Like a Local: Kos Winter Weekends
Kos is a year-round destination, and although our Astir Odysseus Kos Resort & Spa is closed for the season, you can still enjoy the island like a local.
The Kos winter is mild and laid back, with plenty things to do around Christmas time. Average temperatures in December range around 12°C (54°F), while January and February are slightly colder. You can also expect a good amount of rain and cloudy skies during the winter, yet don’t let the bad weather discourage you and live like a local.
Rent a home to live like a local
Rather than booking a hotel, rent a home in Kos town, string budget go down off-season, allowing you to enjoy a vacation on a string budget. You can find charming traditional homes or apartments by the sea for as little as 28 € per night, or, if you are prepared to pay more, you can stay in luxury villas with private pool and gardens in more remote areas outside Kos town. Many of the luxury accommodation providers also offer a complimentary basket with organic fruit and veggies, as well as specialties they produce themselves in private farms. We recommend that you search for accommodation in Zipari or Tigaki, to familiarize yourself with the part of Kos that Astir Odysseus Kos Resort & Spa calls home.
Enjoy the wildlife unperturbed by tourists
Zipari is very close to Tigaki with easy access to the area’s breathtaking beaches, and not far from Igroviotopos Alikis lake, where you can see a variety of birds, including pelicans and flamingos. Igroviotopos Alikis is endorheic and its saltiness is due to the water of the sea, which flows into the basin. Until the mid 20th century, the lake was used for salt production. You can still see some salt at the bottom of the lake, and some of the buildings and remains from the salt pans still stand. The area around Igroviotopos Alikis is popular for hikes and activities like birdwatching and horseback riding. In fact, here you will find the horseback riding center “Salt Lake Stables” on the beach between Tigaki and Marmari. Hikers and visitors should note that the viper, the only poisonous snake in Greece, finds a great habitat in this part of Tigaki.
The wildlife refuge is known as Asfendiou – Pyliou Dimou Dikaiou Nisou Ko is a nationally designated area since 2000. It stretches over 7 km2 (740.37 ha). The wildlife area is surrounded by charming villages like Asfendiou, Zia, Agios Dimitrios, Zipari, Tigaki, Linopoti, and Lagoudi. Asfendiou is well-known for the production of wines and olive oil. Here, you should visit the Church of Asomaton Taxiarchon and the ruins of the Early Christian Basilica of Agios Pavlos (Saint Paul).
Taste the local wines
Hatziemmanouil and Triantafillopoulos wineries keep their doors open in the colder season so you can visit them to purchase local wines at manufacturer’s prices. Some of these wines are also available in grocery shops in Kos town, so if you are not in the mood to visit the wineries you can still buy them. Local wines are also available in tavernas, although not many remain open. Pair your wine with “possa,” a traditional cheese fermented and preserved in wine sediments, and enriched with spices, herbs, and tree bark.
Stroll down the streets of Kos
Without tourists, Kos is rather charming. You will share the pleasure of exploring the town with the locals and the occasional peacocks, which roam free in the streets. Take advantage of this opportunity to snap pictures of the architecture and to communicate with the locals, who are friendly and happy to share the island’s “secrets” to those willing to learn. Many churches keep their doors open so enter to admire beautiful religious art. Just keep in mind that the locals take religion seriously. Do not offend their beliefs. Walk the town in Hippocrates’s footsteps and visit the Asklepion, which dominates a hilltop overlooking the town. You can even see the coast of Turkey in the distance from this vantage point. The Tree of Hippocrates stands on the original spot where a plane tree grew while the father of medicine was still alive practicing and teaching on the island. The platane tree of today is around 500 years, and there is a strong possibility that the current plant is a descendant of the original tree. The tree is the centerpiece of a small park in the old town of Kos, opposite Neratzia Castle, not far from Cafe Neratzia, the Kos Police Station, and the Turkish Baths of Kos.
You could also visit the Archaeological Museum of Kos, which is open offseason. We have gathered all the information you need here.
Address: Eleutherias Square, 85300, Kos
Open Tue-Sun: 8:30-15:00
Admission: 3€ full price, 2€ discounted price
Tel: +30 22420 28326
Shop at the Dimotiki Agora
Dimotiki Agora is the city farmer’s market. Since it’s the main public market of Kos, it remains open offseason. It is located in Plateia Eleftherias and sells all kinds of fresh produce, natural honey, sweets, liquors, wines, Kalymnian sponges, and souvenirs.
Plateia Eleftherias is the lively heart of the city at Christmas. They have kiddie rides and food stalls, plus the cafes around the square remain open. If you don’t mind the chilly weather you can stop for a cup of coffee warm chocolate, tea, or spiced wine right in front of the market. Many of the locals like to sit outdoors and talk here and you can see them in cold winter months too.