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KOS

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General Information

Since ancient times, sightseers have called this island as the ?Garden of the Aegean Sea?. Its lush vegetation justifies this statement, but Kos has a lot more to offer as well. Third in size among the complex of the Dodecanese isles, it disposes fertile land, prairie soil, abundant waters, and an extensive coastline. The interest of the visitors who annually flood into the island in the summer months is mostly stimulated by the captivating beaches, archaeological sites, the Byzantine churches, the picturesque chapels, the medieval castles, the architectural pattern of the period of Italian domination, and the traditional hamlets. Its population reaches a number of about 27.500 residents, while its extent covers 295 sq.km.

 

History - Culture

Being the birthplace of ?the father of medicine?, Kos has widely been known as the "Island of Hippocrates" (460 BC). The island has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and thus was influenced by a number of cultures (Minoan, Mycenaean, Dorian etc). In the 7th and the 6th century BC, Kos, along with Knidos, Lindos, Alikarnassos, Ialyssos and Kameiros formed the alliance known in history as the Dorian Exapolis (six cities). It came under Persian rule in 500 BC and it was liberated in 479 BC, when it became member of the Athenian Alliance. Although, economy, navigation, commerce and culture had been flourishing since the 6th century BC, the island reached its zenith in the 4th century BC. At that time "Asclepeion", one of the most important institutions of Ancient Greece, was founded, and it served as a hearth where literature, poetry, sports, art, and science were cultivated to reach impressively elevated levels. Prosperity continued until the Romans came and led the island into the obscure times in which it remained ?with the contribution of the terrifying earthquake of 553 AD- until the time of Venetian occupation, when the island somewhat recovered. This era was followed by the Turkish occupation, which lasted from 1523 to 1912. In 1933 another devastating earthquake struck the island and leveled everything on it. Following Italian and German occupation in 1943 and 1945 respectively, the island was incorporated into Greece in 1948. Nowadays, Kos is on an upward course and has justifiably earned the preference of thousands of tourists each year.

 

Sights

Kos holds many archaeological and cultural sights, in addition to its beautiful scenery. In the capital town of Kos, one must certainly visit the extensive ancient ruins of the city. There also are the ruins of the "Asclepeio", a site of major importance, the "Castle of the Knights" standing on the right side of the port, still watching over the city and catching the attention of the arriving visitors, and the huge "plane-tree of Hippocrates". In fact, the diameter of its trunk is 11.5 meters and, as legend has it, Hippocrates himself planted it, which makes it about 2500 years old! In the settlement of Antimachia, the "Antimachiotiko House" which is representative of the local architecture, and it definitely should be visited. In Kephalos, one can find many sights to visit such as the ruins of the ancient city, the cave of "Aspri Petra", the remains of a Palaeochristian Basilica with splendid mosaics, opposite of which one can see the small jewel-island Kastri with its small chapel. There are many significant churches scattered all over the island dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries AD, numerous windmills and, of course, there is the site of Pigi in Pyli with six springs near an ancient monument. 

 

Entertainment-Sports-Shopping

Kos has become a first-class summer resort offering all necessary services available within but a few short years. In the town of Kos, which is the capital and the main port of the island, there is a beautiful market offering anything a well-organized town can provide. There are many hotel units and entertainment centers in Kos, Marmari, Kardamaina, Kephalos and Tingaki, where one can also find small but interesting markets. The visitor will be pleased to find out that athletic activities on the island are numerous and versatile. One can enjoy playing football, basketball, volleyball, go riding in Marmari and Lambi, or try his skills on some of the numerous water sports available on the organized beaches and the major hotel units. Local cuisine is most exciting and the visitor should try sweet and large baked pans, red cheese, little sweets made from tomatoes, stuffed vine leaves and "pligouri", crushed grain with meat. The island is also well known for its vivid night life with night clubs, bars and coffee shops ready to please the visitor, usually late into the night and well into the next morning, while one can also enjoy the local festivals held on certain occasions. The market of Kos is rich in crystal products, textiles, jewelry, and ceramics, while the white wine of the island is a celebrated traditional product.

 

Access

There are flights carried out from Athens to Kos and ferryboat services from the port of Piraeus throughout the year.

 

Connections

All year round flights link Kos, Athens and Rhodes while ferries and fast ferries depart from Kos to Kalymnos, Leros, Patmos, Symi, Samos and Thessaloniki. All year long there is a connection with Tilos, Nisyros and Alexandroupolis and during summer an additional connection with Leipsoi, Naxos and Paros.

 

Museums

In Kos, there is an Archaeological Museum with interesting findings including many Roman statues, tombs and inscriptions.

 

Alternative Tourism

Water sports (canoe, kayak, windsurfing, water ski, jet ski).

 

 

Useful Telephone Numbers:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Kos Area Code: 22420-

Police Station:   22420-22222

Tourist police:   22420-22444

Telephone company:     22420-22499

Post Office:      22420-22250

Municipality:     22420-28420

Port authority:  22420-26594-5

Taxi Station:     22420-23333

Hospital-Health Centre:   22420-22300, 22539

Airport:  22420-51229, 51191

 

 

 

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