Kos Marina Greece – A review
In the past 4 months we’ve visited around 10 marinas spanning from Gibraltar on the west of the Mediterranean to Kos, Greece on the east. Thus far, Syracuse, Sicily was the very worst marina – having the highest fees and the most disgusting facilities. How hard is it to supply soap to wash your hands and a toilet seat to sit on?
And if you asked me my favorite marina before today, it would be a toss up between Riposto Marina, Sicily and Gouvia Marina near Corfu Town.
That being said, my new favorite marina is now Kos Marina in Kos Town, Greece
We originally went to Kos to pick friends up from the airport and ended up frequenting the marina for two further stints. Over each of those 3 – 4 day stints, we had repairs completed, learned important maintenance techniques, enjoyed great food from the marina café, provisioned the boat with groceries from the Marina supermarket and had the most powerful showers to date. Furthermore, we were able to enjoy the beaches, ruins, restaurants and shops located right outside of the marina walls.
The one and only thing that wasn’t that great was the smell of the facilities
The smell was a cross between sewage and mold. It wasn’t nice but it was tolerable. Let me move on with more details for you…
Kos Marina Greece Review – In Detail
Once outside the coastline of Kos Town, we called channel 77 to speak with a Kos Marina attendant. When approaching the marina there’s a huge banner requesting that berth requests are made over the VHF.
We started to panic as a regatta was in for the weekend and wondered if they’d find space for us. After a bit of discussion, the attendants offered us a place along the wall – it was all that was left.
The cost to tie on along the side was 94 euros for us – we’re a 56’ sailboat. When mooring side-on, the boat takes up much more space than it would if it goes stern-to. We were told that the following day, when spaces became available we could go stern-to with a cost of 52 euros.
I later learned that it was possible to book a space at Kos Marina so if you want to make sure you have a place, please call as the marina certainly fills up over the weekends.
While entering the marina, an attendant on a boat takes you to your berth spot and another attendant is on the jetty helping to take your lines and give you a lazy line, if available. The attendant’s are all brilliant – they direct you and if you need help turning, they’ll use their boat to move you around.
After being in Kos Marina over a few weekends I noticed that many charter boats come and go so the attendants must be accustom to very novice sailors.
I was extremely pleased with the kindness offered – all the attendants bombed around the marina working very hard but they always had time to wave or smile at me when I put my laundry out on the bow or passed them on a jetty.
My husband did our paperwork in the office (pictured above) each time and he said the staff were all pleasant and helpful. He explained, “I wouldn’t say that Kos Marina was top-notch for customer service but it was very good.”
Upon the approach to Kos Marina you can see a boardwalk strip with beaches along the coast to the right and restaurants and beaches to the left. There’s also a beautiful castle ruin that stands in front of the town marina. Unlike other Greek islands, the feel isn’t particularly Greek. A few mosque towers can be seen from the sea.
The marina itself is very well kept. The grass is green, the little square with shops looks lovely and all the pontoons are kept very well maintained.
Comfort of Mooring
The marina wall truly protected the boats. The only time we moved is when the marina attendant’s went speeding by on their tender to help other boats – and that was only during the day.
Over the weekend it was noisier than during the week. Live music plays throughout the town on various nights. And it seems as if every night around 9 or 10pm there’s a very short firework display from a nearby restaurant.
Overall, we had no problem with the noise – by 11pm it was quiet. You can’t hear the traffic nor the passers-by. In the morning I was woken once by a ferry beeping their horn but that’s quite acceptable.
General Atmosphere on the Pontoon
We stayed on ‘B’ and ‘C’ pontoon over the course of three visits and every time we felt very comfortable. The workers all smiled and said ‘hi’ or ‘yassas’. Other boaters were eager to chat and swap stories. We met people from Israel, America, Italy, Canada, South Africa and Britain – a real mix of backgrounds.
Facilities on the Jetty
There’s water, electricity and wifi on the pontoons. Everything worked for us. It’s a key card system so you preload money on the keycard and use it up over time. We did have one incident where the card was faulty and didn’t work – the office staff sorted it out quickly and that was that.
The wifi didn’t work very well at all. I tried on several occasions but the load times took forever. I opted to enjoy a beverage at the marina café instead where the wifi was excellent.
Facilities on Land
The marina has it all…Great showers, great bathrooms, grocery store, café, restaurant, 2 small chandleries and more.
Distance to Facilities
If you’re on the wall it’s quite a hike to get to the marina offices and then into the town. Otherwise, it’s quite a compact marina only taking a few minutes to get to the facilities.
