The third largest island in the Dodecanese, after Rhodes and Karpathos, Kos lies between Kalimnos and Nissiros. It is mainly flat with a mountain chain running along the south coast. Famous as the birthplace of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, Kos is also known for its lovely, gentle scenery. It is both lush and fertile, with an abundance of springs and streams, gorgeous beaches and a marvelous climate. Kos today has developed into a cosmopolitan resort, which is becoming more and more in demand, for apart from its physical beauty, it possesses some remarkable archaeological sites and important monuments.
Sightseeing in the town
The island's capital and main port, also called Kos, is situated on its northeast coast. It is a beautiful town, set amidst abundant greenery. Most of the town is of recent origin. Nevertheless, it also boasts some well-preserved Venetian buildings, the castle of the Knights which overlooks the harbour, as well as extensive Hellenistic and Roman ruins. The present town, whose development has been based on a carefully studied land use plan, is characterized by flower-filled squares lined by impressive buildings and broad, shaded streets. Further embellished by clusters of palm trees, the town's streets are enlivened by thousands of bicycles - the locals' favorite means of transport. Kos is the centre of life on the island in every way. Most of its hotels, tourist facilities, restaurants and nightclubs are concentrated here, along with a wide variety of shops and boutiques.
PLACES TO VISIT
The excavations carried out at the site of the ancient city have revealed the foundations of Classical structures such as the Agora and Hellenistic and Roman buildings - the Gymnasium, a large Roman house with mosaics, the Odeon, the Roman Baths - sections of the Classical wall, ruins of the temple of Aphrodite and another temple, possibly dedicated to Herakles. Other things worth seeing round the town include Hippocrates' Plane Tree, said to have been planted by the father of medicine and under whose shade tradition maintains that he taught; it is considered the oldest tree in Europe. The Venetian Castle of the Knights (15th century), a splendid example of the imposing military architecture of the age. The Loggia, a two-storey building of the 18th century with an elegant minaret towering over it,both constructed with materials taken from the ancient site. The Archaeological Museum (tel.: 0242/28.326), containing finds from the Classical, Hellenistic and Roman eras, including a 4th century B.C. statue of Hippocrates. Finally, there are some interesting early Christian churches, in and near the town, which bear witness to the influence of St. Paul's teachings on the island.
The famous Asklepieion is situated some 4 kilometres from Kos town in a wooded area overlooking the sea. Its building commenced after the death of Hippocrates in the mid 4th century B.C. Because of the sloping terrain, the sanctuary is constructed on three terraces, which are joined by a magnificent staircase. The first terrace formed a kind of courtyard and was surrounded by colonnades. According to accounts of the time, various ceremonies and festivals were conducted here and it may have housed the medical school. The second terrace was dominated by the Great Altar, while the majestic Doric temple of Asklepius (2nd c. B.C.) rests on the third. The sculptures that adorned the sanctuary buildings were master pieces.
Kos if famous for the beautiful beaches.One of the best beaches starts from the south end of the city and continues for about 2 km.Other beaches are, Tigaki, Marmari, Mastihari, Kardamena, Agios Stefanos and Kamari.
Windsurfing.You can rent surfboards on the island.You could also play tennis and water-ski.
Restaurants, fish-taverns, pizzerias and candy stores are more than enough in Kos. discos and bars can be found at Kardamena and Tigaki, while taverns with local music can be found in the village of Asfenidou and Kardamena.
PLACES TO MOOR
Kardemena – This harbor lies on the SE coast of Kos. It used to be a small fishing village but now has become a resort area. It provides good shelter from the meltemi, there is a pier to moor on to but at night due to the nightlife it can get a bit noisy. Fuel, water and provisioning are available.
Limin Kos - A fairly busy harbor as there are small boats that go back and forth from Turkey. During the meltemi it offers good shelter but it does tend to swell up. All facilities are available.
Masthari – This is a small fishing village on the NW coast of Kos. There is a new mole and offers good shelter from the meltemi.
Ormos Kamares – This small bay is located on the South end of Kos. It offers good shelter from the meltemi and there is a small mole to moor on to. Water is also available at the mole as well as few tavernas.