island chain. These Islands are located way over on the far Eastern side of the Aegean, just a stone’s throw from the Turkish mainland. Kos is a lozenge-shaped island that is never much more than 10 km from north to south, but from the east to west, you can drive for about 60 km from coast to coast. Clearly, there’s a lot of island to explore.

Kos’s large size means that it’s quite important that you pick the right place to stay from the get-go because it can take quite a long time to travel from place to place. This doesn’t mean that you can’t stay in a quiet and secluded spot over on the western coast of the island and not take a day trip to visit the excitement and cultural heritage of Kos Town, but it’s worth being aware that Kos is a lot bigger than many Greek islands.

So, the island’s most family-friendly beach resorts are on the North shore. Kos Town is on the East coast, close to the main historic landmarks, The south coast has the busiest party beach, and the Western side of the island is the least explored and most remote.

Where to Stay in Kos, Greece – The 10 Best Areas to Stay in Kos

I’m going to introduce you to the ten best places to stay in Kos. This island has so many exciting destinations, ranging from the historical marvels and bustling activity of  Kos Town to the east to the quieter, less explored Kefalos peninsula on the far West. 

There are some super family-friendly resorts on the North coast, and then there’s the hedonistic nightlife center of Kardamena on the south coast. Whatever you are looking for and whoever you’re traveling with, Kos has a destination for you. Read on!

Where to Stay in Kos, Greece – The 10 Best Areas to Stay in Kos

  1. Kos Town
  2. Kefalos
  3. Agios Stefanos
  4. Kardamena
  5. Tigaki
  6. Agios Fokas
  7. Lambi
  8. Marmari
  9. Mastichari
  10. Psalidi

Where to Stay in Kos, Greece Map

Where to Stay in Kos, Greece Map
Where to Stay in Kos, Greece Map

To see more detail of where to stay in Kos map, go to google map;

1. Kos Town – Where to Stay in Kos for First Time Travelers

Where to Stay in Kos, Greece:  Kos town

Kos Town is the thriving and exciting Island capital over on the east coast of the island. If this is your first time in Kos, then I recommend that you stay here. Why? Well, Kos Town has a bit of everything.

Kos Town is the perfect place to start if you want to explore the fascinating ancient Greek history of this island. It is home to the Ancient Agora Ruins, the city center of Kos in ancient Greek times. You should also visit the Archaeological Museum Of Kos, which houses a treasure trove of ancient Greek artifacts, including spectacular pottery, jewelry, and intricate mosaics.

Kos Town is just a few kilometers away from the spectacular ancient ruins of Asklepion. This place, founded in the 5th century BC, was a center of healing dedicated to Asclepius, the god of medicine. 

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, was trained here, so it’s a ruin of incredible historical significance. This ancient sanctuary has an impressive setting rising above the hills behind Kos Town. You can explore the many terraces of the ruins and learn all about this forerunner of modern hospitals.

Then, back in Kos Town, you can enjoy a wealth of entertainment. If you are a nightlife lover, then you will find excellent places to drink and dine, from bargain street food and simple tavernas to top international restaurants and sophisticated nightclubs hosting DJ’s from all over the world. The nightlife center of Kos Town is concentrated in a small district of the town center. You can enjoy an exciting evening going from bar to bar, to nightclub. But, as you head to the outskirts of town, you can find places that offer relative tranquility.

Kos Town is an excellent destination for budget travelers since there’s some good value accommodation. As you head away from the more expensive waterfront, you can find cheap digs and economical restaurants and bars.

Kos Town has a good beach too. It isn’t the quietest Beach on the island, but it’s an attractive stretch of sound, so it’s entirely possible to stay in the busy town and still have access to the beach.

The island’s main port is in Kos Town, so if you are traveling to or from the other Greek Islands by boat, then Kos is a very convenient place to stay

The island’s main airport is way over to the west, but it’s easy to book a connection. For that matter, if you want to organize trips and tours to explore all of the other exciting places on Kos Island, then there are plenty of travel agencies and tour companies that will be happy to help you.

