It doesn’t take much to get excited about visiting Kos. You might have heard about its incredible selection of beaches and great food. And that it’s the birthplace of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine. But where do you start with a place that offers so much and is the third largest of the Dodecanese islands? Well here’s a list of must do’s – whether you’re visiting in the summer months or, better still, either side of peak season.
Bike around Kos town
Kos’ reputation as the best Greek island to cycle around is fully deserved. There’s a 13km cycle path along the waterfront, with branches heading into town. So hop on your bike and tick off your list: The Ancient Agora, Roman Odeon, Hippocrates’ Plane Tree, the Archaeological Museum… It’s also the best way to admire the architecture (neoclassical, Italian, Ottoman) and just soak up the atmosphere – nowhere more so than when coasting down Finikas (Palm Tree) Avenue and passing Neratzia Castle. And for the more serious cyclists, there are even a number of biking competitions held on Kos each year.
Visit the ultimate ancient healing centre
The Asclepion is Kos’ most famous archaeological site, with a history that’s at the heart of the island’s identity and a significance that travels well beyond its shores. Built in the 3rd century BC, it was designed not just as a sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius (the god of healing) but also as a medical school to continue the work of Hippocrates, who lived and taught his progressive medical theories on Kos more than a century earlier. It’s also one of the island’s most serene locations, built over three levels, with sea views and topped by a forest whose soothing aura would have been part of the therapeutic experience.
Visit a winery
Kos has a wine-making tradition going back to antiquity, with Hippocrates extolling the health benefits of the locally produced Melantanon. After a revival of wine production on the island, there are now a handful of excellent wineries to visit. As well as enjoying a tour around the vineyard, you’ll be introduced to wines made from local varieties (Athiri, Assyrtiko, Malagouzia) as well as leading international grapes (from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc to Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon).
Unlock a culinary treasure trove
And on to the food, for which Kos is rightly famed. Wherever you find yourself – along the waterfront of the main town, from Kardamaina to Kefalos on the south coast, or on the beaches to the north – you’ll find tavernas and restaurants overflowing with local delicacies.
Our representatives at Greek Alternative Tourism & Gastronomy Workshop
Director Kos Branch
@ DESTINATION ONE incoming agency