Kos, homeland of Hippocrates, is the third biggest island of the Dodecanese Group. It's fertile climate, the mountaintops with the verdurous slopes where settlements debouch with snow-white houses drowned by flowers, the marvelous beaches with the crystal-clear waters, the monuments, the glance of the past, harmonically bonded with the comforts and the cosmopolitan breeze of the present, under a brilliant sun that floodlights the most days of the year this Aegean nook, combine the view of this island that characteristically was called "Makaros Nisos-The Blissful Island" from the ancient Greeks.
A place where the ancient history meets the cosmopolitan way of life, the monuments of the past stand imperious at the pass of time and limpid beaches relax nonchalantly under the Greek Sun.
The name of Kos remains the same until the Ancient Times. Some support the theory that it was the name of the daughter princess of king Triopas the 2nd . Some say that it comes from the Karian word "koion" meaning "sheep" because of the shape of the island or the numerous sheeps lived. And some say that it comes from the Greek word Kos meaning "imprisonment.
Many are the sites you can visit.
You should surely visit Stoa, the Sanctum of Hercules and the double-sanctum of Pandimos and Pontia Aphrodite and to have a stop at the Ancient Forum and the famous Hippocrates Sycamore that constitutes a scion of the original tree under the shadow of wich' the Father of Medicine taught and wrote many of his books.
Of much interest are the ruins of the Mycenaean settlement and the Geometric Period. There you will find a construction with beautiful mosaic of the 3rd century B.C., the Ancient Stadium and the Western Thermaes, the Scratched Palaestra, the Nymphaion, the House of the Depredation of Europe with the homonymous inlay, the Romaic Odeum and of course the Altar of Dionysus and the erected Romaic House "Casa Romana".
3,5 km southwestward Kos you will find the most famous and longevous monument in Kos, the Aesculapius Temple. At the Ancient Times these temples where sacral therapeutic centrals and the one in Kos is considered as one of the greatest because of its age-long permanence. It was starting building at the 4th century b.c. and at the the same place have been discovered troves of the Mycenaean and the Geometric Period. There you will see the Propylaea, the ruins of the Thermaes, the Stoas and the Veaespacians while a few meters from there seats the Ancient Temple and the Altar to Aesculapius.
At Pyli you will see the Hermylos' Tomb, a total of 12 sepulchers in vaulted construction.
At the town of Kos, exactly at the entrance of the port there is the "Knights' Castle" (today mentioned as "Castle of Nerantzia"), built over the ruins of an ancient stronghold. It's construction was set from the Knights of St. John, at the, 14th century due to the time lag caused by the Turkish irruptions. The castle presents a double-wall and until the early 20th century it comprised a holm as it was sundered from the dry land by a sunk fence full of sea water where today is the Foinikon avenue.
In Antimacheia, 4,5 km southwestward of the village there is a well preserved Middle-Age Castle. Inside the Castle are settled two post Byzantine churches while at Pyli, from a barrow, appear the remains of a Byzantine Castle where there is a wonderful view to the nearby islands while akin ruins exist at the top of a hill at Kefalos.
At the, today ruined, "Old Pyli" on a barrow at the southeastwards of this village there are three churches, St. Anthony, Archangels and Ypapanti-the old Kastrianos Abbey founded by Saint Christodoulos. Ypapanti appears the most interest while there are kept the traces of hagiographies of the 14th century, a woodcut temple and ancient columns transferred from the nearest Dimitra's Sanctum.
At Masichari are saved ruins of a paleochristian Cathedral of the 5th century with finely kept mosaics covering a surface of 400 square meters.
At Aspfendiou there is the Church of the Incorporeal Archangels of the 11th century with the ornate temple and the Protochristian Cathedral of Saul outside the village. Still, at the top of the Dikaion Oros (Mountain of Justice) there is the Church of Christ with magnificent view.
The extended sands and the limpid beaches are a true pleasure in the island of Hippocrates. If you are seeking for shallow and crystal-clear waters then you should go at Lambi beach where the first 12km remind of Hawaii Island. A different scene is presented at Psalidi where the coast has many beautiful shingles and the sand is volcanic sable.
At Kefalos there is the most cosmopolitan with the picturesque voe and the pellucid waters. Surfing devotees hold their resort at Marmari, 17 km from the capital.
27 km. southwards of the island Kardamaina village from an outport it has been lately transformed to an English colony. It is a place of gathering for all those who llike to groove at bars, discos and immense sands. Here, except swimming you can enjoy your favorite sports like jet-ski, surf, parachute or bicycling.
The best beaches exist western and distinguishes the Paradise beach. A name like concinnity. There you can visit the Byzantine Cathedral of Agia Theodotis at ancient Alasarna and the ruins of a Theater.
The closest path starting from the capital is the one to the spas at Thermaes, 1 km. from the touristic resort of Agios Fokas. They were discovered at 1934 by the Italian archaeologist Louciano Lauvrenzi. Their waters are appropriate for rheumatisms, arthritis and gynecological diseases. Thermaes of the 3rd century are also discovered at the port.
Mastichari is the seaport of Antimacheia. It combines everything: Surfing, fishing, taverns, bars and a beautiful sandy beach.
A good idea is to organize the tour to of the island or to participate at a Jeep Safari, while ski, windsurfing, parachute, jet-ski, canoe, water bicycles and water crafts you will find at every organized beach. Pools, playgrounds, tennis-basket and volley courts, gym equipment, billards, ping pong and golf courts you will find in all the big hotel while at Lambi there is a Manege.
At the market you will buy ceramics, jewellery, statuettes, icons, souvenirs, textiles, red cheese, skim-milk cheese and marvelous honey. You should try the local white semi-sweet wine and the red cheese stewed in the lees of red wine. Tasty also you will find groats with mince and the stuffed vine leaves. Special mention is ought to be given to oriental delicacies such as 'lachmatzoun pie" with garlic mince and tomato, pehinirli with kaser, egg-sausages, seasoned camel meat, hot kebab and marinated brunswick stew.
At the patisseries you will find pan-pastries such as the famous "baklava, while leaving the island, you surely have to be supplied by preserves and "small tomato" from jar tomatoes and of course "Seftal Kebab".
The bars in Kos are also numerous and offer a huge variety of cocktails and good music.