A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Kos vs. Cinque Terre for Food, Scuba Diving & Snorkeling, Beaches, and Hiking

Should you visit Kos or Cinque Terre?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Kos and Cinque Terre can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Kos

Kos is a beautiful, ancient, and cultural island. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. It's also popular because of the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is a charming, picturesque, and idyllic coastal region. Since it offers so much small town charm with a variety of activities, it attracts plenty of visitors, too. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. It also has that perfectly quaint feel that is like no other place. Other reasons to visit include food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and hiking.

Kos and Cinque Terre: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good nightlife
  • Great resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less hiking options
Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Not as many resort options
  • Not as popular for scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Less attractive beach


How is Kos different from Cinque Terre?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Cinque Terre and Kos. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Kos or Cinque Terre Better for Food?

Kos
Cinque Terre

Both Kos and Cinque Terre offer good local cuisine and restaurants.

Many restaurants in Kos have been singled out for their culinary prowess. The cuisine relies heavily on locally harvested ingredients with many dishes featuring cheese, seafood, vegetables, olive oil, and potatoes. The dishes are influenced by Italian and Turkish cuisines and common dishes include moussaka, souvlaki and tzatziki. Popular seafood options are prawns, squid, lobster and octopus. A great way to enjoy a sampling of local dishes is to visit an ouzeri, which is a Greek taverna that serves mezza style meals with small dishes that you can share.

Eat your way through Cinque Terre, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. Like much of Italy, the area focuses on local flavors that include lots of seafood, as well as local fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The towns are known for their focaccia, which actually originated in nearby Genoa. Anchovies are a favorite here as well, and don't be turned off by your experience with anchovies outside of Italy. They don't compare. Also make sure you sample the pesto, mussels, and any fresh caught seafood.


Is Kos or Cinque Terre Better for Nightlife?

Kos
Cinque Terre

The nightlife vibe is much better in Kos than Cinque Terre.

Kos has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. For such a small island you'll find a huge party scene during the peak summer months. There are almost nightly parties, beach raves, and late night clubs throughout the summer months. The bars and clubs are mostly concentrated around a couple of streets in the center of Kos Town, but Kardamena is also a lively party area. It's popular with British tourists who head here for the all-night clubs.

Things get quiet in the evenings in Cinque Terre. The whole point of a trip to the area is to soak up the quiet village atmosphere. There is basically no nightlife in most of the towns, but you will find a few bars in Monterosso.

Is Kos or Cinque Terre Better for Resorts?

Kos
Cinque Terre

If you're looking for a better selection of resorts, you'll probably want to head to Kos.

Kos has a handful of resorts to choose from. It's a smaller island and there aren't as many resorts here as there are on some of the larger Greek islands. Some of the best resort areas include Lamp and Psalidi to the northwest, Tigaki on the west coast (a good option for families), as well as Mastihari and Marmari which both have relaxed atmospheres. The younger crowd often hangs out around Kardemena on the east coast.

There isn't the widest selection of resorts in Cinque Terre, but you'll find a few options to choose from. Most people stay in apartments or rooms in local hotels or family homes. There aren't many resorts in the traditional sense, but again, that's part of the charm of the area.

Is Kos or Cinque Terre Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Kos
Cinque Terre

Most visitors agree that scuba diving and snorkeling are better in Kos than Cinque Terre.

Kos is a world class destination for scuba diving and snorkeling. There are countless snorkeling sports around the island where you can immerse yourself in the undersea world. Popular snorkeling areas include Camel Beach and Limnionas Beach. Make sure you understand the water conditions before heading into the water.

Grab a mask and fins and explore the underwater scenery in Cinque Terre. The surrounding waters are part of the of the Pelagos Sanctuary. The area has many rocky coves which are fun to explore with a mask and snorkel. There are also boat excursions available that may let you stop to snorkel, as well as a few dive spots in the area.

Is Kos or Cinque Terre Better for Beaches?

Kos
Cinque Terre

While Cinque Terre and Kos are both popular beach destinations, overall the beaches at Kos have more to offer.

Kos is considered to be a world-class beach destination. The island is famous for its beautiful beaches, many of which are sandy with various shades of color. There are touristy beaches with plenty of amenities as well as less frequented beaches that offer a quieter and more remote atmosphere. Some of the most visited beaches on the island include Agios Stefanos, Kardamena, Kefalos and Lambi while some of the more peaceful areas are Cavo Paradiso and Helona Beach.

