- Category: ROUTE 9
it is lying between the islands of Nisyros and Kalymnos, close to the coasts of Asia Minor. It is the greenest and most fertile island of the group and the second most touristy and popular island after cosmopolitan Rhodes. At first sight, Kos may be a bit disappointing with, its many bars and huge hotel complexes lining the coast. However, after a while, visitors will find that it is a very beautiful and attractive island with quiet nooks, appealing mountainous villages, an excellent touristy infrastructure, verdant landscape, abundant ground water and superb beaches of various sizes and colors.
Home of the Hippocrates, the father of medicine, which is a large island full of contrasts. Rich in history, with many ancient ruins, as well as modern, lively towns, Kos is most enjoyable. Apart from the main, busy harbour, you can also visit Kamares, a more secluded cove.
Kardemena – This harbor lies on the SE coast of the island. It used to be a small fishing village but now has become a resort area. It provides good shelter from the Meltem, there is a pier to moor on to but at night due to the nightlife it can get a bit noisy. Fuel, water and provisioning are available.
Limin Kos - A fairly busy harbor as there are small boats that go back and forth from Turkey. During the Meltem it offers good shelter but it does tend to swell up. All facilities are available. Masthari – This is a small fishing village on the NW coast of Kos. There is a new mole and offers good shelter from the Meltem.
Ormos Kamares – This small bay is located on the South end of the island. It offers good shelter from the Meltem and there is a small mole to moor on to. Water is also available at the mole as well as few tavernas.
The island was originally colonized by the Carians. A contingent from Kos participated in the War of Troy. The Dorian’s invaded it in the 11th century BC, establishing a Dorian colony with a large contingent of settlers from Epidaurus who took with them their Asclepius cult and made their new home famous for its sanatoria. The other chief sources of the island's wealth lay in its wines, and in later days, in its silk manufacture.
Its early history as part of the religious-political amphictyony that included Lindos, Kamiros, Ialysos, Cnidus and Halicarnassus, the Dorian Hexapolis (Greek for six cities), is obscure. At the end of the 6th century Kos fell under Achaemenid domination, but rebelled after the Greek victory at Cape Mykale in 479. During the Greco-Persian Wars, when it expelled the Persians twice, it was ruled by tyrants, but as a rule it seems to have been under oligarchic government. In the 5th century it joined the Delian League, and after the revolt of Rhodes served as the chief Athenian station in the south-eastern Aegean (411-407). In 366 BC, a democracy was instituted. After helping to weaken Athenian power, in the Social War (357-355 BC), it fell for a few years to the king Mausolus of Caria. In 366 BC, the capital was transferred from Astypalaia to the new-built town of Kos, laid out in a Hippodamian grid plan.
In the Hellenistic age Kos attained the zenith of its prosperity. Its alliance was valued by the kings of Egypt, who used it as an outpost for their navy to watch the Aegean. Kos was also known as Meropis and Nymphea. Diodorus Siculus and Strabo describe it as a well-fortified port. Its position gave it a high importance in Aegean trade; while the island itself was rich in wines of considerable fame. Under Alexander III of Macedon and the Egyptian Ptolemy’s (from 336 B.C.) the town developed into one of the great centers in the Aegean. Except for occasional incursions by corsairs and some severe earthquakes, the island has rarely had its peace disturbed. Following the lead of its great neighbor, Rhodes, Kos generally displayed a friendly attitude towards the Romans; in 53 AD it was made a free city.
The island was later conquered by the Venetians, who then sold it to the Knights Hospitaller of Rhodes (the Knights of St John) in 1315. Two hundred years later the Knights faced the threat of a Turkish invasion and abandoned the island to the Ottoman Empire in 1523. The Ottomans ruled Kos for 400 years until it was transferred to Italy in 1912. In World War II, the island was taken over by the Axis powers. It was occupied by Italian troops until the Italian surrender in 1943. British and German forces then clashed for control of the island in the Battle of Kos, in which the Germans were victorious. German troops occupied the island until 1945, when it became a protectorate of the United Kingdom, who ceded it to Greece in 1947.