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Exploring Kos | History, Beaches, and Mediterranean Charm

Kos Island is the third largest island in the Dodecanese. In fact, it’s the home of Hippocrates and is located just three nautical miles from the coasts of Asia Minor. It is breathtakingly beautiful, where one can find sandy beaches and hot springs with healing properties, a rich history, and numerous monuments.

View of a church in Kos
Kos. Photo by Greg Montani on Pixabay.

Hippocrates, considered by scientists to be the founder of medicine and most likely the most important physician of ancient times, was born in Kos in 460 BC.

Geography and Landscape

Kos is the third-largest island in the Dodecanese group, with an area of approximately 290 square kilometers. It’s situated just off the southwestern coast of Turkey, making it one of the closest Greek islands to the Turkish mainland.

The island boasts a diverse landscape that includes fertile plains, lush valleys, rolling hills, and a picturesque coastline with sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. The island’s interior is adorned with vineyards, olive groves, and charming villages.


Kos climate is Mediterranean. It has mild, rainy winters and hot, sunny summers. The daily average temperature ranges from 9.5 °C in February to 25.5 °C in July.

Places to see in Kos

  • Kos Town is the island’s capital and main port, located on the northeastern side, around a vast area full of greenery and lush vegetation. Along the main pedestrian walk are plenty of cafes, taverns, restaurants, shops, and nightclubs.
  • Zia Village is 16 kilometers southeast of Kos Town and close to Asfendiou village. The main street has shops and excellent taverns. Zia is also a famous destination for fantastic sunset views.
  • Antimachia is a traditional village that lies on a plateau 23 kilometers south of Kos Town. The Venetian Castle of Antimachia dominates the village and offers a magnificent view of the island.
  • Kefalos is a beautiful town on the slopes of a hill, 40 kilometers southwest of the main town.
  • The Folklore Museum in Kefalos portrays the rural way of life in the past.
  • Sanctuary of Asklepieion is a historic site where doctors examined patients holistically and looked for ways to cure and prevent illness.
  • Archaeological Museum of Kos. It contains all the findings discovered during excavations on Kos from the beginning of the 20th century.
  • The Folklore Museum of Kos (Chani) is rich with artifacts and relics of Kos’s folklore and cultural heritage.
  • The Roman Odeon.
  • The Castle of the Knights in Kos, also called Nerantzia Castle, an ancient Greek structure, is the only saved secular building of a Knightly period in Kos.
  • The Castle of Antimachia (Venetian Castle) stands on a small hill above Antimachia village. The Knights of Saint John ordered the castle’s construction in the early 14th century. However, work intensified at the end of the 15th century. You have lovely views of the surrounding area and the sea from the Castle.

 Things to do in Kos

  • Go to the beach. The beaches in Kos are some of the most beautiful in the Dodecanese islands. Many are sandy with crystal blue waters. Some are organized and offer plenty of tourist facilities, like Kardamena, Agios Stefanos, Kefalos, and Lambi, while others are secluded and frequented by naturists.
  • Dine. You’ll find restaurants offering everything from local Greek cuisine to Chinese and Mexican, as well as bars and nightclubs. For example, the Tavern “Elia” serves a wide selection of traditional Greek specialties in a casual and relaxing atmosphere. 
  • Windsurf. There are windsurfing centers on many beaches that rent equipment and offer courses. Popular windsurfing spots include Mastihari, Kefalos, Agios Stefanos, Psalidi, and Lambi.
  • Thermal Springs. Kos has therapeutic thermal springs like the Agios Fokas and Embros Thermae. In addition, visitors can relax and soak in the healing waters.
  • Scuba dive.
  • Horseback ride.


The cuisine on Kos boasts of:

  • Fresh meat
  • Fish
  • Vegetables
  • Olive oil

Seafood favorites include:

  • Shrimp
  • Squid
  • Lobster
  • Octopus

While on the island, indulge in local cheeses:

  1. Xynomyzithra – a sour cheese
  2. Krasotyri – a spicy cheese infused with wine.

And for a sweet treat? Dive into baklava – a delectable pastry made of layers of filo, chopped nuts, and drenched in honey.