Kos Island is really well worth visiting. Kos is the island that gave the world Hippocrates, the father of medicine. The third largest island of the Dodecanese, it is a very green island with an excellent infrastructure and large roads lined up with palm trees. During your visit to Kos Island, you must certainly visit the ancient ruins of the city that are numerous and remarkable, the ruins of ‘Asklipios », the ‘Castle of the Knights’and the huge tree of Hippocrates (trunk diameter is 11,5 meters!). On Kos you will find some of the finest beaches in the Dodecanese islands of Greece. With many archaeological sites in and around the town, Kos is the ideal place for walking or cycling.
The touristy island of Kos has various bars and clubs, mostly located in its capital and its touristy resorts. All those places propose a wide range of music and the possibility to party until dawn. A cinema is also available in Town and numerous taverns staying open until 2 am and proposing live traditional Greek music.
The numerous and beautiful beaches of Kos Island are one of the main cause of the popularity of the island. Nestled in picturesque coves or extending over kilometres, those beaches have crystalline waters varying from azure to emerald. Some of them have smooth pebbles, others have fine white sand, others golden sand and some others are blessed with rare black sand.
During the high season there are charter flights departing from many major cities of Europe to (and from) the National Airport of Kos Hippocrates.
Coming from Bodrum ; There are ferries between operated by ferry companies. Bodrum Ferryboat Association has daily trips between Kos and Bodrum throughout the summer. In winter, ferries run three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The ferryboat leaves Bodrum at 09:00 and returns from Kos at 16:30. The Bodrum-Kos trip takes about 1 hours. The same association also runs a hydrofoil during the summer months everyday except Sunday.
July and August days are long and hot and the nights are warm. June, the beginning of July and all of September offer a better combination, with warm days and cool evenings. The water in September can be especially warm in places. The months of May and October offer excellent sailing conditions.
Kos will satisfy everyone’s taste in food. From the little picturesque restaurants with their traditional dishes, the tempting starter-dishes at the various ouzeri places to the taverns and fish taverns with their wonderful aromas that will definitely make you hungry, you will not know where to start from. Not forgetting the international cuisine restaurants, such as Italian with a wide variety of pasta and exotic pizza, sweet and sour Chinese, Indian and red hot Mexican. All these unforgettable gastronomical tastes are available for you not only in Kos Town but in the villages too.
Kos truly has a unique nightlife. The young, the fashionable, the restless even the traditional quiet type are all drawn to the island’s nightlife. Beach bars offer the amazing combination of a beautiful sea front and cool drink for those in search of a more romantic evening and for those after an all-nighter Kos town has streets filled with bars and dance floors to have you spinning until the early morning. No matter where you find yourself in Kos you will have a memorable night to add to your holiday diary.
Kos Island manages to successful combine a heritage of traditional products along with the latest technological advances. By taking a stroll through the picturesque streets of the Old Town one will quickly realize that there is a vast variety of products to choose from. So whether you’re looking for that bar of olive oil soap known for its natural value, or maybe a jar of locally produced honey, to the latest game console for the young ones, or just looking to spoil yourself with some jewelry pieces you will find everything and at reasonable prices.
