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Kos:
One of the World’s Most Popular Travel Destinations

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Discover Kos

Kos is the third largest island in the Dodecanese and one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. It is the birthplace of the father of medicine, Hippocrates, and has an unparalleled five-thousand-year history as a meeting point of the major Mediterranean civilisations.

The island is famed for its cultural heritage, with world-renowned historical monuments and archaeological sites, but also for its inexhaustible natural beauty, from the endless exotic beaches and the luxuriant vegetation to the plentiful waters of its mountains. It is also a place where the inhabitants’ innate spirit of hospitality goes hand-in-hand with a high standard of infrastructure and five-star service.

Kos offers a unique holiday experience, combining relaxation and entertainment, history and lively nightlife, local tradition and the cosmopolitan atmosphere of an international resort.

5 memorable experiences on Kos
  1. A circuit of the island by bicycle. Kos has a 15-km network of cycle routes and bicycle racks everywhere. The less adventurous can enjoy a bike ride on the beautiful coastal road lined with palm trees.
  2. A visit to Haihoutes, an atmospheric ghost village with stone houses and the eerie church of Saint Demetrios on the slopes of Mount Dikeos. Make sure you stop for a Greek coffee at the only traditional café here.
  3. A stop at the Tree of Hippocrates, 12 metres in circumference, opposite the Loggia Mosque. According to legend, the great physician sat in its shade to teach his students.
  4. A tour of Kos Town on the tourist train, an unforgettable experience for young and old alike.
  5. The recitation of the Hippocratic Oath at the Asclepeion, an atmospheric ceremony that takes place every summer as part of the iconic Hippocratia Cultural Festival.
Beaches of Kos

Kos is famous for its large, exotic and well organised beaches. It is worth discovering:

  • The idyllic landscape of Kardamena, with its sand dunes, scent of cedar trees, and opportunities for water sports.
  • The tropical Tigaki, with its endless sand and shallow waters, an ideal destination for families with children and anyone who wants to try surfing.
  • The exotic Mastihari, a harmonious composition of white sand, turquoise sea, and gorgeous sunsets, perfect for groups of friends.
  • The famous Paradise Beach, in a sublime setting of palm trees and cedars.
  • The much-photographed Saint Stephen’s Bay, next to the ruins of two early Christian churches, with a view of the island of Kastri and the picturesque church of Saint Nicholas.

 

You can enjoy them by choosing one of the ferry tickets to Kos.

Kos is famous for its large, exotic and well organised beaches. It is worth discovering:

  • The idyllic landscape of Kardamena, with its sand dunes, scent of cedar trees, and opportunities for water sports.
  • The tropical Tigaki, with its endless sand and shallow waters, an ideal destination for families with children and anyone who wants to try surfing.
  • The exotic Mastihari, a harmonious composition of white sand, turquoise sea, and gorgeous sunsets, perfect for groups of friends.
  • The famous Paradise Beach, in a sublime setting of palm trees and cedars.
  • The much-photographed Saint Stephen’s Bay, next to the ruins of two early Christian churches, with a view of the island of Kastri and the picturesque church of Saint Nicholas.

You can enjoy them by choosing one of the ferry tickets to Kos.

Postcards from Kos: 10 things not to miss

Kos Town
The island’s capital is a charming mosaic of multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism, with impressive monuments from every era set in verdant surroundings. From important archaeological sites and the medieval castles to mosques, neoclassical villas and the iconic architecture of the Italian occupation, the city’s brilliant and captivating history unfolds before the eyes of its visitors.

The Asclepeion
If you choose one of the itineraries to Kos, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the third largest healing centre in the ancient world, dating from the 4th century BC, which extended over a green hillside with views of the coast of Asia Minor. A place of worship of the god Asclepius, it was also where medicine was taught and practised by Hippocrates, the founder of modern medical science. A tour of the archaeological site is a unique experience.

Neratzia Castle
Built by the Knights of St. John in the 14th century, this imposing medieval fortress dominates the eastern end of the port and is a superb example of fortified architecture. It was built using material from the Asclepeion and the ancient city of Kos, while some of its round towers bear the escutcheons of the Grand Masters. There are fantastic sea views from its ramparts.

The Peacock Forest
Plaka Forest was created by the Italians in the 1940s. Spread out over a lush valley, the forest has over the years been transformed into a haven for peacocks and a wonderful recreation park that you can visit.

Palio Pyli
The deserted stone-built village on the verdant slopes of Mount Dikeos is an architectural gem. Evacuated in 1830 after an outbreak of cholera, its most famous sight is its Byzantine castle, built in the 10th to 11th century, which offers excellent views of Kos, the neighbouring islands of Kalymnos and Pserimos, and the Turkish coast. Make sure you see the wonderful frescoes in the Church of Ypapanti, inside the castle.

Sunsets in Zia
Situated on the highest slopes of Mount Dikeos and surrounded by forests and springs, the picturesque mountain village of Zia is the most beautiful spot from which to watch the sun set over the Aegean!

The Archaeological Museum
Built in 1935 by the Italians, the imposing Archaeological Museum of Kos houses a fine collection of sculpture and exquisite mosaics. The entrance hall is dominated by an enormous head of the goddess Rhea, while the other rooms contain statues from the Classical and Hellenistic periods.

Antimachia Castle

Founded by the Knights of St. John in the early 14th century, this magnificent fortress stands on the site of an old Byzantine watchtower and was at one time used as a gaol for knights who had been sentenced to imprisonment. Its position offers majestic views of the Straits between Kos and Nisyros.

Casa Romana
This beautifully restored villa from the 3rd century AD reveals the wealth and grandeur of Roman-era Kos in all its glory. Its mosaic floors, depicting wild animals and sea creatures, are exquisite works of art.

Therma
The most famous of Kos’s thermal springs are located on Therma Beach, where they create a warm natural pool surrounded by black volcanic pebbles and rocks. It is one of the most exotic places on the island for swimming, both in summer and winter.

Tastes of Kos

The cuisine of Kos shares its origins with that of Rhodes and the rest of the Dodecanese. Pitaridia (strips of pasta boiled in meat broth), yiaprakia (dolmades made with vine leaves), stuffed courgette flowers, pork with bulgur wheat, and katimeria (twists of fried dough with soft mizithra cheese, sugar and cinnamon) are just some of the region’s dishes that can also be found on Kos.

Two famous delicacies of the island are pasa makarouna (a local version of the lasagne-like dish known elsewhere in Greece as pastitsio) and a sweet preserve of cherry tomatoes stuffed with almonds.

The island also produces a spicy cheese called posa, which is matured in red wine, and an exceptional thyme honey from Antimachia.

Those with a sweet tooth should try the local baklava and maeria (a honey dessert). To cool off, a chilled cold kanelada (a local soft drink made from cinnamon syrup and cloves) is the best choice.