You Should Stay in this Area If:

  • You want to visit Asklepion.
  • You want a busy and exciting greek island port.
  • You’re visiting Kos for the first time.
  • You’re traveling on the budget.
  • You are arriving or leaving the island by ferry.

2. Kefalos – Best Area to Stay in Kos on Budget

Kefalos is a pretty little place that runs down a hillside to a beach over on the far western side of Kos Island. This is one of the most out-of-the-way places to stay in Kos, and it’s an excellent choice if you want to get away from the tourist crowds and use a relatively unspoiled Greek Island village as your base. Even though you’re away from the most developed tourist centers on the island, you can enjoy good shopping, dining, and nightlife. Kos is such a popular Island that even the quiet corners have excellent tourist facilities.

Kefalos is a delightful quieter community with an appealing maze of streets and alleys characteristic of traditional Greek island communities. It’s a fascinating place to explore, discovering little tavernas and roadside eateries.

Kefalos has a beautiful beach in a sheltered bay, which is far less busy than many on the island. Most of the accommodation is in guesthouses and private apartment rentals. These are well priced compared to the rest of the island, and it’s a good place for budget travelers to stay. You’ll find the most expensive hotels next to Kefalos Beach, but if you stay in the town, you can find some real bargains.

Kefalos is on the small peninsula that forms the western tip of Kos. This peaceful part of the island is a fantastic place to explore, finding fabulous sunset views, hidden coves and caves, and traditional rural Island life.

You Should Stay in this Area If:

  • You want a traditional Greek village.
  • You’re traveling on a budget.
  • You don’t mind traveling to see the historic sites.
  • You want peace and quiet.

3. Agios Stefanos – Lovely Sandy Beach Area to Stay in Kos

Agios Stefanos is a beautiful, low-key beach close to Kefalos in the far west of the island. It’s a perfect destination if you want a lovely unspoiled Beach that has just a few tavernas and restaurants.

Agios Stefanos is a small village community with just a couple of small hotels and b&bs. The main restaurant is Taverna Katarina, a popular place that serves classic Greek cuisine and a few foreign dishes. If you walk up the hill at the back of the village, you can visit Kompologaki Restaurant Bar, another nice place that has good views out over the bay.

An interesting local feature is the ruins of the Basilica st. Stefanos, which are located on a pretty rocky outcrop that juts out into the sea. Across the water here is the small island of Kastri.

If you’re looking for a bit more life and activity, then the local center of Kefalos isn’t far away to the West. If you don’t need a wealth of tourist development and facilities, and you prefer to enjoy The rustic charm of Kos, then this is the perfect beach for you.

You Should Stay in this Area If:

  • You want a lovely sandy beach with crystal clear water.
  • You want a great out of the way location.
  • You want a lovely island that you can swim to if you’re a strong swimmer.

4. Kardamaina- Where to Stay in Kos Near Airport

Where to Stay in Kos, Greece: Kardamena

Kardamena is an exciting tourist destination on the central south coast of Kos. If you’re young and/or you like a party, then this is by far the best place on the island for you to stay.

But this resort definitely isn’t a great choice for families, since it’s loud, bold, and in-your-face.

Kardamena’s nightlife scene is concentrated in a central strip of bars, restaurants, and clubs where you can dine, drink, and party until the small hours. A good tip is to look for some of the special offers on cocktails around sunset since you can find some delicious tropical concoctions at bargain prices at this time of day.

Kardamena has a long sandy beach where you can rent a shady spot under an umbrella and recover from the previous night’s festivities, dipping into the welcoming Aegean waters to swim and snorkel at your leisure.

Kardamena some other sights and attractions outside of the nightlife scene. The Folk And Maritime Museum have an impressive collection of exhibits from the post-Byzantine period from the 1500s to the modern-day. There are excellent collections of traditional clothing, ceramics, and all kinds of well-preserved artifacts.

