Vacation and accommodation in Greece
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Kos is the island that gave the world Hippocrates, the father of medicine. The third largest of the Dodecanese, it is long and narrow in shape, mostly flat with two low mountains, Dikaio (875 m.) and Simpatro, that run along its southern coast.
It lies south of Kalymnos and was first inhabited in the Neolithic era. In 700 B.C., it joined together with Lindos, Kameiros, lalyssos, Knidos and Halikarnassos to found the Dorian Hexapolis.
In the 4th century B.C., its Asklepieion became famous as the leading "hospital" of antiquity.
The capital, Kos, is situated in a verdant district on the north-east of the island, at the back of an open bay. Around the port you can still see the ruins of the ancient city and the castle, built between 1450 and 1478 after the Knights of St. John took over the island.
Excavations in the ancient city brought to light building foundations of the Classical era (e.g. the Agora) and of Hellenistic and Roman times (the Gymnasium, Odeon, Roman baths, a Roman mansion with beautiful mosaics), sections of wall from the Classical period, the foundations of a temple of Aphrodite and another temple, probably dedicated to Heracles.
The rest of the town is modern and well - laid - out, with contemporary buildings, hotels and avenues lined with palm trees. In a lush area 4 kilometres west of town, you'll find the Asklepieion (Asklipiio) or Sanctuary of Asklepios. Its buildings, owing to the slope of the site, stand on four different terraces united by a marble staircase. The view from the highest one is stunning.
The most important structure is the temple of Asklepios, a Doric peripteral temple erected in the 2nd century B.C. Other buildings include the Stoa (Colonnade), which housed Hippocrates' medical school and the Bomos or Great Altar (3rd century B.C.), which was decorated with sculptures attributed to the son of Praxiteles.
During your visit to Kos, it would be well worth your while to visit the pretty villages which are scattered round the island.
Among them are Asfendiou, 14 kilometres southwest of town, built on the slopes of Mt. Dikaia overlooking the sea; Pili, furfher south, with its ruined Byzantine castle and the Ypapanti church within it Andimahia, perched on a plateau in the middle of the island; Thermes, with its hot springs and spa and Kardamena , a seaside resort both on the east coast; Tingaki (near the airport) Marmari, and Mastihari, Ko's second harbour, on the north coast; and finally Kefalos on the southwest coast with its splendid beach. The ruins of the ancient town of Astypalaia can be seen at the district known as Palatia nearby.
You'll find wonderful beaches all over the island. You can reach the closer ones by bicycle, a popular means of getting around on Kos.
how to get there
By plane from Athens
By ferry from Pireas
For information about flights call Olympic Airways, Athens: tel. 210/9666666;
For information on ship routes contact Piraeus harbour master, tel.: 210/4226000
Kos is linked by plane to Rhodes
Ferries link Kos to the Dodecanese, the Cyclades, Crete, and the Eastern Aegean islands.