KOS

KOS – The Island of Hippocrates

Kos, the island of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, distinguishes for her rich history, the untold beauty and the culture of her residents. It is one of Greece’s most popular islands and has so many interesting places to discover that the visitor's needs are almost entirely covered; endless coasts with turquoise waters, appealing mountain villages, excellent touristy infrastructure, verdant landscape, affluent water springs, superb sandy beaches of various sizes and colours, ancient and medieval monuments and impressive Italian buildings along with the vivid nightlife which is also one of the island’s major attractions. The glorious past reaches back to more than 3000 years. The Asklepeion (said to be the world’s first hospital) numerous castles, ancient temples, old theatres and the Ancient Market remain throughout the centuries witnesses of the glory and fame Kos has known. Kos is a place where antiquity and modern civilisation find themselves in perfect harmony. Monuments of the past await your discovery and admiration while Kos of the present waits to live the carefree life of summer in Greece, to enjoy the sun, the sea & the atmosphere.

Geography

Kos belongs to the complex of Dodecanese (meaning 12 islands in Greek), is third in size after Rhodes and Karpathos and is the greenest and most fertile island of the group. It lies in the middle of the archipelago between the islands of Nissyros and Kalymnos, very close to the coasts of Asia Minor. It is long and narrow in shape, mostly flat with two low mountains running along its southern coast. The highest is Mount Dikeon, rising at an altitude of 875 meters, and the other is Mount Simpatro. Kos extends over a surface of 290 square kilometers, has a coastline that stretches to 112 kilometers and a population of about 31,000 inhabitants. The shores are gently caressed by the waters of the Karpathian Sea. The coastline is full of golden beaches and many islets are found opposite the coasts, such as Kastri islet opposite Kefalos beach. The mainland of Kos is verdant and incredibly fertile, blessed with rich soil and abundant ground water. It is a Greek province which also includes the smaller islands of Nissyros, Giali, Pergoussa, Kandeliousa, Pahia and Strogili.

Main destinations

Kos Town

Kos town, the enchanting capital of the island, with its wide paved avenues, neoclassic buildings, the profusion of greenery, the long alleys of palm trees, the picturesque harbour and the many archaeological sites in and around the town create a strong impression. The city is located on the north eastern part of the island and is a beautiful blend of ancient, medieval and modern architecture. When entering the harbour of Kos town the imposing medieval Castle of Neratzia (the Castle of the Knights of St. John) is bound to draw your attention. This castle is connected to the mainland by a bridge that crosses the beautiful Palm Tree Avenue, the same one that connects the Castle to the Platanos, the large plane tree under which Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, used to teach. The city also has a cathedral, one of only four in the entire Dodecanese. The town of Kos was founded in 366 BC, in the same area where modern Kos nowadays is to be found. It climaxed during the Hellenistic and Roman periods, being a crossroad between civilizations, between East and West, the meeting point for both culture and trade. Its public market was of great fame during the antiquity and still is thriving in our days.

Countless monuments of the past wait to be discovered and admired such as ancient walls, ancient temples, small sanctuaries, the ancient agora (market), the Roman amphitheatre, Byzantine churches, hot baths and much more testify to the grandeur of bygone eras. The Municipality of Kos is preserving the historic centre by trying to turn it into an exclusively pedestrian district.

Walk in the streets of the town, meet with the past and look towards the future viewing the Aegean Sea. Relax in the coffee houses of Kountourioti Coast, fill your sight with the town’s exotic beauty and then have the time of your life in the nightclubs, which transform the town into a hot spot during the night. All in all, Kos is a modern town equipped to fulfil the needs of its inhabitants and visitors but the respect for its history and heritage is clearly evident everywhere.

Tigaki

Tigaki is a relatively small laid-back resort with superb stretches of sandy beach which has undertaken a lot of development during the last decades. It is situated on the north coast of Kos, just a few kilometres from bustling Kos Town. The natural environment in Tigaki is impressive and calming, with lots of green all around and many plants and colourful flowers that decorate the landscape. The long white sandy beach extending over 10 kilometres with crystalline shallow waters is ideal for swimming (also for young children) or sunbathing. The sand shelves gently into the sea and there is usually an onshore breeze to cool things down. The various accommodation alternatives close to the beach and in the surrounding area, along with a very peaceful, traffic-free environment made Tigaki one of the most popular destinations on the island and its main street is lined with a plethora of bars, restaurants, shops and tavernas.

Marmari

Marmari is a little fishing settlement famous for its endless sandy beach with crystal blue waters, located 5 kilometers away from the picturesque village of Pyli and 15 kilometers from Kos town. The well organized beach is comparatively quieter than the beaches found in other resorts, making it an ideal destination for windsurfing. Various traditional taverns, restaurants, accommodation and cafes are waiting to welcome visitors in a fine surrounding.

Pily

A village, located approximately 17 kilometers away from Kos town. In the past its name was “Peli” and it is built in the centre of the island, below the mountain in a verdant area, with big olive trees and lots of green. The beautiful traditionally built stone houses, counting a few hundreds, surround the central square along with the traditional coffeehouses and the small taverns complete Pyli’s daily life. Here you can find the Pyliotiko Spiti (Pyli’s House) an old house with three rooms, where the kitchen, the living room and the bedroom are still preserved just as they were in the past, with original furniture and little things, as left by its owners 70 years ago. At a distance of 100 meters from the house there is a spring of cool water, flowing from 6 fountains and right beside the spring, you will see the ancient vaults, which, according to tradition, are related to the local hero of the island. Pily is very famous for its fountain and people say that the water coming out of the spring could heal illnesses. Right next to the small church Stavros (Holy Cross) stands the impressive Charmilion, a complex of burials dated to the Hellenistic period and also related to the worship of the local hero and his descendants.

Antimachia

The lovely village of Antimachia lies 23 kilometers south west of Kos town and 3 kilometers south of Mastichari and 1 km away from the airport. Its traditional character is completed by its position built on the mid part of a plateau. The village has around 2.200 permanent residents and their main occupation is agriculture and tourism. Antimachia is an ancient settlement and its name has been unchanged for over three thousand years. Here you can see a lot of beautiful and interesting sights the most important of which is the «House of Antimachia», a good representation of the traditional house of the early 20th century. Exactly opposite to the house you will find the “Milos tou Papa” (the priest’s mill) an old traditional windmill. 4 kilometres North-eastern from the village, via a good dirt road, you can visit the ruins of the Medieval Castle (14th century) of the order of the Knights of St. John, who also dominated Rhodes Island. There you can see its external strong walls that are saved in a good condition, a lot of castle-houses and water tanks of those ages. Also in the inner part of the castle you can see the old churches of Agios Nikolaos (16th century) and of Agia Paraskevi (18th century), both of them well enough preserved. Antimachia has an ancient history and a beautiful environment to offer to her visitors, but is also famous for the openhearted locals who live up to their reputation of many years ago as being very good dancers and singers. It is important to point out that the village has some of the best folk musicians in Greece. Also the taverns in Antichmachia are famous all over the island for their souvlakia.

Mastichari

22 kilometers away from Kos town and 3 km away from Antimachia, Mastichari is waiting to be discovered; a little fishing village with a long sumptuous sandy beach and a great view of Kalymnos from the traditional restaurants. Its small port links Kos to Kalymnos which is exactly on the opposite side and its beach is now a modern tourist resort.

