Kos is a Popular Tourist Destination for a Reason
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Almost three quarters of Kos’ working people are directly involved in tourism, if that tells you anything about the popularity of Kos. What draws tourists to the Dodecanese island of Kos, especially between June and September, are mostly its miles of sandy beaches but it has so much more to offer.
Kos Town, the capital of Kos, is a modern town that encircles Mandraki Harbor and is lined with palm trees. At the harbor, you’ll notice the Castle of the Knights. It was built in the 14th century and was separated from the town by a moat, which was the knights’ best defense against the Ottomans. It’s an enjoyable sight, but little remains inside the Castle and it’s better to just observe it from the outside.
On the edge of town, The Casa Romana (Roman House) is the largest Roman villa in Greece and was built and rebuilt over the centuries. It’s a restoration of a 3rd century Roman mansion with 36 rooms grouped around three atriums. It houses beautiful frescoes and mosaics and provides a peek at what life was like for the rich people of the Roman town. Kos Town also has an Archaeological Museum that houses Hellenistic and Roman sculptures by Koan artists. The most popular sight is the statue of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine who practiced on Kos.
If you visit Kos Town during peak season, from July through mid-September, you can take part in the Hippocrates Festival. The Festival features music, dance, movies, and theater performances at venues including the Castle of the Knights and the Odeon. It also includes numerous exhibits around town and plenty of activities for children to enjoy.
Besides the beaches, one of the most popular tourist destinations on Kos is the Asklepieion, located 2 ½ miles west of Kos Town. It is the island’s most important ancient site. The site was once the most renowned medical facility in the Western world, where Hippocrates began to teach the art of healing in the 5th century BC. The Asklepieion consisted of a religious sanctuary devoted to Asclepius the God of healing, a healing center, and a school of medicine that followed Hippocrates’ teachings. It was one of the great healing centers of antiquity and its ruins are still impressive. Built on a hill, it offers lovely views of Kos Town and Turkey.
If you came to Kos for the beaches, there are plenty to choose from although most are very crowded during the summer months. The most popular beach is Paradise Beach. Doesn’t the name say it all? It offers fine white sand, crystal clear waters, and has plenty of restaurants nearby. If you enjoy windsurfing, Kefalos Beach is a popular spot. Therma Beach attracts people in both summer and winter because of its hot water that comes from the mountain. The hot water is therapeutic. Lambi Beach is the closest beach to Kos Town.
If you enjoy going out at night, you’re in luck. Kos has an active nightlife scene and the venues are lively until sunrise. If this is your style, head towards Akti Koundourioti and the nearby Exarhia area.
Categorized in: Greek Travel Guide
This post was written by GreekBoston.com