Kos Car Hire
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Kos is the third biggest Greek Island and is situated in the centre of the Dodecanese island group. With a population of 33.400, the long and thin island is about 45 by 11 km, it became a popular tourist destination due to its stunning beaches and rich history.
Renting a car is a brilliant and inexpensive way to avoid the large crowds of tourists and explore the island’s hidden corners. You’ll find fantastic deals for your Kos car hire with Enjoy Travel, plus pre-booking online is completely convenient and hassle-free.There are many pick up points available around the island to suit you, including the airport, Kos Downtown, the port and even hotel delivery. We have a wide selection of suppliers available out there, including the international ones such as Hertz, Keffy or Enterprise but also some smaller scale local suppliers, like Alma or CarRental2Greece.
Guide to Kos
The island is the perfect combination of the finest beaches, mighty cliffs and luscious fertile land, as well as a rich history and diverse culture. The streets are lined with Italian architecture, as well as minarets and palm trees and the island is scattered with millenia-old ruins. The island is a juxtaposition of tourism with the simple agrarian lifestyle of cows and olive groves. Kos has a diverse mix of culture, luxurious hotels, watersports, wildlife and a wild nightlife! There really should be something for everyone.
Kos has a rich and diverse history, influenced by many cultures. It is presumed that Kos is the birthplace of Hippocrates, the father of scientific medicine; a lot of the island is dominated by monuments dedicated to remembering his teachings.
Afterwards, Kos was under Egyptian protection for a while before falling under roman domination in 130 BC. The island was under Roman rule until 1314 when it was seized by the crusading knights of Saint John who were based on Rhodes and controlled the island for several hundred years.
It was then occupied by the Ottoman Turks in 1523, who took control of the island almost a year after occupying Rhodes and settled there for close to four centuries. Kos was then controlled by the Italians from 1912 until 1948 when the Greeks finally regained control.
Kos was one of the first of the Aegean islands to be a popular tourist destination in the 1930s under fascist italian rule.
Things to do in Kos
The island boasts a massive 72 beaches, and they truly are the biggest attraction on the island. Most of the nicer beaches can be found on the south coast of the island. There is a huge range of watersports available, including snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, jet-skiing and sailing. Here is a collection of the nicest beaches:
Paradise beach is a popular cove which is rather remote yet there are sunbeds and parasols to rent and surrounded by lots of wild greenery. The beach is only accessible by car and the only directions are two homemade signs but the views are most definitely worth the journey as the wide sand fades into turquoise waters and all with the backdrop of the grand mountain range.
For the more easily accessible options, Mastichari is another stunning beach with white soft sand and crystal water, with many windsurfing centres along the beach. Agios Stefanos is a large beach with sunbeds and parasols available for rent. It is well suited for families as the waters are fairly calm and offers a large selection of watersports. Kardamena beach is a very large yet busy beach, where most of the all-inclusive hotels are based and is occupied with bars, sun loungers, water sports as well as some great lunch spots. Psalidi Beach is another small cove which is fairly close to Kos town and also the host of many beach bars.
If you are looking for a completely different experience, Thermes Beach is a natural spring that is slightly run down but consists of a sea pool with hot springs.
Explore the island...
Even if you are not staying in Kos, it is most definitely worth the visit. The town is home to a lively harbor promenade, where the waterfront is lined with restaurants in the shade of giant ficus trees and makes for a buzzing holiday town vibe. The Old Town is however the most impressive as it boasts not only a medieval castle but also ancient ruins from the Greek, Roman and Byzantine eras.
Cycling is a very popular activity on the island is incredibly flat and the lack of hills makes it do-able despite the heat. There is a 13 km- long cycle path which runs along the coastline all the way from Faros to Psalidi Beach through Kos Town which makes it both safe and easy to get around.
Another fun family activity is the Plaka Forest which is home to some exciting animals, including peacocks and turtles . There is plenty to do including forest trials and offers some variety to the daily beach activities.
While the coastal part of the island is rather touristic, the countryside that lies inland is more authentic and traditional. If you are keen to have a look, it is worth driving to the villages of Asfendiou, Zia or Asomatos for example, which are close to Kos Town but have remained their origins. Zia is the highest mountain village on the island, hence the incredible views, and is a typical greek village with its white and blue buildings and idyllic cobbled streets.