Kos was inhabited in prehistoric times. Around the 14th century BC, arrived in the islands the Minoans from Crete. A few centuries later, the Dorians started to arrive. Around 700 BC they built the ancient city of Kos, which togeth er with Lindus, Cameirus, Ialysos on Rhodes, Cnidus and Halicarnassus in Asia Minor formed the so-called Dorian Hexapolis. In the 5th century BC, Kos was taken by the Persians, but after their defeat in mainland Athenian League (479 BC). In 460 BC, Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, whose name is known throughout the world, since he was the founder of the first school of medicine, was born in Kos. After his death (357 BC), the people of Kos built the famous Asklepeion, in honour of the god Asklepios, which operated as a hospital, admitting thousands of patients from all over the Mediterranean and applying the methods of therapy taught by Hippocrates. According to mythology, Kos is the sacred land of Asclepius, god of healing. Archaeological finds prove that this island was inhabited since prehistoric times. The Minoan settled on the island around the
14th century BC, followed by the Achaeans and, a few centuries later, the Dorians came and built the ancient city of Kos. The Persians conquered the island of Kos during the 5th century BC but were defeated by the Athenians (in the battle of Salamina) who took control of the island. 460 BC is the year during which Hippocrates, the father of Medicine (founder of the first School of Medicine), was born. After his death in 357, the inhabitants of Kos built the Asklepeion in his honour and in honour of the god Asklepios. This served as a hospital, welcoming patients from all over the Mediterranean, with doctors applying the therapeutic methods of Hippocrates. During the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC), Kos was ally with Athens. That is why the island had to pay a high tribute when Spartians invaded it in 411 BC. In 394 BC, Kos became again ally with Athens and democracy was introduced on Kos. This period was characterized by a cultural, educational and economical growth. In 335 BC, the island of Kos became part of the Macedonian Empire. After the death of Alexander the Great, the Ptolemies (its successors) took control of the island and of the rest of the Dodecanese. The Byzantine period brought prosperity and wealth to Kos, unfortunately threatened by constant pirate raids of which the most dangerous was the attacks of the Saracens. Kos became part of the Eastern colony of the Roman Empire after 82 BC. In 1204 AD, the Venetians occupied the island of Kos. The Knights of Saint John, who were established on Rhodes, also took the control of Kos in 1315 AD. A century later, they built the superb fortress that stands today at the entrance of the harbour of Kos as well as other fortifications. In 1522, the Turks took the island and held it until 1912, when the Italian troupes invaded Kos and expelled them. The disastrous earthquake of 1934 destroyed almost all the island. The Germans replaced Italians in 1943. German occupation was a very dark period for the inhabitants of Kos who endured great suffering and deprivations. Nightmare ended in 1945 and Kos came under British rule. Finally, on the 7th of March 1948, Kos was united to the newly built Greek State.
The « Neratzia Castle » It is situated in the entrance of the Kos harbour on a place where, in antiquity, there was an island, communicating with the inland through a brigde, that one sees even today (The bridge of the Phoenicians’ street). It is formed of two defensive precincts. The interior one has four circular Towers in the corners; the southeastern Tower forms part of the exterior precinct, which is larger than the first, with massive bastions on the four corners, battlements and gunports. The two precincts are separated by a large moat and communicate with a drawbridge. The castle was built of local stone as well as parts of ancient buildings (columns, architraves, bases etc.) from the ruins of the ancient city. On the upper part of its masorry, one can see many blazons. Over the main gate’ s one sees an hellenistic frieze with masks and garlands. On the gates ceiling (central gate, Carmadino gate) there are basalt columns placed obliquely, which come probably from the early christian basilica of Limen.
The Castle of the Knights This fortress, along with the castles of Rhodes City and Bodrum, was the most stalwart defence of the Knights against the Ottoman. It was first built during the 14th century, and used to have massive outer walls and an inner keep. It was damaged in 1495 by an earthquake and was restored by two Grand Masters of the Knights during the 16th century. This beautiful and impressive castle is standing on Finikon (Avenue Palm), connected to Platanou Square by a bridge, in Kos Town.
The Asckepeion of Kos Situated 4 km west of Kos, Asklepeio is the most significant archaeological site on the island. The excavations here began in 1902, by Iakovos Zaraftis from Kos and Hertsok from Germany. Asklepeio was built in a green area full of cypress trees. During the ancient years, it served as a sanatorium and it was dedicated to Aesculapius, son of Apollo, protector of health and medicine. Many significant people taught and worked here, one of them being the father of Medicine, Hippokrates. Due to the steep ground, Asklepeio consist of four connecting levels, called « andira ». The first is characterized by ruins of Roman constructions of the 1st century AD. The second, where the medical school is said to have been housed, is known for its arches and statues. The spas were here and they were watered from the spring of King Halkon and the spring of Vournika on Mount Dikeo. The third level is where the Temple of Aesculapius of Kiparissios Apollo (4th century BC) used to be. Excavations in the surrounding area brought to light an invaluable treasury for visitor’s offerings, a semi-circular platform and a small Roman temple dedicated to Neron. The fourth level was constructed in the 2nd century BC and included a large temple of Doric style along with the chambers of the patients.