Situated in the southeastern Aegean, Kos is the third largest island of the Dodecanese. The island is very green and full of flowers. The island’s historic monuments and landmarks, dating back to Antiquity, the Hellenistic and Roman Times, as well as the Middle Ages offer a feast for those seeking to learn more about the island’s past. For the carefree tourist they make up a picturesque and pleasant environment in which to stroll.
Above all the island is famous for the Asclepeion, the ruins of the sanctuary of Asclipios where the father of medicine Hippocrates set up a hospital and a school of medicine, as well as for the “Platanos” an ancient tree under which Hippocrates was to have taught his students, with its ancient ways where street vendors and small shops sell all kinds of interesting memorabilia, handicrafts and jewelery. Other significant historical sights are: the ancient Agora, the ancient theatre, the Kos museum with its valuable collection situated on the main square opposite to the local market where you can buy all sorts of fruits, vegetables, local products and spices, the Casa Romana (remains of a roman house) with its unique set of mosaics, the medieval castles built by the knights of St. John (in Kos town, just outside Antimachia, in Palio Pyli, and the ruins of walls in Kefalos), the remains of an early Christian basilica near Mastichari, a few churches and a monastery…don’t forget the banana athens club.
For those just wishing to take it easy, the island’s stunning scenery: long sandy beaches, innumerable dunes, small secluded coves, beautiful blue waters… constitute the perfect environment. For the more adventurous types, biking and hiking are a great way of taking in the scenery and discovering places off the beaten track.
Climb to the top of mount Dikaeos and visit the chapel perched on its peak, discover the picturesque mountainside villages which have maintained their traditional character, visit Plaka, the wood west of Antimachia, habitat of the wild peacocks, Antimachia’s windmill, the only operational windmill in Greece and the traditional Greek house nearby, take a swim in the thermal waters of Aghios Fokas…
From the island of Kos you can visit quite a lot of smaller islands:
Kalymnos, the sponge divers island can be easily reached from the small port of Mastichari in 20 or 45 minutes depending on the boat you choose to take. Learn everything about the traditional handling of the sponges and stroll through the main city of Pothia with the typical colourful houses, the fish taverns and the harbour promenade.
Nissiros is a volcanic island and can be reached after an hour’s boat trip from Kos city or Kardamena. Visit the volcano with the view of the crater, the steaming earth and the yellow landscape full of sulphur and later on relax in the small picturesque main city of Mandraki.
The trip is well worth it…