Most of the accommodation in Kardamena is at a budget to mid-range price, so it’s a pretty good place to stay on a budget, as long as you trust yourself not to blow all of your holiday money on a couple of big nights out! In particular, you can find some clean and well-serviced apartment rentals at very reasonable rates.

You Should Stay in this Area If:

  • You want to enjoy the best nightlife that Kos has to offer.
  • You once a great beach with a youthful party atmosphere
  • You want excellent hotels and apartments for all budgets.
  • You want to stay close to the airport.
  • Do you want to try starlight bar, the island’s hottest nightclub.

5. Tigaki – Where to Stay in Kos for Families

Tigaki, along with Marmari, and Mastichari, make up a trio of relaxed and beautiful family-friendly on the north shore of Kos.

One of the things that make Tigaka so welcoming to families is that the large Alikes Salt Lake is located on the west side of the town. This body of water is an important sanctuary for visiting water birds, including herons and flamingos. There’s a path around the lake that’s perfect for a stroll, or a great option is to explore it on horseback after arranging a ride at Salt Lake Stables.

Of the three northern resorts, Tigaki has the best beach. This stretch of sand is exceptionally long and wide and offshore, the water shelves gently into the Aegean, making this a perfect place to take the kids for a paddle.

Tigaki has some excellent hotels in the middle and upper price categories, as well as the usual budget options of cheaper apartments and guest houses as you head away from the beach.

There are good restaurants and tavernas here where you can enjoy local Greek food and international dishes. The tavernas serve local and international beers, as well as the Greek staples of retsina wine flavored with pine, and ouzo, the love-it-or-hate-it aniseed spirit. Popular restaurants in Tigaki include Plori, famous for its fresh seafood and Dana, specializing in classic Greek cuisine.

You Should Stay in this Area If:

  • You’re looking for somewhere family-friendly.
  • You want to explore the Alikes Salt Lake and maybe see a flamingo.
  • You want some excellent resorts and a good choice of restaurants.

6. Agios Fokas – Best Place to Stay in Kos for Water Sports

Agios Fokas is an agreeably sleepy Beach Resort at the southeastern tip of Kos. It’s a relaxed place with an out-of-the-way feel even though it is actually a very convenient place to stay since it’s less than 10 km from Kos Town.  

This resort is popular with couples, and you will find some nice boutique resorts here. Some of which are quite plush and upscale if you want to give your significant other a holiday to remember.

It’s a good thing that all of the exciting historical science and urban attractions of Kos town are nearby because, in the nicest possible way, there isn’t much to do in Agios Fokas. It’s the perfect place to just relax by the lapping waters of the Aegean and soak the atmosphere.

But if you’re determined to do something active, you can participate in a wealth of watersports activities here. You can go diving or learn to dive at a local dive school. There is also a watersports center where you can windsurf, surf, and kiteboard.

Therma Hot Springs is the main local attraction just down the coast to the west of Agios Fokas. While you’re here, you should make sure to visit and indulge yourself in a body and spirit warming soak in these mineral-filled waters that bubble up from the deep into steaming pools.

You Should Stay in this Area If:

  • You want a quiet beach resort convenient for all the activities and attractions of Kos Town. 
  • You’re traveling as a couple.
  • You don’t need great nightlife.
  • You want to try water sports.
  • You want a classy, upscale Beach resort.

7. Lambi – Best Quiet Area to Stay in Kos

Lambi is a beautiful beach resort in the northeastern corner of the island. It’s located just a few kilometers away from Kos Town, so this is an excellent option if you are the kind of traveler who wants to be close to the center of things, but fancy just a bit more peace and quiet than the bustling main town. Lambi is effectively an outer suburb of Kos Town, but it is certainly quieter than the city center

Lambi is a great family-friendly location since there are some good hotels with facilities like children’s pools and family rooms and suites. But if you are traveling as a couple, this is a good destination too, since several adults-only hotels offer the perfect atmosphere for a romantic getaway.

If you want to combine a beachside holiday with one of cultural exploration, visiting the historical treasures of nearby Asklepion and Kos Town at your leisure, then Lambi Beach it’s one of the best places to stay in Kos.

