Kos Island: Christmas is a favorite holiday here as anywhere else in Europe. The advantage for travelers is that it happens off tourist season, giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy it like a local.
Astir Odysseus Kos Resort & Spa is closed for the winter season, but you can book your next stay with us in advance, to enjoy competitive prices. When you book early for the season of 2017, you can save up to 15%, but you need to hurry because the offer is only valid until the last day of January 2017. Still, we are happy to share a few tips about the Kos Island Christmas, especially for those of you who want to take in the true spirit of the place.
Kos Town is the busiest on the island around Christmas. There is an ice skating rink in Eleftherias Square (the central square of the town), with a cheerfully decorated Christmas tree, and a Christmas bazaar selling all kinds of local and seasonal crafts and treats in the first half of December. The local authorities will make Christmas even bigger in Kos town this year, adding a carousel and trampoline for the little ones, plus many other games and surprises. The program is even richer than in 2015, with many Christmas workshops, fairy tales and plays, carols, small art events, and a surprise visit from Santa Claus. Besides traditional programs with local folkloric music and dance, there will also be contemporary concerts – some live and free in the main square, others at designated cultural venues, bars, and restaurants.
The backbone of the Greek culture is the Orthodox Church, and if you want to enjoy the Christmas Mass with us, the doors are open to all at no cost. For Greeks, Christmas is not an occasion to exchange gifts but to meet with their loved ones and to celebrate the birth of Christ together. For visitors unfamiliar with local traditions, this is a chance to experience something unique. This year, as the season on the island extended, until the end of November, many small accommodation providers remain open. Shops in Kost town stay open late on Christmas Eve and several local restaurants around the center of the city continue their operations as usual, but offer special Christmas menus, with local Kos foods and wines.
If you are lucky enough to know a local, you will enjoy the Kos Island Christmas even more. There are a lot of traditions dear to the locals, from cooking local foods, to caroling, and finally with praying in church together with the rest of the community for lights, peace, health, and prosperity.