The mark of time and the passage of many cultures and civilizations through Kos are alive until today. From the mythological era of Hercules and King Charmilos and the Hellenistic era of Asclepius, the ancient stadium, the ancient agora and the ancient theater, to the present day modern infrastructures and residential development, numerous monuments and ruins, evidenced in various cultures have shaped the history and local tradition.
Abundant are the monuments that exist until today, from the Roman Empire during which Kos continued to grow, including a number of significant statues, the Roman Odeon and the Roman House, to the Byzantine Empire, with the Christian church of St. John being the most significant. Evidence also exists from the period of the Crusades and the Venetian conquerors like the castles of the city of Neratzia, the castle of Antimachia, the Castle of Kefalos and the castle of old Pyli. From the Ottoman Empire, the old city of Kos and the mosques throughout the city stand apart, while the modern buildings of the Italian period with the Italian architecture and the infrastructure exist until today.
Culture & Tradition
The long-term occupation of Kos by foreign conquerors up to the recent past (1948) has affected the character and the cultural minds of the residents. Simultaneously, the local community was strongly influenced by agriculture and livestock of the residents until the 70s. In recent years, the growth of Kos in the field of tourism and the need to offer cultural events to tourists in connection with the locals, has enriched the island's cultural interaction with foreign, mainly European influences.
Music and dancing are the main cultural activities of the residents associated with the tradition, the orthodox faith and the seasons of cultivation and harvesting of produce. Significantly, the art of traditional dance, song and Byzantine music is not performed by few, but consists of a common collectivenesss among the residents who are actively involved in dozens of fairs and church festivals, weddings and family and educational events. Alongside, dozens of clubs preserve tradition and public and private schools transfer knowledge to young children.
The architecture of Kos is unique having absorbed and incorporated various cultural influences. During the Ottoman period the town bore all the trappings of the well-famed market cities. Daily life activities took place along the commercial road around where the local Muslims lived exclusively and within the bazaar situated on the center of the Platanos square.
The town is scattered with mosques and springs dating back to the Ottoman era. During the Italian occupation the town was greatly influenced by Venetian Architecture.
Hippocrates & Medicine
Hippocrates the father of modern medicine, has forever been a critical bragging point to the islanders. Kos is justifiably characterized as the island of Hippocrates. The son of Heracleidis and Fanaireti, the heir to a family of priests and priestesses to Asclepius of the temple dedicated to him in Kos. Hippocrates born in Kos, in 460 B.C (according to tradition in the old capital of Astipalaia) founded and laid the groundwork for medical science. He had two sons, Thessalos and Drakontas both excellent doctors.
Having received excellent education from his father and grandfather, he went on to study under the dietitian Herodicus Silymvrianous, the sophist Gorgias Leontinos and the philosopher Democritus Abderitis. While practising medicine in the schools of Kos and Kindos, he was not enthralled by the mysticism of the sacramental medicine of the priests of his time.
Touring through many lands like Thrace, Thasos and Egypt, his studies were not limited to nature and the climate but extended to include peoples and traditions.
Kos has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The cities of Kos, Kefalos, Kardamena, Antimachia, Pyli have been inhabited since antiquity. In recent years, there have been seasonal settlements in Tigaki, Marmari, and Mastichari, all developed on the north side of the island. With exceptional natural and local features the areas of Zia, Asfendiou and Zipari are located in the middle of the island, towards Mount Dikaios.
From one end of the island, the city of Kos, to the other end, Kefalos,the distance does not exceed 40 kilometers, about 45 minutes by car.
Kos is the island of the bicycle
The bicycle path of Kos starts from Faros beach and extends to the end of the beach of Psalidi, a distance of about 13 km ( ! ) . With many side roads, some of which lead into the city of Kos, one can go anywhere in the city by bike.
The locals who prefer this means of transportation go to work, to nearby beaches, to one of the many cafeterias or just take a ride through the beautiful city of Kos.
Kos is the ideal place for anyone to enjoy the sea. To swim, walk on the seashore, go by boat to the nearby islands, have fun and enjoy the watersports and games.
The first reason someone chooses to come to Kos is the sea, because the sea in Kos shows its most beautiful face to the people. Large and gentle seashores, endless beaches in all shades of blue, all the neighboring islands and beaches nearby and within sight of each point of the island, waters warm or cool. The sea in Kos has it all.
The options for your stay in Kos are limitless: Big or small, luxury or more affordable budget hotels, rooms and studios, villas and houses, there are over 350 businesses, spread across the island, which can meet all the requirements and desires you have and accommodate more than 150,000 visitors daily.
Find the accommodation that suits your needs and your financial capability through the full list of all businesses, like nowhere else on the internet.
Food & Fun
Food and entertainment is one of the major advantages of the island. Hundreds of restaurants, taverns with great diversity in the local cuisine, night clubs for all tastes make an infrastructure composed of great care, investment and effort over the past few years by the residents - entrepreneurs of the island that offer quality and comprehensive services to all the guests.
It’s worth trying something different when it comes to food and entertainment every day, since you will always find something interesting, something special, a great variety to choose from.
Sights & Events
Kos is not just about the sea, the sun and the fun. It is worth it for the visitor to spend some of his time visiting and admiring the important sights of the island. You shouldn’t come to Kos without a visit to Asclepion, or admire the unique sunsets or have a taste of the local culture through events held each summer on the island.
It is also worth visiting and getting to know several other secondary sights that are scattered throughout the island and uncover its history and its secrets.
There are a variety of sports and activities for the fitness buff during his/her stay and plenty of public and private basketball and tennis courts, golf courses and football pitches all over the island. In addition, beaches offer facilities for sports on the beach like volleyball.For water sports, there are many organised beaches that provide equipment for extreme fun on the water.
The city of Kos has all kinds of shopping venues that can be found anywhere in the world. The interest of the tourists and visitors is peaked by the shops that sell local products, souvenirs and folk art, as well as food items, all of them scattered throughout the island.
Due to the special tax regime that is active in Kos and other Dodecanese islands concerning the reduced VAT in relation to the rest of Greece and the rest of Europe, the prices of many products are lower and in many cases, it’s best for someone to buy something that will probably be more expensive in his city.