Kos

The healing beauty of Hippocrates’ island
Agios Stefanos, one of the most photogenic beaches on Kos
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On the edge of the Dodecanese, Kos is a feast of emotion. With endlessly long beaches, fantastic food, bicycle lanes and an ancient healing centre, it is like no other island in the Aegean.

To borrow from the famous American motivators, Canfield and Hansen, Kos truly is ‘chicken soup for the soul’, as well as the body and the eye. Tall palm trees, endless sandy beaches, alternating landscapes and numerous archaeological sites and attractions left by ancient Greeks, Romans, medieval knights, Venetians and Ottomans make Kos more than just a pretty face in the Dodecanese island chain. It isn’t coincidental that Hippocrates, antiquity’s most noted physician (he of the oath), was born on Kos. 

Whichever you choose of the aliases Kos has gone by – Meropi, Nymphaia or Karys – this fascinating island in the Aegean will be a prominent entry in your holiday diary from now on.

 

What to do on Kos island

Visit Hippocrates’ Asclepeion, the first healing centre

Just 4km northwest of Kos town, on a verdant hill with a spectacular view, you’ll discover one of Greece’s most important archaeological sites, the Asclepion of Kos. A holistic healing centre, the Asclepeion contained infirmaries, temples, hot springs, hostels, a school for physicians and much more. In the 3rd and 2nd century BC, it became one of the important institutions of its kind in the ancient world, following guidelines set down by Kos’ native son Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine. It’s worth making time during your holiday to Kos to visit it.

Feel the healing energy of the Asclepion of Kos

Explore a young city with a rich history

Following a major earthquake in 1933, Kos town was redesigned by the reigning Italians with large squares, sidewalks and wide tree-lined streets, flanked by modern buildings with shops, cafes and restaurants. That said, history buffs will also love this place.
 

Enjoy a bespoke bicycle tour of town

What other modern town can claim so many attractions like the Nerantzia Castle of the Knights of Saint John, late 14th-century walls hastily erected to keep out Sultan Bayezit I, an ancient Greek agora, a medieval district, an old harbour, and Roman ruins in the west? Don’t forget to pay your respects to Hippocrates’ huge plane tree – 12m in circumference and a landmark of Kos. But by fair the best way to enjoy all of the above, is on a bicycle tour of Kos town.
 

Find the beach that’s a perfect fit for you

It feels like almost every beach on Kos is a kilometre long. You’ll probably develop a soft spot for Kardamena beach, with its glorious scenery and deep blue water, but don’t miss Agios Stefanos beach, Mastihari, Tigkaki, Marmari, Chrysi Akti, Kefalos and Paradise.

A splash of culture at Agios Stefanos beach


Feel the power of Antimacheia Castle 

In June 1457, this castle was besieged by 16,000 Ottomans. Just 15 knights and 200 locals were left to defend it, but they held out for 23 days and the Ottomans eventually withdrew. Built by the Knights of Saint John in the 14th century, it is now a peaceful but impressive ruin on Kos.

 

Hidden gems of Kos island

A verdant hideaway for peacocks

Kos is an island full of surprises. Planted by Italians in the 1940s, the woods at Plaka, near Antimacheia, have become a sanctuary for peacocks and other birds. Carry some seeds to offer and they’ll be eating out of your hand.
 

Thermal springs at the edge of the Aegean

Unique among the Dodecanese islands, Kos has three different kinds of mineral water springs – hot, warm and cool. You’ll find them at Agios Fokas, Piso Thermes, Kokkinonero and Volkanous. Kokkinonero means Redwater.
 

The Archaeological Museum of Kos

You’ll find the Archaeological Museum of Kos in Eleftheria Square in town. A larger-than-life head of the goddess Hera greets you in the vestibule while impressive statues and mosaics await within.

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Experience the best of Kos

Agios Stefanos, one of the most photogenic beaches on Kos

Sun, sea and a splash of culture at Agios Stefanos beach on Kos

The Asclepion was built over three landscaped terraces, each having a different function

Feel the healing energy of the Asclepion of Kos

With virtually the entire southern coastline of Kos covered in beaches, there’s only one way to find your favourite

A boat tour to sample the beaches on southern Kos

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Accommodation

Aqua Blu Boutique Hotel & Spa

Kos

Aqua Blu, a proud member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is the ultimate destination for luxury and contemporary design. A unique 5...

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Accommodation

Nissia Kamares Hotel Apartments

Kos

Welcome to the Nissia Kamares Hotel, a small inviting oasis in Kardamena on beautiful Kos Built in the distinctive traditional Greek island style...

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