The island's rich history makes for an endless list of cultural sights:
- Asklepion, the holistic medical center of Hippocrates, was once a healing temple where Hippocrates supposedly undertook his training. It is perched on the top of a hill which also makes it a fabulous place to enjoy views of Kos and dates back as far as 400 BC.
- The Roman Odeon of Kos also still stands, built in around the 2nd or 3rd century.
- Casa Romana is an ornately decorated Hellenistic-period mansion, some of the architectural features date back as far as the 3rd century. The villa features 36 rooms and mainy of the mosaics and stunning decor have been restored.
- Neratzia medieval Castle, also known as the castle of the knights , which is situated by the entrance of the port in Kos and built in the 14th century by the knights of Saint John.
- Antimachia Castle is a venetian castle built in the early 14th century on the hill above the village. The fortress wall remains standing to this day despite many centuries passing and many attacks having been withstanded. Inside the castle all that remain are two Venetian churches that were built in the 16th and 18th century.
- There are also numerous Ottoman mosques in Kos town which remain as a strong reminder of the Ottoman rule which lasted for about four centuries.
Eating out & Nightlife
Taverna Oria sits right across the fortress in Old Town, Kos and has an authentic feel which is not only down to the colourful wooden tables but also the live music and the most delicious authentic greek flavors of traditional recipes such as Greek salad, fresh fish and meat on the grill, tzatziki and many others.
Nick the Fisherman can be found in one of the backstreets of Kos Town but is recognized for its delicious seafood which seems to attract the crowds.
Avli is a charming taverna which is owned and run by a family in one of the oldest houses in the town of Kardamena. It serves classic greek food and mezes in a lovely atmosphere whether you are inside or on the idyllic courtyard near the main square. Similarly, In the stunning setting of a traditional wood beamed ceiling and stone walls covered in murals of the gods of the pantheon, you will enjoy Elia’s local hearty dishes.
Broadway is a restaurant which serves mediterranean food with a modern twist and focuses on the use of local ingredients. In the same way H2O is a lively glitzy waterfront restaurant in Kardamena, which juxtaposes Greek cuisine with international influences. Enjoy a slightly pricey but delicious healthy meal with views of Bodrum.
Kos is known for having a very lively party scene. Downtown is one of the most famous clubs on the island and plays music into the early hours of the morning accompanied by cocktails, shots and a fun vibe. It is located in Kardamena. West is also a popular nightclub, located in the centre of Kos town. There is a wide range of drinks on offer and a geat music selection played by a selection of Scandinavian DJs.
For a more relaxed after dinner drink, head to Law Court Cafe which is set on Kos' prettiest square facing Hippocrates' Plane Tree. Global Cafe is particularly popular amongst younger people where you can enjoy some drinks on a canvas-sail canopy with a DJ soundtrack in the background in the pleasant setting of a coutryard with stone walls. Similar but on a slightly larger scale, The Camel Bar is a hugely popular bar located at the harbour, its large patio area is a buzzing environment to kick your evening off right.
Kos Island international airport, or Hippocrates Airport, hosts a combination of domestic and international flights from most european countries during the summer. However in off-peak season it is mainly receiving flights from Athens. The flight time from Athens is about an hour. It lies about 26 km from Kos town and the journey takes about half an hour.
Ferries and Buses
There are ferries from Athens to Kos about 4 times per week and the journey takes about 11 hours. There are also ferry links to Rhodes, Patmos, Leros and Kalymnos, which are all about 3 hours away. There is also a fast international ferry to Bodrum which only takes about 20 minutes.
The bus service on Kos is run by KTEL travel and is fairly well organized. The most useful rout is 3 to Asklepieion.
Renting a car is a brilliant and inexpensive way to avoid the large crowds of tourists and explore the island’s hidden corners.Navigating around the island is fairly easy, as there is one major that crosses the island from Kos town all the way across to the south-west, Kefalos.
Drive carefully and avoid spending or drink driving as there are regular police traps and the fines are incredibly high.
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