One of Mastichari’s main characteristic features are the ruins of the old, Early Christian Basilica with its beautiful mosaic floor only a short distance from sea. In Mastichari visitors apart from peace and quiet can also find good food served at the very popular fish taverns which are only 20-30 meters from the beach and offer fresh fish and many delicious seafood dishes. The beaches are characterized by white sand and turquoise waters which create the impression of being in an exotic place, just like the ones you find in the Pacific Ocean.

Visitors can have a swim, enjoy the sun and have lots of fun at the various water sports available in this well organized beach. Due to the big waves Mastichari’s waters are ideal for windsurfing. The beach is also popular for its beautiful sunset view, which is claimed to be the best on the island.

Kardamena

Kardamena is a little coastal town, approximately 28 km away from Kos town.Houses and other constructions have been built along the beach and the surrounding area is very beautiful, full of cultivations, trees and greenery. The natural environment attracts many visitors and the small port part of this town connects Kos to Nissyros island. In Kardamena you can admire the old restored building that today houses a Rural Medical Office and see the churches of Agia Varvara, Agion Anargiron and Panagia. Kardamena is built on the area of the ancient city of Alasarna, which used to be an important ritual centre during the Classical Period. The ruins brought to light from archaeological excavations include a sanctuary dedicated to Apollo and Hercules, a marble temple dating back to the 3rd century B.C., a theatre, some Roman constructions and the ruins of a Christian basilica temple dedicated to Agia Theotita (Saint Divinity). The area offers many accommodation alternatives and good food at the numerous fish taverns, traditional taverns and restaurants with Greek and European cuisine as well as many bars and clubs. Swimming, sunbathing and water sports take place on Kardamena’s long sandy beach. There is also an excursion boat, departing daily to Agia Irini, known for its thermal springs and its therapeutic waters.

Zia

The small charming village is located picturesquely 17 km southeast of Kos in the mountainside of Dikeos, hidden among the plane trees and running waters. It is situated close to the Asfendiou village, just 2 km from the south. Zia is regarded as a pole of attraction for many visitors, both tourists and locals. The village offers a magnificent view from the mountain. Before arriving at the small settlement, visitors can admire three churches that were built on the slopes of Dikeos Mountain. It is worth taking a walk around the village or a short walk towards the mountain, the highest point of Kos island. There are plenty of traditional shops and great taverns with an interesting variety of local & Greek dishes. When sitting in one of these traditional restaurants, the beautiful sunset together with the amazing view to the islands of Pserimos and Kalymnos waits to be seen.

Kefalos

The beautiful village of Kefalos is located on the west coast of the island (43 km away from Kos town) and built on a hill. In ancient times Kefalos was the capital of the island and today it counts some 2.500 permanent residents. The houses here are built so close one to another that the narrow streets created emphasize the traditional architectural features of most Greek islands, which invite you to make a tour in the history and life of the place. One of the most interesting buildings is the traditional house, a folk museum which includes a representation of the villages’ agricultural life back then and next to it completing the scenery is a traditional windmill. The ruins of the old castle can be found just next to the main village. There are several accommodation options in Kefalos and the food is good everywhere, especially the local sweets made from honey. The organized beach lies in front of the settlement with the coldest yet truly crystalline shallow waters. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of Kos and definitely the most famous one.

History

According to Greek mythology Kos is the sacred land of Asclepius, son of Apollon (the god of healing) and the princess Coronis of Tricca. Kos is also known throughout the world as the birthplace of Hippocrates. Hippocrates of Kos (ca. 460 BC – ca. 370 BC) was an ancient Greek physician of the Age of Pericles (Classical Athens), and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. He is referred to as the Western father of medicine in recognition of his lasting contributions to the field and because until he rescued it from the priests and charlatans, it was not a science but practice of magic and sorcery. He introduced and systematically classified new methods for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, and described conditions, which are today named for modern scientists. The Hippocratic Oath established his as the greatest medical Mind of the time, and the Oath is considered the most significant of his writings.

Kos Island (Meropis in ancient times) has been inhabited since Neolithic times. Originally colonized by the Carians, it was when the Dorians came in the 11th century B.C. the Persians invaded. The people of Kos were forced to doing Persian forces against Greece in the 5th century BC, but that changed after the Persians were defeated at the battle of Salamis. After that, Kos was a full member of the Delian League and the island was prospering under its democratic constitution, especially after the building of their beautiful new city in 366 B.C., where the modern city is now situated. Kos again prospered under the rule of Alexander the Great. Unfortunately, during the period of the Roman Empire, its libraries and other treasures were looted. St. Paul the Apostle visited the island on one of his missions, and some of the earliest churches of Greece were built here - you can still see the ruins of a couple of these. Unfortunately most ancient and Christian buildings were destroyed in a big earthquake in AD 535. With the exception of many pirate raids, Kos flourished during the Byzantine era .Later conquered by the Genovese and the Venetians who ruled during the 12th century, Kos was sold to the Knights of Saint John in 1315, who reinforced the older castles and built new fortifications. Two hundred years later the Knights faced the threat of a Turkish invasion and abandoned the island to the Ottoman Empire in 1523, massacres and harsh treatment of the people followed. The Turkish occupation lasted for almost 400 years until it was transferred to Italy in 1912. During this period some really important, monumental public buildings were constructed. In World War II, the island was taken over by the Axis powers. It was occupied by Italian troops until the Italian surrender in 1943. British and German forces then clashed for control of the island in the Battle of Kos, in which the Germans were victorious. German troops occupied the island until 1945, when it became a protectorate of the United Kingdom who ceded it to Greece in 1948. In addition to these manmade disasters, Kos also faced some natural ones. Catastrophic earthquakes occurred here in 142, 469, 535, 554 and 1933.

Gastronomy

Kos is an island which offers unique gastronomical enjoyments. In Kos the Greek Mediterranean cuisine is followed, that is based on meat, fish, vegetables, olive oil and pastas, in combination with local traditional recipes. The menu in the restaurants offers a big variety of dishes with meat, vegetables, cheeses and seafood (delicious dishes with fresh fish, prawns, squids, lobsters etc…). Last but not least there are the sweets, mainly made with honey, and the good quality of wine and ouzo. There are many interesting local recipes for food and pastries which women of Kos usually make for large religious celebrations. The most characteristic recipes are listed below:

  • Pitarridia: lasagna which is boiled in meat broth
  • Varvara: boiled wheat with honey, sugar, almonds, nuts, raisins, pomegranate, cinnamon, rose water, orange zest and some spices
  • Katimeria: twisted fried cheese pie with mizithra cheese and is served with honey and cinnamon
  • Giaourtlou: fried vegetables with yoghurt sauce
  • Xismata: wheaten bread kneaded with grated mizithra cheese and flavorings
  • Afrena or Eftazima: flavored breads, the yeast for which is made of boiled chick peas foam and bay leaves
  • Kousafi: boiled black raisin with different flavorings
  • Lazari: white bread that people bake in human shape
  • Labropites: large round cheese pies kneaded with many eggs and a little yeast, stuffed with fresh unsalted mizithra cheese
  • Kokkino tiri (red cheese): cheese which locals leave to bake in red wine(also called tiri tis posas or krasotiri)
  • Pligouri: ground wheat cooked with pork
  • Kanelada: drink made of cinnamon
  • Gluko tou koutaliou: spoon sweet especially from tomato is made in Kos
  • Sarsoymades: local traditional sweet with honey

