Saturday, 15 September 2012

KOS

BRIEF
Kos

Kos is an island of great beauty, lying in the centre of the Dodecanese chain in the Aegean Sea. ("Dodecanese" in Greek means "twelve islands"). Kos is north west of Rhodes and south east of continental Greece. It is the third largest island of the Dodecanese after Rhodes and Karpathos. 

It is the birthplace of the father of medicine, Hippocrates, which was born on the island around 460 B.C. and founded the Great School of Medicine of Kos. The island is famous for its rich vegetation and its temperate climate and it was characterised by the Roman doctor Gallino as "the most temperate place in the world". 

It has long-lasting geological changes due to the volcanic activity of the commonly known Aegean Arc (Nisyros, Thira, Milos, Methana). According to the latest geological studies seven volcanoes are located between Nisyros and Kos and one of them in the Isthmus of Kefalos is inactive today. The big explosion happened 160,000 years ago between Nisyros and Kefalos. As a result it covered half of the island of Kos, in the western part, with a layer of ash and kisiris thickness of about 30 meters. Kos’s ground fertility is a result of its volcanic origin, which had been known since antiquity and has left the proverbial phrase “whom Kos can’t nourish Egypt can’t either”.

Kos is filled with monuments, remnants of its glorious past, dating from antiquity, the Byzantine Era and Venetian times up to present. Kos is basically a large, long narrow plain and measures 290.27 square kilometers, not considering its mountainous region in the north west of the island. This region comprises of a series of peaks, the tallest of which is Dikaio Christo (which in Greek means "The Just Christ").One castle of the Knights of the Order of St. John still survives on one of the many peaks of Dikaio near Thimiana. 

The shores are gently caressed by the waters of the Karpathian Sea. Kos' coastline stretches to 112 km. Kos is a Greek province which also includes the smaller islands of Nissyros, Giali, Pergoussa, Kandeliousa, Pahia and Strogili. The city also has a cathedral, one of the four in the entire Dodecanese. The islanders make their living from fishing, animal farming, and agriculture but by far the tourist trade has taken over. Kos has become a modern centre of extremely well maintained holiday apartments, hotels, restaurants, bars, night clubs and organised excursions. Kos has so much to offer that it can cater to each individual taste for an unforgettable holiday.

BEACH
Kefalos beach 43 kilometres from the capital of the island. This beach has the coldest, yet truly crystalline, waters of the island of Kos. 

Kardamena Beach The beach of Kardamena is located on the west coast of Kos, in front of the village of the same name.

It starts at the village’s port and stretches for over three kilometres. It has fine white sand and crystalline emerald waters.

Lambi Beach The beach of Lambi is located in the town of Kos and stretches for one kilometer, near the harbour of the capital. 

Marmari Beach The endless sandy beach of Marmari is located in front of the coastal settlement of the same name, 5 kilometres from Pyli. 

Tingaki Beach extended at a length of 10 kilometers is situated at the homonymous well known tourist resort, some 11 kilometers western to the town of Kos.


Xerokambos Nude and clothing optional beach.

ATTRACTIONS
Old Kefalos is the other end of the island from Kos Town - some 43 km away. The old town is built on a stone height, dominated by the imposing windmill of Papavasilis. The beaches and main resort areas are at the bottom of the hill.

Kos Town was founded in 366 BC, on the same site as the actual town. It is a blend of ancient, medieval and modern architectural style, and is flooded with greenery. The imposing Castle of the Knights of Saint John is standing on the eastern side of the harbour and is connected to the rest of the town by a bridge crossing the Palm Tree Avenue. 

Asklepieion is an ancient medical centre placed 4 km to the south-east of the town of Kos beyond Platani village. It dates from the first half of the 3rd century BC and it was built to honour the god of health and medicine, Asklepios, after the death of the famous ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates. 

Nerantzia Castle The castle of the Knights of Saint John on Kos, was constructed with local stone and with the remains of previous constructions and buildings. It still shows a number of blazons on the masonry, some columns, bases and architraves from the ruins of the old city. It was built during the occupation of the Knights, which lasted for over two hundred years.

Roman Odeon The ancient Odeon found at Kos was built by the Romans around the 2nd and the 3rd centuries. It was found in the early 20th century along with the Gymnasium and the Roman baths, all of them in general good condition.

Casa Romana means the “Roman House”, is an important excavation area. This house shows the architectural style that dominated on the island in the Hellenistic and the Roman Times.

Hippocrates Plane Tree In the centre of Kos island in front of the Castle of Knights stands a huge old plane tree, known as the ‘Hippocrates plane tree’.According to what Kos inhabitants say, the Hippocrates plane tree was planted by this famous Greek physician, this one is said to be a decent of the original.

Venetian Castle of Antimachia is on a small hill above Antimachia village, to the south of Kos Town, is this Venetian Castle.

Zia The village offers a magnificent view from the mountain. Zia is a touristic mountain village 16 km south of Kos Town. Mnay go here for the tavernas at suset for the lovely views. The streets are lined with craft shops - climb a bit above these and you'll find the real old Zia with watermills and quieter cafes. The more adventurous will climb the mountain - Mount Dikaion.
 
Antimachia The village of Antimachia stands on a plateau in the middle of the island of Kos, near the airport. The picturesque neighbourhoods, the traditional houses and the few windmills are the village’s main interest

Mastihari Beach & Town is situated some 22 kilometres western to the town of Kos. It serves as a ferry port for the nearby island of Kalymnos and has a less touristic feel to the village. Lovely tavernas on a beach promenade. Hire a sunbed for the day on the fine sandy beach, blissfully peaceful in the low season, and just relax and stay for a meal at one of the fine tavernas - the fish is really good and fresh. Locals are really friendly as we walked back to catch the bus back to Kos we were offered water melon by the local fruit seller.
Another plus was all the beautiful kittens here - they were really well fed.

Thermes / the hot springs, a secluded beach with warm sulphur bubbling water, visited not only by foreigner tourists, but also people from the Greece itself.

Basilica Agios Stafanos A short walk along the beach of Aghios Stafanos (or next turning long the road) are the interesting remains of an early double Christian basilica church with some fine mosaics. They were discovered in 1932 by the Italian archaeologist Lorentzi. The nearby islet of Kastri can be seen more easily here with the monastery of Agios Andonios.
Plaka Peacocks Just near the airport is a minor road which goes to Plaka - a small wooded nature area where peacocks and cats roam.

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