The endless coasts with the turquoise waters, the vegetation, the affluent water springs, the ancient and medieval monuments, as well as the impressive Italian buildings feature Kos island; the third largest island of Dodecanese complex, located just 4 miles away from the Turkish coasts. The name «Kos» probably derives from the daughter of the mythical King Meropas, called Koos.
Kos is the birthplace of Hippocrates «the father of medicine» (460-377 B.C) and was already inhabited during Neolithic Period (5th - 4th millennium B.C). The Knights of St. John conquered the island during the 14th century, reinforcing the older castles and building new fortifications. During Ottoman occupation, the island was attacked by several intruders (Knights, Venetians etc), while during Italian occupation (1912-1945) some really important, monumental public buildings were constructed. The island was officially united with Greece in 1948. It extends over a surface of 290 km2; its coastline is 112 km and counts 31,000 inhabitants.
It can be reached by ferry from Piraeus Port or by airplane from the Athens International Airport, «Eleftherios Venizelos».
Walk through the city. Pay a visit to:
- The Medieval Castle (Nerantzia castle). It is located in the entrance of the port, in a place probably fortified during the Byzantine period (7th century). You can see the internal fence which has four round towers and the external one with its massive bastions. The two surrounding walls are interconnected with a bridge, which is constructed above the moat which separates the walls.
- The Eleftheria Square [Liberty], which is considered to be the center of the contemporary city. It is surrounded by three massive buildings inherited from the Italian era: The municipal market, the club (which was called Fascism Palace) and the Archaeological Museum (with a prehistoric collection, statues, mosaic floors taken from the Roman buildings of the ancient city), an imitation of roman spas. At the end of the square is the Defendar Mosque.
- The ancient city, which used to be the capital of the island since 366 B.C. You can see the market, the Hellenistic Doric temple, Dionysus' altar, the port sanctuary and stoa [arcade], Hercules’ sanctuary, the ruins of the wall’s north part, the roman baths, the luxurious roman mansions with the reach mosaic floors, the roman resident as well as the roman conservatorium with a capacity of 750 seats.
- The Platanos Square [Plane-tree] or else Lotzia Square, one of the most touristic points of the town.
- The Lotzia Mosque which was constructed in 1786 and upon its walls you can see incorporated pieces of ancient and medieval monuments.
- Hippocrates’ Plane tree, right across the Lotzia Mosque. It was beneath the shadow of this tree that the great doctor used to teach his apprentices and examine his patients, therefore the tree is more than 2,500 years old! The periphery of its trunk is more than 10m and its gigantic branches shadow the whole square.
- The Foinikes [Palm trees] street as well as the medieval bridge.
- The Asklipieio [Aesculapium- infirmary] , located approximately 3.5 km SW away from Kos’ town and used to be the most famous Aesculapium of the entire Greece. It was built in 4th century, after the death of Hippocrates. Among other sites, it is worth visiting the stoa [arcade], the complex of roman spas, the altar dedicated to the Sun, Imera [Day], Hecate, and to Machaona (son of Aesculapius), the ionic temple of Aesculapius, the big Doric peripteric [rectangular] temple of Aesculapius (170-160 B.C).
Discover Kos sandy beaches
The island has several sandy coasts. The beaches in the north side of the island are more affected by winds. Most of the coasts underwent touristic development and have easy access and various services. Some of the most visited beaches are: Nomikou-Barbagianni sandy beach extending from the city of Kos to the surrounding areas. It is an organized beach with umbrellas and deck-chairs, water sports, restaurants and bars. Zourouni sandy beach is an organized beach with umbrellas and deck-chairs, water sports, bars and loud music. Nautical Club beach with fine sand is awarded with the European Union blue flag. Milos beach with fine sand, which is also awarded with European Union blue flag. There is a coastal bar with loud music and frequent concerts.
- Lambi beach has small rocks followed afterwards by fine sand. It is a beach that usually has waves.
- Karnagio beach is located in a quiet area, with fine sand and shallow waters.
- Psalidi beach, with rocks, that makes it ideal for spear fishing. There are restaurants and taverns here.
- Aghios Fokas beach is located in a quiet area with black sand and steep depth.
- “Esperides” beach with thick sand and peddles located in a quiet area.
- Thermes beach with abrupt depth surrounded by steep rocks. There you can find warm thermal spas.
- In the north side of the island you will find Tigkaki beach with white sand and shallow waters awarded by the EU with blue flag. It is an organized beach with umbrellas and deck-chairs, water sports, restaurants, taverns and bars. It is ideal for wind surfing.
Marmari beach with fine sand and shallow waters is also awarded with blue flag by the EU. You will find there many coastal taverns.
- “Tam-tam” beach just before Mastichari with fine sand. It is an organized beach with umbrellas, deck-chairs and water sports, ideal for wind surfing.
- Limnionas beach with fine white sand and usually wavy waters.
In the south side of the island you can swim in:
- Kardamena beach with fine sand and shallow waters. It is an organized beach with umbrellas and deck-chairs, water sports, restaurants and bars.
- In Kefalos location you will find Sunny Beach, Marcos beach and Paradise beach with fine sand. They are all organized beaches with umbrellas and deck-chairs, water sports, restaurants and bars.
- In the same area you will find Camel beach, located in a gulf with rocks and white sand. There are coastal bars.
- Aghios Stefanos beach has very cold waters.
- Kamari beach is covered with sand and rocks. There you can find water sport facilities and taverns.
- Aghios Theologos beach with white sand is ideal for spear fishing.