The island of Kos is the third largest island of the Dodecanese complex in the Aegean Sea. It is the birthplace of Hippokrates, the father of modern medicine, and it has a rich history that dates back millennia to the prehistoric times. The heritage of Kos is evident even as you walk around the city center; ruins of ancient temples lying next to medieval fortresses, verdant gardens and modern buildings.
The rest of the island of Kos is interesting as well; endless beaches, gorgeous views, natural parks with rich fauna and flora, quaint traditional villages and the famed Greek hospitality all blend together in a mix that has remained unchanged for centuries; the beauty that is Kos Island!
All around Kos Island you will find intriguing sites that showcase the island’s rich history and heritage. The center of Kos town is an in situ archaeological site, with ancient Hellenistic and roman antiquities scattered around the city. The Archaeological Museum of Kos recently reopened its doors with an impressive exhibition of artefacts, sculptures and mosaics discovered all over the island. The Asklipeion of Kos, the ancient sanctuary where Hippokrates taught and practiced medicine is on the hill overlooking the town, offering, apart from a look into the ancients’ lives, breath-taking panoramic views of Kos. Also visit the Casa Romana, the Roman Odeon, and the Agios Stefanos Vasilikas.
The rich history of Kos is evident in every step you take; from the ancient temples and the sanatoria dedicated to Asklipeios, to Roman mansions and medieval castles. Many civilizations left their mark on this beautiful island, and their blend has led to what now is the famed island spirit, the true heart and soul of the island of Kos.
There is an abundance of activities on the island of Kos that would please any type of visitor. From the adrenaline pumping water sports such as waterskiing, Jet-Skiing, windsurfing, kite surfing, parasailing and more, to scuba-diving and cruising around the island, any water sport you can think of is available in the beaches of Kos. As for land based activities, the island’s hinterland offers a rich selection of natural parks perfect for hiking and getting in touch with indigenous species such as the Zia Natural Park or the Psalidi Wildlife sanctuary.
Some of the most gorgeous traditional villages of Kos that are definitely worth a visit are Antimacheia, for its medieval castle and its traditional ambiance, Matihari for its gorgeous beach and water park, Kefalos, for the true essence of Kos and some amazing monuments, and Kardamena for its vivid nightlife. Inland, Pyli, Zia and Asomatos are more traditional and less touristic, with amazing island architecture, amazing views and delightful taverns with local tastes and the island’s specialties.
The entire coastline of Kos is comprised by miles after miles of endless beaches; some sandy, other pebbled; calm and tranquil or windswept and rough. The most unusual one is definitely the beach of Therma, where a hot water spring sprouts out of the foot of a huge rock and forms a thermal “spa pool” right at the edge of the beach. The finest beaches for swimming, sunbathing and water sports are the beaches of Lambi, Paradise beach, Kefalos, Tigkaki and Psalidi, whereas if you are into extreme sports such as wind surfing, kite surfing or wakeboarding, Mastichari and Marmari, whereas the most picture perfect beach is without a doubt Agios Stefanos, near Kefalos, with a small island dominating the cove.
Like every Greek island, Kos has its own delicious specialties that are worth trying. Many restaurants and tavernas proudly showcase the tastes of Kos and Greece, with local products made with the love of people for their land, their traditions and their produce. Don’t leave Kos without trying posa, a goat’s cheese fermented in red wine with a saucy flavor, or the unique syrupy tomato, eggplant or fig spoon-sweets, a signature dessert of Kos Island.