Are you in the mood for an adventurous road trip full of discoveries? The Greek island of Kos is characterised by many historical eras of the past and offers not only numerous cultural highlights, but also fantastic natural phenomena and over 100 km of coastline. You can explore Kos perfectly by car. Enjoy the wonderful view from the window and feel the sense of freedom when the wind blows through your hair. The best thing about a road trip on Kos is always discovering and exploring new landscapes and places.
I’ll take you on my car rental tour of Kos and tell you which corners you absolutely must stop at. Of course, Kos also has impressive sights that you absolutely have to see – here I present a varied tour that you can easily do in one day.
Ready for adventure? 😉
Table of contents
The adventure begins – exploring Kos by car
When we booked our trip to Kos, it was already clear to us that we would need a rental car! That’s why it’s all the more practical that our hotel TUI BLUE Oceanis Beach has a car rental and that we can get advice from the competent staff on site.
We tell her what we want to do, that we just want to drive around and take in the surroundings. We have already marked a few highlights in our travel guide, but mainly want to spontaneously see where we like it. The staff member recommends a small automatic rental car, which we should be able to use everywhere on Kos. Very important: if you want to rent a car on Kos, make sure you take one with air conditioning – you will thank me. Also, an automatic car is much more pleasant than a manual car, as the roads are often mountainous and you can drive more relaxed that way.
With the car keys in hand, we go out to the car park where a small car with a roof window is waiting to cruise with us across the island. The car rental company usually brings the car directly to the TUI BLUE Hotel – absolutely practical! We can have the car all day and simply return the keys to reception in the evening. This way, we don’t have any time pressure and can relax and enjoy the day.
Off we go on our road trip to Kos!
Destination Number 1: Kos Town
The first destination of our rental car tour is the capital of Kos – Kos Town. We reach it after a 10-15 minute drive from the TUI BLUE Hotel and head towards the centre in good spirits. From our car park on the promenade, we walk straight along the road and head straight for Neratzia Castle. The inner ring of the fortress was already built at the beginning of the 14th century – really impressive how long ago that was.
Directly opposite you will find one of the most famous sights of Kos: the plane tree of Hippocrates. According to the stories, the Greek physician Hippocrates of Kos taught his students the art of healing under the tree.
We continue along the road and come to the beautiful harbour of Kos. From here, excursions by ferry and boat to other islands, such as the most beautiful beaches of Rhodes, are also possible.
Back in the car, we take a detour past the Odeon – a theatre and archaeological site from the 2nd century. We swing ourselves onto one of the 18 tiers and let ourselves be transported back in time.
Next stop: the archaeological site of Asklepieion
The next destination on our Kos list is the famous Asklepieion. We drive another 10-15 minutes from the theatre until we get there. The Asklepieion is an ancient sanctuary and one of the first hospitals in history. It is considered the healing place and school of Hippocrates – although it was probably built after his death (around 370 BC). Because of the earthquakes of 554 AD, not much is left of it today, but the three terraces still give you an impression of the hospital’s dimensions at that time.
Agios Dimitrios – the ghost town on Kos
When we read about the ghost town of Agios Dimitrios, we couldn’t imagine that a whole village would really be abandoned. That’s why we wanted to take a rental car to the most dilapidated and abandoned place on Kos.
Agios Dimitrios can be reached from the Asklepieion in just 10 minutes, and at this point at the latest you’ll be glad you have an automatic car, because it’s uphill!
The drive here is very beautiful: hardly any other drivers come our way and the landscape is gorgeous.
When we arrive at the car park, a few goats cross our path – that’s what I call a friendly welcome!
Directly at the entrance to the village is a beautiful white village church, which shines like a beacon in the sun and attracts us directly. Be sure to go to the church square: from here you have a wonderful view.
Afterwards we stroll through the mystical ghost town. Only ruins of the original houses can be seen. This is somehow creepy and fascinating at the same time. You can look through the former windows and doors of the crumbling houses and walk through the abandoned place. A trip to this place on Kos is definitely worth it!
At some point we see tables and chairs in front of a house – this must surely be the Café Haihoutes we read about. So there is a bit of life in this otherwise quiet place after all. ?
