Knight’s Castle on Kos island, Greece

Explore Kos Castle on this Greek Island - LifeBeyondBorders
Explore Kos Castle on this Greek Island - LifeBeyondBorders

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There are some great things to see and do on Kos island, Greece.  I usually visit the Greek island of Kos when I am researching it to update it for the Rough Guides to the Greek islands.

I was pleased to also be able to spend some time exploring the Knight’s Castle on Kos island, Greece.

Knight’s Castle – Kos island, Greece

You can’t really miss the Knight’s Castle, Kos.  It’s referred to locally and in Greek as the ‘Castle of Neratzia’ meaning sour orange tree – and a wander around it will help you understand why.

It’s located right by Kos harbour’s entrance so that when your ferry pulls up for your Greek island hopping vacation, this grand monolith is right in front of you.  It’s actually on a small little island connected by a bridge, really more of a dried up moat that surrounds it.

Why ‘sour orange tree’?  Well, the Knight’s Castle Kos dates back to the 14th Century and during this time, many sour orange trees (neratzia) were planted on the island.  During the late 14th and early 15th Century Kos was known as Neratzia hence why the Castle’s name has stuck.

Bridge across to the entrance of Kos Castle on Kos island, Greece. Life Beyond Borders
Bridge across to Kos Castle.

Frequent visitors to Greece will have seen these trees all over the country as well as Kos island.

Update of Kos Castle MAR 2020:

Alas, Kos suffered a bad earthquake in 2017 meaning the inside of the castle had to close, so it’s not possible to go inside until further notice. But it is possible to wander around the outside and get a scale of Kos Castle.

Kos Castle Greece LifeBeyondBorders
Kos Castle Greece LifeBeyondBorders

Here I share with you some images of the inside as I visited before 2017.

Walking the walls of Kos Castle and looking into the battlements. Possible to see Turkey in the distance. Life Beyond Borders
Walking the walls of Kos Castle and looking into the battlements. Possible to see Turkey in the distance. Life Beyond Borders

Where to stay on Kos island, Greece

So you’ve decided to come to visit this large island and sightsee, including the Knight’s Castle, but where can you stay?  If you’re anything like me, I am not a fan of package holiday/all inclusive hotels which, unfortunately, seem to blight Kos.

And let me let you into a little secret (or maybe it’s not a secret, who knows?): A lot of these hotels don’t employ local staff, so no money is going back into the Greek economy.  Personally I want to try to help the Greek economy, hence why I went on a hunt for the smaller, family run establishments.  And it is possible to find – as you’ll see in a minute.


**For your free Greek Island packing list ideas, click here.**

The exception to the All Inclusive

There is an exception to the ‘All Inclusive’ chain on Kos, a gorgeous Greek consortium with 30 luxurious properties across mainland Greece and the islands; Grecotel Kos Imperial Thalasso.  The group also looks after the Agreco traditional farm and line of products from Crete and the Danilia traditional village and museum in Corfu, making it a truly luxurious Greek connection.  I will be writing about my Kos Grecotel experience in due course.

The outside of Kos Castle on Kos Island, Greece. Life Beyond Borders
The outside of Kos Castle on Kos Island, Greece. Life Beyond Borders

During my Kos visit, I stayed at the lovely family run Hotel Afendoulis.  Located literally a 10 minute stroll away (along the seafront) from the Knight’s Castle Kos, whilst not actually along the harbour/seafront, it is down a quiet side road and the family run establishment offers breakfast up until midday (I know right?!), takes credit cards (unusual for a small place) and breakfast is none of this packaged nonsense…expect fresh bread from the bakery with homemade preserves (quince, sweet tomato being just two examples of a choice of many, even the famous neratzia).  And as the family are there throughout the day (mum, dad, grandpa, daughter and son-in-law), if you happen to be around at lunchtime when they’re cooking up a wee bite to eat (OK, this is Greece, not so ‘wee’!), they’ll pull up a chair for you to join them. You are assured of feeling like you’re staying at home.  Indeed for me, Hotel Afendoulis is a home away from home.

I hope I’ve tempted you with Kos.  It is a ‘package holiday’ destination, no doubt about it – but it’s possible to get away from it all.

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Exploring the castle on the Greek island of Kos - LifeBeyondBorders
Exploring the castle on the Greek island of Kos – LifeBeyondBorders

10 COMMENTS

    • Very true Ryan. I find a certain sense of peace when going to places like this, and (almost) feel guilty taking out my (modern) mobile phone to snap pics!

  1. But what do sour oranges taste like? I realise this is not the actual point of the post (interesting to look at Kos from a different angle, and your hotel definitely sounds like a find) but now I really want to know about the oranges!

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