Kos Island in Greece is a great place for tourism and recreation. Here you can bask on the beautiful beaches under the gentle sun of the Aegean Sea, explore the many historical and cultural sites, as well as try a wonderful light and diverse local cuisine, full of excellent dishes of fish and seafood.
The island has a developed tourist infrastructure, many world-famous resorts: Kefalos, Kardamena, Marmari, Mastikhari, there is an island international airport. There is a large number of beautiful beaches with golden sand and magnificent subtropical vegetation. Flamingos come to the island in winter, and turtles and Mediterranean seals live year-round.
Top 12 Sights of Kos
Every civilization that has visited Kos has left behind many unique monuments of history, culture and architecture. All these great attractions tourists can see during the holidays and get a lot of interesting information about this wonderful place. So, what is there to see on Kos?
This ancient Greek temple is the most popular tourist attraction. It was erected in the 4th century BC. in honor of Asclepius, the god of healing. Here in ancient times they worshipped this deity and practiced medicine. And the treatment was prescribed on the basis of dreams that the patient who had spent the night in the temple had seen.
Today, these ancient ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After all, it was in the temple that the humanity of the Mediterranean accumulated the original knowledge of medicine for centuries on end. It is known that the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, gained his knowledge from ancient tablets in the Asklepion on the island of Kos.
The Castle of the Joannite Knights
This fortress is another famous landmark of Kos. It is located near its capital of the same name. The fortress walls of this castle are impressive in their power. Medieval builders used local stone and marble in their construction. And behind the walls of the fortress you can see Christian temples.
The castle was built in the 14th-16th centuries by Crusaders of the Order of St. John to defend themselves against attacks by the Ottoman Turks. It can be viewed all day, admiring the medieval builders, tombs, altars and studying the peculiarities of life of those times. Interestingly, the famous Hippocratic sycamore grows near the castle
Another attraction of Kos, as the birthplace of medicine, is the famous Platan of Hippocrates. This huge tree, several centuries old, growing in the square next to the castle of the Knights Ioannites, according to legend, was planted by the father of medicine himself. The islanders believe it was under this sycamore tree that he worked with his students.
Perhaps it is just a legend, because according to experts the tree is about five hundred years old. Most likely, it is a descendant of the sycamore tree of the great healer, because he lived in the 5-4 centuries BC, i.e. 26 centuries ago. Nevertheless, it is the oldest sycamore tree in Europe, and there is a special metal structure to support it. Sprouts from the Platanus Hippocratus are distributed all over the world.
Altar of Dionysus
Another ancient and symbolic site, located among the ruins near the ancient Greek market square of the Agora, is dedicated to the god of wine-making. The altar was only discovered by archaeologists in the 20th century and to this day represents one of the sensational sights of Kos and all of Greece.
The altar of Dionysus was badly damaged in one of the earthquakes, so today there are only fragments of the temple, but even in this form it is a huge historical, cultural and scientific value, loved by Greeks and tourists from all over the world. For only a miracle has preserved it for mankind.
The Fortress of Antimachia
There is something more modern to see on the island of Kos. This fortress is a medieval castle, built here by the Knights of the Order of St. John in the 15th century, during the reign of Venice. Many centuries have passed, but the powerful walls, the bastion of this castle and the ruins of three Christian churches (St. Mary, St. Nicholas and Praskovia) have survived.
In the 16th century, local residents hid in the fortress of Antimáchia, fleeing from the Turks and pirates. But for two centuries it has been completely abandoned. Today it is one of the famous landmarks of Kos and the whole of Greece, where various concerts or theatrical productions for islanders and tourists are periodically held.
The Mediterranean is one of the places where Christian and Islamic civilizations collided. Kos was ruled by the Ottoman Empire for about 400 years, which left many mosques and other historical and cultural monuments here. The Defterdar Mosque is one of those attractions.