You Should Stay in this Area If:

  • You want a convenient but quiet destination.
  • You want to be close to crosstown and the island’s main sites.
  • You’re traveling with family.
  • You want a great Beach and some excellent tourist infrastructure.

8. Marmari – Country Side Area for Relaxing Atmostphere

Marmari is a popular resort on the central north coast of Kos. It is celebrated as one of the most beautiful spots on the island not just for its attractive beach but because of the beautiful surrounding countryside, the highlight of which is the Igroviotopos Alikis Loop. This park is a great place to observe local wildlife, particularly the wealth of birdlife that frequents the lagoon and surrounding marshes. This park is a lovely and atmospheric place to get away from it all, but remember that the best times to go are in the morning or late afternoon when it isn’t so hot, and always pack sun cream and plenty of fresh water.

You can have a very relaxed and enjoyable holiday in Marmari just by spending your days lazing beside the beach. But if you want to try something a bit more energetic, then this is one of the best places on the island to take part in water sports like kitesurfing, bodyboarding, and windsurfing.

Despite the excellent visitor facilities, Marmari remains a small Greek village at heart and offers a charming combination of tourist resort and traditional settlement. This isn’t the place for party animals. Instead, it’s one of the most relaxed and atmospheric of the island’s resorts.

You’ll find some excellent restaurants and bars in Marmari serving a mixture of classic Greek and international cuisine. If you’re looking for excellent Greek food, then there are super restaurants like Alikes, with incredible lamb chops and fresh seafood, or Ikaros, with local dishes like grilled octopus and international fare. Biggys it’s a popular beach bar with a relaxed atmosphere and daily sunbed rentals.

You’ll find good accommodation here in Marmari, including waterfront hotels, mainly at a mid-range price. There are also some good value apartment rentals and guest houses heading back from the waterfront, suiting budget travelers.

You Should Stay in this Area If:

  • You love the countryside.
  • You want a lovely beach with a relaxed atmosphere.
  • You enjoy watersports.

9. Mastichari – Best Area for Travel with Families

Mastichari is one of the best-developed beach resorts on the north coast of Kos

Despite having excellent facilities is it still retains a relaxed village atmosphere and charm. For this reason, it’s popular with families and with people wanting a chilled-out beach destination with good facilities.

Mastichari Beach is one of the island’s best and offers excellent views across the Aegean to nearby Kalimnos. If you like the look of this nearby island, it’s easy to book a day trip and investigate it. Another great activity if you fancy doing something a bit more active is to take a Landrover Sunset Safari that takes you up into the nearby hills, exploring some of the less-visited parts of the island.

When it’s windy, the North shore of Kos has waves big enough for surfing, and there are places here where you can rent a board or take lessons.

Mastichari is also a great family destination because of the excellent Lido Water Park, which has fun waterslides, pools and is a super place to take the kids for the day out.

There are some excellent places to eat and drink in Mastichari. Popular spots include Apple Beach Bar cafe, or you can enjoy good Greek and international food at Kenny’s Gyros And Grill Restaurant. If you’re looking for a delightful beachside bar to enjoy a cocktail beside the sands, then try out Horizon. If you prefer a traditional Greek tavern, then Mavros is a place that receives excellent reviews. 

Mastichari isn’t a late-night destination; there are better places on the island like Kos Town and Kardamena. But if you’re looking for a beautiful chilled-out beach with a good selection of entertainment and activities, then you’ll love Mastichari.

You Should Stay in this Area If:

  • You’re traveling with family.
  • You want a resort with excellent facilities but a relaxed atmosphere.
  • You want to visit the lido water park.
  • You want to visit nearby Kalimnos.

10. Psalidi – Where to Stay in Kos Near Kos Town

Psalidi is a pretty beach just to the south of Kos Town. It’s a tranquil place in a central location since there are regular buses and taxis that can drop you off in the town center just a few kilometers along the coast.

