5 off the beaten track experiences on Kos
Kos is one of Greece’s most popular islands, visited by thousands of tourists each summer. And while you’ve probably picked Kos for your vacation for its vivid nightlife, its lively beach-parties and the fun of mixing with the multiculti crowds, now you are looking for some authentic, alternative experiences to see the hidden beauty of the island. Here’s a list of some off-the-beaten-track experiences on Kos for your bucket list.
Swim at Cavo Paradiso
You want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the organized beaches, and the loud beach parties. You just need to find a secluded beach to swim, sunbathe, read your book and hear nothing but the soothing sound of the sea. Cavo Paradiso is exactly what you’re looking for. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches of Kos but of course there’s a reason why it’s so quiet: it takes half an hour drive from Kefalos to get there and the last part of the route is on a dirt road. The beach stretches for some kilometers, it has pristine blue waters and only a small part of it is organized with sunbeds and umbrellas. Therefore there is plenty of space to lay your towel and relax. The small canteen on the beach will offer you refreshments, so there‘s no need for you to rush and leave this “paradiso” to go back to the… civilized world!
Have a picnic at Plaka forest
The lush pine forest of Plaka is only a few minutes’ drive from the airport of Kos, close to the village of Antimachia. This little forest is the ideal place to spend a lazy summer afternoon with your friends or family, in peace and quiet, under the shade of the pine trees. You can follow the paths for a relaxed walk, and take your time to admire the majestic peacocks, the turtles, the cats and other wildlife of the area. There are benches and picnic tables, so bring your snacks and enjoy!
Horse riding around a salt lake
What everyone expects from their vacations, is lifetime experiences. How about this one: horseback riding around a salt lake, on a secluded beach, on beautifully shaped sand dunes, or even swimming with your horse while the sun rises. Salt Lake Stables is a small family business located between Tigaki and Marmari and offers a number of horse riding tours for all tastes and ages. If you are a horse-lover, there are more horseriding clubs on Kos to discover.
Visit a deserted village
Take a break from the tourist crowds and explore the authentic Kos at the “ghost” village of Agios Dimitrios. The village which is also known as Haihoutes is located on the hillside of Mount Dikaios and was abandoned 40 years ago. Today the crumbling houses and the narrow lanes remain to stir up your imagination, and make up stories. But there is another reason why visit the village: here you can see a small folklore museum and relax at the traditional café “Haihoutes” for a refreshment or delicious meze dishes. They also organize live Greek music nights, parties and yoga classes!
See the amazing view from a Byzantine castle
Palio Pyli (Old Pyli) is one of Kos hidden gems: A verdant area on a hillside with a semi-ruined medieval settlement and a Byzantine castle at the top of the hill. The Castle was built during the Byzantine years and later was restored by the Knights of St John. It takes some effort to hike the trail to the top, but the view will definitely reward you: Kos, Kalymnos, Pserimos and even the western coast of Turkey, it’s all there in a panoramic canvas for your eyes only. While at Palio Pyli it’s definitely worth to visit the old church of Ypapanti (14th century), the temple of Taxiarches Michael and Gabriel and the church of Panagia Kastriani.