Highlights / Things to see

  • Asclepion
    The Asclepion is undoubtedly the most important monument on Kos, the oldest and most famous centre of healing in the ancient world. It is until today that the Hippocratic Oath is heard every summer at the temple of Asclepion, spoken in Ancient Greek. The Asclepion is placed 4 km to the south-east of the town of Kos beyond Platani village. It dates from the first half of the 3rd century BC and it was built to honour the god of health and medicine, Asclepius, after the death of the most famous ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, the father of medicine. The characteristic symbol of this institution was a snake, as Greeks honoured this animal due to its ability in terms of selecting curative herbs; and it can still be seen. The physicians of this hospital were also priests and a sanctuary was available for everyone who wanted to pray. Thanks to the steep terrain, the Asclepion spreads out over four interconnected levels, the so-called Andira. Despite the changes caused on the structure by the earthquakes, it is easy to tell apart the different rooms that were part of this building. The first terrace is enclosed by a portico with the shape of a "Π" (Greek letter P), which leaves the south side open. This portico is said to hold a medical school, although this is not proven. On its east side there is a complex of Roman baths, dating from the 3rd century AD and with some porticoes as well, which used to have precincts for the patients and their families. The second terrace holds the oldest structure of this construction, the ruins of an altar dating from the 4th century BC. To the south can be found an area called “Avato”, where patients expected to see Asclepius’ apparition, in order to cure them during their dreams. To the left and the right of the altar, the ruins of two smaller temples lay as well. There are also some restored columns belonging to the Ionic Temple of Apollo (II Century BC). Finally, on the third terrace, the remains of the Doric Temple of Asclepion, dating from the 2nd century BC as well, can be seen. Asclepion‘s centre also holds a church dedicated to Panagia Tarsou, built during the early Christian period. This period may have influenced the disuse of the Asclepion in the sense that it was never reconstructed after the earthquake, as it has many idolatry elements. What remains from this church is just a capital with the initials ICXP, meaning ‘Jesus Christ’. The Asclepion is located on the top of a verdant hill filled with cypress trees and offers a magnificent view of the surrounding area, namely Kos town and it suburbs, the Aegean and the coasts of Asia Minor. The serene atmosphere and even the joyful vibe that it transmits are enjoyed by tourists in our days, just like it happened with patients in the past centuries.
  • Casa romana
    Casa Romana, which means the “Roman House”, is an important excavation area. This Roman villa shows the architectural style that dominated on the island in the Hellenistic and the Roman Times. It is a beautiful mansion with a style similar to the buildings found in Pompeii, with 36 rooms and 3 atriums or internal courtyards. Each courtyard has its own cistern (sort of swimming pool) and a plethora of adornments. It dates back to the third century and was built on the ruins of another house of the Hellenistic period, where wonderful mosaics were discovered. The Italian archaeologist Luciano Laurenzi has discovered the house in 1933 and the Italians who restored the house gave it the name Casa Romana. Ruins of the thermal baths were found outside the house towards the east by the same archaeologist after the big earthquake of 1933.
  • The Roman Odeon
    The ancient Odeon found at Kos was built by the Romans around the 2nd and the 3rd centuries. It was found in the early 20th century along with the Gymnasium and the Roman baths, all of them in general good condition. The construction of this amphitheatre was based on vaulted arcades and inside these arcades some valuable and ancient statues were found, including the one of Hippocrates, which is now housed in the museum in Kos Town.
  • The plane tree of Hippocrates in Kos
    In the centre of Kos town in front of the Castle of the Knights stands a huge old plane tree, known as the ‘Hippocrates plane tree’, with a perimeter of twelve meters. According to legend the Hippocrates plane tree was planted by this famous Greek physician, who used its shade to teach his students at this place. The current tree is only about 500 years old, but may possibly be a descendant of the original tree which allegedly stood there 2400 years ago, in Hippocrates' time. On this site, cultural festivals are held each summer.
  • The Castle of Antimachia in Kos
    On a small hill above Antimachia village, to the south of Kos Town, there is a Venetian Castle that is known as the Castle of Antimachia. Its construction started in the 14th century by the Order of the Knights of Saint John but works were intensified in the end of the 15th century, as it can be seen at an inscription above the main gate which has the date 1494 engraved on it. This is about the same period of the construction of Nerantzia Castle in Kos Town. The external fortifications of the Castle stand strong till today, although they have suffered numerous attacks throughout the many centuries. The only entrance to the Castle is found on its northern side and it is protected by double gates. Above the entrance, there is the symbol of the Knights engraved in marble. Inside the Castle, there are not many things to see apart from two Venetian churches, the church of Agios Nikolaos dating from the 16th century and the church of Agia Paraskevi, built in the early 18th century. Some remains of cisterns and houses also survive but there are not in very good state, as you can only see their foundations. From the Castle, you can have great views of the surrounding area and the sea.
  • Castle of the Knights / Neratzia Castle
    The impressive castle of the Knights of the Order of Saint John is situated at the entrance of Kos harbour on what used to be an island in antiquity, communicating with the inland through a bridge, that one can still see today namely the bridge of “Phoinikon" (Palm Trees) Avenue. The castle consists of two defensive precincts. The interior one has four circular towers in the corners; the south-eastern tower forms part of the exterior precinct, which is larger than the first, with massive bastions on the four corners, battlements and gun ports. The two precincts are separated by a large moat and communicate with a drawbridge. The castle was built of local stone as well as with remains of ancient constructions. It still shows a number of blazons on the masonry, some columns, bases and architraves from the ruins of the ancient city. On the upper part of its masonry, one can see many blazons. Over the main gate one can see a Hellenistic frieze with masks and garlands. On the gates ceiling (central gate, Carmadino gate) there are basalt columns placed obliquely, which come probably from the early Christian basilica of Limen. This fortress, along with the castles of Rhodes City and Bodrum, was the most stalwart defense of the Knights against the Ottomans. It was first built during the 14th century, and used to have massive outer walls and an inner keep. It was damaged in 1495 by an earthquake and was restored by two Grand Masters of the Knights during the 16th century.
  • Therma beach
    Therma is located after Psalidi at a distance of about 10 km from the center of Kos town towards the southeast direction to Agios Fokas. Therma means hot in Greek and the beach is named because of a spring with hot water coming from the mountain. The beach is covered with small dark stones and the exact location with the spring water is surrounded with big stones. Water is quite shallow and visitors can sit there and relax. There are also leaking bubbles from the ground, it is kind of a natural whirlpool. Therma is ideal for treating rheumatic diseases, arthritis and gynecological problems since the hot springs water contains elements such as Potassium, Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, Sulfur and Chlorine. It was discovered in 1934 by Italian archaeologist Laurenzi and the beach attracts a great number of tourists every year.
  • Paradise beach
    Paradise Beach is one of the most famous beaches on Kos Island, located around 7 km just before reaching Kefalos Village. It truly is a paradise beach with fine white sand and crystal clear waters. It is extremely well organized, with sunbeds, umbrellas, water sports and restaurants with fresh fish, Greek and international cuisine. There is no chance of not visiting this beach when spending holidays on Kos Island. Even the locals, the first chance they get they’re off to Paradise Beach.

