Sun-kissed Kos is the dazzling diamond of the Dodecanese Islands. Fancy laying on golden sands in the sizzling sunshine? Done. Prefer to tick off some ancient sights? No problem! Whether you want to do absolutely nothing, or pretty much everything, our pick of the top 10 things to do will help you plan your next island escape.

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Bag a bargain at the Agora Indoor Market

Situated in the heart of central Kos, just off Eleftherias Square, is the vibrant Agora Market. It’s a great place to soak up some culture, with the island’s best local produce on show. Bite into tomato spoon sweets, nibble on krasotiri (goats cheese aged in red wine) and sup spicy kanelada (a cinnamon flavoured drink). Once you’re all munched out, peruse the gift stalls for handmade trinkets.

Taste tipples at the Triantafyllopoulos Vineyards

In ancient Greece, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, advised people that wine was a vital part of a healthy diet. Test out his theory by heading to the 50-acre Triantafyllopoulos estate, which is nestled at the foot of the Dikaios Mountains. Learn all about the history of local wine production, before sipping some tasty samples in a stunning setting.

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Wildlife watch at the Alikes Salt Lakes

Nature-lovers should pop the Alikes Salt Lakes at the top of their island itinerary as its teeming with all manner of wildlife. Look out for sea turtles and migratory birds, and depending on the time of year, you might even spot a flamingo! There is a beautiful beach which is wonderful for a wander, or you can venture to the nearby Salt Lake Stables and explore on horseback.

Follow in ancient footsteps at Asclepeion

This ancient healing centre is one of the island’s most important historical sights. It stands on a pine-covered hill, overlooking Kos Town, and is thought to date back to around 350 BC. In those days, it boasted baths, temples, a theatre and so much more! Take your time roaming around the remarkable ruins, then pop into the onsite museum to learn a little more about this fascinating piece of Greek history.

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Whizz down slides at Aquatica Waterpark

Get ready for a day of full-throttle family fun at this water wonderland. It doesn’t matter if you’re chasing chills or thrills, as there’s plenty for all-ages to enjoy! Feel the rush of adrenaline as you whoosh down the Kamikaze and plunge down the dizzying drops of the Free Fall. Then, after you’ve scratched that adventurous itch, head to the Lazy River for a more relaxed ride. Tiny tots will love the Aqua Playground and the all-day café is handy when it’s time to refuel.

Take a dip in thermal springs at Agios Fokas Beach

Let nature be your spa at Agios Fokas Beach, where hot springs mix with the sea water to create a soothing thermal pool. These springs are thought to have healing properties, so lay back and let all your worries wash away! And guess what? This spa is completely free, so you can linger as long as you like.

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Cycle around Kos Town

Do you like getting out and about and exploring on two wheels? Then you’re in luck, as the flat roads around Kos Town are great for testing your pedal power. There’s a 13km cycle lane along the waterfront, stretching from Faros Beach to Psalidi Beach, for coastal cruising. Whizz along the seafront, then catch your breath on the soft sands. If you fancy more of a challenge, head inland and tackle the mountain trails.

Take a stroll through Plaka Forest

Escape the hustle and bustle of the island’s resorts and spend an afternoon wandering through Plaka Forest. This green oasis is covered in walking paths, and you won’t be the only ones there, as this area’s particularly popular with peacocks. Find a spot in the shade and settle down for a picnic, while these colourful creatures strut their stuff.

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Try water sports at Paradise Beach

Paradise by name, paradise by nature, this white-sand showstopper is a haven for sun-seekers and adventure aficionados. The shallow, calm waters are primed for water skiing, paddle boarding and kayaking, and there’s a floating waterpark to conquer too! When you’ve had your fill of adrenaline, recline on the silky sands or head to the beach bar for music, cocktails and good vibes!

Cocktail bar-hop along Kardamena’s Bar Street

When evening falls, there are few places better to spend a warm summer’s evening in Kos, than Kardamena’s aptly named Bar Street. You’ll find a range of bars to choose from, with everything from karaoke spots to sports lounges on offer. When things start to wind down, follow the buzz to the harbour, where you can party until the early hours.