Kos, Greece’s Bicycle Island

With numerous bicycle lanes in the main town and wonderful cycling routes around the island, there’s no better way to explore Kos’ cultural and historical sites than hopping on a bike! 

From Hippocrates’ tree where the famous Father of Medicine practiced his therapies to Therma (hot springs) on the east coast of Kos or beautiful Zia where you can enjoy a fabulous meal and the stunning sunset- the adventurous cycling routes in Kos are endless!

Insights Greece - Kos, Greece’s Bicycle Island
Cycling around Kos’ port

Located in the Dodecanese, the flat terrain of the island makes cycling an easy and popular means of transport for both locals and international visitors. Here you will find locals on their bikes heading to work, school, or to the shops; and will be sharing the lanes with visitors who are exploring Kos’ main town, beaches, and historical sites along the way. It’s also the perfect way to admire the historic buildings until you reach a café, restaurant, or bar of your choice so you can sit down for a relaxing drink and some food- before you start riding again.

Just this month, Greece’s Transport and Infrastructure Minister Michalis Papadopoulos announced that Kos is emerging as a prime biking destination, and during the event, Papapopoulos highlighted Greece’s efforts to establish a National EuroVelo Coordination Center that would promote cycling tourism in Greece. 

“Currently there are 6.5 thousand bikes available for rent on Kos island– a huge advantage for the development of bike tourism,” Papadopoulos said.

Insights Greece - Kos, Greece’s Bicycle Island
A variety of routes around town

Exploring Kos’ main town by bike is a great experience and highly recommended. Featuring a 13km cycle lane stretching right along the waterfront, the bicycle path of Kos begins from Faros beach all the way through to the end of the beach at Psalidi, with a distance of about 13 km. With many side roads, some of which lead into the city of Kos, cyclists can choose which path they would like to discover first.

For those who are more confident cyclists, there are routes through mountains and dirt roads, overlooking the stunning nature on one side and the panoramic view of the island of Kos on the other. There are many paved roads, with limited traffic that will lead to charming villages and beaches beyond the centre of town, including some of the island’s most popular beaches- Tigaki and Marmari.

On the island, visitors can find many bicycle rental shops, with bikes suitable for all ages, levels of experience, and tastes. Ranging from road bikes to mountain bikes up to tandem bikes (for two riders); others prefer to take part in organised cycling tours, which can be booked while on the island or in advance.    

Zia’s Award-Winning Taverna With Breathtaking Views of Kos

Perched high in the mountains and offering the best views of Kos and its breathtaking sunsets; international award-winning Oromedon Taverna serves up traditional Greek island cuisine using seasonal produce from its own farm and nearby producers.

If you are lucky enough to lock in a table on the vine-laced and bougainvillea-filled rooftop, you will be able to enjoy uninterrupted views of the Aegean Sea from one side and lush mountains on the other. This is all while trying to decide what to choose from their impressive menu that’s filled with secret family recipes- as well as other authentic Greek dishes that are made with the freshest local ingredients.

The famous family-run taverna first opened its doors in 1997, and since then Nikos and his wife Soula Papakonstantinou (along with their parents and children) have been welcoming locals and international visitors (including celebrities) to their restaurant.

“For nearly 25 years, we have been driven by a passion to preserve the traditional cooking style that we were taught by our ancestors- this is in a constant effort to keep the flavours pure. We feel there is a need to maintain the originality of the recipes and traditional cooking styles delivered from generation to generation. This is why we cook and bake mainly in the wood oven using only fresh ingredients,” Nikos tells IN+SIGHTS GREECE.

Sprawled over three levels, there is something special about each part of the restaurant, which includes its own wine cellar. Here you will find over 200 selected wines from Kos and other parts of Greece. And the large kitchen is run by Nikos, Soula, and their talented team who use handpicked ingredients from the family’s own fields and olive oil produced from their own olive trees each year.

For entrée we recommend you try the Possa- Kos’ traditional goat cheese; a Beetroot Salad with orange pistachio from Aegina and yogurt sauce; or the Green Salad with fig, orange, pumpkin seeds, and balsamic sauce.

For appetizers, we couldn’t go past the Xortopita (spinach pie), Dolmadakia (fresh stuffed vine leaves), Kolokithokeftedes (courgette fritters), Revithokeftedes (chickpea fritters); and a very traditional dish from Kos named Pligouri- pork with cracked wheat. 

Mains include Fillet of Cod cooked in the oven with chickpeas in a lemon sauce; Oromedon Pork Tenderloins baked in the oven with fresh mushrooms, and potatoes; and  Giouvetsi- Greek orzo with vegetables.

The specialty of this taverna by far is anything made in the wood oven, which is operated with the traditional mud sealing technique. Standouts are the Roasted Pork slow-cooked with avgolemono (lemon egg sauce,) Wild Boar, Roasted Lamb, and the Baby Goat, which are all cooked for 12 hours. 

As well as a great range of local wines from all over Greece, the barmen can also mix up a good cocktail such as a Three Grace Greek Gin Tonic with rosemary, black pepper, and flavoured cucumber; or a Mastihito Strawberry with Mastiha, strawberries, basil, and sugar.

And yes, of course, leave room for dessert, which includes an Apple Pie with fresh apples and cinnamon; Ravani (sponge syrup cake); Galaktoboureko (custard pie); or a Pecan pie with fresh nuts straight from Zia village.

A: Epar. Od. Zipariou-Asfendiou, Lagoudi, Zia

All images by IN+SIGHTS GREECE © (Copyright)