Events

Kos is an island which offers unique gastronomical enjoyments. In Kos the Greek Mediterranean cuisine is followed, that is based on meat, fish, vegetables, olive oil and pastas, in combination with local traditional recipes. The menu in the restaurants offers a big variety of dishes with meat, vegetables, cheeses and seafood (delicious dishes with fresh fish, prawns, squids, lobsters etc…). Last but not least there are the sweets, mainly made with honey, and the good quality of wine and ouzo. There are many interesting local recipes for food and pastries which women of Kos usually make for large religious celebrations. The most characteristic recipes are listed below:

  • Honey festival
    The highlight of all festivals in Kos is the “Giorti tou Meliou” (Honey Festival), taking place on 24th of August in the village of Antimachia and apart from dancing, singing and enjoying oneself, you also have the chance to taste and buy very good honey from the area, along with a variety of different sweets, all honey-based.
  • Hippocratia festival
    Every summer from July through mid-September Kos hosts the Hippocrates Festival, a cultural event organized by the municipalities of Kos which entertains the crowd of summertime tourists. Outdoor concerts, live music & folklore dance, movie screenings, contemporary art exhibitions and theatrical performances enliven venues such as the Castle of the Knights and the Odeon. The festival also includes activities for children.
Islands Cruise

Islands Cruise

The cruise starts from Kos harbor and takes place on a traditional wooden boat (kaiki).Docking at the attractive harbor town of Pothia, on the famous sponge island of Kalymnos, you will be mesmerized by the tiny colored houses, arranged on the hillside, with life in the port bustling below.

You will have the chance to see for yourselves how natural sponges are processed and learn the history and techniques of local sponge fishermen. Second port of call will be at the deserted island of Plati, where you can enjoy a swim in the crystal clear waters, whilst lunch, your sumptuous BBQ is being prepared either on board or on the beach.

Finally docking at the rocky island of Pserimos, where you can indulge on the long sandy shores gently shelving into the blue crystal sea or have a drink in one of the small, friendly traditional cafes.

 

Type of excursion: Boat / Landscape Full day
Should take: Swimming suit, sun protection, comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Kalymnos 2 hours
Pserimos 1½ hours
Plati 1½ hours
Remarks: BBQ or lunch in a tavern is included in the price. Drinks are not included
Boat trip to Nissyros Island

Boat trip to Nissyros Island

Cruising around the coastline of Kos you will catch your first glimpse of the magical island of Nissyros. Stepping onto our coach, you’ll be passing the most spectacular scenery you will ever encounter. Deep down the mouth of the volcano you will feel the force of the lava rumbling beneath your feet, witness the bubbling mud pools and steam geezers. Altogether one may think one has landed on the moon.

On the way back and at the altitude of 50m there is the Monastery of ”The Virgin Mary of the Cave” where you can marvel at its splendour and enjoy the superb view along the east side of the island. The excursion ends with a lunch in one of the traditional taverns and a walk in the harbor town of Mandraki, with its narrow cobbled windy streets and two-storey, white houses with pebbled doorsteps and colorful wooden balconies.

Type of excursion: Boat / Landscape Full day
Should take: Swimming suit, sun protection, comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Nissyros Island 4 hours
Mandraki beach 5-6 hours
Remark: Lunch is not included.
Greek evening

Greek evening

A traditional Greek night in Kos style! Well, here you are in Greece and there's nothing like a traditional Greek night when it comes to fun. And this particular night really hits the spot. In the pretty village of Zia, this venue is a great place to capture the sunset and you'll have time to potter around and take in the view before the evening gets started.

Sit down to a delicious traditional Greek meal and after a while a bouzouki band and costumed dancers will take to the floor. Great fun!

Type of excursion: Folklore - Half day
Should take: : Comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Fantasia restaurant 4 hours
Remark: Dinner and wine are included in price. The event takes place in “Fantasia” outdoor restaurant. At the beginning and end of the season, the Greek night takes place at the “New Fantasia” Indoor restaurant because of weather conditions.
Kos Island Tour

Kos Island Tour

This is the perfect way to discover all that the island has to offer, in just one day. Our air-conditioned coach invites you to explore the natural beauty of Kos. You will spend the day learning all about the history, mythology and experience the traditional way of life. Our journey starts from the Hippokrates’ Plane tree, where according to legend; the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates taught and practiced medicine.

Just in front of the tree is the mediaeval castle, built in 1748 by the knights of St. John. The next visit is to the Asclepeion of Kos, the Temple dedicated to Asclepeios, the God of health in ancient Greece. Our journey continues and takes you to traditional villages such as the mountain village of Zia where the locals will welcome you with open arms.

 

There will be time for a short coffee break, for shopping in the small traditional shops and for a walk through the village. Then we will visit the traditional house of Kos in Antimachia village, situated in the middle of the island, as well as the windmill which is still in use nowadays.

Onwards you will have the chance to visit other holiday resorts such as Kefalos village, where there will be time for a swim and to have lunch in one of the seaside tavernas, and Kardamena where you can take a coffee break or take a walk along the harbor and the small streets of the village. Overall this will be an unforgettable day out uncovering the hidden secrets of the island, with wonderful snapshots memories.

Type of excursion: Boat / City tour - Full day
Should take: Swimming suit, sun protection, comfortable shoes, camera.

Stops Approximate time of stay
Asklepeios of Kos 1 hour
Zia 45 min.
Antimachia 45 min.
Kefalos 2 hours
Kardamena 1 hour
Turkey – Bodrum

Turkey – Bodrum

A holiday in Kos is not complete without visiting the nearby continent of Turkey. A ferry journey takes you to the harbor town of Bodrum, a town nestled into the hillside and famous for its majestic castle that stands guard over the picturesque marina. You will have free time to go around for shopping, to visit the castle or the mausoleum.

Bodrum is where you are invited to barter to your heart’s content, for bargain hunters and barterer’s. Most likely the Turkish shop owners will entice you to their wares along with the traditional drink of apple tea. Should you prefer, why not relax and unwind in a Turkish bath or with a Turkish massage!

Type of excursion: Folklore - Half day
Should take: Swimming suit, sun protection, comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Bodrum 5 hours
Remark: Lunch is not included. Passport details must be advised from the day before.
City Tour

City Tour

The guided tour of the city of Kos and its monuments starts passing through the “Toll Gate” entrance, the central gate of the ancient city Wall, this leads, through the ancient “agora “ to the square of Hippokrate’s Plane Tree, the oldest tree in Europe.

The “trip” in the World of Hippocrates takes about an hour and there then follows the tour to the “West excavation zone”. There are the foundations of the ancient gymnastic ground “Xysto”, so named because the athletes coated themselves with olive oil before the games and scraped it off afterwards. The “Thermes”, the roman public baths, the “Early Christian Basilica”.

Stops Approximate time of stay
Old Town of Kos (walking) 1 hour
Hippocrate’s Tree + free time 2 hours
Fishing excursion

Fishing excursion

A boat trip with Captain John and his crew! A unique experience that will take you on the coastal sea of Kefalos. The captain and his crew will sail you towards “Sarakinos Beach”, unreachable by road where you will get to experience the crystal clear sea water to dive in or swim, followed by a delicious beach BBQ for lunch. You will have plenty of time to relax in the peaceful surrounding nature. Excursion is a must for all ages and especially for families with children.

