KOS



redline

Kos - general

General

Kos has a wide and spacious feel: long beaches, clear mountains, open plateaux, and—beyond them all— bright and sweeping views in all directions across the Dodecanesian Sea and into Asia Minor. Famed from Antiquity through to modern times for its gentle fertility and its gardens (which produced a type of lettuce that still bears the island’s name), its healthful climate was immortalised by the presence of the school of Hippocrates and its abundant waters were sung by the poet Theocritus.
   Today Kos is inevitably less fertile, green and rural, and has suffered from rashes of indiscriminate building in re cent years. But the island holds an astonishing variety of remains from all periods of its long and important history, and there is a special beauty in the constant interlacing of ancient ruins and modern streets in the island’s capital. The town’s skyline is exotically punctuated by minarets left by the Ottoman occupation and giant palm trees left by the Italians. Above and behind everything else rise the protective peaks of the long ridge of Mount Horomedon (today’s Dikaios), the water from whose northern slopes gives life to the broad plains below. Profiting from the special qualities of a couple of these springs, the most famous medical centre of later Antiquity grew up, in memory of Hippocrates whose name is inseparable from the island. Like his contemporary Socrates, he appears to have left behind no writings that we can be certain are of his own authorship; his teachings, however—as clear as the light of the island—were to become the focus and stimulus for one of the most far-reaching revolutions in human thinking, and they constitute the foundations of Western medical analysis and practice.
   Kos has always been a busy and well populated island: the extent and density of its ancient capital, the sheer number of Early Christian churches around its coast, the large areas enclosed within the castles of Antimachia in the centre of the island and of ‘Nerantzia’ beside the port, and the atmospheric deserted settlements—such as Palaio Pyli—all speak of a substantial population living off the produce supported by its many springs of water. The length of this survey is testimony to the variety and importance of the monuments left by this activity. The natural beauty of the island, mostly preserved in its mountainous areas—although under considerable threat from expanding tourism and spreading construction— may still be enjoyed for its fine beaches, hot springs, pan oramic walks, and the variety of wild orchids and rare birds. At least for a little while yet.

 


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


Random information you might what to know about Kos Island
The Kephalos Peninslula
The Forest of Plaka and Aghios Stephanos

 

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

Book your Trip to Greece

ferry

advertisements