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The 5 Best Hidden Gem Attractions in Kos, Greece

Kos, a shining gem in the Dodecanese cluster, is cherished by those who search for the typical Greek island getaway with its sun-soaked beaches, historic wonders and easygoing seaside living. But, not all is as meets the eye. There are secret spaces on this island that go unnoticed frequently. Let’s go on a virtual trip to five such treasures which will reframe your understanding of Kos, and hopefully ensure that your visit to the island is filled with adventure.

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How to Get Around – Your “Key” to Exploration

Kos offers a variety of transportation options to cater to different preferences and budgets. From taxis to transfers, it’s your choice:

  • Taxi: A convenient and comfortable way to get around, especially for shorter distances.
  • Car Rental: Ideal for independent exploration, allowing you to discover hidden corners at your own pace. Pre-booking your car ensures availability and often offers better rates. Don’t forget to inquire about child seats if needed.
  • Bicycle: A fun and eco-friendly way for shorter excursions or exploring flatter areas of the island.
  • Bus: An affordable option for covering longer distances and getting to main towns and attractions.
  • Transfers: For hassle-free travel between ports or airports, consider pre-arranging transfers. Reputable companies offering Kos airport transfers will save you both time and money with their efficient service, as delays at the airport and overpriced taxis are common on the island.

1. Paleo Pili: A Ghost Town with a Touch of Soul

Within the island’s mountainous heart, the abandoned village of Paleo Pili (or “Old Gate”) offers an atmospheric and evocative experience. Once a thriving mediaeval hamlet, it was deserted after an earthquake centuries ago. Today, its crumbling houses, Byzantine churches, and a Venetian castle stand as silent witnesses to the past. Walking through its deserted alleys, you can almost hear the whispers of an era long gone.

How to get there: Located about 7km from Pyli, the scenic drive alone is worth the journey. You can easily rent a car or scooter for the day. For a more adventurous outing, consider hiking or mountain biking to the site check out Paleo Pili, Kos.

2. Embros Therme: Natural Thermal Springs

Located on the south coast of Kos, Embros Therme is a place that offers an incredible experience for relaxation and recharging. A natural hot spring flows into a pool by the sea, creating an amazing mix of warm water with minerals from underground combined with refreshing waves from the Aegean Sea. Enjoy this one-of-a-kind natural spa, let its healing power take effect on you while enjoying views across the sea. Is there a better way to unwind?

How to get there: Embros Therme is about 12 km from Kos Town. You can take a bus, rent a car, or even ride a bicycle if you’re feeling adventurous. Taxis are readily available as well.

3. Cavo Paradiso: Sunset Nirvana

Cavo Paradiso, which is located on a cliff top with views over the Aegean, gives you stunning sunsets that are sure to light a fire in your soul. This place is not just a beach; it’s also perfect for people who love nature because of its dramatic rocks and hidden bays offering beautiful sea views. When the sun sets and paints the sky with red colours, enjoy a drink at this bar while listening to some calm music – let the magic of Cavo Paradiso take over. Remember to bring your camera!

4. Plaka Forest: A Woodland Retreat

Leave behind the busy coast and explore Plaka Forest, a preserved natural area near Antimachia village. This calm place full of pine and cypress trees is home to many animals including peacocks that live here too. Walk on its paths in the shade, listen to the sound of leaves and birds singing a sweet symphony, or sit and have a picnic at one of the special clearings. It’s the perfect spot to reconnect with nature’s simplicity.

5. Zia: A Mountaintop Delight

Perched high on Mount Dikeos, Zia is perhaps Kos’s most beloved hilltop village and for good reason. Traditional whitewashed houses adorned with colourful accents line its narrow, winding streets. This charming village offers spectacular panoramic views of the island and the shimmering Aegean Sea below. In the summer it can get quite dry, thus those prone to allergies should be sure to have their medication with them. Browse quaint shops, sample local flavours in inviting tavernas, and don’t miss the sunset – the view from Zia is legendary.

Additional Hot Tips

  • Shoulder Seasons: For a less-crowded experience, consider exploring Kos during the shoulder seasons (spring or fall) when temperatures are pleasant, and you’ll share the island’s gems with fewer tourists.
  • Local Markets: Venture beyond the main tourist centers and seek out local markets in villages and towns. These bustling market days provide an insight into authentic Kos life and offer a chance to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs.
  • Talk to Locals: Strike up conversations with shop owners, taverna hosts, and anyone who looks like they might know something a guidebook won’t tell you. You’ll often leave with a recommendation for a hidden cove, a family-run taverna with exquisite home cooking, or an insider tip that will enhance your visit! Just start your convo with a quick “Kalimera” and you should fit right in.
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Kos, similar to other appealing island places, has its recognized spots – the beaches you see on postcards and famous historical locations. However, what makes it special is hidden in its depth. If you explore beyond what’s usual or predicted, you will find a Kos that resonates with your very spirit. It is a location where old ruins stir thoughts of an age long gone, peaceful natural locations provide respite from everyday life, and villages in the sun whisper with traditions that have been around for many years. Therefore, go further than what you know – allow your curiosity to guide you and find the secret core of this fascinating Greek island.

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Lyne Proulx
Lyne Proulxhttps://ottawamommyclub.ca/
Lyne Proulx is a Certified WEBB Bodywork Pet Practitioner, Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI), Certified Professional Wedding Consultant, and an Event Planner. She loves all things Disney and is an avid teaholic and chocoholic. She coordinated the Annual Infant Information Day/Early Years Expo for the City of Ottawa for 8 years. She was the Queen B of the BConnected Conference, Canada's Digital Influencer and social media Conference in Ottawa and Toronto. She was also the co-chair of the Navan for Kraft Hockeyville 2009-2011 committee that organized five community events within 6 months, and helped Navan reach the top 10 finalists in Canada. In April 2011, she received the City of Ottawa Mayor's City Builder Award.

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