Lovely beaches, pretty villages,
interesting sights and a great nightlife: what more can one ask
from a holiday resort. This is considered one of the hottest
party islands, but it has much, much more to offer than that.
A green, lush island, Kos is an island of many choices where you
either can spend your whole holiday on a quiet beach in a
laid-back village or party all night in the many bars and clubs.
There is so much to see that a week or two just won't do, and
that's one of the reasons people keep coming back to the island
The island has been quite rich ever since ancient times, with
the exception of times of enslavement under the Turks and
several pirate attacks. The fertile soil have blessed the locals
with grapes for wine, wheat, fruits and olives as well as
obsidian and rich fishing waters.
Mythology has it that the three giants Phoebos, Kinnas and Kios
fled to this island after they had been defeated at the great
battle of the gods and theTitans. Heracles supposedly stayed
here for a while after he had performed his 12 labours. His ship
had sunk on his way home, and he managed to swim to Kos, where
he met the angry shepherd Andagoras whom he fought for many
hours. He then sought refuge in the mountains since king
Eurypilos had ordered his arrest, but managed to capture the
king's daughter Chalkiope, with whom he had Thessalos, future
king Of Leros and Nissyros.
The king of the Carians led his
people to the island sometime in the 2nd Millennium BC, and this
people from Asia Minor are traditionally considered to have been
one of the first settlers on this island. They were succeeded by
the Minoans, Cretans, and then, in the 10th century BC, the
Dorians arrived. At this time, the island was called Meropida.
The people of Kos were forced to doing Persian forces against
Greece in the 5th century BC, but that changed after the
Persians were defeated at the battle of Salamis. After that, Kos
was a full member of the Delian League and the island was
prospering under its democratic constitution.
From an early stage, the god of medicine, Asclepius, was
worshipped here, and pilgrims from all over came to his temple
to go through cleansing rituals, sleep in the temple, and be
cured. It is no coincidence that the father of medicine,
Hippocrates, was born here. read more about Kos History
In the 4th century BC Kos joined sides with the Macedonians, and
the Romans conquered the island in the 2nd century BC. St. Paul
the Apostle visited the island on one of his missions, and some
of the earliest churches of Greece were built here - you can
still see the ruins of a couple of the, Unfortunately most
ancient and Christian buildings were destroyed in a big
earthquake in AD 535.
With the exception of many pirate raids, Kos flourished during
the Byzantine era . The Genuans and Venetians ruled the island
in the 12th century, but it came under the command of the
Knights of Rhodes in 1315, who taxed the locals heavily.
The Turks occupied the island in 1522, and massacres and harsh
treatment of the people followed. Kos was given to Italy in
1912, and freed in 1948 . Read more about Kos history
What to See:
Starting with the capital, Kos, there is an interesting
archaeological museum, the Kastro from the 13th century, where
the knights of St. John had a stronghold, the plane of
Hippocrates where he supposedly taught and read, as well as the
Mosque of Gazi Hassan Pasha from 1786. There is also an
archaeological excavation area here where ruins from the ancient
agora have been found. Houses, temples, baths and mosaics from
different eras have been found here as well as the statue of
Hippocrates. You can visit the Roman Villa, Casa Romana, which
is a replica of an ancient Roman house open for visitors.
Asclepion is a must for those interested in ancient history.
Here, the great temple of the god of medicine lie, and it dates
back to the 4th century BC, but might be even older than that.
Kos has many small villages worth visiting, and it is a good
idea to rent a vehicle and explore them on your own. Palio Pylio
is a deserted village from Medieval times, where there are many
interesting little churches and a kastro. In Asfendiou there are
very old churches and the Kastro of the Knights of St. John.
Kefalos used to be the capital, Astypalea, in ancient times, and
there are excavations going on here. Kardamena has a Byzan-tine
church dedicated to Ag Theodotas, in Antimachia there is a
Venetian castle, Zia is built like an amphitheatre with many
little churches and shops.
You get the best sunsets on the southern peninsula Moni Agiou
What to Do:
There are water sports on several of the beaches. Bubble Beach
has natural wells which are said to be healing. There are
several excursions offered and apart from going to various
beaches, you can also take daytrips to Rhodes, Nissyros and
Pserimos as well as to Turkey.
Beaches: The most popular
beach on Kos is Paradise beach, a long, beautiful sandy beach.
There are sun beds, water sports and is a good place for
families with children. Other popular beaches are Tagaki,
Mastihari, Lambi and also the beaches in Kardamena and Kefalos,
which most surfers prefer. If you want to find a quiet beach it
is best to look around on the west side.
You won't be disappointed if you want to party a lot during your
holidays. Kos is reputed for being one of the best party
islands, with many bars and clubs, as well as beachparties. Most
of the bars are in Kos town, and the two most frequented streets
the so called bar mile of Kos are Nafklirou and Diakonou
streets, just next to the archaeological site.
The local specialty is cheese baked with red wine called "Red
Cheese". There is a wide range of taverns and restaurants, and
you can get Greek as well as international food. Most places are
in Kos town, but you'll also find many little taverns in the
villages, as well as on several beaches.
Because it is such a popular island, you'll be able to find all
kinds of shops on Kos, especially in the town. Jewellery,
ceramics, leather belts, sandals, clothes, textiles,
embroideries, copies of ancient artworks, paintings, icons,
local wine, honey and things for the beach and much, much more.
A nice place to visit is the public market just before the
entrance to the archaeological site. Around the square there are
several public buildings with wonderful architecture and many
Around: There are good bus connections to many of the
villages and beaches, as well as taxis, cars and bicycles for
rent as well as boats to many beaches. You can make the
sightseeing round of the town of Kos with the small train that
stops at the port, opossite the taxi staion. There are also
daily cruises to Turkey, Pserimos and other islands.
There: Kos has its own airport so you can get a
direct flight. The island is also connected with the rest of the
Dodecanese with ferries and Catamarans, as well as Mykonos,
Paros, Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Tinos and Athens ,Piraeus and
Alexandropoulis on the mainland. Every summer there are a lot of
charter flights to Kos and many tourists uses those flights in
order to go by boat to the near by islands of Kalymnos and Leros.
There are also small ferries every day from Mastihari to
Kos is located in the
south-eastern Aegean Sea, south of Kalymnos and north of Nisyros
at the ancient Karamiko gulf.