The beautiful island of Kos is a great destination for those eager to explore original culture, unique architecture, and rich history. From many cultural sights like the Asklipeion to wonderful local cuisine and wineries, this island offers countless possibilities for relaxation. It also offers unique day trips from Kos to other smaller islands.
Here’s a list of the best day trips from Kos and all you need to know:
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means that should you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission.
4 Amazing Day Trips From Kos Island
Nisyros is a magnificent island in the Aegean Sea, situated only 8 miles from Kos. The whole of Nisyros is in fact the newest volcano in the Aegean Sea, rising at about 700 meters from sea level. It is an imposing island, with lots of places to explore, including the crater in the middle, called Stefanos. You can marvel at the calderas, visit Panagia Spiliani or Palaiokastro.
Here is a popular day trip excursion from Kos that allows you to explore the beauty of Nisyros:
This affordable day trip from Kos to Nisyros Volcanic Island is a unique opportunity to discover the beauty of the volcanic island and enjoy breathtaking views.
Conveniently, the tour offers both pick-up and drop-off services from the hotel you stay at. The cruise departs from the port of Kardamena in Kos and the trip lasts about an hour. Upon arrival, there is a bus waiting for you to get you to the historic volcano and the amazing caldera views.
After your trip to the imposing volcano, you will stop at Emporios village to enjoy picturesque dwellings and more panoramic volcano views. Then, you can explore the town of Mandraki, where you get to visit the emblematic Monastery of Panagia Spiliani, a jewel of Nisyros island. You will also have time to grab lunch in town and go shopping or strolling, before leaving for Kos at about 4 pm.
Another great day trip from Kos is the so-called 3-islands-cruise, departing from the port of Kos and getting you to smaller islands nearby, namely, Kalymnos, Plati, and Pserimos. These beautiful, untouched islands have pristine waters to swim in, and many fjord-like coves to discover.
The trip starts with pick up from your hotel and a drive to Kos port. First, the boat arrives at Pothia, a traditional town in Kalymnos, where you get magnificent views of gulfs and the chance to visit a sponge factory to learn about how sponges are made and all about the old tradition of the island in sponge-making.
You then have a delicious lunch at a local tavern in Vathi. After lunch, the boat set sails towards the fish farms, where you might get a glimpse of wild dolphins!
The next station is Plati, a virgin islet where you get to dive into the most turquoise waters. Finally, the last destination before the return to Kos is Pserimos island, where you have an hour to explore on your own before setting sail back to Kos.
Bodrum (Turkey) (ancient city of Alikarnassos)
Located in the eastern Aegean, in the Dodecanese, Kos is also very close to the coast of Turkey. It is in fact only 4km from Kos to Turkey, and the crossing takes about 45 minutes to get you to Bodrum, the beautiful city that was once the ancient city of Alikarnassos. It is another ideal destination for a day trip from Kos, and you get to explore the cultural and cosmopolitical side of Bodrum.
Conveniently, the cruise offers pick-up and drop-off services from the hotel you’re staying. Firstly, you have to pass through passport control, since you’re technically leaving Greece. Then, you reach Bodrum in about 40 minutes and you get picked up by a bus, with a guide, waiting to show you all of Bodrum’s splendor.
You get to visit the popular windmills with incredible views, as well as Myndos Gate, an imposing piece of infrastructure. Then, you pass by the ancient theatre where you can get a glimpse of the past.
After that, you get some free time to explore the city as you wish. In the meantime, you could also visit the Mausoleum of Alikarnassos, the imposing Bodrum Castle with the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, or simply stroll around the marina and head towards the big bazaar to shop for souvenirs and try traditional delicacies, such as kebab and Turkish delights. Alternatively, you can go to the beach until you finally leave for Kos.
Island tour of Kos
Another great idea for a day trip from Kos is to go on the island tour of Kos, where you get to learn all about the island’s rich history and tradition in a day! The guided trip has convenient transportation to and from your hotel, with a certified guide in your native language!
The first stop is the Town Centre, where you will explore the little town streets on foot to reach “Eleftheria’s” Square. Nearby, you can see the Public Market, the Archaeological Museum, and the Mosque of Nefterdar.
The highlight of this stroll is “Platanos” Square, where the renowned plane tree where Hippocrates of Kos, used to teach medicine during antiquity. Don’t miss the chance to enter the medieval castle of the Knights of Saint John as well as the Mosque of Lotzias. You can also marvel at the sights of Ancient Agora, and the temples of Hercules and Aphrodite.
You will then have some time to get a refreshment and go shopping for souvenirs before the short drive to Asklepion, the sanctuary to the God of healing. After your guide shows you the elegant sight, you depart towards Zia, a village nestled upon the mountain Dikaios. There, you have some time to explore the picturesque, folklore village or simply relax.
Your next stop is Kefalos, a seaside location, where you can eat at a local tavern or sunbathe and enjoy a swim at Kefalos beach. Finally, you get to visit Antimacheia Castle, another important monument and remnant of the past.