Should take: Swimming suit, sun protection, camera
 

KOS

KOS – The Island of Hippocrates

Kos, the island of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, distinguishes for her rich history, the untold beauty and the culture of her residents. It is one of Greece’s most popular islands and has so many interesting places to discover that the visitor's needs are almost entirely covered; endless coasts with turquoise waters, appealing mountain villages, excellent touristy infrastructure, verdant landscape, affluent water springs, superb sandy beaches of various sizes and colours, ancient and medieval monuments and impressive Italian buildings along with the vivid nightlife which is also one of the island’s major attractions. The glorious past reaches back to more than 3000 years. The Asklepeion (said to be the world’s first hospital) numerous castles, ancient temples, old theatres and the Ancient Market remain throughout the centuries witnesses of the glory and fame Kos has known. Kos is a place where antiquity and modern civilisation find themselves in perfect harmony. Monuments of the past await your discovery and admiration while Kos of the present waits to live the carefree life of summer in Greece, to enjoy the sun, the sea & the atmosphere.

Geography

Kos belongs to the complex of Dodecanese (meaning 12 islands in Greek), is third in size after Rhodes and Karpathos and is the greenest and most fertile island of the group. It lies in the middle of the archipelago between the islands of Nissyros and Kalymnos, very close to the coasts of Asia Minor. It is long and narrow in shape, mostly flat with two low mountains running along its southern coast. The highest is Mount Dikeon, rising at an altitude of 875 meters, and the other is Mount Simpatro. Kos extends over a surface of 290 square kilometers, has a coastline that stretches to 112 kilometers and a population of about 31,000 inhabitants. The shores are gently caressed by the waters of the Karpathian Sea. The coastline is full of golden beaches and many islets are found opposite the coasts, such as Kastri islet opposite Kefalos beach. The mainland of Kos is verdant and incredibly fertile, blessed with rich soil and abundant ground water. It is a Greek province which also includes the smaller islands of Nissyros, Giali, Pergoussa, Kandeliousa, Pahia and Strogili.

Main destinations

Kos Town

Kos town, the enchanting capital of the island, with its wide paved avenues, neoclassic buildings, the profusion of greenery, the long alleys of palm trees, the picturesque harbour and the many archaeological sites in and around the town create a strong impression. The city is located on the north eastern part of the island and is a beautiful blend of ancient, medieval and modern architecture. When entering the harbour of Kos town the imposing medieval Castle of Neratzia (the Castle of the Knights of St. John) is bound to draw your attention. This castle is connected to the mainland by a bridge that crosses the beautiful Palm Tree Avenue, the same one that connects the Castle to the Platanos, the large plane tree under which Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, used to teach. The city also has a cathedral, one of only four in the entire Dodecanese. The town of Kos was founded in 366 BC, in the same area where modern Kos nowadays is to be found. It climaxed during the Hellenistic and Roman periods, being a crossroad between civilizations, between East and West, the meeting point for both culture and trade. Its public market was of great fame during the antiquity and still is thriving in our days.

Countless monuments of the past wait to be discovered and admired such as ancient walls, ancient temples, small sanctuaries, the ancient agora (market), the Roman amphitheatre, Byzantine churches, hot baths and much more testify to the grandeur of bygone eras. The Municipality of Kos is preserving the historic centre by trying to turn it into an exclusively pedestrian district.

Walk in the streets of the town, meet with the past and look towards the future viewing the Aegean Sea. Relax in the coffee houses of Kountourioti Coast, fill your sight with the town’s exotic beauty and then have the time of your life in the nightclubs, which transform the town into a hot spot during the night. All in all, Kos is a modern town equipped to fulfil the needs of its inhabitants and visitors but the respect for its history and heritage is clearly evident everywhere.

Tigaki

Tigaki is a relatively small laid-back resort with superb stretches of sandy beach which has undertaken a lot of development during the last decades. It is situated on the north coast of Kos, just a few kilometres from bustling Kos Town. The natural environment in Tigaki is impressive and calming, with lots of green all around and many plants and colourful flowers that decorate the landscape. The long white sandy beach extending over 10 kilometres with crystalline shallow waters is ideal for swimming (also for young children) or sunbathing. The sand shelves gently into the sea and there is usually an onshore breeze to cool things down. The various accommodation alternatives close to the beach and in the surrounding area, along with a very peaceful, traffic-free environment made Tigaki one of the most popular destinations on the island and its main street is lined with a plethora of bars, restaurants, shops and tavernas.

Marmari

Marmari is a little fishing settlement famous for its endless sandy beach with crystal blue waters, located 5 kilometers away from the picturesque village of Pyli and 15 kilometers from Kos town. The well organized beach is comparatively quieter than the beaches found in other resorts, making it an ideal destination for windsurfing. Various traditional taverns, restaurants, accommodation and cafes are waiting to welcome visitors in a fine surrounding.

Pily

A village, located approximately 17 kilometers away from Kos town. In the past its name was “Peli” and it is built in the centre of the island, below the mountain in a verdant area, with big olive trees and lots of green. The beautiful traditionally built stone houses, counting a few hundreds, surround the central square along with the traditional coffeehouses and the small taverns complete Pyli’s daily life. Here you can find the Pyliotiko Spiti (Pyli’s House) an old house with three rooms, where the kitchen, the living room and the bedroom are still preserved just as they were in the past, with original furniture and little things, as left by its owners 70 years ago. At a distance of 100 meters from the house there is a spring of cool water, flowing from 6 fountains and right beside the spring, you will see the ancient vaults, which, according to tradition, are related to the local hero of the island. Pily is very famous for its fountain and people say that the water coming out of the spring could heal illnesses. Right next to the small church Stavros (Holy Cross) stands the impressive Charmilion, a complex of burials dated to the Hellenistic period and also related to the worship of the local hero and his descendants.

Antimachia

The lovely village of Antimachia lies 23 kilometers south west of Kos town and 3 kilometers south of Mastichari and 1 km away from the airport. Its traditional character is completed by its position built on the mid part of a plateau. The village has around 2.200 permanent residents and their main occupation is agriculture and tourism. Antimachia is an ancient settlement and its name has been unchanged for over three thousand years. Here you can see a lot of beautiful and interesting sights the most important of which is the «House of Antimachia», a good representation of the traditional house of the early 20th century. Exactly opposite to the house you will find the “Milos tou Papa” (the priest’s mill) an old traditional windmill. 4 kilometres North-eastern from the village, via a good dirt road, you can visit the ruins of the Medieval Castle (14th century) of the order of the Knights of St. John, who also dominated Rhodes Island. There you can see its external strong walls that are saved in a good condition, a lot of castle-houses and water tanks of those ages. Also in the inner part of the castle you can see the old churches of Agios Nikolaos (16th century) and of Agia Paraskevi (18th century), both of them well enough preserved. Antimachia has an ancient history and a beautiful environment to offer to her visitors, but is also famous for the openhearted locals who live up to their reputation of many years ago as being very good dancers and singers. It is important to point out that the village has some of the best folk musicians in Greece. Also the taverns in Antichmachia are famous all over the island for their souvlakia.

Mastichari

22 kilometers away from Kos town and 3 km away from Antimachia, Mastichari is waiting to be discovered; a little fishing village with a long sumptuous sandy beach and a great view of Kalymnos from the traditional restaurants. Its small port links Kos to Kalymnos which is exactly on the opposite side and its beach is now a modern tourist resort.