It was built in the early 18th century in the center of the island, and today the mosque is a bright and colorful representative of Turkish culture. It is interesting that it is valid, despite all the difficulties and tragedies in the history of relations between Greece and Turkey. Next to the mosque is a real Oriental bazaar in all its exotic beauty.
Hadji Hasan Mosque
From the Turkish heritage, there is still much to see on Kos. Thus, the mosque Haji Hassan, arouses great interest among tourists. Nearby there is a souvenir shop, where you can buy souvenirs of this magnificent architectural and iconic monument. There is a minaret next to the shop from which the mullah calls his flock.
The mosque was built in the mid-18th century at the behest of the Turkish governor and governor of the island at the time. The Greeks are convinced that the Byzantine temple of St. John the Baptist stood in its place. St. George. Today the mosque building is in excellent condition and does not need restoration. It is active, and local Muslims come here every day for prayers.
It’s an ethnographic Greek village near the island’s capital where tourists flock in droves. It’s a truly atmospheric place that looks like Eden. It is a real pleasure to walk through such a village and look at the old houses tucked into the green. Behind the village there are magnificent views of the Aegean Sea.
You can climb the mountain of Dikeos, on the slope of which stands the village of Zia, and from there, from the top, there are even more beautiful views of the island and the sea, the church with the bell tower and the old mill, narrow village streets and old taverns, colorful mountain meadows and forest with ship pines. This is truly cinematic terrain.
If you’re wondering what to see on Kos with children, head to Plaka Pine Forest, home to wild peacocks. And they are used to visitors and at the sight of another tourist running to him and demand a “goodies. Peacocks can be given human food, they eat cheese and sausage and are very fond of bread.
At the end of spring, these birds are in the middle of mating season, so peacocks unfurl their incredibly beautiful tails. But when calling for a female, they scream terribly. But females have a rather unsightly appearance. It is worth noting that in the wild, peacocks like to fly up into the trees and sit there in groups of several individuals, a very spectacular sight. Such a natural attraction Kosa will appeal to both adults and children.
A Roman nobleman’s house
On the island of Kos there is a beautifully preserved landmark from the days of ancient Rome – the Villa Casa Romana. It was excavated by archaeologists in the thirties after the famous earthquake. Immediately after its discovery, the restoration of this Kos landmark began, which lasted more than 60 years.
This villa was built in the 3rd century BC. It is spacious, has a large size and many rooms, indicating that more than two thousand years ago it was the home of a noble and wealthy Roman family. The villa has an elegant architecture and perfectly preserved interior (mosaic floors, marble columns, a fountain in the patio, etc.).
Of the remains of the Roman Empire on the island of Kos, you can also see the amphitheater Odeon. It was built here in the 2nd century A.D., then buried by an earthquake, and was discovered, along with the thermal baths, only at the beginning of the 20th century, and in excellent condition. In its arena almost two millennia ago, fights between slaves, captives, bulls, and wild animals were held.
Many of the seats in the Odeon Amphitheater remained in their original, authentic form, i.e. white marble, and some have been restored in granite. You can test the quality of the acoustics in this structure by singing a song or reciting a poem, it’s amazing. This is such an ancient landmark of Kos.
This is another beautiful natural attraction of the island. It is a sandy beach near the capital of Kos. It has thermal springs and a sort of natural pool, so right on the beach you can easily feel like you’re in a real thermal bath or spa.
On the beach, the municipal authorities annually make small pools filled with mineral and hot volcanic waters. Here, as a rule, not many people, so there is an opportunity to relax and fully enjoy such a wonderful natural bath. In addition, it has a very beautiful coastline and magnificent sunsets. Have a great holiday!
Video overview of the sights of Kos
The island of Kos is famous because it is closely connected with the ancient Greek civilization and its myths. is very often mentioned in them. Kos has a rich history. In the Middle Ages it was conquered by the Persians, then it fell under the rule of Venice, then the Crusaders, the Ottomans, Italy, Nazi Germany and finally, with the help of the Soviet Union, it returned to modern Greece.