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Dodecanese islands
Kos, Kos
Kos is very often referred to as "The Island of Hippocrates," or "the Garden of the Aegean Sea". Only after visiting it you can understand why.
Description of Kos


The small settlement of Asfendiou sits 14 km away from the capital town. Actually it is a group of hamlets clustered on the slopes of Dikeo mountatin. By many Asfendiou considered to be the most green part of the island. You will have a chance to visit the local Church of Agios Ioannis Theologos (St. John the Divine) built on the rocks.

Not far from Asfendiou village another smaller village Zia is located. Traditional whitewashed houses climb up the hill. This place is famous for its souvenirs and taverns. Take a sit in one of it and enjoy the dramatic sunset and panoramic views.


Pili is located 17 km from the capital of the island and west of the village Asfendiou. Traditional houses are perched at the foot of the mountain and are surrounded by green fields. In general, the name bands together several very small villages. In Palio Pili you can see the remnants of the Byzantine castle and a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.


Marmari sits 15 km from Kos Town and 4 km from Pili village. The main point of attraction of the place is the sandy beach of Marmari, one of the most popular places on the island that offers everything necessary for relaxation and careless time.


At the western end of the island, where a narrow isthmus merges with the land of volcanic origin, is found a place known as Kefalos. In ancient times the settlement served as the capital of the island. The present day village of Kefalos with its whitewashed houses, multicolored doors and shutters is situated on a hill. The village has its own traditional windmill. The ruins of an old castle add charm to the local landscape.


Approximately one kilometer from Kefalos there is Kamari marina taking yachts and small vessels. Here you can see the early Christian basilica of Agios Stefanos dating back to the 5th century.


The quiet fishing village of Mastichari is located about 22 km from Kos town. One of the dominant elements of the countryside is the fragments of the basilica. Mastichari has its own port but, nevertheless, there is always a hideaway for those who want to experience the atmosphere of serenity and peace. Over the past few years Mastichari has developed into a well-organized resort. Construction of the port led to the development and organization of the beach. White sands of Mastichari lie 18 km off the Kos town. The beach is fringed by rare tamarisk bushes and a line of taverns and bars. But those who look for serenity and peace cane find an isolated cove to enjoy the atmosphere of tranquility.


Kardamena village is located 30 km from Kos Town, which today is a well-developed resort area. There are some attractions here. For example, fragments of an ancient temple dedicated to god Apollo. Incidentally, it is believed that this is one of the oldest temples on the island. Visit the basilica and a local antique theater. Hence, too, you can join one of the regularly made excursions to the volcanic island of Nisiros.

Kardamena beach is one of the most popular places of the island. Its white sands, availability of a variety of water sports facilities, numerous bars and discos make this place an excellent option not only for young people but also for everyone who wants to plunge into the fun and exuberance of the local nightlife.


Lambi is located not far from the island’s capital north-west to the local port on a headland. This beach is known for its soft fine sandy stretch and a gentle slope into the sea. Besides the beach is equipped with everything necessary for watersports activities.

Agios Fokas

Absolutely serene and laid-back beach of Agios Fokas sits 7 km away from Kos Town stretching from Psalidi right round to Thermes. One part of the beach is white sand and pebble, while the other part of it is of dark sand and pebble. Another point of appeal of Agios Fokas is the high temperature of its waters that comes from the island’s hot springs.


Tigaki (Tingaki) is 11 km away from the capital town. Its atmosphere is calm, quiet and relaxing. Tigaki attracts by its white sands and crystal clear waters. It is perfect for those who prefer not much sophisticated vacations full of sun, sand and gentle breeze. Light winds make this place even more attractive to the windsurfers.

Often the island of Kos is referred to as "The Island of Hippocrates," or "the Garden of the Aegean Sea." It is the third largest island of Dodecanese chain after Rhodes and Karpathos. Its area is 290 sq. km and the coastline is of 112 km. Besides, the island’s population reaches about 31 000 people. You may say that the South-western part of the island is mostly hilly while the Northern part can be characterized as flat. Dikeo or Oromedon (846 m) mountain is the highest point of the island.

You may get to Kos island either by air or by sea. The island’s International airport “Hippocrates” welcomes charter flights from all over the world. It takes about 50 min to get to Kos island from Athens.

Regular ferry boats provide connection of the island with the mainland and neighbouring islands. The whole trip from the mainland’s port Piraeus to Kos island lasts roughly 10 hours.

The town DEAS buses run routes around the town while KTEL buses take you everywhere else on the island. There are also plentiful of taxis operating there.

The Mediterranean climate of the region features mild winter and hot summer. Usually winter days are accompanied by heavy rainfalls, the level of which begins to subside in April. The average summer temperature is about 25 Celsius degrees and in winter time it waves from 14 to 15 Celsius degrees.