One of Mastichari’s main characteristic features are the ruins of the old, Early Christian Basilica with its beautiful mosaic floor only a short distance from sea. In Mastichari visitors apart from peace and quiet can also find good food served at the very popular fish taverns which are only 20-30 meters from the beach and offer fresh fish and many delicious seafood dishes. The beaches are characterized by white sand and turquoise waters which create the impression of being in an exotic place, just like the ones you find in the Pacific Ocean.

Visitors can have a swim, enjoy the sun and have lots of fun at the various water sports available in this well organized beach. Due to the big waves Mastichari’s waters are ideal for windsurfing. The beach is also popular for its beautiful sunset view, which is claimed to be the best on the island.

Kardamena

Kardamena is a little coastal town, approximately 28 km away from Kos town.Houses and other constructions have been built along the beach and the surrounding area is very beautiful, full of cultivations, trees and greenery. The natural environment attracts many visitors and the small port part of this town connects Kos to Nissyros island. In Kardamena you can admire the old restored building that today houses a Rural Medical Office and see the churches of Agia Varvara, Agion Anargiron and Panagia. Kardamena is built on the area of the ancient city of Alasarna, which used to be an important ritual centre during the Classical Period. The ruins brought to light from archaeological excavations include a sanctuary dedicated to Apollo and Hercules, a marble temple dating back to the 3rd century B.C., a theatre, some Roman constructions and the ruins of a Christian basilica temple dedicated to Agia Theotita (Saint Divinity). The area offers many accommodation alternatives and good food at the numerous fish taverns, traditional taverns and restaurants with Greek and European cuisine as well as many bars and clubs. Swimming, sunbathing and water sports take place on Kardamena’s long sandy beach. There is also an excursion boat, departing daily to Agia Irini, known for its thermal springs and its therapeutic waters.

Zia

The small charming village is located picturesquely 17 km southeast of Kos in the mountainside of Dikeos, hidden among the plane trees and running waters. It is situated close to the Asfendiou village, just 2 km from the south. Zia is regarded as a pole of attraction for many visitors, both tourists and locals. The village offers a magnificent view from the mountain. Before arriving at the small settlement, visitors can admire three churches that were built on the slopes of Dikeos Mountain. It is worth taking a walk around the village or a short walk towards the mountain, the highest point of Kos island. There are plenty of traditional shops and great taverns with an interesting variety of local & Greek dishes. When sitting in one of these traditional restaurants, the beautiful sunset together with the amazing view to the islands of Pserimos and Kalymnos waits to be seen.

Kefalos

The beautiful village of Kefalos is located on the west coast of the island (43 km away from Kos town) and built on a hill. In ancient times Kefalos was the capital of the island and today it counts some 2.500 permanent residents. The houses here are built so close one to another that the narrow streets created emphasize the traditional architectural features of most Greek islands, which invite you to make a tour in the history and life of the place. One of the most interesting buildings is the traditional house, a folk museum which includes a representation of the villages’ agricultural life back then and next to it completing the scenery is a traditional windmill. The ruins of the old castle can be found just next to the main village. There are several accommodation options in Kefalos and the food is good everywhere, especially the local sweets made from honey. The organized beach lies in front of the settlement with the coldest yet truly crystalline shallow waters. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of Kos and definitely the most famous one.

History

According to Greek mythology Kos is the sacred land of Asclepius, son of Apollon (the god of healing) and the princess Coronis of Tricca. Kos is also known throughout the world as the birthplace of Hippocrates. Hippocrates of Kos (ca. 460 BC – ca. 370 BC) was an ancient Greek physician of the Age of Pericles (Classical Athens), and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. He is referred to as the Western father of medicine in recognition of his lasting contributions to the field and because until he rescued it from the priests and charlatans, it was not a science but practice of magic and sorcery. He introduced and systematically classified new methods for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, and described conditions, which are today named for modern scientists. The Hippocratic Oath established his as the greatest medical Mind of the time, and the Oath is considered the most significant of his writings.

Kos Island (Meropis in ancient times) has been inhabited since Neolithic times. Originally colonized by the Carians, it was when the Dorians came in the 11th century B.C. the Persians invaded. The people of Kos were forced to doing Persian forces against Greece in the 5th century BC, but that changed after the Persians were defeated at the battle of Salamis. After that, Kos was a full member of the Delian League and the island was prospering under its democratic constitution, especially after the building of their beautiful new city in 366 B.C., where the modern city is now situated. Kos again prospered under the rule of Alexander the Great. Unfortunately, during the period of the Roman Empire, its libraries and other treasures were looted. St. Paul the Apostle visited the island on one of his missions, and some of the earliest churches of Greece were built here - you can still see the ruins of a couple of these. Unfortunately most ancient and Christian buildings were destroyed in a big earthquake in AD 535. With the exception of many pirate raids, Kos flourished during the Byzantine era .Later conquered by the Genovese and the Venetians who ruled during the 12th century, Kos was sold to the Knights of Saint John in 1315, who reinforced the older castles and built new fortifications. Two hundred years later the Knights faced the threat of a Turkish invasion and abandoned the island to the Ottoman Empire in 1523, massacres and harsh treatment of the people followed. The Turkish occupation lasted for almost 400 years until it was transferred to Italy in 1912. During this period some really important, monumental public buildings were constructed. In World War II, the island was taken over by the Axis powers. It was occupied by Italian troops until the Italian surrender in 1943. British and German forces then clashed for control of the island in the Battle of Kos, in which the Germans were victorious. German troops occupied the island until 1945, when it became a protectorate of the United Kingdom who ceded it to Greece in 1948. In addition to these manmade disasters, Kos also faced some natural ones. Catastrophic earthquakes occurred here in 142, 469, 535, 554 and 1933.

Gastronomy

Kos is an island which offers unique gastronomical enjoyments. In Kos the Greek Mediterranean cuisine is followed, that is based on meat, fish, vegetables, olive oil and pastas, in combination with local traditional recipes. The menu in the restaurants offers a big variety of dishes with meat, vegetables, cheeses and seafood (delicious dishes with fresh fish, prawns, squids, lobsters etc…). Last but not least there are the sweets, mainly made with honey, and the good quality of wine and ouzo. There are many interesting local recipes for food and pastries which women of Kos usually make for large religious celebrations. The most characteristic recipes are listed below:

  • Pitarridia: lasagna which is boiled in meat broth
  • Varvara: boiled wheat with honey, sugar, almonds, nuts, raisins, pomegranate, cinnamon, rose water, orange zest and some spices
  • Katimeria: twisted fried cheese pie with mizithra cheese and is served with honey and cinnamon
  • Giaourtlou: fried vegetables with yoghurt sauce
  • Xismata: wheaten bread kneaded with grated mizithra cheese and flavorings
  • Afrena or Eftazima: flavored breads, the yeast for which is made of boiled chick peas foam and bay leaves
  • Kousafi: boiled black raisin with different flavorings
  • Lazari: white bread that people bake in human shape
  • Labropites: large round cheese pies kneaded with many eggs and a little yeast, stuffed with fresh unsalted mizithra cheese
  • Kokkino tiri (red cheese): cheese which locals leave to bake in red wine(also called tiri tis posas or krasotiri)
  • Pligouri: ground wheat cooked with pork
  • Kanelada: drink made of cinnamon
  • Gluko tou koutaliou: spoon sweet especially from tomato is made in Kos
  • Sarsoymades: local traditional sweet with honey