In this part of Kos, you quickly rise into Highlands as you head away from the coast. This means that it’s a great place to explore the back roads if you have a hire car or moped. You’ll get some great views here, and it isn’t far from the wonderful ruins of Asklepion.

Psalidi is an excellent compromise if you can’t decide whether you want a totally out of the way location or somewhere close to all of the most exciting parts of the island; here, you can have it both ways.

You Should Stay in this Area If:

  • You want to be close to town, but outside it.
  • You want a pretty beach with a decent selection of hotels and restaurants.
  • You don’t need good nightlife on your doorstep.

Is Kos Good For Nightlife? 

Kos Is excellent for nightlife, or to be more precise, there are a couple of places on Kos that have some of the best nightlife in the Greek islands. If your idea of a great holiday involves bars, clubs, and late nights, you should stay in Kardamena on the South coast or in Kos Town on the east coast. both of these destinations have excellent bars and clubs and are very popular with party goers and younger travelers.

But that’s about it for the island since most other Island resorts don’t have a great night scene. If you stay at another resort, you will be pretty much limited to beach bars and tavernas that don’t carry on much after midnight.

Where To Stay In Kos For Couples? 

If you’re a couple who enjoy getting away from it all, then you will enjoy the charm and beauty of rustic Kefalos over on the western side of Kos. This is an attractive traditional town that has some beautiful boutique hotels and private apartments perfect for couples. There’s a gorgeous beach in the bay at the bottom of the hill, and despite the comparative remoteness, there are still plenty of romantic beach spots and good restaurants to enjoy.

Where To Stay In Kos For Nightlife? 

If you’re looking for great places to party, then basically you can choose between Kos Town and the resort beach of Kardamena

Kardamena has the perfect combination of beach and party and is home to Starlight Bar, the island’s most famous club, which hosts celebrated international DJs.

Kos Town is no slouch either party-wise, and a central hub of clubs and bars offers drinks, beats, and excitement well into the small hours. Both of these party destinations have plenty of budget-friendly accommodation.

Where To Stay In Kos In October? 

In many ways, October is the best month of the year to visit Kos. It’s right at the end of the tourist season, so even the busiest parts of the island will be a bit quieter at this time, but the weather is still marvelous, with daily temperatures in the mid-twenties centigrade.

Since it’s a little cooler and quieter, then Kos Town will be less crowded and a much more appealing place to stay. This is the perfect place to explore the historical sights of Asklepion and there are good beaches nearby so you can enjoy those too.

Where To Stay In Kos Town? 

Kos Town is a big, bustling, exciting urban center on the east coast of Kos. It’s got the best shopping, dining, history, and nightlife on the island. Kos Town is a great place to stay, but it can get jam-packed, especially in the high season. That’s why it’s a good idea to stay a little way away from the center where things are a bit calmer, and prices are often a bit cheaper.

There are quieter suburbs to the South and Eastern side of the town with some good hotels, guest houses, and apartment rentals. Kos Town is relatively compact, so even if you stay a little way out of the center, you’re never more than a few minutes’ walk away from all of the historical attractions and entertainment.

Where To Stay In Kos With Family? 

The north coast of Kos has three beautiful and very family-friendly resorts in Mastichari, Marmari, and Tigaki. These destinations are relaxed villagey resorts with attractive and safe beaches, and whichever you choose your family will be delighted. If you stay in Mastachari, you can take the kids to the Lido Water Park, fun-filled family entertainment with exciting water slides sure to put a smile on their faces.

The hotels and resorts in this part of the island are well prepared for family groups, and it’s easy to find family rooms, suites, and adjoining hotel rooms. Alternatively, there are plenty of apartment rentals so that you can all stay together

Best Time to Visit Kos?

The best time to visit Kos depends very much on what you are looking for in your holiday. The high tourist season is in the months of July, August, and September. These are the hottest months and are perfect for lazing beside the beach and catching the rays. But the most popular hotels and resorts can get full during these months and prices are at their highest too, so if you prefer a bit of peace and quiet, or if you’re traveling on a budget, then you might choose to travel a little before or a little after these times. If you visit in May, June, or October, you can still enjoy daytime temperatures in the mid to high 20s. If you are a keen swimmer, then bear in mind that it takes longer for the sea to heat than the land. This means that the warmest months for swimming are September and October, and even this late in the season, sea temperatures are still comfortable.