As in most parts of Greece the foundation of the local economy is the tourism sector, which employs virtually half of the working population of the island. The revenues of the island's economy and agricultural sector are represented by crops and livestock. Most of the island's inhabitants are Orthodox Christians. There are as well small Catholic and Muslim communities.

Kos has kept its unique traditions and customs. One of such events is the Carnival (“Apokries”) held the day before Clean Thursday. Small village of Antimachia is famous for this exact happening. Participants prepare the skull of a donkey (“kokkala”) with its jaws to open and close and carry it around the village houses. Children and adults go around the village teasing each other and playing out comic sketches.

End of the August in Mastichari is celebrated by Honey Festival, when all guests are invited to taste local honey and sweets made from it.

On April 23rd at Agios Georgios (St. George's) Day in the town of Pyli you can watch organized horse racing. On Agios Ioannis Day (Saint George Day) you can enjoy such practices as "fanos" (torch) and “klidona” (fortune telling).

The local administration has assumed responsibility for organizing the festival “Hippocratia”, which takes place from July to September. And it is accompanied by art and photo exhibitions, concerts, theater and other performances. Among the major events of the festival one can mention the famous Hippocratic Oath.

Tradition to celebrate Start of Indiction, or, as it is called, Liturgical year, on the 1st of September is still alive in Kos island. This day before sunset housewives and children go to the seaside. They take along a pomegranate (symbol of abundance), garlic (against the evil eye), red grapes (symbol of abundance), an olive branch (symbol of peace) and a few plane-tree leaves in a bundle. The “old” one they cast into the water and the new one hold at the water's edge, so that the waves can touch it forty times. This bundle with a small tin cup with sea water and 40 stones are carried back home. Upon returning home, they hang a bundle next to the icon, spray the water and leave the stones in the corners of the house, thus protecting the house and its inhabitants from evil tongues and slander.

The island's capital, the city of Kos, is located in the northeastern part of the island around the local picturesque port. Built according to the plan, with wide streets and magnificent views of the sea, the city is surrounded by green trees and city parks. Modern architecture, combined with surviving fragments of ancient buildings and monuments from different eras and styles, create the charming atmosphere of this place. Kos was virtually rebuilt in 1933 after the earthquake, which destroyed the old city and exposed more ancient buildings and monuments that were hidden deeply in the earth.

The history of this place numbers more than three millennia. But as the city located in a specific place, Kos began its existence in 366 BC.

The main architectural and historical monuments are located around Elefterias Square, which means "freedom". Archeological Museum of Kos is located north of the square, opposite the Turkish mosque Defterdar. The local attractions include the Agora and the famous tree of Hippocrates. It is believed that in its shadow long time ago the father of modern medicine worked and taught.

Right at the entrance of the island’s main harbour the Castle of the Knights of the Order of St. John (“Kastro Neradzias”) is located. An old bridge across the Palm Avenue connects it with the capital.

Most probably the mentioned earlier Castle Nerantzias or Castle of the Knights of St. John Order was built in the 15th century. It owes its name “Kastro Nerantzias” to the bitter orange trees grown all around the castle. It is also strongly believed that the fortress was built atop of the ancient construction.

The island has become world famous due to Hippocrates who was born in 460 BC in Kos. He is referred to as the «father of medicine” in recognition of his lasting contributions to the field as the founder of the Hippocratic School of medicine. Actually the School was part of the Asklepeion complex named so after the god of medicine and healing Asklepius. Supposedly it was established in Mycenaean Greece. Tradition has it that that at time Apollo was especially worshipped as god and patron of medicine. That’s why it is believed long before the complex had been built there an older temple dedicated to god stood there. The whole complex consisting of school, clinic with thermal springs and a sanctuary was placed on a green hill in a cypress groove. It sits 4 km away from Kos Town and not far from Platani village. Enjoy the fabulous view opening from here!

Hippocrates Platan is a natural miracle which is more than two thousand years old. They say that it was planted in the very heart of Kos Town by Hippocrates himself and there he gathered his followers.

Another sight of attraction for guests is the archeological site of ancient Agora where you can watch the fragments of buildings from different ages. It may sound a little bit odd but the site appeared after the earthquake of 1933. And only after that excavations by professional were carried out.

Those who have time and wish can visit local Archeological museum located in Eleftherias (Freedom) square opposite the neatly restored Defterdar Mosque.

As mythology has it Hercules, the greatest hero of all times, returning from Troy was caught in a storm caused by enraged Hera. But Hercules and some of his friends managed to escape that night. Since everything was happening in deep night the inhabitants took the guests for enemies and started throwing stones at them and thus the fight began.

