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Considered by the Ancient Greeks to be the sacred land of the god of healing, Kos is unmatched in combining natural beauty with activities that cater to any interest. Whether marvelling at the island’s ancient ruins, chilling out on one of its world famous beaches or partying the night away at one of its many bars, Kos really has something for everyone, making it the perfect summer holiday destination.
Though its capital, Kos Town, is Kos’s epicentre, the whole island is within driving distance; a mountain hike followed by a sea swim is an easy day’s outing.
History and Culture
Located in the ancient region of Caira, Kos still contains many monuments to its Roman and Byzantine ancestry, making its ancient ruins some of the most revered in the world.
The town of Pyli, a 25-minute drive from Kos Town, contains a well-preserved Byzantine settlement overlooked by the remains of a 14th Century Castle sitting atop the town’s highest point. The modern quarter of Pyli also contains many tiny galleries showcasing local art.
For those interested in more ancient history, Kos Town contains The Ancient Town, largely constructed in the 4th Century BC. Impressive buildings such as the Large Basilica still remain largely intact.
As Kos is the birthplace of Hippocrates, a physician considered to be the father of modern medicine, must-visit is the island’s grandest “sacred hospital”, the Asklepieion. A 15-minute drive from Kos Town, it is hidden away by dense forest, giving rise to a stunning view of the contrasting landscapes.
Part of a mountain range separated by earthquakes during ancient times, Kos boasts breath-taking and diverse natural scenery.
An active volcano on Nisyros is located a short ferry ride from the mainland, and the Ancient village of Nikia offers a bird’s eye view of the volcanic crater caused by an eruption in the 15th Century.
Kos also offers endless stretches of postcard-worthy beaches, and its hot, dry summer climate ensures that there is no better place for worshippers of sea and sand.
Eating and Drinking
Good local food means that Kos allows tourists to eat well very cheaply. Its 290km of coastline offers some of the freshest seafood anywhere in the world. Tavernas selling fish caught that day are numerous and excellent value.
In Kos, like anywhere else in Greece, the tipple of choice is Ouzo, an anise flavoured spirit. Any Kos bar worth its salt will serve Ouzo, which is usually drunk over ice.
Though its party-hard reputation is not entirely undeserved, Kos hosts a range of night-time hotspots to suit all preferences.
Kardamena boasts its famous strip Bar Street, which during summer is packed with partyers enjoying its many bars and nightclubs. Many Kos hotels overlook the strip, ensuring safe and easy journeys home.
For those looking for more relaxed nights out, an evening in the mountain village of Zia will not disappoint, offering the best tavernas and sunset views on the island.
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