Kos is one of the easiest Greek islands to get around without a car thanks to its relatively short distances and plethora or public transport options, excursions, and cycle paths.
The buses are cheap and frequent and many of the the routes are geared towards tourists (at least during the season). You can use the buses for visiting the beach as well as the island’s main historic and cultural sites.
How to Get Around Kos by Bus
Buses in Greece are run by an umbrella organisation called KTEL. There are two types of bus on Kos – the island buses (pictured above), and the smaller city buses.
The island buses connect Kos Town to the airport and main beach resorts. These run regularly throughout the day, especially to the airport. You can find timetables on ktelkos.gr. They also stop at some of the most popular beaches, such as Paradise Beach.
There are some routes to the interior villages but these are less frequent and times are geared towards local use rather than tourist daytrips.
For the island routes you’ll need the main KTEL bus station which is behind the old town, roughly a 10 minute walk from the harbour. There’s an office here for information and picking up a paper copy of timetable, but tickets are bought on the bus or from the assistant as you board.
Only single tickets are available. Some routes involve a surprise change of bus somewhere near the airport. Most – but not all – of the beach resort routes use modern coaches.
See Beach Hopping on Kos (by Bike and Bus) for more information.
How to Get Around Kos Town By Bus
Ticket for the city buses must be bought before you get on the bus – you can get them at the small waterfront bus station south of the harbour and castle, next to Albergo Gelsomino.
The city buses run short routes around the city and just outside. They’ll be of most interest to you if you’re staying in a hotel outside town. There are many bus stops along the main roads. The city buses can also be used to visit Agios Fokas, Therma, Platani, and the ancient ruins at Asklepion.
Kos Tourist Train
Kos also has a few hop-on hop-off routes:
- The Red line is the most worthwhile – it connects Kos Town with Asklepion and Tigaki.
- The Yellow line is a tourist train which runs around town. It might be of interest to you if you have limited mobility or small children, otherwise it’s easy enough to see these sights on your own.
- The Blue line connects Kos Town to Agios Fokas and Therma, and in the other direction to the Turkish village Platani. You can both routes cheaper with the city buses.
Some popular day excursions on Kos include:
How to Get Around Kos by Bicycle
One of the best things about Kos is its bicycle infrastructure – bikes are everywhere!
There are lots of bike paths within Kos Town and extend out in both directions along the east coast. Many hotels include bike rental or can organise it for you. If not, there are many rental agencies in town and in the main resorts. Rates are around €10 a day for a basic self-locking bike. You’ll find bike stands everywhere.
It’s a popular activity and you’ll see many families out for a ride, or couples using a bike to get around town.
Beyond the paths you can continue cycling along easy roads to Agios Fokas in the south and Tigaki and Marmari in the north.
The coastal areas of the island are generally quite flat and you can continue to explore by bike if you wish. It attracts plenty of serious cyclists and has all the facilities you need.
Most of the rental agencies and hotels can also arrange cars scooters, quads, and buggies for you.
Catching the Ferry to/from Kos
The main ferry port is Kos Town and embarkation is just outside the Neratzia Castle, a short walk from the main harbour. Taxis can drive right up to the dock. There are a few booths here where you can buy ferry tickets, or you can also purchase them from one of the many agencies in town. You can also pick up paper ferry schedules from the agency offices, schedules tend to change weekly.
If you want to look up times or buy your ferry ticket in advance then I recommend using Ferryhopper.
The main routes from Kos Town are down the Dodecanese island chain to Rhodes, and up the chain to Patmos and then to Athens. Exact specifics change annually and also with the season. The Athens ferries are often overnight – bring a jumper because for some reason they keep the aircon on high.
Smaller ferries to Nisyros run from Kardamena, and to Kalymnos and Pserimos from Mastichari. These smaller local boats don’t always show up on Ferryhopper or other websites, your best bet is to check in one of the tour agencies.
In high season you might be able to use the ferries to visit neighbouring islands for a day trip, but outside these months it’s not always possible to visit and return on the same day. Luckily there are lots of boats offering day trips. The two most popular are:
During normal times there are also ferry crossing and excursions to Turkey.
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