Kos, one of Greece’s Dodecanese islands, is known for its abundant sandy beaches. It’s also rich with Greek and Roman landmarks, particularly in and around Kos Town. This harbor town is dominated by the 15th-century Neratzia Castle. South of the castle are the Ancient Agora ruins, with a temple, shrine and columns. The 3rd-century Casa Romana villa has lavish mosaics.
Let’s begin with the top 10 facts about this Greek island.
- Location: Kos is located in the southeastern part of the Aegean Sea and is part of the Dodecanese island group. It is situated near the coast of Turkey, with Bodrum being the nearest major city.
- Size and Population: Kos is the third largest island in the Dodecanese, covering an area of approximately 290 square kilometers (110 square miles). As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the population was around 33,000 people.
- Historical Significance: Kos has a rich history dating back to ancient times. It was the birthplace of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, and his ancient medical school, the Asklepieion, still stands as a significant archaeological site on the island.
- Natural Beauty: Kos offers a diverse landscape with beautiful sandy beaches, lush green valleys, and rocky mountains. Visitors can enjoy picturesque coastal areas such as Tigaki, Kardamena, and Kefalos, as well as explore the island’s rural interior.
- Ancient Ruins: In addition to the Asklepieion, Kos is home to several other archaeological sites. The Ancient Agora, the Roman Odeon, and the Casa Romana are notable attractions that offer a glimpse into the island’s ancient past.
- Castle of the Knights: The Castle of the Knights, also known as Neratzia Castle, is a medieval fortress located at the entrance of Kos Town’s harbor. Originally built by the Knights of Saint John, it has served as a defensive structure throughout history.
- Cycling Paradise: Kos is a popular destination for cycling enthusiasts. The island offers a well-developed network of cycling paths, particularly along its coastal areas. Bicycles can be easily rented, allowing visitors to explore the island at their own pace.
- Thermal Springs: Kos is known for its natural thermal springs, which are believed to have healing properties. The most famous thermal spring, known as “Therma,” is located near Kos Town. It is a popular spot for relaxation and wellness.
- Nightlife and Tourism: Kos has a vibrant nightlife scene, particularly in Kos Town and Kardamena. Numerous bars, clubs, and beachfront establishments offer entertainment for visitors seeking lively evenings. The island attracts a significant number of tourists each year.
- Traditional Cuisine: Kos offers a delicious culinary experience. Traditional Greek dishes, such as moussaka, souvlaki, and feta cheese, can be savored alongside local specialties like “pitaridia” (a type of pasta) and “tsipouro” (a grape-based spirit).
Firstly, the island is very clean. In the towns and in our hotel.. spotless. No rubbish at all. Another thing is, its all very laid back. Absolutely excellent for a break, to get you away from it all. Also, the weather was good, we went for a week and we caught a shower on the last day. The temperature back home, was about the same as in Kos, which is quite funny. 28 degrees Celsius in June ca you believe (global warming in action!)
The Kos Imperial Hotel is a convenient place to stay and is just around the corner from Kos Town.
The bus service is reliable and it costs just 2 euros per person to get into town and 1.5 euros pr person to get back.
Kos Town itself is set around a large harbour. Each day the harbour starts full of boats, all hoping to entice tourists to book a spot on their boat the next day for a tour around a few islands, a dip in the sea and a BBQ lunch. Much haggling to be done here. Away from the harbour there are plenty of shops along the promenade and an old town with more expensive boutiques. Overall, its a great place to just waft around.
The island has a lot businesses offering bicycle, moped and buggy hire too for the more adventurous people.
Overall, the island is a great place to relax. There is a lot to do, its clean, people are nice and its lovely an warm in the evenings. Its also very safe. We’ll be going back one day for sure.