You can check out the beach in Cinque Terre. The area is more about the towns than the beaches. The most typical beach setting is in the newer part of Monterosso. There's a long sandy beach with chairs and umbrellas available. There's also a beach near the town's old town. Several of the other towns have swimming areas, including a small stretch of pebbly sand in Vernazza. It's fun to swim between the months of May and October, when the water temperatures are fairly warm.


Is Kos or Cinque Terre Better for Hiking?

Kos
Cinque Terre

While Kos and Cinque Terre both offer hiking, overall Cinque Terre is considered to have more to offer.

Around Cinque Terre visitors will find world-class hiking trails. The five towns are part of Cinque Terre National Park and there are 120 kilometers of hiking trails in the park. Most people hike along the trails that follow the coastline and connect the towns. There are fees for the most popular stretch of trails which connect Monterosso to Vernazza and then go from Vernazza to Corniglia. All other hiking is free in the area.

Kos offers some nice hiking trails. This is a great walking island with a number of easy walks or hikes that take you along the coastline or through interesting landscapes.

Is Kos or Cinque Terre Better for Shopping?

Kos
Cinque Terre

Shoppers can find a variety of stores in both Kos and Cinque Terre.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Kos. There are a number of traditional items that you can pick up while you're in town. Fun souvenirs include jewelry, leather items, and perfumes.

If you're looking to go shopping, Cinque Terre has some nice offerings. The towns are more about the atmosphere than the shops, but the best shopping can be found in the largest town of Monterosso. You'll find jewelry, clothing, and local food items that are fun to take home as souvenirs.

Is Kos or Cinque Terre Better for Families?

Kos
Cinque Terre

Both Kos and Cinque Terre are fun to visit with kids.

Kos is a family-friendly island. It's comparable to other Greek islands when it comes to kids' activities. Kos Town can get a bit lively at night so if you want to avoid the party crowds, then those areas are easily avoided. Popular activities include exploring ancient ruins, going to the Kos Archaeological Museum, visiting The Castle of the Knights, and of course, hanging out at the beach. One of the best family-friendly resort areas is Tigaki along the west coast.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Cinque Terre. The five towns are all about exploring on foot, so if that's your kid's thing, then they're in for a treat. The hilly terrain can be a bit tricky, particularly for the little ones, but for older kids this area offers the perfect amount of challenge. There are also a couple of beaches and swimming spots as well as a playground or two around. Food, like most of Italy, is very kid-friendly.

Is Kos or Cinque Terre Better for Couples?

Kos
Cinque Terre

Both Kos and Cinque Terre are good destinations for a couple's getaway.

Kos makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. This small island offers beautiful beaches and plenty of ancient ruins to explore. Kos Town is where you'll find the liveliest atmosphere but for some of the best resorts you'll want to stay in one of the resort suburbs like Lampi or Psalidi.

Cinque Terre is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. These stunning five Italian villages are perched precariously on the water's edge. They're surrounded by beautiful vineyards and connected by impressive hiking trails. This area is truly a dream honeymoon destination and it is sure to make a memorable vacation for any couple who enjoys exploring charming village.


Is Kos or Cinque Terre Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Kos
Cinque Terre

Kos and Cinque Terre are both good destinations for backpackers.

Kos is very popular with the backpacker crowd. It's a small island but has a few hostels and a variety of apartments available for rent. Despite its small size, there are areas where you'll want to have a car if you wish to explore, but if you stay in town you'll find getting around fairly easy. The island attracts its share of young travelers and you'll find plenty of people to hang out with.

Cinque Terre is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. There are a number of rooms available in the towns and there are even a couple of hostels including one in Riomaggiore and one in Corniglia. It's possible to find affordable food and accommodation, and your entertainment is simply wandering the area, which is perfect for budget travelers.

Is Kos or Cinque Terre Better for Public Transit?

Kos
Cinque Terre

Visitors will find public transit in both Kos and Cinque Terre.

Visitors to Kos can move around easily with public transportation. Buses connect many of the tourist destinations including beaches, cultural sights, are resort areas.

You'll find some public transit in Cinque Terre, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. Most people arrive by train but there are also ferries available.

Is Kos or Cinque Terre a more walkable city?

Kos
Cinque Terre

Kos and Cinque Terre are similar when it comes to walkability.

Kos is very walkable. It's small size means it's possible to explore parts of the island on foot or bicycle. There are some beautiful walks on the island, but some areas will require a car or bus.

