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Kos, your one-stop-guide

Dodecanese ● Kos ● 25 October 2018
 
Kos belongs to the island complex of Dodecanese. It is a highly touristic island which however has many untouched spots and can offer you privacy and relaxation as well as fun and cosmopolitanism. Kos was one of the most influential city-states in antiquity, and thus together with Rhodes, it is the destination in Dodecanese with the most important archaeological sites. Summarizing, Kos is the island for every taste: for youngsters thanks to its nightlife, for history lovers thanks to its long and rich culture, for families thanks to its developed touristic facilities and for couples thanks to its romantic aura, the beautiful town and the seaside promenade with the palm trees, which create a unique scenery.

Kos Town

Kos Town is an impressive combination of modern and past times. Nerantzia Castle, or the Castle of the Knights, is situated at the entrance of the Port. It is an imposing Venetian castle, built in the 14th century. On the south side of the Town, you can admire another Venetian Castle, built in the 14th century too, the Castle of Antimachia with a breathtaking view of the sea and the village. These beautiful castles give the town of Kos a medieval atmosphere you will adore. The new port with the yachts and the sailing boats in front of the palm trees create an exotic picture and the pedestrian there is my favourite spot of the town. The ancient Greek, the Roman and the Byzantine era constitute a handsome harbour, lined by cafes and traditional taverns, where you can taste the Greek cuisine, drink your cocktail and generally relax and enjoy the atmosphere. In Kos Town, you can visit the Roman Odeon, the ancient town, the tree of Hippocrates as well as the newly renovated Archaeological Museum.
Town of Kos

Historical Sites

Asklepieion

Asklepieion is the most significant archaeological site on Kos. In the antiquity, Asklepieion was a medical centre, and it was built to honour the God of Medicine and Health, Asklepios, who lived on the island. It was built during the 5th century B.C., and Hippokrates had taught there his students, the doctors of the antiquity.
Asklepieion

Roman Odeon

The Roman Odeon was constructed in the 2nd century BC, when it hosted hundreds of people, who gathered to watch fights between prisoners, like in the Colosseum of Ancient Rome. The Roman Odeon is a well-preserved sample of the Roman civilisation and occupation in Greece.

Ancient Town and Agora

Ancient Agora includes the remains of the Ancient Town of Kos. In this historical site, you will explore, apart from the Agora, also the Gymnasium, temples, baths and houses with mosaic, columns and other well-preserved pieces of construction, belonging to several periods of the antiquity.

Archaeological Museum

The renovated Archaeological Museum in the capital of the island narrates the island's history from prehistoric to Roman times. It is situated on Eleftherias Square, in the centre of the town. Fully renovated, it is housed in a two-storey mansion, which dates from the period of Italian rule, and it displays several exhibits from every phase of civilisation on the island. The main hall of the museum draws a connection between historical developments and the evolution of the famous sculptural tradition in ancient Kos. The impressive atrium has been used to display sculptures from a wealthy Roman villa, and the well-preserved statues stand like sentries around the circular mosaic floor, which depicts the arrival of the God of medicine, Asclepius, to Kos in the 3rd century AD. The new section of sanctuaries helps visitors explore the different types of worship that evolved in Kos through the centuries, with votive offerings from the Mycenaean era and those from the sanctuary of Asclepius, to statues of Demeter, the Kore and Athena from classical times to eastern divinities. The upper floor is dedicated to education, another popular section for the visitors. Through findings from graves and settlements, as well as through a film, you can get a taste of what life was like for people of this era. The image of a Hellenistic house, with its cooking utensils, loom and possessions of the man, woman and children, is complemented by references to the shops that existed in the town, the currency used and its exports.

Hippocrates Plane Tree and Cultural Centre 

In the front of the Castle of the Knights, there is a plane tree, under which Hippocrates, the father of Medicine, used to teach his students. Of course, this tree is not the plane tree Hippocrates planted, since he lived in the 5th century BC, but obviously, a descendant of the original tree. Hippocrates is the symbol of Kos, and thus, a Cultural Centre in the village of Mastichari Kos is dedicated to him. Here, there is an exact replica of the ancient settlement, and many seminars of Greek philosophy are organised.

Beaches

Most beaches in Kos are long and sandy, with crystal blue waters and organised. They are considered to be among the most beautiful beaches of the Dodecanese islands.

Cavo Paradiso is one of the most popular beaches in the Aegean Sea. Its name is a reminiscent of its heavenly atmosphere. As soon as you look at it, you understand why it was given this name. A well-hidden beach, Cavo Paradiso is a paradise on earth, ideal for relaxation. It has golden sand and pristine waters in a rough natural beauty. There, you will find only a few umbrellas and sunbeds in order to enjoy the sea and the sun away from the crowds.
Cavo Paradiso

The most popular beach of Kos is Paradise beach, a beautiful and sandy beach where you will find sun beds, water sports and an ideal place for families with kids.

