kos

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The town of Kos

kos townKos Town is Kos capital and more than half the population of the island live here. This port town, with its wide flat roads is the tourist and cultural centre of the island. Although partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1933 the town retains many traces of its Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine past and its charm comes from its ancient and medieval heritage. The harbour area is dominated by the 14th century castle built by the Knights of St. John of Rhodes, close by is the picturesque old town area with its many restaurants, specialised tourist shops and streets covered with bougainvilleas. Nearby is the plane tree of Hippocrates where the father of medicine, supposedly taught and also scattered around the town are many ruins of Hellenistic and Roman times which were brought to light following the earthquake. These ruins were carefully excavated by the Italians during the Italian occupation whose administration also planned the neighbourhood gardens residential and shopping areas developed on both sides of the old city centre. In Kos town you can also find monuments and buildings dating from the Ottoman Empire as well as some attractive Art Deco buildings from the 1930s. The city has a large variety of hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars and tavernas as well as a small amount of nightclubs in the famous Kos town bar street.

Things to See and Do

plateia platanou kosThe Knights Castle, once impregnable, was built as a defensive bulwark in the 14th century against the Turkish Ottoman invasion. Just to the south of the castle is the ancient Agora, market place, which contains the ruins of the Sanctuary of Aphrodite, the Temple of Heracles and a Christian basilica dating from the 5th century.
Plateia Platanou is a delightful little square where the Plane Tree of Hippocrates stands, the main branches of which are now supported by wooden scaffolding.
In the western part of the town, excavations discovered some of the oldest archaeological finds including a large mosaic from the House of Europa which is some 1,800 years old and depicts the abduction of Europa by Zeus, disguised as a bull. Here too, excavations uncovered a large stretch of ancient Roman road, known as Decumanus Maximus and the remains of an ancient Hellenistic gymnasium. Very close are the remains of the temple of Dionysus and the Roman Odeon that housed the Senate.
In the interesting Archaeological Museum you can see a statue of Hippocrates as well as sculptures dating from the Hellenistic and late Roman periods including many finds from the western excavations.

Beaches

Town Beach is within easy walking distance of Kos Town and is useful if you dont want to stray far from the town centre. The waters are clean and clear and the beach well organized with sun beds and umbrellas. However, it is very busy with restaurants and hotels all around so suitable alternatives could be Lambi beach, Lambi Mylos beach and the blue flag beach of Kritiki are all located about 3km north of Kos Town; or try Psalidi Ramira beach around 3km to the south east which is a picturesque cove with some attractive beach bars fringing the shoreline.