8 great beaches in Kos, Greece

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Who doesn't love a great beach? There are lots of islands dotted around Europe that boast a flurry of sandy strips, but standing tall amongst them in Greece is the island of Kos. Within striking distance of neighbouring Turkey, this deeply dramatic island, the third largest in the Dodecanese, is awash with the sort of beaches many people dream of flopping on all year long.

Top beaches in Kos, Greece © Anna Lurye - Dreamstime
Top beaches in Kos, Greece © Anna Lurye - Dreamstime

Kos is up there as a beach destination not just in Greece, but against most places in Europe, and the likes of First Choice* offers so many ways in which you can make the most of a holiday to this beloved Greek island.

We'll visit everywhere here, from family friendly beaches blessed with shallow waters, through to wilder strips where surfers shoot the breeze, and on to remote escapes that are seriously off the beaten track. In a nutshell (and a lot of nuts grow on this idyllic Mediterranean island) there is a beach in Kos for you...

1. Kos Town Beach

Kos Town Beach* is on here not because it's one of the top eight beaches on Kos - stick with me - but because it provides easy access to the historical charms of the island's capital, and its lively café, restaurant, and nightlife scenes. The beach sits in the shadow of the town's epic castle too, so it's an atmospheric place to unfurl your towel. Boat trips leave from the adjacent harbour if you fancy bouncing off with a cool breeze at the height of summer. Oh, and it's a very good beach too.

2. Tigaki

This white sand gem reclines just over 10 km outside of Kos, and is also around 10 km long. That's right, 10km long! So no matter how busy it gets there will always be plenty of space on Tigaki Beach*. Along the coast are colourful sunbeds and umbrellas, with a beguiling backdrop of wildflowers and greenery. There are all sorts of tourist paraphernalia within striking distance, but it's the ace beach you are here for and superb watersports too.

The balmy waters of Paradise Beach, Kos © Greg Balfour Evans - Alamy Stock Photo
The balmy waters of Paradise Beach, Kos © Greg Balfour Evans - Alamy Stock Photo

3. Crazy Name Beach

Ok, so there is no actual Crazy Name Beach, but there may as well be. That is because there is every other daft beach name you can think of dotted around Kefalos Bay. How about Banana Beach, or if that doesn't work for you Camel Beach? Then there is Exotic Beach or even the otherworldly Magic Beach. To be fair they are all lovely. The pick of the bunch is Paradise Beach; well, it should be! As well as clean white sands, I love the air that bubbles up from the volcano on the neighbouring Nisyros Island. You can relax on a sunbed here, enjoy a tasty lunch in a taverna and then slip into the balmy waters. It is indeed paradise.

4. Agios Stefanos Beach

This western charmer is no secret, but even when it's busy you can still appreciate the fine sand, shallow waters and drama of the setting. The beach fronts a little islet, which is home to a brace of historic ruins that date as far back as the 5th century, adding some real depth to your beach bumming. The islet also has a wee beach to escape to; probably the most photographed beach on Kos with good reason.

Kamari Beach, Kos, Greece © Travel Pictures - Alamy Stock Photo
Kamari Beach, Kos, Greece © Travel Pictures - Alamy Stock Photo

5. Kamari Beach

This sandy oasis lies west of the beaches with the crazy names and has a more traditional Greek moniker. This 5 km stretch of sand sits on the opposite side of Kefalos Bay and is home to a resort strip with all the beach holiday amenities. Handily you can also catch a ferry boat across to Paradise Beach if you fancy a change of scene. Look out for the fruits of the labours of the local fishermen in the restaurants too.

6. Agios Theologos Beach

This more remote charmer is a personal favourite out west. The surf tends to get up a bit more here so it's not ideal for families, which I appreciate when I don't have my own kids in tow! Things are fairly unspoilt out here, so enjoy a beach backed by olive groves that lays claim to offering the finest sunsets in Greece. That is quite a claim, but one that you may well agree with when you make the pilgrimage here to watch the swollen sun burn down into the Aegean in an explosion of fiery reds, deep oranges and bright yellows.

7. Mastichari Beach

The laidback town of Mastichari* is the ideal backdrop to a picturesque powdery beach. Tourism is much more low key here on the north of the island. There is little to do bar lotus eating under the shade of the local tamarisk trees. Unless that is, of course, you enjoy the thrills of surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing, which are all popular at Mastichari. The water up north tends to be a bit cooler than the south, which comes in handy in summer. You can catch ferries across to the tiny isle of Pserimos from Mastichari too, if you fancy an escape for the day.

The secluded beach at Cavo Paradiso, Kos © Vladimir Semenov - Fotolia.com
The secluded beach at Cavo Paradiso, Kos © Vladimir Semenov - Fotolia.com

8. Cavo Paradiso

I toyed with not including this star in this list as I love it so much! Getting here is not for the fainthearted, as it lies down a tortuous dirt track, but the effort is well rewarded when you reach the golden sands. We are talking a jeep rather than a normal hire car, as bring that and you may end up with your vehicle making a one-way trip! You really get to escape things here, to feel what Kos was like years ago before it was discovered by tourists. There are sunbeds and a beach bar these days, but it's still all gloriously low key.

Kos is a perennial summertime favourite with holidaymakers, and holiday companies such as all inclusive giant First Choice makes getting there not only easy but affordable too. If you fancy exploring these eight great beaches in Kos for yourself, check out the latest deals on breaks with First Choice, which departs from airports including London Gatwick, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Cardiff, among others. You can also see what the weather in Kos is like, and when we think is the best time to go for ultimate beach conditions.

First Choice: Low deposits & flexible payments on holidays in 2023, 2024 & 2025

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Robin McKelvie

Robin McKelvie

Robin McKelvie is a Scottish travel writer, author and broadcaster. He has visited over 100 countries and regularly writes about Scotland and the Canary Islands. As well as frequently contributing to Weather2Travel.com, Robin writes for publications including The Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, The Times and Wanderlust, and has authored more than 30 guidebooks.

Posted on Thursday 18th January 2018 in: Beach Europe Family Nature Summer

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