 Agios Stefanos Beach is a well organized sandy beach, in a close distance to the town Kos. Because it is located not far from the capital and the main port, it gets crowded during July and August.

Mastichari is an exotic bay with soft, white sand and turquoise sea waters. It is one of the most popular beaches in the Dodecanese for wind sports. Many wind and kitesurfing centres and schools are located along this beach.

The beach of Kardamena is one of the busiest and best organised beaches in Kos as behind it is located a well-developed touristic resort. After bathing, you can eat there in traditional Greek taverns or you can also stay there in one of the numerous hotels and rooms to let.

Psalidi is a picturesque cove in close distance to Kos Town. Some lovely beach bars are located along the coast. There is also a diving club and water-sports amenities.

Kamari is a small cove, which is surrounded by huge rocks in an impressive scenery. The one part of the beach is organized, but you can also find quiet parts to relax away from mass tourism.

Off-the-beaten-path

If you want to go off-the-beaten-path and explore the hidden gems of Kos away from the crowds, there are some insider's tips you can learn only here!
Kos was always a paradise for cyclists. Nowadays, there are special biking trails that begin from Kos Town and extend its limits, so that cyclists can explore by bike a large part of the island and its beautiful coastline. Along the castle walls, there is a well-developed bike path under the palm trees, which is perfect for a walk. You can rent a bike in Kos Town and start a stunning route that will also keep you fit.
For the best sunset view on the island, visit Zia, a little settlement, which is the highest inhabited village in Kos. It has a breathtaking view of the Aegean Sea, the plain and the wetland below. Sunset is also very impressive and with a historical touch at the Asklepieion, which overlooks Kos Town. 
For an alternative experience of swimming, go on the southern side of Kos to the area of Kamari at Kefalos. Across the water from the Basilica of Agios Stefanos, there is a tiny islet called Kastri. This spot is famous for its cool currents that make the swim very invigorating. For family-friendly beaches with shallow and calm waters, ideal are the beaches of Tigaki and Marmari  nearby.



Kos has also many natural hot springs. The most recommended spring for a natural spa experience is the spring of Agios Fokas, where you can also swim at the beach of Therma, which is located nearby.
Kos has a robust agricultural tradition and a breadth of nutritional habits that date back to the antiquity and the diet guidelines of Hippokrates. The cuisine of Kos is similar to the famous Cretan cuisine as it includes a lot of grain, vegetables and pulses as well as fish and meat. In ancient times, Kos had vineyards, while wine production is experiencing a rebirth in recent years. On the island, are organised many wine tours to its wineries, where you can get a taste of the island's wine production. Don't forget to taste the delicious meze krasotyri, renowned in Kos. It is goat's cheese aged in a vessel filled with wine must, which gives it a red skin and a very special flavour.

Island Hopping

Kos is a top destination to spend your summer holidays, have fun, discover the long history of Greece and relax. But we know that you may want something more. Like all adventurous travellers, you may want to explore in addition to Kos other destinations. If you have as a goal to discover southern Aegean and the fascinating island complex of Dodecanese, then after Kos, you can visit also other islands. This is the most fascinating thing with the Greek islands. They are located very close to each other, so you can easily do Greek Island Hopping in only a few hours, easily, conveniently and on a budget.
Karpathos

Therefore, after Kos you can visit Karpathos with the renowned, well-preserved mountainous village of Olympos. Rhodes with the exotic bays, the wonderful town of Lindos, the medieval city and the significant ancient sites. Leros with the colourful port. Kalymnos with the steep cliffs and the interesting seabed, which make it a worldwide famous destination for climbers and divers. Patmos with the medieval UNESCO city and the monastery, where Saint John wrote the Apocalypse. Nisyros with the active volcano and the impressive nature. It is your choice!

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Where to Stay

Hotel & Appartment in Kos, Greece Angela Apartments
Angela Apartments
48, Veriopoulou Str., Kos Town, 85300 Kos, Greece

Angela Apartments is centrally located in Kos Town, just 500 meters from the Port. The nearest beach is an 8-minute walk away. Kos International Airport is 23.3 km away.

Hotel & Appartment in Kos, Greece Golden Sun
Golden Sun
Tigaki, 85300 Kos, Greece

The family-run Golden Sun hotel is located in a popular summer resort Tigaki in Kos just 8 minutes walk from the long, sandy beach. The distance from Kos Town is 11 km, while Kos International Airport is at 16 km.

Hotel in Kos, Greece The Small Village
The Small Village
Mastichari, 85302 Kos, Greece

Hidden away from the crowds, The Small Village resort is located on the hills about 5 km away from Mastichari Village in Kos and within 8 minutes walk from an unorganized, hidden beach. Kos International Airport is at 7 km, while the busy Kos town is 26 km away. The hotel offers twice a day a complimentary bus service to Mastichari village and the beach and Hippocrates Garden Culture Center (1.5 km).


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