The island of Kos has been an insider tip for water sport enthusiasts from around the world, because for them, a normal beach vacation is boring. The island is in the eastern Aegean Sea, close to the Turkish coast, and is one of the islands of the Dodecanese. With an area of just 290 square kilometers, Kos is also one of the smallest Greek islands. The island’s small size does not mean it is less interesting or fun. Every year, over 60,000 tourists come to Kos for their vacation, tripling the islands permanent population of 30,000. Kos is also relatively narrow. From east to west, the island is only about ten kilometers wide. From north to south, while also small, it is 50 kilometers. The small inner part of the country is, however, of little issue – almost the entirety of the island’s life occurs on its coasts along the sea. In the summer especially, all attention is given to Kos’ unbelievable beaches. Beaches of both fine sand and smooth pebbles allow you to choose what sort of shore experience you want, and provide enough space for any kind of water sport. The offers at and around the sea leave no wishes unrealized – from jet skiing to scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, and surfing, almost every water activity is possible on Kos. The wind especially has made Kos like a surfing El Dorado over the last ten years. The favorable winds make for perfect wave conditions, which surfers from around the world come to Kos to appreciate. The average 21ºC (70ºF) temperature on the Greek island doesn’t hurt either. The pleasant climate makes the island, along with its neighbors, one of the most popular vacation destinations among boating enthusiasts who on a hot summer’s day want a cool breeze to blow through their hair. The airport in Kos is conveniently located in the center of the island, and it takes just about 30 minutes to get to the main city. Kos Marina was finished construction in 2006 and it is located in the heart of Kos City. It is the first large marina that lets all types of yachts anchor there throughout the year. The old town is just a few minutes’ walk from the main part of town, and offers you a pleasant stroll along the redesigned waterfront. Here, you can also buy fresh grapes, almonds, figs and olives, all grown on the island.
The ideal entrance point on the east coast of Kos is of course the modern marina, one of the best equipped of its kind in Greece. More than 200 sailboats and catamarans dock here and wait for the next yacht charter on azure blue waters. Docking in Kos Marina is, however, only allowed with permission from the Mariner. By coming in from the sea via the VHF Canal 77 and giving the signal call “Kos Marina” upon arrival asks permission for entry. If your request is allowed, a pilot boat will come help you and find a place to tie up your boat. Even after this service, the best sides of the marina are yet to come, including a free Internet hotspot, clean bathrooms with showers, a cafeteria, a small super market, a convenience store, a Laundromat, and a bustling bar, where even late at night you can go to have an Ouzo nightcap with some locals. If sleep does not come to you in a long stretch after arrival, the view from the boat over the open sea – with a suggestion of the Turkish city Bodrum already on the horizon – will compensate for it. Many wonderful cruises can be undertaken from Kos, including longer ones with many anchoring points along the way. Turkey is just seven nautical miles away, and other route suggestions, such as excursions through the many Greek islands, can be relatively quickly achieved. To the north, the selection is large: Kalymos, Leros, Patmos or Samos lure travelers with their captivating landscapes. In the south, Tilos, Chalki, Symi and Rhodes offer popular walking excursions for a daytrip strolling through the idyllic old towns. Kos’ neighboring islands Níssiros, with its volcano and quaint villages, and Kahle Kálimnos, the island of sponge fishing, are lovely places to explore for a quick excursion. With the appropriate sailing yacht or a fast catamaran, Pátmos is also a reachable destination, and worth it to visit the 900 year old Aghios Ioannis Theologos Monastery (Monastery of Saint John the Theologian). We have here a tour and route suggestion for the Dodecanese – sail around the Greec Islands
The entire year on Kos features a warm Mediterranean climate. The summer in the region is pretty long, so the sailing season starts already in March, when it’s already a comfortable 10-15ºC (50-59ºF) on the pleasant water. As a bit of advice to beginner sailors, this is also the perfect time to test and hone your skills. It’s not quite as hot out as in the peak summer months, and the wind is not yet as strong, so it makes learning and improving your sailing a much easier task. In this pre-summer sailing time, the Meltemi winds come from the southeast and create very good conditions for a yacht charter through the Greek islands. Between July and September, the temperatures climb often over 30ºC (86ºF), and though there is also a constant, cooling breeze, it can be difficult to manage some situations and maneuvers at sea. The pleasant Meltemi winds blow in these months between 4 and 5 on the Beaufort scale (Bft), but it is not uncommon for them to blast up to an 8 Bft – optimal conditions for experienced sailors, since they come here on their own expense. As a beginner it is not necessary to avoid Kos in the peak summer with these winds, but it is good to be aware of the higher waves and stronger winds, and to not underestimate their force. Because of these risks, it is recommended to plan a yacht charter to include an experienced crew or skipper in your booking. Hiring a skipper and crew is possible without any further effort via YACHTICO.com, and spares you the doubt, frustration and annoyance that may occur out at sea. Another important aspect for smooth sailing in this region is to clear yourself for entry at the official Port of Entry, so you can sail around both Greece and Turkey, since the islands intermingle and the border is close. In order to accomplish this, both the flag for guests and the international “Q” signal flag must be up at the Port of Entry, and you must have the valid papers for the boat and the crew must have their identification papers, as well as the skipper’s ID and driver’s license. You can find more information about these issues with the port police or directly where you pick up your yacht. Be sure to inquire further if you have any doubts, so you can start your cruise without any lingering questions.
Kos is a clean and tourist-friendly island. In and around the main city are large, luxurious hotels where the staff are always concerned with the well being of their guests. The best way to get the full experience of Kos during the summer months is to explore the 30 kilometer long designated cycling trails. To get even further into Kos’ hinterland, you can also rent a quad bike or a car and really explore the depths of the island. With these vehicles, you can also visit resident lemonade factory or the winery. There are also many ancient sites and historic excavations from the Hellenic and Roman periods, which offer artistic and historic interest to the area. Located on the serene harbor sits the massive castle in which Antimáchia Kardámena is enthroned. The Archeological Museum, Castle of St. John from the 13th century, and the Tree of Hippocrates – of which the locals are particularly proud – are also locations that are easy to get to. There are also many ancient houses, temples, baths, and mosaics, from various eras, to visit. After an extensive historic day program, those who are thirsting for a part atmosphere will not be disappointed by Kos’ nightlife. With a large number of bars, clubs, and beach parties, the island boasts a popular nightlife for dance maniacs and night owls. You should not, however, dismiss local specialties: Kos’ “red cheese” is a cheese that is baked in red wine and is offered in almost every tavern and restaurant on the island. There are also other delicious specialties of various types, such as “Pittarida” – noodles in meat stock – or “Varvara” – cooked wheat with sesame cream, sugar, almonds, walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon. The next day, the clean and beautiful beaches invite you to just relax. Mylos, for example, a beach with fine white sand, has the blue flag of the EU and often offers live music directly on the water.
Catamarans and sailboats of all ages and from well-known manufacturers can be organized, viewed, and booked based on port of origin, the number of cabins and berths, boat model, price, and special preferences – all with just three clicks.