It is worth noting that the island’s name remains unchanged since ancient times. There are several theories about its origin. One of them states that the island owes its name to the daughter of the mythical king Meropis. The other traces its name from the Carian word “koion” meaning “sheep”.

The first islanders, Pelasgians and Carians, inhabited the place about 3 000 years ago. Then Minoans and later on Mycenaeans came. According to Homer’s “Iliad” the locals took part in Troy campaign as well. In 7-6 B.C. Kos island joined “Dorian Hexapolis” (gr. federation of six cities). During its heydays the island successfully traded with olive oil, wine, new temples were built. Later the island becomes part of the Roman Empire. In Byzantine times Kos suffers a lot from Saracens raids. It is then when the knights of St. John Order appear on the island. In 1523 the island is occupied by Turks and they remained here till 1912. Then Italians came instead. With the end of the World War II the island was under the government of the British troops and only in 1948 Kos island joined Greece.

Generally speaking local cuisine is another sample of the well-known Mediterranean cuisine based on olive oil, fish, meat, vegetables, pastry. But, as it usually is, there are dishes characteristic only for this very place. Take for example stewed pork with rice, salad of shrimps and roasted squid, “krasotiri” (“κρασοτύρι”) – cheese that is left to ripe in red wine, “giaprakia” (“γιαπράκια”) stuffed grape leaves, vegetables stuffed with rice. You can find a wide diversity of dishes from different cultures and traditions.

Almost every region of the island can boast its own entertainment network. But the island’s amusement center is of course Kos Town with its bars, restaurants, clubs, discos that can match any taste and budget. Thus even after sunset the night life of the island welcomes its guests.

If you are a sport fan you will be pleased to find on the island basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, watersports centres. By the way if you are a physical activities lover you may also find enjoyable the fact that bicycle is enormously popular on the island, which is often referred to as the “island of bicycles”.

The village of Mastichari invites you to spend an enjoyable time at one of the local waterparks “Lido” famous for its numerous attractions.

On Kos island you may come across some sandy beaches where caretta-caretta turtles, which are under protection, lay eggs. Thus it is not a surprise that fishing is strictly forbidden on the island. But for this purpose you may visit neighbouring Kalymnos where fishing is the main occupation of the inhabitants. The ferry boats that connect Kos island and Kalymnos sets off from the small bay in Mastichary. This place is especially popular for fresh fish taverns.

You may also would like to visit some of the close islands. One of them is the volcanic Nisysros with mineral springs.

It has already become a tradition to take home from the island either olive oil, olive soap, local wine or ceramics. But for local souvenirs and hand-made gifts it is better to go to remote villages, such as Zia.

Photos of Kos
Kos, Kos

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Blue Lagoon Resort

Kos, Lambi

The Blue Lagoon Resort is located in Lambi near Kos town, on the north coast of the island of Kos, 22 km from the airport. Blue Lagoon Resort is ideal for those who need an escape for recharging their batteries and also for those who would like to entertain themselves with or without their family.

Caravia Beach Hotel

Kos, Marmari

Caravia Beach Hotel is located on one of the most beautiful beaches of Kos island, on Marmari beach. It stays 14 km away from the town of Kos, the island's capital, and 12 km from the local international airport.

Horizon Beach Resort

Kos, Mastichari

Horizon Beach Resort is famous for its friendly environment and hospitality. It is located in the village of Mastihari, 8 km from the international airport and 20 km from the island’s capital, Kos Town. The hotel consists of one main building 45 bungalows and SPA building.

Gaia Royal Hotel

Kos, Mastichari

The Gaia Royal Hotel is a large holiday resort in village style with a main building and several two-storey bungalows. It is located on the territory of popular Mastihari resort. The Gaia Royal Hotel sits about 25 km away from capital Kos Town and 15 km away from the local international airport “Hippocrates”.

Triton Hotel Kos

Kos, Kos Town

Triton Hotel is located in Kos Town, only with a small road between hotel and beach, next to a peaceful park. The hotel has magnificent sea view.

Atlantis Hotel Kos

Kos, Lambi

The Atlantis Hotel is built on a beautiful stretch of sandy beach making it perfect for families and couples looking for beach holidays. The complex is made up of a main building and a number of bungalows arranged around the garden areas. It sits only 2 km from the centre of Kos Town, capital of the island of Kos, and 25 km from the local international airport.

Alexandra Hotel

Kos, Kos Town

The Alexandra Hotel, being one of the highest city buildings, offers an amazing view over the harbor, the medieval castle and nearby parks and gardens. It sits in the middle of Kos Town, capital of the island, and 400 m from the local cosmopolitan beaches with numerous water sports. The hotel stays 25 km from the local international airport “Hippocrates”.