If you want to spend time away from the beach exploring the island’s historical sites like Asklepion, you might want to travel in April, October, or November. Daytime temperatures are still very comfortable at this time of year, and you won’t need long sleeves until the evenings perhaps. Springtime is lovely in Kos and this is the best time of year to explore the hidden coves and sleepy villages away from the main tourist destinations of the island.

How many Days in Kos is Enough? 

You should aim to spend a minimum of three or four nights in Kos, although a week is much better if you can spare the time. Most visitors come here at least in part to enjoy a beach holiday, and there’s no point rushing these things, is there? If your trip’s purpose is to unwind by the sand, then it makes sense to take a few days to do this.

Kos has some excellent historical museums and is home to the world-renowned ruins of Asklepion, the home of Hippocrates, and one of the world’s first seats of medical learning. If you can spare the time, you should set a day or two aside to explore these archaeological marvels.

But Kos has far much more to offer than this; there are some wonderful natural highlights, particularly if you are an ornithologist and want to see water birds like flamingos, pelicans and the like. The more time you have to spend here the better.

How to get Around Kos?

Kos has a good bus service that runs between all of the islands’ main villages and resorts. There are also lots of taxis, particularly in the larger settlements. Taxis are a lot more expensive than buses and if you’re on any kind of budget, you should avoid them.

If you’re feeling energetic, you can rent bicycles to explore Kos and this can be a great way to see parts of the island that you otherwise might not. Remember to cover up, use sunscreen, and carry plenty of water, especially in the hot summer months. But If that sounds altogether too energetic, and you are an experienced moped rider then consider renting a scooter, but remember, if you take one without a license, you won’t be insured if you have an accident.

Best Things to Do in Kos?

Besides the beautiful beaches, Kos has a wealth of history and some fabulous scenery to explore. No trip is complete without a visit to the 5th century BC ruins of the Asklepion. This temple to the god of medicine was home to Hippocrates and is a world-renowned historic site. 

Kos Town is also full of ancient historical sights like the old Agora, the ancient city center. The Roman Odeon is a fascinating historical site on the south side of Kos Town, a civic meeting place dating back to the second century AD. History lovers should also be sure to visit The Archaeological Museum Of Kos, where you can find some fabulous archaeological discoveries and gain insight into the many eras of this ancient Island’s history.

Neratzia Castle is the well-preserved ruins of a 15th Century fortress built by the Knights of St John to guard Kos against the Ottoman Empire’s advances.

The Therma Hot Springs is a delightful destination on the island’s southeast coast, where hot water bubbles up from under the ground into a warm pool right beside the sea. It’s a lovely place to bathe.

Kos has two good water parks that are great family-friendly attractions. Lido Water Park is on the island’s northern coast, and Aquatica Water Park is in the southwest of the island close to the airport.

Best Beaches in Kos?

If you choose where to stay in Kos because of the beach, then the first thing to say is that Kos doesn’t really have any bad beaches. Every one of the popular beach destinations on the island has a beautiful sandy beach sloping into the crystal clear waters of the Aegean. 

That said, some of the island’s very best beaches are on the North shore. Tigaki has one of the broadest and longest beaches on the island, and it’s an excellent place for families since the water shelves very slowly into the sea so the shallow offshore waters are great for children to play in.

An interesting Beach to visit is Agios Kokas in the southeast corner of the island, there are hot springs near here, and the volcanic activity means that some of the sands are an attractive black color. At the same time, other sections of the beach have more typical golden sands.

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So that’s everything you need to know about Kos. Now that you have decided where to stay on this fascinating and diverse Greek island, all that you need to do is pick your dates and book your travel. I know that you’ll have a marvelous trip!

About Author

I'm Linda Smith. I'm passionate about traveling and I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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