It is geographically located between the Greek islands of Kalymnos and Nisyros. The coastal villages of Kos are tourist places with many accommodations, while the inland villages are kept away from tourism. Some beaches are organized, while others are totally secluded. There are also few naturist beaches, around Paradise Beach.
This Greek island has many interesting sightseeing. The Asklepieion is the most famous sight, which was actually a healing center in the ancient times. Worth a visit are also the Ancient Agora, the Roman Odeon, the Venetian Castle in Town and the Castle in Antimachia. In this village, you can also visit an interesting folklore museum in the central square. This guide of Kos proposes all useful information about holidays there.
According to the Greek mythology, Kos is the sacred land of Asclepius, the god of healing. Archaeological findings prove that the history of Kos starts from the prehistoric times. The Minoans settled on the island around the 14th century BC, followed by the Achaeans and, a few centuries later, the Dorians came and built the ancient city of Kos. The Persians conquered the island of Kos during the 5th century BC, but were defeated by the Athenians who took control of the island during the battle of Salamina. 460 BC is the year during which Hippocrates, the father of Medicine and founder of the first School of Medicine, was born.
After his death in 357, the inhabitants of Kos built the sanctuary of Asklepeion honoring Hippocrates and the god Asklepios. It was used as a hospital, welcoming patients from all over the Mediterranean, with doctors who applied the therapeutic methods of Hippocrates. During the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC), Kos was an ally of Athens. That is why the island had to pay a high tribute when the Spartians invaded it in 411 BC.
In 394 BC, Kos became again an ally with Athens and democracy was introduced on Kos. This period was characterized by a cultural, educational and economical growth. In 335 BC, the island of Kos became a part of the Macedonian Empire. After the death of Alexander the Great, his successors the Ptolemies took control of the island and of the rest of the Dodecanese. he Byzantine period brought prosperity and wealth on Kos, unfortunately threatened by the constant pirate raids of which the most dangerous were the attacks of the Saracens.
Kos became a part of the Eastern colony of the Roman Empire after 82 BC. In 1204 AD, the Venetians occupied the island of Kos. The Knights of Saint John, who established on Rhodes, also took the control of Kos in 1315 AD. A century later, they built the superb fortress that stands today at the entrance of the harbour of Kos as well as the Castle of Antimachia. In 1522, the Turks took the island and held it until 1912, when the Italian troops invaded Kos and expelled them. The disastrous earthquake of 1934 almost destroyed the whole island. The Germans replaced the Italians in 1943. The German occupation was a very dark period for the inhabitants of Kos who endured great suffering and deprivations. The nightmare ended in 1945 when Kos came under British rule. Finally, in 1948, Kos got united to the rest of Greece.
Museums - Archeological
The first human traces of Kos go back to the prehistoric times as various findings witness. It flourished greatly during the Byzantine era and the Venetian occupation. Most importantly Kos is the birthplace of Hippocrates, the father of medicine,the man who introduced new diagnostic methods and treatments for many diseases. At the center of Kos town you will see the old age plane tree where Hippocrates used to sit with his disciples.
At the Archaeological Museum of Kos are found hundreds of findings which were brought to light from the excavations that took place in the surrounded regions. The museum's exhibition focuses on items that cover various periods from the Hellenistic to Roman times and aim to introduce the most important sculpture works from the island Kos. It is housed in the a two-storey building that stands out in the town, from the Italian occupation. The museum's attractions are the marble Roman statues, the busts and the beautiful mosaics. Also a great variety of ceramics and pottery can be found.
Kos Folklore Museum is one of the most interesting places to visit, depicting scenes from the agricultural life in the old days. It is well-equipped with a large collection of artifacts, agricultural tools and lovely embroideries. Visitors will have the chance to journey back in time. Another point of interest is Antimachia village, one of the island's attractions and famous for its picturesque character. There guests can see theTraditional House of Antimachia, which is a perfect replica of the 20th architecture in the region. Today, it is like a small museum.
Mastichari Beach, Thermes, Kefalos beach, Kardamena Beach, Lambi, Marmari, Tigaki, Paradise, Psalidi, Agios Fokas, Agios Stefanos, Camel beach, Kamari, Lagades, Lambi Mylos, Limnionas, Marmari Limnaria, Polemi, Psalidi Ramira, Psilos Gremos, Town beach
Religious Monasteries and Churches
Kos charms every visitor with its exotic beauty and rich history, witnessed by its exquisite architecture, buildings and castles,churches and monasteries scattered at the most beautiful areas of the island.
On top of Paleo Pyli, an old village settled among the ruins lie three churches, Agios Antonios, Taxiarches and the byzantine Church of Panagia Ypapanti which concentrates the highest interest for its well-preserved frescoes from the 14th century. At the center of Kos you will find five Orthodox churches and among them the church of Agia Paraskevi is the most important to see. Its beautiful architecture makes it a pole of attraction for the visitors.
Another worthseeing religious site is the Church of Saint John the Baptist located in the cemetery of Kos. Ancient material were used for its structure and today you can see many beautiful frescoes from 12th and 13th century. Only 7 km south of Kefalos village, lies the Monastery of Agios Ioannis under the shadow of an aged plane tree whose height reaches the top of the campanile. The ruins of the two Paleo-christian basilicas stand above the beach of Agios Stefanos (Saint Stephen).
At the small islet of Kastri is found the monastery of Agios Nikolaos. The chapel of Holy Cross is the only Catholic church in the town and the entire island. It lies in the area of the Catholic cemetery of Kos, also known as Agnus Dei.