Gaia Palace Hotel

Kos, Mastichari

Gaia Palace Hotel is located in the area of the picturesque Mastihari village, only 5 km from its centre. The Gaia complex consists of the main building and several two-storey bungalows. The hotel stays 18 km from the island’s capital Kos Town and about 15 km from the local airport.

Ammos Luxury Resort

Kos, Mastichari

The Ammos Resort Hotel is located on the territory of popular tourist Mastichari resort of Kos island. It sits 20 m from the sandy beach in a quiet location ideal for those who are looking for tranquil and relaxing holidays. The hotel sits 22 km away from the island’s capital, Kos Town, and 5 km away from the local international airport “Hippocrates”.

Kosta Palace Hotel

Kos, Kos Town

Kosta Palace Hotel is located in the centre of Kos Town, capital of the island. The complex was built in 2001. It sits 25 km away from the local airport and 50 m from the port of Kos. Its position and luxurious construction make the hotel one of the most popular destinations of the island.

Gaia Village Hotel

Kos, Tigaki

Gaia Village Hotel is located in the tourist village Tigaki, 12 km from the island’s capital town of Kos and 15 km from the local international airport "Hippocrates".

Maritina Hotel

Kos, Kos Town

Maritina hotel is located in the center of Kos Town, close to its main historical sites of attractions and entertainment centers and 30 km away from the local international airport. The hotel is famous for its hospitality, warm and frinedly atmosphere.

Blue Lagoon Village

Kos, Dedalos

The Blue Lagoon Village is a luxurious village style complex with 448 guestrooms, located 30 km from the capital Kos Town, 10 km from popular Kefalos resort and 7 km from the local international airport “Hippocrates”. This is an all inclusive hotel with wide range of facilities to offer. The Blue Lagoon Village is a perfect choice for families and couples seeking active beach holidays.

Grecotel Royal Park

Kos, Marmari

Set on a beautiful sandy beach and surrounded by farmland and countryside, the Grecotel Royal Park hotel exudes an air of calm and relaxation. The hotel offers large colourful gardens that encircle the pretty garden bungalows and main building. On the long sandy beach there are endless quiet spots for sunbathing. For the more energetic, a long walk in the countryside or along the coast is a pleasure on this flat coastal plain. There are plenty of sports and entertainment facilities and for those who relish a lively nightlife, a short bus ride to Kos Town will fulfil your dreams. It sits 17 km away from the island's capital Kos Town and 15 km from the local international airport "Hippocrates".

Grecotel Kos Imperial Thalasso

Kos, Psalidi

The five-star Grecotel Kos Imperial Thalasso is a jewel in the Aegean Sea. The main building and village-style bungalows overlook the pools, beach area and the clear sea. A water paradise awaits guests of all ages. Freeform pools, meandering rivers and shallow lagoons embrace the hotel. Impressive lounges and extensive outdoor terraces give the impression of splendour and luxury. The Kos Imperial has a wide variety of accommodation, activities and services making it an ideal family destination! 
Psalidi is an unspoilt, peaceful beach area just 4 kms from the lively capital town of Kos, and 35 km from the local international airport “Hippocrates”.

The Small Village Hotel

Kos, Mastichari

This marvellous hotel, surrounded by divine nature on Kos island, is located 4 km from the centre of the tourist village Mastichari, 4 km from the airport and 26 km from Kos Island.

Eurovillage Achilleas Hotel

Kos, Mastichari

Eurovillage Achilleas Hotel is located in the area of Mastihari, on the Northwest side of the island of Kos. The local airport and the villageof Antimahia are about 6 km away and Kos Town is about 22 km.

Astron Hotel Kos

Kos, Kos Town

The Astron Hotel offers friendly and warm atmosphere to all its guests. It is located opposite to the Medieval Castle giving excellent and spectacular views. The hotel sits 27 km away from the local international airport "Hippocrates".

Sacallis Inn Beach Hotel

Kos, Kefalos

The Sacallis Inn Beach Hotel is a family-run property known for its comfortable accommodation in a peaceful surrounding, set in front of the beach on the territory of popular Kefalos resort. It sits 43 km away from the island's capital Kos Town and 18 km away from the local international airport "Hippocrates".

Kouros Palace Hotel

Kos, Mastichari

The Kouros Palace Hotel is a new establishment located on the territory of tourist resort Mastichari. It is built at the foot of a hill in full harmony with the surrounding overlooking the Aegean Sea. The hotel sits 22 km from the island’s capital Kos Town and 7 km from the local international airport “Hippocrates”.

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