Kos, known as the birthplace of Hippocrates and a famous healing center of antiquity, offers the modern visitor a captivating blend of civilizations and eras. Kos is an ideal choice for those who love vacations with a historical backdrop and nightlife enthusiasts. You can visit Kos with a ferry ticket from booktickets.


History of Kos

Kos has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Around the 14th century BC, the Minoans from Crete arrived on the island. In the 5th century BC, Kos was occupied by the Persians. In 460 BC, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, was born in Kos. After his death in 357 BC, the residents of Kos built the famous Asclepeion, believed to be the sacred land of Asclepius, the god of healing in mythology.

The Byzantine period brought prosperity and wealth to Kos, which later became part of the Roman Empire. In 1204 AD, the Venetians conquered the island and built a magnificent fortress that still stands at the entrance of Kos harbor, along with other walls.

In 1522, the Turks occupied the island until 1821. In 1912, it was conquered by the Italians, but in 1934, a devastating earthquake destroyed almost the entire island. The Germans replaced the Italians in 1943. The German occupation was harsh until it ended in 1945 when the British took over. On March 7, 1948, Kos, along with all the other Dodecanese islands, was liberated and joined Mother Greece.

Beaches in Kos

  • Agios Stefanos: A beach that combines natural beauty with history. It is located just a few meters away from the impressive ruins of two early Christian churches. It is fully organized and offers opportunities for water sports. Right across, in the middle of the bay, you will see the small rocky islet of Kastri with its chapel of Saint Nicholas.
  • Mastichari: One of the most exotic beaches on the island. The white sandy shore, along with the intense turquoise waters, create an idyllic landscape. It is fully organized and features excellent facilities for water sports, especially windsurfing. If you stay until late afternoon, you will enjoy a stunning sunset.
  • Kardamaina: A large three-kilometer beach with sandy terrain, crystal-clear shallow waters, and cedar trees providing natural shade. The sea breeze and the aroma of the cedars create an idyllic atmosphere. It is fully organized and beloved by water sports enthusiasts.
  • Tigaki: A tropical paradise with a golden sandy stretch that extends for 10 kilometers and shallow waters, ideal for families with children and surfing the waves that form in the open sea. The road connecting the town to Tigaki is suitable for bike rides. It is fully organized and popular among groups and water sports enthusiasts.
  • Paradisos: An endless sandy beach that stretches for six kilometers, with crystal-clear shallow waters that gradually deepen and a beautiful backdrop of palm trees and cedars, creating an exotic scenery. It is fully organized and provides all the amenities for water sports. The restaurants and taverns in the area are renowned for serving fresh seafood.

Food in Kos

  • Enjoy the richness of cheeses, such as wine cheese or cheese "posa" (PDO), goat or sheep cheese that matures in red wine, offering a slightly spicy flavor.
  • Try the delicious "katimeria," fried myzithra pies with sugar and cinnamon, or "giaprakia," which are dolmades with vine or cabbage leaves stuffed with rice or minced meat. You can also taste the stuffed zucchini flowers or the pork with "hondro" (bulgur), which will delight you with their rich flavor.Indulge in "pasta macarouna," consisting of minced meat, dried myzithra, and layers of handmade pastry. Also, try "pitaridia," which are pasta boiled in meat broth, with minced meat and pork fat.
  • Don't forget to visit a traditional bakery to get "Lambropita," a round cheese pie with fresh unsalted myzithra, plenty of eggs, and yeast. Also, taste "Xysmata," a star-shaped bread kneaded with grated myzithra and aromatic herbs, for a unique and flavorful experience.

Sights in Kos

  • Discover the beautiful City of Kos, a captivating blend of cultures and eras waiting to be explored. Here you will find significant archaeological sites, Muslim mosques, impressive Venetian castles, beautiful neoclassical mansions with gardens, iconic buildings from the Italian occupation, and stunning tropical vegetation that enchants with its sea breeze. Don't miss a stop at the central square of Eleftherias, which serves as a landmark in the city.
  • Visit the famous Asclepion, a historical monument dating back to the 4th century BCE. It is the third-largest healing center in the ancient world and served as the teaching ground for the medical school of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine. The archaeological site of the Asclepion extends to a breathtaking location on a lush slope overlooking the shores of Asia Minor.
  • Be sure to explore the medieval castle of Neratzia, a masterpiece of the Knights Hospitaller situated on the eastern edge of the harbor. The castle, constructed with architectural elements from the Asclepion and the ancient city of Kos, offers stunning views of the vast blue sea.
  • Discover Kos as a bicycle-friendly destination, with a 15-kilometer network of bike lanes and bike stations everywhere. It's worth venturing around the island by selecting a ticket for Kos.
  • Finally, explore the deserted medieval village of Palio Pyli, a picturesque stone village on the verdant slopes of Mount Dikeos. Climb up to the Byzantine castle dating from the 10th to the 11th century, reminiscent of the ancient city of Mystras, and enjoy the views towards the island as well as neighboring islands like Kalymnos, Pserimos, and Turkey. Within the village, you will find the chapel of Ypapanti with its magnificent frescoes.

Activities in Kos

  • Take a walk through the Forest of Pines, an artificial forest created by the Italians in the 1940s near the Plaka area. It is located in an idyllic valley filled with pine and cypress trees, and it is home to some of the most beautiful and friendly peacocks you will see. Don't forget to bring seeds or bread to feed them.
  • For a comprehensive tour of the city, you can explore the Asclepion and its attractions with the tourist train. This experience will be unforgettable for both young and old alike.
  • Make sure to make a stop at the Plane Tree of Hippocrates, located opposite the Lotzia Mosque. According to myth, this enormous plane tree with a circumference of 12 meters was the space where Hippocrates taught his students. It is a historic site worth visiting to feel the aura of ancient learning and wisdom.