The island was already inhabited during the Neolithic Period (5000 – 4000 BC). Kos is the place were Hippocrates «the father of medicine», was born. (460-377 BC) Latest studies show that Kos was an important trade hub in ancient times, mostly, but not entirely, under Rhodes influence. Agriculture used to be vital for the local economy. The Order of Crusaders, also known as the Hospitaller Knights of St. John of Jeruasalem, established on the island around the 14th century, reinforced the older castles and also built some new fortifications. Under the Ottoman occupation, the island was attacked regularly by several opportunists, among them pirates, Knights, Venetians etc. Under the Italian occupation (1912-1945)some monumental public buildings were constructed. The unification of Kos island with Greece came in 1948. Its surface is 290 km2 and its coastline around 112km. 31,000 people live here all year round.
From the Greek capital Athens, Kos island can be reached by sea with the ferry service from Piraeus Port or by airplane from Athens International Airport, «Eleftherios Venizelos». You may also consider alternative flights operating from other Greek airports. The local airport “Hippocrates” hosts during summer, direct charter flights from most major European cities. Check with your local travel agent or on the internet.
Take a stroll through the city and pay a visit to:
– The Eleftheria (Liberty) Square, which is considered to be the center of the contemporary city. It is surrounded by three buildings of Italian architecture, erected during the same era: the municipal market, ideal for shopping fresh fruits, spices, local delicacies or souvenirs. The Club, which was called “Fascism Palace”. The Archaeological Museum with a prehistoric collection. The visitor can admire statues, sculptures and mosaic floors saved from the Roman buildings of the ancient city, as well as a replica of the Roman baths.
– The ancient city, dating back to 366 BC., used to be the capital city of Kos. One can clearly perceive the development from the Hellenistic to the Ancient Roman period. The Hellenistic Doric temple, the Market, the Port Sanctuary and Arcade, Hercules’ Sanctuary, Dionysus’ Altar, The Roman Baths, the Roman Mansions with the mosaic floors, the Roman Residence as well as the Roman Conservatorium with a capacity of 750 seats.
– The Medieval Castle is located at the entrance to the port. Its fortifications date back to the 7th century the Byzantine era. You can walk inside and explore the internal bulwarks. Four round towers and an external one with its massive bastions can still be seen today in a very good condition.
– Platanos Square or simply Plane-Tree, one of the busiest social hotspots of the town.
– Hippocrates’ Plane Tree, under which Hippocrates presumably examined patients and taught his students. About 500 years old and possibly a descendent of the original tree which allegedly stood thee 2400 years ago, with a trunk periphery of 10m and enormous branches, a must see.
– “Therma” natural hot springs that flow into a rock pool on a beach. Explore, enjoy and rejuvenate yourself!