KOS



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Kos - Ancient Cos - general

ANCIENT COS
Ancient Cos stretches everywhere underneath the centre of the modern town. Much of it was uncovered by the demolition work done after the destruction of the 1933 earthquake. Other parts have come to light as building plots have been cleared at different points in the town. All this means that islands and plots of excavation and ancient remains often appear in the midst of streets and residential buildings. As a result, it is often hard to see the complete underlying plan of the ancient town, which was roughly as follows. Its central focus was a low acropolis which corresponds to the hill of the ‘Seraglio’ area and the Platei­a Diagoras of today. This small, raised area was inhabited from before 2000 bc onwards, through the late Bronze Age and Geometric periods, and formed the nucleus of the Archaic and Classical town, known as Cos Meropis, in the 6th and 5th centuries bc. Then in 366 bc, Cos Meropis, together other ancient settlements on the is land, formed a synoecism—namely they pooled their re sources to found a new and greater city, centred around the natural harbour which is today’s port of Kos. This prosperous Hellenistic creation spread out all around the acropolis hill and completely filled the area between it and the harbour. Two main excavation areas have begun to reveal its extent: the Ancient Harbour Area and Agora (between Eleftheri­as Square and Hippocrates’s plane tree), and the Western Excavations immediately below and around the acropolis hill. Between them, is the museum which houses some of the more important sculptural finds made in these excavations. Around these two main areas, however, are a diapsora of other smaller sites. To the north is an area which includes less visible remains of a stadium, Roman baths and other miscellaneous buildings; to the south of the acropolis hill is the reconstructed Odeion and an impressive private residence, known as the ‘Casa Romana’ with, next to it, more Roman baths, and the ancient theatre beyond. Finally—near to these last—is a constellation of smaller archaeological areas which are currently being dug, between the Altar of Dionysos and the Agora excavations. These six areas are covered sequentially in the itinerary below.


Kos Island is part of the Dodecanese Island group
Ancient Cos. General Information.


Random information you might what to know about Kos Island
The Kephalos Peninslula
Ancient Harbour area and Agora

 

access

Kos Island, Greece.

By air: Kos has an international airport in the centre of the island at a distance of 23 km from Kos Town, with twice daily connections from Athens by both Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines, and charter arrivals from many destinations in Northern Europe. There are also local (Olympic)flights three times weekly to Astypalaia, Leros and Rhodes.
   By boat: There are daily services by catamaran (Dodecanese Express), and four times weekly by car ferry (F/B Nisos Kalymnos), plying the route between Rhodes, Kos, Kalymnos, Leros, Patmos (& Samos – ferry only): to Piraeus and Rhodes, Blue Star Ferries run four times weekly ferries, and GA Ferries (who include Nisyros, Tilos and Symi en route) three times weekly. The faster Flying Dolphin services link Kos also with the smaller Dodecanese Islands between Samos in the north and Rhodes in the south, and run daily in summer. From Kardamaina on the southeast coast there is a daily connection with Nisyros throughout the year, weather permitting.

Kos Travel Guide

eating

Kos Island, Greece.

In the town centre, for inexpensive and genuine fare, with good fresh, local wine, the small taverna Kriti (just below the steps northwest of the central church of Aghia Paraskevì) on Ypsilantou Street is reliable and convivial: while, nearby, the Kafeneion Aenaos in front of the Deftedar Mosque, opposite the Central Market building, makes a proper Greek coffee. Many of the most interesting and enjoyable places to eat, however, are a little out of the centre; for a delightful rural, courtyard setting, the Taverna Ambavris (in Ambavris, 1 km along the road south (left) from just beyond the Casa Romana /Roman House as you approach it from the centre of town) is to be recommended; while at the crossroads in Platani, (1.7 km from the port along the road to the Asklepieion), Ali"s is a Turkish restaurant with some good quasi-Turkish dishes, very popular with locals for Sunday lunch. To Palaio Pyli, 1 km below Palaio Pyli, has good fish, hospitable welcome and a good sunset view. With comparable sunset view, home-grown wine and home-made traditional dishes, the quiet and friendly -Taverna Panorama (2.5 km up the Asfendiou road from Zipari) in a family house and garden, is highly recommended. It is perhaps the most genuine place on the island to eat.

Kos Travel Guide

further reading

Kos Island, Greece.

Susan Sherwin-White’s Ancient Cos – an Historical Study etc. (the most authoritative and detailed study of the island in Antiquity); Vassilis Colonas, Italian Architecture in the Dodecanese Islands (Olkos Press, Athens, 2002), for the buildings and architectural ideas of the Italian occupation; the Hippocratic Corpus, selected and translated as The Medical Works of Hippocrates, by Chadwick and Mann (Oxford, Blackwell).

Kos Travel Guide

lodging

Kos Island, Greece.

Outside of the tourist complexes, the most comfortable place to stay in Kos is at the Kos Aktis Hotel (T.22420 47200; www.kosaktis.gr) which is stylish and modern, and has a good restaurant; it is conveniently and centrally placed near the castle, and all its rooms have balconies overlooking the shore towards the Turkish coast. The price is moderate to expensive. For the hospitality, friendliness and helpfulness of the owner, the family-run Hotel Afendoulis (T.22420 25321, fax 25797), just in from the shore to the south of the centre on Evripidou Street, is a pleasant guest-house, but with basic rooms (inexpensive).

Kos Travel Guide

practical info

Kos Island, Greece.

85 300 Kos: area 287sq km; perimeter 112km; resident population 26,379; maximum altitude 843m.
Port Authority: T. 22420 26594–7 & 24185.
Travel and information: Panos Tours, T. 22420 23078, fax 28068.

Kos Travel Guide

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