Getting around Cinque Terre on foot is easy. Vehicle traffic in the towns are heavily restricted so it's very enjoyable to explore on foot. The terrain is hilly and uneven, but that's part of the charm. There are also hiking trails that connect each of the five towns.

Should I spend more time in Cinque Terre or Kos?

How long in Kos or Cinque Terre?

In either Kos or Cinque Terre, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. You can fill a similar amount of time in either place.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Kos is 2-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Cinque Terre is 2-5 days.


  • How many days in Kos or Cinque Terre? Ideal Length of Stay
    Kos 2-5 
    Cinque Terre 2-5

One day in Kos or Cinque Terre?

In Kos, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this cultural island offers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

Cinque Terre is a small town with plenty to do. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.


A weekend in Kos or Cinque Terre?

Kos is a fun place to experience. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. So, a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Many people visit Cinque Terre for a weekend. Cinque Terre might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Because of this, a weekend is usually enough time for a trip here.

Five days in Kos or Cinque Terre?

In Kos, many people enjoy the nightlife and food that this party-hard destination offers. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. So, five days is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Even though Cinque Terre is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. Many people spend five days here. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. It offers something for everyone. Because of this, five days is usually enough time for a trip here.

A week in Kos or Cinque Terre?

Kos is a popular place to visit. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Cinque Terre, a popular coastal region, is full of activities for travelers. Visiting the old town is also a must. Your budget might influence how long you stay. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.

Which city is cheaper, Cinque Terre or Kos?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Kos is €107, while the average daily cost in Cinque Terre is €110. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Kos and Cinque Terre in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kos 49
    Cinque Terre 56
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kos 98
    Cinque Terre 112
Compare Hotels in Kos and Cinque Terre

Looking for a hotel in Kos or Cinque Terre? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Kos


Hotels in Cinque Terre


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Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Kos Hotel Prices and Cinque Terre Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kos 29
    Cinque Terre 12

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kos

Also for Kos, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private departure Transfer from Kos island resorts to Kos airport: $96
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Kos Island to Kos Airport (KGS): $41
  • Private Transfer to/from Kos Airport (KGS): $71
  • Kos - Airport Private Transfer: $62

Typical Local Transportation prices in Cinque Terre

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Cinque Terre:


  • Ferry Day Pass
    15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cinque Terre

Also for Cinque Terre, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • From Florence: Round Trip Transfer to Cinque Terre: $64

Is it cheaper to fly into Kos or Cinque Terre?

Prices for flights to both Cinque Terre and Kos change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Kos 35
    Cinque Terre 33

Typical Food prices in Cinque Terre

For Cinque Terre, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Whole Pizza
    9.50
  • Panini
    3.75
  • Sitdown Dinner (for Two)
    52
  • Fresh Focaccia
    2.12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cinque Terre

For Cinque Terre, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • La Spezia Cinque Terre Food Tour: $93
  • Market Tour, Home Cooking Class, Dinner: $214

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kos 26
    Cinque Terre 10

Tours and Activities in Kos

For Kos, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Kalymnos and Pserimos Day Cruise: $55
  • Photo tour island of Kos: $684

Typical Entertainment prices in Cinque Terre

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Cinque Terre's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Double Kayak Rental (One Hour)
    10
  • Bagni Eden Beach Club Umbrella
    16
  • Cinque Terre Card (One Day)
    5.00
  • Cinque Terre Card (Three Days)
    12

Tours and Activities in Cinque Terre

For Cinque Terre, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Market Tour & Meal with a Local Cook: $158
  • Small Group Guided Tour from Florence: $146
  • From Florence: Cinque Terre Small Group Tour with Lunch: $271
  • From Florence: Cinque Terre, Vernazza, Lucca Guided Tour: $624
  • From La Spezia: Cinque Terre Full-Day Boat Tour: $169
  • From La Spezia: Cinque Terre Tour with Limoncino Tasting: $56
  • From Pisa: Cinque Terre Small Group Tour: $169
  • Private Tour of the Shelleys in Lerici nearby Cinque Terre: $278

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kos 16
    Cinque Terre 5.37

Typical Alcohol prices in Cinque Terre

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Cinque Terre:


  • Glass of Local Wine
    2.90

Sample the Local Flavors in Cinque Terre

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Cinque Terre:

  • Guided Tour with Wine Tasting from Florence: $681


When comparing the travel costs between Kos and Cinque Terre, we can see that Cinque Terre is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Kos vs. Cinque Terre Travel Comparison

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