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Colourful Greek town next to the blue sea in Kos

Compare the best Kos holidays

Taking a holiday to Kos will not only give you the chance to enjoy swathes of pristine sands and shimmering waters. It will also allow you to explore Roman ruins and buildings steeped in history, fantastic Greek island scenery, and, of course, a warm welcome in the many tavernas and bars.

Why go?

This Greek island close to Turkey is one of the most popular on offer to British holidaymakers, mainly for its beaches...

Add in a mix of cool restaurants, local bars, sparkling yachts, and lush green hills dotted with wild flowers, and you have the recipe for a great holiday for every kind of holidaymaker.

Holidays in Kos are popular during the heat of the summer months, while trips to the Greek isle - the third largest in the Dodecanese - are quieter affairs in spring and autumn.

The island, which is closer to Turkey than Greece, is blessed with an abundance of beaches and holidays here revolve around the sand, pebbles and sea. High-rise hotels are nowhere to be seen. Instead, you'll find thoughtfully laid out low-rise resorts surrounded by flowers and greenery.

After landing at Kos Island International Airport (KGS), you'll be transferred to your chosen resort. There are some treasures to pick from. If you're after nightlife, you can't go wrong with pumping Kardamena, which is a beach-by-day, club-by-night, kind of resort. Kos Town features a more sophisticated nightlife scene, while most of the other resorts are sedate and family-friendly, with just enough amenities to keep visitors happy. Choose from: Tingaki (also known as Tigaki), with its white sands and shallow waters; the famous beaches of Kefalos; Mastichari village, which has great beaches; the pebbly beaches of Psalidi, near Kos Town; Marmari, which is also near town and home to popular Marmari Beach; or Agios Fokas, where the beaches are made up of a mix of black sand, white sand and pebbles.

Circle the island and you'll come across busy beaches, where rows of umbrellas spike the sand and provide much-needed shade, and small, secluded coves that look like they've been forgotten, even by the locals.

Beach lovers will go gaga over curvy Paradise Beach, which is also home to Bubble Beach - where bubbles really do swell up through the water. Exotic Beach and Camel Beach also draw those looking to relax next to the sound of the gentle waves, while Thermes Beach is famed for its hot springs.

When to go?

Summer is long, hot and dry in Kos, with daily averages in July and August hovering around 30°C...

Spring temperatures linger around 18°C, while the sun sticks around in autumn and provides pleasantly warm days and warm seas. You're very unlikely to see rain in the summer.

What's on?

If you fancy taking in an event while you are in Kos, then why not check out some of our great ideas?

Feast of Agios Georgios; April: This religious festival involves village horse racing and feasts of food, so even if you don't have a view on religion, you can still enjoy the festivities. Catch the racing in Pyli and find a feast practically anywhere on Kos.

Wine Festival; August: If you find yourself in the port of Mastichari during the August heat then cool off with a glass of chilled white at this annual wine festival. Though the local tipple is ouzo, you can find some very decent wines here.

International Day of Tourism; September: Kos is a tourist destination and the locals celebrate the popularity of the island and the efforts of the tourism industry during this fun-filled event. There's plenty for visitors to get involved in.

What to do?

Kos holidays are about more than beaches. Here's our round-up of some of the best things to see and do...

If you take the time to explore you'll find the oriental plane tree, where father of medicine Hippocrates taught his pupils. Other attractions include the Sanctuary of Asklepios and the Castle of the Knights of St John.

For old-fashioned Greek charm, visit the Asfenhiou settlements - a cluster of old villages on Mount Dikeos, or take a trip to the charming inland village of Pyli.

Getting off the island is also an adventure, with ferries to the nearby islands of Rhodes, Kalymnos and Patmos, plus regular trips to Bodrum in Turkey, where bargains galore can be haggled for at the markets.

Kids & teens: If you can peel them away from the beaches, the little ones will love playing soldiers in the Asklepieion archaeological site. The whole family can explore the ruins and daydream about ancient Kos.

Nightlife: The undisputed nightlife capital of Kos is Kardamena. A range of music rocks the clubs of an evening - and well into the night.
Cocktails, karaoke, indie music, dance tunes - Kardamena has it all and much more.

Active types: Paradise Beach is the place to be on Kos for watersports. Hold on tight as you take a banana boat and go parasailing, or head under the waves to check out the local marine life.