Kos

The healing beauty of Hippocrates’ island
Agios Stefanos, one of the most photogenic beaches on Kos
Scroll
Today
23°
MON
24°
TUE
23°
WED
23°
THU
23°
Thrace region-id="pin-13";Macedonia Macedonia Epirus Thessaly Sporades Ionian Islands Western Greece Central Greece Attica Peloponnese Crete Cyclades North Aegean Islands Dodecanese Dodecanese Karpathos Astypalea Tilos Sitia Faistos - Matala Patmos Kastelorizo Kasos Kos Leros Halki Rhodes Symi Sfakia - Loutro Rethymno Elounda - Agios Nikolaos Agia Galini Plakias Hersonissos - Malia Ierapetra Heraklion Chania Nisyros Ikaria Lipsi Tzia - Kea Thasos Samos Lesvos Samothrace Limnos Chios Kalymnos Paros Naxos Zante - Zakynthos Lefkada Corfu Santorini Milos Kythnos Kimolos Serifos Syros Sifnos Koufonisia Ios Kefalonia Mykonos Paxi Ithaca Arta Ioannina Tinos Parga - Sivota Metsovo Anafi Sikinos Folegandros Donousa - Iraklia - Schinoussa Antiparos Zagori Mountainous Arkadia Porto Heli - Ermioni Preveza Amorgos Andros Delos Messolongi Ancient Olympia Aegina Kythira Archea Epidavros Patra Nafplio Kardamyli Kalamata Ilia Corinth Western Messinia Kalavryta Elafonissos Nafpaktos Spetses Poros Hydra Alexandroupolis Pylos Mycenae Monemvasia Loutraki Piraeus Athens Arahova Xanthi Galaxidi Mystra - Sparta Mani Edipsos Delphi Chalkida Karystos Evia Skyros Vergina Alonissos Volos Karditsa Skopelos Skiathos Kastoria Thessaloniki Prespes Agios Athanasios Edessa Serres Veria Larissa - Tempi Elati - Pertouli Trikala Pelion Meteora Drama Ammouliani Mount Athos - Ouranopolis Nymfeo Mount Olympos Katerini Halkidiki Grevena Lake Kerkini Naoussa Kozani Kilkis Kavala Pella Lake Plastira
A prize to past conquerors, a boon to travellers who want more than a beach holiday

On the edge of the Dodecanese, Kos is a feast of emotion, experience and excitement. To borrow from the famous American motivators, Canfield and Hansen, it 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 – or Cos as it is also spelt – more than just a pretty face. Hippocrates, antiquity’s most noted physician (he of the oath), was born here. 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

Hippocrates’ Asclepeion, a holistic healing centre

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

A young city with a rich history

Following a major earthquake in 1933, the town of Kos 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 love this place.

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.

Beaches that go on forever

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 Mastihari, Tigkaki, Marmari, Chrysi Akti, Kefalos and Paradise.

Antimacheia Castle and the power of a few

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.

 

Hidden gems of Kos

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 museum 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.

Hire a boat and set out down the coastline of Kos

Experience the best of Kos

There’s a 13km cycle lane stretching right along the waterfront

A bespoke bicycle tour of Kos town

With generous cycle lanes in the main town and a culture of getting around on two wheels, there’s no better way to discover Kos’ cultural...
Agios Stefanos, one of the most photogenic beaches on Kos

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

If you’re caught between wanting to spend the day on the beach and experiencing a bit of culture on Kos, then photogenic Agios Stefanos has...
The Asclepion was built over three landscaped terraces, each having a different function

Feel the healing energy of the Asclepion of Kos

Built to further the teachings of the father of medicine, Hippocrates, the Asclepion of Kos was the ultimate healing centre of the ancient world.
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

With virtually the entire southern coastline of the third largest-island in the Dodecanese covered in beaches, there’s only one way to find your favourite
  • Hippocrates’ Asclepion, a holistic healing centre
  • Antimacheia Castle and the power of a few
  • Thermal springs at the edge of the Aegean
  • The Archaeological Museum of Kos
  • Beaches that go on forever
  • A young city with a rich history
Highlights

Travel ideas

Shining the light on stories
The Asclepion, Kos’ most famous archaeological site

8 Must do’s to experience Kos at its best

It doesn’t take much to get excited about visiting Kos.
In a setting of pine-tree green, white sand and deep blue sea, Apella has a special knack of capturing the hearts of those who discover it

The Dodecanese: A dozen island beauties on the edge of the Aegean

To find something extra special often means going the extra mile.
The windmills of Hora

The Dodecanese: An island chain made for hopping

From Rhodes and Kos to lesser-known Karpathos, Astypalea, Leros and Patmos