Kos, one of Greece’s Dodecanese islands, is known for its abundant sandy beaches. It’s also rich with Greek and Roman landmarks, particularly in and around Kos Town. This harbor town is dominated by the 15th-century Neratzia Castle. South of the castle are the Ancient Agora ruins, with a temple, shrine and columns. The 3rd-century Casa Romana villa has lavish mosaics.
Kos is the third largest island of the Dodecanese group and lies between the islands of Nisyros and Kalymnos, close to the coasts of Asia Minor. Kos is the greenest and most fertile island of the group and the second most popular and tourist island after Rhodes. At first sight, the island may seem a bit disappointing with its many bars and huge hotels complexes lining the coast. However, visitors soon find that Kos is a very beautiful and attractive island with beautiful mountainous villages, an excellent tourist infrastructure, a great climate and amazing beaches.
Towns & Villages in Kos
Kos Town: The settlement was founded in 366 B.C., on the same area where the capital of the island stands today. All around town you may find signs of the past, reminders of civilizations that passed its harbor; numerous buildings, imitating the Italian architecture of the North African colonies. Wide streets lined with trees create a relaxing and fine atmosphere and the imposing Castle of the Knights of Saint John may travel visitors back in time. The historic centre of the capital is preserved by the Municipality of Kos and there are plans to be completely pedestrianized. Various taverns, restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs transform the town into a hot spot at night.
Kefalos village: This village is located 43km away from the capital. It is built on two levels and boasts the most beautiful and definitely the most popular beach of Kos. Despite its popularity, the village has kept a lot of its authenticity with its whitewashed houses and its narrow alleys. The old windmill which stands upon a hill overlooking the village, the small islet of Agios Stefanos which stands east of the little port and the ruins of the Basilica of Agios Stefanos are worth a visit.
Zia: This small mountainous village is situated near the village of Asfendiou on the slopes of Mountain Dikaion. The settlement is smothered in lush greenery and springs. The oldest water mill of the island is located here. Zia is a very atmospheric village with many small tasteful shops and an amazing sunset.
Mastichari: The village of Mastichari is situated 22km west of Kos town and 3km northwest of Antimachia. The area has some of the most beautiful beaches on the island. The settlement is fairly traditional with a lively small port where fishermen unload their fish, and ferries leave for the neighboring island of Kalymnos. The village is known for its annual Wine Festival where visitors can taste home-made wine and local delicacies.
Pyli: The municipality of Asfendiou includes the villages of Amaniou, Agios Georgios, Agios Nikolaos and Pyli. The small mountainous village of Pyli is one of the most beautiful in the area. It is surrounded by green fields and has traditional houses, most of them renovated. Ruins of the tomb of an ancient hero, Harmylos, can be found here, as well as a Byzantine castle hiding a lovely church dedicated to Virgin Mary in its walls.
Kardamena: This seaside village is situated 30km from Kos town and 5km from Hippocrates International Airport. Except for the archaeological interest of the area, the settlement is a developed tourist resort spread along the beach offering modern infrastructure, as well as accommodations and tourist facilities. There are daily trips to/from Nissyros and Kos Town from its small port.
Antimachia: This village lies on a plateau in the middle of the island, near the airport. The atmospherically and picturesque areas, the traditional houses, the windmills and the Venetian Castle are main poles of attraction.