Exploring Kos by car is the easiest way to ensure you see all this that small, yet perfectly formed, island has to offer. At only 26 miles long exploring Kos by car can be a one day affair. Taking just 50 minutes to drive from east to west and 20 minutes to travel north to south you can take in the main sites of the island for just the cost of one day’s car hire (costing from only €35).
Exploring Kos By Car In A Day
We hired a car from our hotel in Psalidi, a small, modern resort on edge of the more lively Kos Town, and headed out to explore.
Driving in Kos is pretty simple which makes exploring Kos by car a great idea. The roads are almost empty and, thanks to the fact that there is only one main road across the centre of the island from which routes branch off to all the major attractions, it is almost impossible to get lost! There is also the addition of a new mountain road that made the steep climb and sharp bends on the way up to Zia a slightly less nerve-wracking experience than I was expecting.
After driving through Kos Town our first stop was at the Greek ruins of Asklepieion. Dating back to the 3rd century BC Asklepieion, part-hospital, part-religious sanctuary, was built to honour the god of health and medicine, Asklepios, after the death of the famous ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates.
While this may not have been the most family friendly venue (think steep steps, big boulders and a serious lack of health and safety guidelines) the views alone are worth stopping here, and the history behind the site gave us a great chance to give the girls a brief run down on how the medicine we so often take for granted has its roots on this very island.
On leaving the ruins we returned to the car and headed further up the mountain road, taking in the spectacular views over lush green land and sparking blue seas, before reaching Zia. Nestled amongst green forest and fresh water streams, Zia is one of the prime attractions on Kos, and thanks to its location on the slopes of Mountain Dikeos, it offers visitors breathtaking views of the entire island.
After parking the car on the roadside we took off on foot to really get a feel for this traditional Greek town. The main street through the village was a bustle of activity with many gift shops and tavernas ready to great the English tourists with open arms.
Hot, sticky and in need of fresh air after our time in the car we walked uphill to get a better view of the island and stumbled across a quaint hilltop taverna that served my beloved Saganaki. As lunchtime was already upon us we put up no fight when the waiter outside offered to show us through the terracotta coloured restaurant onto the terrace outback.
Once we had devoured the best Saganaki I have ever tasted, there was just enough time for a family selfie before getting back on the road to continue exploring Kos by car.
Our last stop of the day was Paradise Beach. Arriving after a quick detour via the seaside town of Kardamena we were immediately struck by the stunning views the greeted us. Winding our way down towards the coast I could barely keep my eyes on the road. Making the executive decision to take an unscheduled roadside photo stop was a great idea.
Hitting the beach the girls took no time in getting involved. Paradise Beach offers much softer golden sands than the beaches of the North and the water is on such a gradual slope that its perfect for young families. With the heat beating down on our backs and the sand gently massaging between our toes we enjoyed a few hours of sunshine before heading back to the car (extremely sandy due to a serve lack of working beach showers) and returning to the hotel for dinner.
Exploring Kos by car was up there with experiencing my first Scuba Dive as one of my top Kos holiday memories. I would highly recommend taking a day to explore this great island when you visit, its true what they say; all good things come in small packages!