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Close to mainland Turkey sits the Greece island of Kos. A popular destination for sun-seekers, this tiny paradise boasts almost 300km of coastline washing into the turquoise waters of the Aegan Sea. Escape the hum-drum of everyday life and relax on a sun lounger on one of the endless beaches, or take a revitalizing dip in the hot thermal springs.
It's not just the beaches that draw the crowds year after year, but also the island's historic roots, local produce and lively culture. Sample the country-grown olives, grapes and figs, discover the ancient cities built by lost civilisations or let loose at the bars and clubs in town.
Kos is also a great starting point for Greek Island hopping, set sail for Crete, Rhodes, Santorini, Ios and more, for guaranteed fun in the sun.
Kos Town is a great place to explore - the main port is where you'll find most of the tourist attractions, restaurants and shops. History buffs will love uncovering the stories behind some of the island's oldest fortresses, museums and castles.
Closer to the airport, Kardamena has become a popular destination for party-loving Brits. Once a quiet fishing village, it's now packed full of bars, pubs and clubs. The aptly named 'Bar Street' is one of the liveliest (and busiest) places during summer.
If you're looking for a bit more from your Greek Island getaway, Crete is just a short trip away. Visit Heraklion, the largest city in Crete full of ancient artefacts hidden away in a thoroughly modern city.
Spend a day in Paradise
Or rather, Paradise Beach. This strip of fine white sand and clear waters is one of the most famous beaches in Kos and is well worth battling the crowds. There are sunbeds, umbrellas, watersports, restaurants and more; everything you'd expect to find in paradise!
Heat up in the hot springs
Therma Beach isn't exactly the prettiest part of Kos, however the hot springs at the end is what everyone comes for. Natural boiling water runs down the mountain and mixes with the pool water, making it a toasty 40 degrees all year long.
See the Tree of Hippocrates
It's believed that the physician Hippocrates was born on Kos, and the legendary tree in the centre of Kos Town was where he taught his pupils medicine. The tree that stands there today is 500 years old, but is widely thought to be a descendant of the original planted in 5th century BC.
This crazy Greek Island town has no shortage of deluxe resorts to choose from. There are wild parties at almost every pool, exclusive ticket and drink deals at clubs that cater to every taste; from disco and karaoke to dance and trance.
If you're looking for something a little smaller and quieter than Kardamena, the resort town of Kefalos is a relaxing village in the south of Kos. Wander around the Old Town, enjoy some traditional dishes and swim up to the Agios Nikolaos monastery for a truly authentic Greek getaway.
Just a bus ride away from Kos Town, Tingaki's soft sandy beaches are surrounded by Greek tavernas and friendly locals. Tingaki is usually less crowded than other parts of the island, meaning you can enjoy your very own spot on the sand all to yourself.
The Greek Islands are always a great holiday option when it comes to the sun and sand. Kos is the perfect base to set yourself up for a summer on the sea, with Direct Holidays offering some of the best deals to Kardamena, Kos Town and Kefalos.