Island hopping

A day-trip paradise

Inspiring nearby destinations and easy access are among the island's greatest perks. There is no other island in the Dodecanese providing such island hopping opportunities. In fact, travellers of Kos usually choose a 10 day holiday so as  to be able to visit a number of other nearby destinations, too. 

Visiting Kalymnos from Mastichari or taking a three island tour (Kalymnos - Pserimos - Plati) are two of the most popular must-dos on Kos Island and therefore widely offered on the main harbour of Kos, also called Mandraki. To dive into the turquoise waters of Plati and Pserimos is truly a memorable experience! Visiting the alternative Nisyros island is also in great demand. The port of Kardamena allows you to visit Nisyros in less than an hour and actually walk onto a volcano’s crater! Plus Turkey's coast is almost 30-40’ minutes away, offering visitors the chance to discover a whole other country in less than an hour. 

There are plenty of travel agencies and tourism offices on the island to book a day trip to any nearby destination, usually starting from 09:00 am and finishing at 17:00 or later, and help you choose the most convenient itinerary to travel between the islands. 

Island hopping
Vathy in Kalymnos

Kalymnos: Since ancient times, Kalymnos has been known as the “sponge-divers' island”. Its brave sponge-divers collected natural sponges from the sea, making them the main source of income for the local families, while bringing wealth and fame to the island. The island's landscape is rocky, partly a reason that the island has also evolved into a worldwide rock climbing destination. The island is connected to Kos through high-speed boats (catamarans) and is ideal for a day trip, too. Kalymnos is among the three destinations of the three island cruise itinerary (Kalymnos, Pserimos, Plati), and therefore can be visited easily and hustle free. 

Pserimos: Probably the most popular island-hopping destination on Kos due to its small distance from the island (7.8 nautical miles). The tiny island belongs to the administration of Kalymnos and is a destination on the three island cruise itinerary (Kalymnos, Pserimos, Plati), a day trip offered from the main harbour of Kos.

Island hopping
Nisyros, Nikia village and the crater of the volcano

Nisyros: The island of Nisyros offers the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of walking on an actual volcanic crater. In fact, the volcano in Nisyros is one of the more active but less known volcanoes in Greece. The last volcanic eruptions in 1881-87 formed a moonscape with colourful craters and very active fumaroles, the location of which is today visitable. The island is often described as an alternative one, because it features one of the favourite beaches among free-camping enthusiasts in Greece. Perfect for a day trip starting from Kardamena. 

Leros: A serene island with a mild tourist development and pristine seas, ideal for a day trip or even a multi-day trip. The island is developed in many traditional settlements and is gradually becoming a popular scuba diving destination. Leros has one of the greatest natural deep-water ports, that of Lakki (Portolago) which was transformed into a heavily fortified aeronautical and naval base during the Italian rule. The Battle of Leros is one of the most important events that took place during the Second World War in the eastern Mediterranean. A military tunnel, one of the many existing on the island, has been restored and is now a war museum that houses numerous exhibits, that were either found scattered around the island or recovered from the seas. The island is connected to Kos through high-speed boats (catamarans) and larger ferry boats. 

Island hopping
Patmos island

Leipsoi: Located between the larger islands of Patmos and Leros, Leipsoi is a lesser-known Greek destination with heavenly waters, ideal for those seeking for absolute serenity. In other words, the ultimate away-from-the-crowds Greek island fantasy. The island is connected to Kos through high-speed boats (catamarans). 

Patmos: If you’re interested in two-day or multi-day trips from Kos to other Dodecanese islands and aim for a change of scenery, Patmos could be an ideal destination. The island is home to one of Greece's most significant religious monuments, the Cave of the Apocalypse, marking the spot where St. John of Patmos received his visions that he recorded in the Book of Revelation. The island features a mild tourist development and an impressive Cycladic Chora with the mediaeval Castle of St. John of Patmos dominating what seemingly looks like the top of the island. Almost daily connected to Kos through high-speed boats (catamarans) as well as larger ferry boats.

Island hopping

Astypalea: Definitely not ideal for a day trip, since the island is far from Kos and therefore less frequently interconnected through high-speed boats (catamarans) or larger ferry boats, but could be an option for a multi-day trip. The butterfly-shaped Greek island is peaceful and looks like an island of Cyclades, due to its narrow alleys, whitewashed houses, and overall intense Cycladic architecture.  

Tilos: The island keeps an authentic charm and has managed to fly under the tourism radar, so it is nowadays considered an alternative and serene holiday destination. Bearing almost no tourism development, the island is perfect for those looking for a rejuvenating holiday away from it all.  

Halki: The island’s laid-back atmosphere is surely ideal for a tranquil getaway. Scenic-coloured Nimporio houses the island's harbour as well as the island’s only town. In Halki, visitors wish to swim into paradisiac waters and savour the traditional food with a long-desired glass of ouzo. The island is close to Rhodes, connected to Kos through high-speed boats (catamarans) as well as larger ferry boats. 

Island hopping
Symi island

Symi: The picture-perfect view of the harbour of Symi as you arrive is something that truly sticks to mind. The enchanting Symi is popular when it comes to sailing and yachting trips, offering many serene bays and coves that can only be reached by boat. The island is connected to Kos through high-speed boats (catamarans) and larger ferry boats. 

Rhodes: The capital of the Dodecanese is considered one of Greece’s top tourism destinations. It is not recommended for a day trip as it takes about three hours to reach but it can be a great option for a weekend or a multi-day trip. The island is connected to Kos through high-speed boats (catamarans) and larger ferry boats. 

Footnotes / Source

Duration of your trip varies depending on the boat you travel with. Generally speaking, high-speed boats (catamarans) are usually faster than the regular ferry boats.

Kos Island Greece