Kos Island is located in the Cyclades Islands and has a long history that dates back to ancient times. During the Middle Ages, it was a first line of defense against the invading Ottoman Empire, where the main role was played by Order of the Knights of St. John.
Today, the island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece and has beautiful beaches, crystal clear water and luxurious resorts. Many parts of the island of Kos are virtually untouched so that you'll find plenty of small hidden coves and magical wild beaches.
These days though, the island has a problem with refugees from Syria and other places, a fact that is evident on the streets of Kos.
Karpathos is located southwest of Rhodes. With a length of fifty kilometers, Karpathos is, on average, between six and ten kilometers wide. When measured by its surface area, it is the second-largest island in the Dodecanese. It is a mountainous island. The main town of Karpathos is Pigadia, which is also the main port of the island.
The ancient Greek name was Potideo or Possidius. The sheer Kali-Limni mountain range (1215m) is, according to mythology, the birthplace of the Titans. This ridge divides the island into two areas, one being the semi-desert and sparsely populated north, and the other one being the well-irrigated and more-populated south.
The island has beautiful white sand beaches where the water is clear. The food is very good here, especially the fish.
We went for a walk to the Asclepo sanctuary, a Corinthian temple about 4 km from Kos. Built on three levels on a hill, it is dedicated to Asclepius, the god of medicine. Healings were performed here, thanks to the hot springs and healing waters. On the first level is the altar, dedicated to the sun and other gods. You can still see the remains of columns of other temples. A fascinating place.
The Ancient Agora consists of a series of ruins, ranging from ancient Greek to Byzantine. Though the Knights of the Order of Saint John built their buildings late on the site, the earthquake of 1933 revealed the ancient ruins.
The most significant buildings are certainly a temple dating from the 3rd century BC, dedicated to Heracles, a mosaic depicting Orpheus and Heracles, the ruins of a temple dedicated to Aphrodite, as well as early Christian basilica located near the Roman Agora.
"The Odeum Romanum" ancient amphitheatre is located in the city of Kos. It is supposed to date back to the first century AD, and it was used as a place for music competitions and senate sessions. There are fourteen rows of benches made entirely of marble; nine of them have undergone renovations, while the others remained well preserved. A very interesting place to visit!
Kos Airport is named after the great Hippocrates, who was the father of medicine. It is located near the city of Antimachia, and so it's only about 23 km away from Kos Town. The airport has many flights to and from the various Greek islands and even beyond. During the summer there are many more flights, taking peak season tourists from the rest of Europe. The airport has duty-free zone and a small restaurant.
In the middle of Kos, we can admire the giant tree of Hippocrates, who was the father of medicine (460 BC). Legend has it that he sat here under its broad leaves to give lessons to his disciples, taking medicine to the same level as science rather than leaving it seen as a form of witchcraft or magic. Hippocrates was the first to catalogue the different treatments for various diseases. Highly recommended.
Above the city, the village of Zia has a fantastic location in the heart of the pine forests of Mount Oromedon. The most amazing thing about it is the main street - the heart of a truly authentic Greek village. A quiet, charming place, and a highly recommended visit.
This is one of the most visited Orthodox churches, filled with Byzantine icons and paintings in dark and golden tones. Here you can learn more about the crossroads of cultures, with churches, synagoges, mosques and Turkish baths. Next to the tree of Hippocrates is one mosque, and there's a beautiful Greco-Roman villa nearby with a mosaic of the Rape of Europa.
The Kos city beach is a long sandy beach with crystal clear water, young visitors, and beach facilities adapted to younger tastes. It has a large number of coffee bars offering all kinds of coffees, cocktails, fruit juices, beers and other refreshing drinks, and sunbeds and umbrellas that are free with a drink. The beach is full all day but somewhat less crowded in the afternoon. There are options to do all kinds of water sports from water-skiing to parachuting with a boat.
This garden is located outside the Botanic Centre, named after the great Hippocrates. Here the eye and the nose can be delighted by a wide variety of medicinal plants (lavender, thyme, mint, rosemary, chamomile, and many more I don't know). In addition, there's a huge number of fruit trees, especially lemons. This is a great teaching laboratory which allows visitors to learn more about plants and their benefits. Don't miss it!
If you are in Kos, but want some peace and quiet, go to Mastihari. This is a small fishing village with a beautiful beach. At night it comes alive, with all the shops and restaurants to eat delicious Greek specialties.