By far, the Kos Marina shower stalls are the most private and roomiest! When entering the showers, a separate area, you’ll find 6 doors all containing a shower, sink, counter, changing area and ample places to hang your towel, wash bag and clothes. Further, there’s a hair dryer in most of the rooms and an electrical outlet for your own devices.
Unfortunately, however, it does not smell nice. I discovered that the shower furthest to the right, in the women’s showers, smelled the worst. My suggestion is to use the showers to the left.
Also, none of the showerheads are attached to the wall. They’re all dangling so you need to hold the head as you wash.
The showers seem a bit outdated but overall the facilities are very clean. Every time I went to use the showers or toilets there was an attendant cleaning them.
They all worked fine however be careful if you let a child into the showers or toilets. The door locks are a bit fiddly. I managed to get myself stuck in one of the showers for a couple minutes, as I couldn’t get the door unlocked.
Never did I find a toilet without toilet paper or a soap dispenser without soap. Whoever maintains the facilities is doing a great job.
Within the marina there’s the ‘Marina Café’, which I frequented every day for wifi. The drinks are cold, the salads are excellent and the special Marina Café crepe is fantastic – it’s a savoury crepe with cheese, bacon, chicken and cream in it!
When ordering a drink, you also get sliced apples, bananas and potato chips which was always a nice treat. The staff at the café were all super kind and very helpful. My daughter loved all of them and felt very comfortable asking for something or paying the bill.
Aside from the café, there was a restaurant that I did not try out. With so many restaurants outside the marina we ventured out most nights. We did, however, buy many of our groceries from the marina supermarket. And I’m very pleased to announce that the prices from the store where normal – not hiked up because it’s a marina shop.
I went to the marina supermarket and purchased everything I could. Anything that I couldn’t get I walked to AB Supermarket, a few blocks back from the main road.
Also – inside the marina offices you’ll find a room filled with books, a computer and areas to sit. It’s nice an air conditioned so a perfect spot to read emails or just take a break from the heat. You can leave finished books on the bookshelves and take whatever books you want – it’s a book exchange.
We dropped off a few pilot books that we won’t be using and I picked up a book by Victoria Hislop entitled, ‘The Thread.’ And my daughter found a ‘Tom and Jerry’ DVD that kept her quiet for some time!
Repairs, maintenance and servicing
One thing, or shall I say person, that made our stay in Kos even better was a guy named Pierre. Upon a recommendation from a friend in England, we were told to contact him. Pierre was able to help us fix our boiler, but little did we know that he was going to help us with much more.
During our visits to Kos marina, Pierre helped us change our broken boiler, VHF aerial, aft shower tap, outdoor speakers, davits, electric toilet pump and busted door.
In addition, he put us in touch with someone that fixed our DVD player, another person that helped us upgrade our GPS maps, and another that taught me how to fix the teak deck (replace the black stuff between the teak wood). And Pierre took the time himself to bring me the necessary products to clean the rust off the metal work and showed me how to do it.
If you’re going to Kos Marina and you need any help, I definitely recommend Pierre. When you moor up just ask for him and someone will give you his number or instruct you on where to find him. His prices were very reasonable and he made sure that everything was done properly. Further, he will tell you exactly what he thinks which can be a breathe of fresh air when dealing with boat repairs/maintenance.
Some thoughts on Kos Town
I don’t think I’d recommend my friends and family to take a long vacation in Kos Town itself. It’s quite a party place – its very busy with teenagers and party go-ers. I did see loads of families but I’m not sure it’s the best place for a nice relaxing family get-away. The beaches near the marina were okay – some were dirty, you had to pay 5 euros for a chair and they were rocky and full of seaweed. I believe that beaches further up the coast are better.
The restaurants were all very good. There’s an excellent bakery near the castle with great ice cream too! And speaking of the castle, there are ruins all over the town of Kos. Everywhere you walk, you come across something old! Below is a video I took as my daughter and I were walking back to the boat. It shows an ancient agora, or meeting place.
No matter who you are, if you’re passing near Kos by boat I highly suggest a couple nights in the great town. You can anchor right outside the marina for free, depending on weather conditions, or tie up in the wonderful Kos Marina.
To see some images of Kos – especially Kos Castle, read my article ‘Sailing Vacation – What’s it like to sail around for a week or two?‘ Scroll down to the bottom to check out my gallery of images.
Have you stayed at Kos Marina before? If yes, is there anything I missed?