Sandy beaches, turquoise waters, lush vegetation, ancient and medieval monuments, impressive Italian buildings, tree-lined wide roads, large squares, parks, a superb city plan and an extensive bicycle-only routes network are the distinctive characteristics of the third largest island of the Dodecanese, Kos! The island’s trademark is its medieval castle (Nerantzia Castle) situated at the entrance of the port.
The name «Kos» probably derives from the daughter of the mythical King Meropas, called Koos. Kos is the birthplace of Hippocrates «the father of medicine» (460-377 B.C) and was already inhabited during Neolithic Period (5th – 4th millennium B.C). The Knights of St. John conquered the island during the 14th century, reinforcing the older castles and building new fortifications. During Turkish occupation, the island was attacked by several intruders (Knights, Venetians etc.), while during Italian occupation (1912-1945) some really important, monumental public buildings were constructed. The island was officially united with Greece in 1948. It extends over a surface of 290 km2; its coastline is 112 km and counts 31,000 inhabitants.
Wander along the impressive avenue with the Palm Trees, or stroll around famous squares like Platanou Square and Eleftheria Square and admire legendary buildings, remains of the Italian rule.
Interested in history? Pay a visit to the ancient city of Kos and observe important archaeological finds dating back to the 4th century. Did you actually know that you can sit under the plane tree where Hippocrates himself, the Father of Medicine, used to teach his students and examine his patients? The plane tree must be over 2,500 years old, and it is in fact the oldest in Europe! Don’t miss the 4th century Asclipiion, the Antimahia 15th century castle with its imposing battle tower, as well as one of the most scenic villages of Kos with a distinctive traditional character, Zia nestled amongst a dense cedar forest.
Beaches in Kos
The island has several sandy coasts. The beaches in the north side of the island are more affected by winds. Most of the coasts underwent touristic development and have easy access and various services. Some of the most visited beaches are:
Nomikou-Barbagianni sandy beach extending from the city of Kos to the surrounding areas. It is an organized beach with umbrellas and deck-chairs, water sports, restaurants and bars.
Zourouni sandy beach is an organized beach with umbrellas and deck-chairs, water sports, bars and loud music. Nautical Club beach with fine sand is awarded with the European Union blue flag.
Milos beach with fine sand, which is also awarded with European Union blue flag. There is a coastal bar with loud music and frequent concerts
Lambi beach has small rocks followed afterwards by fine sand. It is a beach that usually has waves.
Karnagio beach is located in a quiet area, with fine sand and shallow waters.
Psalidi beach, with rocks, that makes it ideal for spear fishing. There are restaurants and taverns here.
Aghios Fokas beach is located in a quiet area with black sand and steep depth.
Esperides beach with thick sand and peddles located in a quiet area.
Thermes beach with abrupt depth surrounded by steep rocks. There you can find warm thermal spas.
In the north side of the island you will find Tigkaki beach with white sand and shallow waters awarded by the EU with blue flag. It is an organized beach with umbrellas and deck-chairs, water sports, restaurants, taverns and bars. It is ideal for wind surfing.
Marmari beach with fine sand and shallow waters is also awarded with blue flag by the EU. You will find there many coastal taverns.
Tam-tam beach just before Mastichari with fine sand. It is an organized beach with umbrellas, deck-chairs and water sports, ideal for wind surfing.
Limnionas beach with fine white sand and usually wavy waters.
In the south side of the island you can swim in: Kardamena
Kardamena beach with fine sand and shallow waters. It is an organized beach with umbrellas and deck-chairs, water sports, restaurants and bars.
In Kefalos location you will find Sunny Beach, Marcos beach and Paradise beach with fine sand. They are all organized beaches with umbrellas and deck-chairs, water sports, restaurants and bars.
In the same area you will find Camel beach, located in a gulf with rocks and white sand. There are coastal bars.
Aghios Stefanos beach has very cold waters.
Kamari beach is covered with sand and rocks. There you can find water sport facilities and taverns.
Aghios Theologos beach with white sand is ideal for spear fishing.