Pyli and love
The next destination on our car rental tour of Kos is about 15 minutes away. Here you will find the Pigi Fountain (signposted as Water Spring), which was built in 1592 and has been supplying the residents with cool water ever since. #Funfact: According to legend, if you take a sip of water from each of the six pipes, you will walk down the aisle in the same year and your marriage will be blessed with abundant offspring. 😀
In Pyli you will also find the mysterious Charmylos Tomb. A total of 12 burial chambers have been dug into the rock. Kind of creepy, but I love exciting stories. In the Traditional House, you can also take a look at the way of life of a family from the 1950s. #explore
Agios Ioannis Monastery – it’s the view that counts
We drive south for about an hour on the quiet roads with a pleasant breeze. Again and again we get out of the car to take a photo of the picturesque landscape until we reach the monastery of Agios Ioannis. This destination on Kos is not so much worth a visit for its architecture and history, as no monks have lived here for a long time. The highlight of the monastery is the breathtaking view of the sea. Let’s take a short break!
Lunch in Kefalos – between souvlaki and king prawns
Our next stop is the village of Kefalos. It is situated on a beautiful plateau about 100 metres above the bay of the same name, which is also one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. You can reach it after about 20 minutes from the monastery or after three quarters of an hour from Pyli.
Kefalos is a small village that is pleasantly quiet and not yet so touristy. In ancient times, Kefalos was even the capital of Kos. It is worth taking a leisurely stroll through the village and enjoying the atmosphere. You will also find the castle of Kefalos here, of which, however, only remains have been preserved. The view here is once again fantastic. As you can see, there is no shortage of great views on this car rental tour of Kos. 😀
It’s lunchtime and we’re starting to get hungry. Besides, I could really use a cool drink in this heat. We decide on the cute, inviting restaurant in one of the side streets. I usually don’t go to the tourist restaurants, because the food in the small alleys is usually much tastier and above all typical of the country.
I tell you: my food is sooo delicious! I treat myself to typical Greek souvlaki, my friend chooses the large prawns. If you’re hungry for Greek food now, why not cook a Greek recipe at home – and you’ll be in the holiday mood.
Sun, beach and sea at Paradise Beach
The next destination on Kos is Paradise Beach – which should look just like it sounds! It takes about 10 minutes to get here. On the way here, there is a viewpoint next to the highway at Kamari, from which you have a beautiful view of the island of Kastri with the chapel of St. Nicholas standing on it.
At Paradise Beach you can take advantage of various water sports, swim in the clear water or simply relax on the beach. We think the beach is nice, but we want to see more of Kos, so we continue our car rental tour.
The hot thermal springs of the Embros thermal baths
We drive about an hour back towards the north-east of the island. Here are the famous Embros thermal springs, which are said to have a healing effect and help with skin, eye, respiratory and muscular diseases as well as rheumatism and arthritis. We park above the bay and walk down the stony, windy path. Here we first come to a small beach with black sand and a little further on we see the thermal pool of about 25 m².
Even on the way down from the car park, the strong smell of sulphur hits our noses – something you have to get used to. Arriving at the pool, I am impressed by the little gas bubbles bubbling on the surface and want to go straight into this natural whirlpool. Ouch, it’s hot! Be careful where you go in, the water is really very hot in some places. If you want a refreshing dip, you can cool off in the adjacent sea. A small tip: take bathing shoes with you – that’s not a bad investment on Kos anyway, as there are some pebble beaches here.
Crowning finale: sunset over Kos
We drive about 10 minutes by rental car back to our TUI hotels to freshen up and change. Now we drive another 30-40 minutes until we reach the mountain village of Zia in the Dikeos Mountains. As we look for a parking space, we realise that Zia is no longer an insider tip and that we will not be alone.
Souvenir shops and tavernas attract visitors from all over the world. We stroll through the cosy village and enjoy the minutes before sunset. Then we get a scoop of ice cream and stand against the wall to watch the spectacle. The view from up here is wonderful. You can look down on Kos, the neighbouring islands and the Turkish mainland, and everything is bathed in the vibrant orange of the sun – really romantic and a successful end to our car rental tour of Kos.
We make our way back through the darkness, fill up the rental car again and even reach the hotel early enough to partake of the delicious evening buffet. Tonight’s theme evening is “Greece” – how appropriate! 😀
Discover Kos by car and stay at a TUI BLUE Hotel
If you’re in the mood for a holiday and would like to rent a car in Kos to explore the island, pack your bags and off you go. I can only recommend the adult-only hotel TUI BLUE Oceanis Beach. It is well located for your car rental tour, the service is excellent and the grounds are beautiful. The BLUE guides on site will give you helpful tips on the best places to visit in the area or help you book guided excursions on Kos.
Are you really in the mood for a road trip? Then why not take a road trip through Europe? Post your favourite road trip destinations in the comments – I look forward to your inspiration!
Looking for a rental car?
Check out the prices and available cars:Search & book rental car