Highlights / Things to see

  • Asclepion
    The Asclepion is undoubtedly the most important monument on Kos, the oldest and most famous centre of healing in the ancient world. It is until today that the Hippocratic Oath is heard every summer at the temple of Asclepion, spoken in Ancient Greek. The Asclepion is placed 4 km to the south-east of the town of Kos beyond Platani village. It dates from the first half of the 3rd century BC and it was built to honour the god of health and medicine, Asclepius, after the death of the most famous ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, the father of medicine. The characteristic symbol of this institution was a snake, as Greeks honoured this animal due to its ability in terms of selecting curative herbs; and it can still be seen. The physicians of this hospital were also priests and a sanctuary was available for everyone who wanted to pray. Thanks to the steep terrain, the Asclepion spreads out over four interconnected levels, the so-called Andira. Despite the changes caused on the structure by the earthquakes, it is easy to tell apart the different rooms that were part of this building. The first terrace is enclosed by a portico with the shape of a "Π" (Greek letter P), which leaves the south side open. This portico is said to hold a medical school, although this is not proven. On its east side there is a complex of Roman baths, dating from the 3rd century AD and with some porticoes as well, which used to have precincts for the patients and their families. The second terrace holds the oldest structure of this construction, the ruins of an altar dating from the 4th century BC. To the south can be found an area called “Avato”, where patients expected to see Asclepius’ apparition, in order to cure them during their dreams. To the left and the right of the altar, the ruins of two smaller temples lay as well. There are also some restored columns belonging to the Ionic Temple of Apollo (II Century BC). Finally, on the third terrace, the remains of the Doric Temple of Asclepion, dating from the 2nd century BC as well, can be seen. Asclepion‘s centre also holds a church dedicated to Panagia Tarsou, built during the early Christian period. This period may have influenced the disuse of the Asclepion in the sense that it was never reconstructed after the earthquake, as it has many idolatry elements. What remains from this church is just a capital with the initials ICXP, meaning ‘Jesus Christ’. The Asclepion is located on the top of a verdant hill filled with cypress trees and offers a magnificent view of the surrounding area, namely Kos town and it suburbs, the Aegean and the coasts of Asia Minor. The serene atmosphere and even the joyful vibe that it transmits are enjoyed by tourists in our days, just like it happened with patients in the past centuries.
  • Casa romana
    Casa Romana, which means the “Roman House”, is an important excavation area. This Roman villa shows the architectural style that dominated on the island in the Hellenistic and the Roman Times. It is a beautiful mansion with a style similar to the buildings found in Pompeii, with 36 rooms and 3 atriums or internal courtyards. Each courtyard has its own cistern (sort of swimming pool) and a plethora of adornments. It dates back to the third century and was built on the ruins of another house of the Hellenistic period, where wonderful mosaics were discovered. The Italian archaeologist Luciano Laurenzi has discovered the house in 1933 and the Italians who restored the house gave it the name Casa Romana. Ruins of the thermal baths were found outside the house towards the east by the same archaeologist after the big earthquake of 1933.
  • The Roman Odeon
    The ancient Odeon found at Kos was built by the Romans around the 2nd and the 3rd centuries. It was found in the early 20th century along with the Gymnasium and the Roman baths, all of them in general good condition. The construction of this amphitheatre was based on vaulted arcades and inside these arcades some valuable and ancient statues were found, including the one of Hippocrates, which is now housed in the museum in Kos Town.
  • The plane tree of Hippocrates in Kos
    In the centre of Kos town in front of the Castle of the Knights stands a huge old plane tree, known as the ‘Hippocrates plane tree’, with a perimeter of twelve meters. According to legend the Hippocrates plane tree was planted by this famous Greek physician, who used its shade to teach his students at this place. The current tree is only about 500 years old, but may possibly be a descendant of the original tree which allegedly stood there 2400 years ago, in Hippocrates' time. On this site, cultural festivals are held each summer.
  • The Castle of Antimachia in Kos
    On a small hill above Antimachia village, to the south of Kos Town, there is a Venetian Castle that is known as the Castle of Antimachia. Its construction started in the 14th century by the Order of the Knights of Saint John but works were intensified in the end of the 15th century, as it can be seen at an inscription above the main gate which has the date 1494 engraved on it. This is about the same period of the construction of Nerantzia Castle in Kos Town. The external fortifications of the Castle stand strong till today, although they have suffered numerous attacks throughout the many centuries. The only entrance to the Castle is found on its northern side and it is protected by double gates. Above the entrance, there is the symbol of the Knights engraved in marble. Inside the Castle, there are not many things to see apart from two Venetian churches, the church of Agios Nikolaos dating from the 16th century and the church of Agia Paraskevi, built in the early 18th century. Some remains of cisterns and houses also survive but there are not in very good state, as you can only see their foundations. From the Castle, you can have great views of the surrounding area and the sea.
  • Castle of the Knights / Neratzia Castle
    The impressive castle of the Knights of the Order of Saint John is situated at the entrance of Kos harbour on what used to be an island in antiquity, communicating with the inland through a bridge, that one can still see today namely the bridge of “Phoinikon" (Palm Trees) Avenue. The castle consists of two defensive precincts. The interior one has four circular towers in the corners; the south-eastern tower forms part of the exterior precinct, which is larger than the first, with massive bastions on the four corners, battlements and gun ports. The two precincts are separated by a large moat and communicate with a drawbridge. The castle was built of local stone as well as with remains of ancient constructions. It still shows a number of blazons on the masonry, some columns, bases and architraves from the ruins of the ancient city. On the upper part of its masonry, one can see many blazons. Over the main gate one can see a Hellenistic frieze with masks and garlands. On the gates ceiling (central gate, Carmadino gate) there are basalt columns placed obliquely, which come probably from the early Christian basilica of Limen. This fortress, along with the castles of Rhodes City and Bodrum, was the most stalwart defense of the Knights against the Ottomans. It was first built during the 14th century, and used to have massive outer walls and an inner keep. It was damaged in 1495 by an earthquake and was restored by two Grand Masters of the Knights during the 16th century.
  • Therma beach
    Therma is located after Psalidi at a distance of about 10 km from the center of Kos town towards the southeast direction to Agios Fokas. Therma means hot in Greek and the beach is named because of a spring with hot water coming from the mountain. The beach is covered with small dark stones and the exact location with the spring water is surrounded with big stones. Water is quite shallow and visitors can sit there and relax. There are also leaking bubbles from the ground, it is kind of a natural whirlpool. Therma is ideal for treating rheumatic diseases, arthritis and gynecological problems since the hot springs water contains elements such as Potassium, Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, Sulfur and Chlorine. It was discovered in 1934 by Italian archaeologist Laurenzi and the beach attracts a great number of tourists every year.
  • Paradise beach
    Paradise Beach is one of the most famous beaches on Kos Island, located around 7 km just before reaching Kefalos Village. It truly is a paradise beach with fine white sand and crystal clear waters. It is extremely well organized, with sunbeds, umbrellas, water sports and restaurants with fresh fish, Greek and international cuisine. There is no chance of not visiting this beach when spending holidays on Kos Island. Even the locals, the first chance they get they’re off to Paradise Beach.

