The Dodecanese group of islands is part of a chain of mountains that became separated 140,000 years ago after an enormous volcanic eruption that dwarfed the later, more famous one at Santorini. Among the fossils that have since been discovered are evidence not just of horses, but hippopotami and elephants too. As always in Greece, history seems in wait beneath every stone.
A certain elegance graces the modern development of Kos Town. The Byzantines lived here and left their mark, as did the Venetians, Ottomans and Italians who followed. The town’s Agora was one of the biggest in the ancient world, and Hippocrates himself practised medicine in the Asklepieion. Smart shops lead off from the busy market in the town centre, and plenty of taverna and bars are at hand.
Across the harbour are the sturdy stoneworks of Nerantzia Castle from the days of the Knights Templar in the 14th century. These days the harbour is the setting-off point for numerous ferry trips to the nearby islands and Turkish mainland. Bodrum on the Turkish coast is a mere 45 minutes away by hydrofoil.
There are excellent – but busy - sandy beaches alongside Kos Town itself , but a regular bus service takes you to other sweeping beaches around the island, such as Tigaki, Marmari, Kardemena and Kefalos.
Kos gives you the choice of a well- resourced and relaxing holiday enjoying sunshine, clear waters, good food and a companionable atmosphere, but with the additional possibility of discovering more about “the real Greece” in its less visited interior. The bus service will take you around the coastline, but a car – even for a few days – will provide you with a much deeper appreciation of the island’s beauties, of its verdant plains and tranquil mountains.
In Kos Town there is a network of cycle tracks and small “noddy” trains, and a good local bus service. Numerous ferries leave from the harbour, and day trips can be made to neighbouring islands like Lipsi, Symi, Kalymnos and volcanic Nissyros, as well as to Bodrum on the Turkish mainland, just 4 kms across the waters. Even Rhodes can be reached in 2 and a half hours.
A Kos holiday can be a simple affair: the island is fully attuned to the diverse needs of the visitor and makes a wonderful, relaxing destination. Whether it be sailing along the coastline, riding a horse along one of the many beaches, swimming in the hot thermal springs at Empros that enter the sea at 45-50C, or just enjoying the beach and a meal at one of the many tavernas, Kos will provide in its own timeless fashion.