Kos is the second largest island in the Dodecanese and has a fertile landscape. The island is also the birthplace of the father of medicine, Hippocrates (460-377 BC). The island has many archaeological remains from the time it was a major power in the region. Like many of the Greek islands, Kos has had a rich if nor troubled past. The island first settled in 300BC and then by successive invaders, each of whom has left their mark on the island. Today the island offers the tourist exceptional beaches and a good nightlife alongside the rich history of the island.
Kos Town situated on the northeast coast, is the islands capital and main port. An earthquake destroyed the old town in 1933, the new town is charming with lots of trees and parks where flowers bloom and scent the air. In the harbour, yachts and excursion boats lie tied up, bars and restaurants along with souvenir shops line the waterfront. Kos town comes alive at night with bars and discos tempting in the eager tourists. The Castle of the Knights dominates the town, along with other ruins, the town is ideal for those seeking history along with some good fun.
Castle of the Knights along with the castles on Rhodes and Bodrum, the castle on Kos, built in the 14 th century and used by the Knights of St. John, was a defence against the troops of the Ottoman Empire . Today the ramparts offer good views over the town.
Ancient Agora these ruins discovered after the 1933 earthquake, the ruins show the old Hellenistic city and Byzantine houses. Among the ruins are a 13 th century stoa (roofed colonnade), the 3 rd century Temple of Heracles and the Temple of Pandemous Aphrodite .
Roman remains the most important ruin from this period is the Casa Romana. This 3 rd century roman villa was impressive, with 26 rooms and 3 pools with shady courtyards. The mosaics depict dolphins and lions. The dining room has decorated marble walls and the other rooms were lavishly painted. Outside in the grounds there were thermal pools, in which the owners of the villa could relax after the day’s business. The old Roman theatre, with marble seats for the privileged of society and common limestone seats for the masses is nearby. The other archaeological excavation site has uncovered, fine mosaics depicting Europa who is about to be abducted by Zeus in the guise of a bull. A xysto, (large gymnasium) with restored pillars has also been unearthed.
Asklipieion this is the islands most significant archaeological site. The site is about 4 km southwest of the town standing on a hill the Asklipieion, offers views over the district and Turkey . The site consisted of a religious sanctuary to Asklepios, the God of healing. The Temple and School of Medicine were established after the death of Hippocrates. The priests and the doctors to be studied and worshiped here and there symbol was the snake, still the emblem of the medical profession today. This is an extensive site over three levels, with the ruins of temples and baths. Hippocrates often called the father of modern medicine he was born on Kos in 460 BC and died in Thessalia in 377 BC. Legends say he is descended from a line of healing Demi-Gods, he learnt medicine from his father who descended from Asklepios the God of Healing. Hippocrates was the first physician to classify diseases and introduced new methods of treatment. It was here he wrote the Hippocratic Oath, still sworn by newly qualified doctors around the world to cure rather than harm their patients.
Asfendiou Villages comprises of Zia, Asomatos, Lagoudi, Evangelistria and Agios. These mountain villages are typical Greek, situated on the slopes of Mt. Dikaios with their whitewashed houses and churches, and are popular with coach trips organised by tour operators. However, out of the high season they revert to their normal way of life.
Tigkaki and the neighbouring resort of Marmari are popular tourist resorts, with very good beaches ideal for windsurfing and other water sports.
Kardamaina, was once a very quiet fishing village, today it is a popular resort. Young British and Scandinavian tourists are in the majority, the beach is very good but crowded. As you would expect the nightlife is busy and noisy with bars and discos competing for the youngsters.
Kamari is a good place from which to explore the southwest coast, it here the best beaches are. The most popular is Paradise Beach other beaches are Exotic Beach , Banana Beach and Langada Beach . The beach at Agios Stefanos is the site of a Club Med complex.
Kefalos inland from Kamari, this mountainous village is famous for its cheeses and honey and its castle. The ruins of the castle is said to be the lair of a dragon, according to legend the daughter of Hippocrates was transformed into a dragon by Artemis, and now waits for a knight to come and kiss her, so she will be transformed back into a female.