Events

Kos is an island which offers unique gastronomical enjoyments. In Kos the Greek Mediterranean cuisine is followed, that is based on meat, fish, vegetables, olive oil and pastas, in combination with local traditional recipes. The menu in the restaurants offers a big variety of dishes with meat, vegetables, cheeses and seafood (delicious dishes with fresh fish, prawns, squids, lobsters etc…). Last but not least there are the sweets, mainly made with honey, and the good quality of wine and ouzo. There are many interesting local recipes for food and pastries which women of Kos usually make for large religious celebrations. The most characteristic recipes are listed below:

  • Honey festival
    The highlight of all festivals in Kos is the “Giorti tou Meliou” (Honey Festival), taking place on 24th of August in the village of Antimachia and apart from dancing, singing and enjoying oneself, you also have the chance to taste and buy very good honey from the area, along with a variety of different sweets, all honey-based.
  • Hippocratia festival
    Every summer from July through mid-September Kos hosts the Hippocrates Festival, a cultural event organized by the municipalities of Kos which entertains the crowd of summertime tourists. Outdoor concerts, live music & folklore dance, movie screenings, contemporary art exhibitions and theatrical performances enliven venues such as the Castle of the Knights and the Odeon. The festival also includes activities for children.
Islands Cruise

Islands Cruise

The cruise starts from Kos harbor and takes place on a traditional wooden boat (kaiki).Docking at the attractive harbor town of Pothia, on the famous sponge island of Kalymnos, you will be mesmerized by the tiny colored houses, arranged on the hillside, with life in the port bustling below.

You will have the chance to see for yourselves how natural sponges are processed and learn the history and techniques of local sponge fishermen. Second port of call will be at the deserted island of Plati, where you can enjoy a swim in the crystal clear waters, whilst lunch, your sumptuous BBQ is being prepared either on board or on the beach.

Finally docking at the rocky island of Pserimos, where you can indulge on the long sandy shores gently shelving into the blue crystal sea or have a drink in one of the small, friendly traditional cafes.

 

Type of excursion: Boat / Landscape Full day
Should take: Swimming suit, sun protection, comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Kalymnos 2 hours
Pserimos 1½ hours
Plati 1½ hours
Remarks: BBQ or lunch in a tavern is included in the price. Drinks are not included
Boat trip to Nissyros Island

Boat trip to Nissyros Island

Cruising around the coastline of Kos you will catch your first glimpse of the magical island of Nissyros. Stepping onto our coach, you’ll be passing the most spectacular scenery you will ever encounter. Deep down the mouth of the volcano you will feel the force of the lava rumbling beneath your feet, witness the bubbling mud pools and steam geezers. Altogether one may think one has landed on the moon.

On the way back and at the altitude of 50m there is the Monastery of ”The Virgin Mary of the Cave” where you can marvel at its splendour and enjoy the superb view along the east side of the island. The excursion ends with a lunch in one of the traditional taverns and a walk in the harbor town of Mandraki, with its narrow cobbled windy streets and two-storey, white houses with pebbled doorsteps and colorful wooden balconies.

Type of excursion: Boat / Landscape Full day
Should take: Swimming suit, sun protection, comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Nissyros Island 4 hours
Mandraki beach 5-6 hours
Remark: Lunch is not included.
Greek evening

Greek evening

A traditional Greek night in Kos style! Well, here you are in Greece and there's nothing like a traditional Greek night when it comes to fun. And this particular night really hits the spot. In the pretty village of Zia, this venue is a great place to capture the sunset and you'll have time to potter around and take in the view before the evening gets started.

Sit down to a delicious traditional Greek meal and after a while a bouzouki band and costumed dancers will take to the floor. Great fun!

Type of excursion: Folklore - Half day
Should take: : Comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Fantasia restaurant 4 hours
Remark: Dinner and wine are included in price. The event takes place in “Fantasia” outdoor restaurant. At the beginning and end of the season, the Greek night takes place at the “New Fantasia” Indoor restaurant because of weather conditions.
Kos Island Tour

Kos Island Tour

This is the perfect way to discover all that the island has to offer, in just one day. Our air-conditioned coach invites you to explore the natural beauty of Kos. You will spend the day learning all about the history, mythology and experience the traditional way of life. Our journey starts from the Hippokrates’ Plane tree, where according to legend; the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates taught and practiced medicine.

Just in front of the tree is the mediaeval castle, built in 1748 by the knights of St. John. The next visit is to the Asclepeion of Kos, the Temple dedicated to Asclepeios, the God of health in ancient Greece. Our journey continues and takes you to traditional villages such as the mountain village of Zia where the locals will welcome you with open arms.

 

There will be time for a short coffee break, for shopping in the small traditional shops and for a walk through the village. Then we will visit the traditional house of Kos in Antimachia village, situated in the middle of the island, as well as the windmill which is still in use nowadays.

Onwards you will have the chance to visit other holiday resorts such as Kefalos village, where there will be time for a swim and to have lunch in one of the seaside tavernas, and Kardamena where you can take a coffee break or take a walk along the harbor and the small streets of the village. Overall this will be an unforgettable day out uncovering the hidden secrets of the island, with wonderful snapshots memories.

Type of excursion: Boat / City tour - Full day
Should take: Swimming suit, sun protection, comfortable shoes, camera.

Stops Approximate time of stay
Asklepeios of Kos 1 hour
Zia 45 min.
Antimachia 45 min.
Kefalos 2 hours
Kardamena 1 hour
Turkey – Bodrum

Turkey – Bodrum

A holiday in Kos is not complete without visiting the nearby continent of Turkey. A ferry journey takes you to the harbor town of Bodrum, a town nestled into the hillside and famous for its majestic castle that stands guard over the picturesque marina. You will have free time to go around for shopping, to visit the castle or the mausoleum.

Bodrum is where you are invited to barter to your heart’s content, for bargain hunters and barterer’s. Most likely the Turkish shop owners will entice you to their wares along with the traditional drink of apple tea. Should you prefer, why not relax and unwind in a Turkish bath or with a Turkish massage!

Type of excursion: Folklore - Half day
Should take: Swimming suit, sun protection, comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Bodrum 5 hours
Remark: Lunch is not included. Passport details must be advised from the day before.
City Tour

City Tour

The guided tour of the city of Kos and its monuments starts passing through the “Toll Gate” entrance, the central gate of the ancient city Wall, this leads, through the ancient “agora “ to the square of Hippokrate’s Plane Tree, the oldest tree in Europe.

The “trip” in the World of Hippocrates takes about an hour and there then follows the tour to the “West excavation zone”. There are the foundations of the ancient gymnastic ground “Xysto”, so named because the athletes coated themselves with olive oil before the games and scraped it off afterwards. The “Thermes”, the roman public baths, the “Early Christian Basilica”.

Stops Approximate time of stay
Old Town of Kos (walking) 1 hour
Hippocrate’s Tree + free time 2 hours
Fishing excursion

Fishing excursion

A boat trip with Captain John and his crew! A unique experience that will take you on the coastal sea of Kefalos. The captain and his crew will sail you towards “Sarakinos Beach”, unreachable by road where you will get to experience the crystal clear sea water to dive in or swim, followed by a delicious beach BBQ for lunch. You will have plenty of time to relax in the peaceful surrounding nature. Excursion is a must for all ages and especially for families with children.

Should take: Swimming suit, sun protection, camera