Kos is the third largest island of the Dodecanese after Rhodes and Karpathos.
It is a popular tourist destination with a mild climate that is considered among
the best in the Mediterranean. Predominant characteristics of the island are the
lush vegetation, the healthy climate, beautiful sandy beaches, extensive fertile
plains, crops and dairy farms. After lazing on the wonderful beaches, soaking up
the sunshine and enjoying the beautiful countryside, fun and excitement are
guaranteed for all ages and for all tastes as the island has a good and eclectic
mix of nightclubs, discos, night clubs, bars and pubs as well as evenings of
"sirtaki" with local music.
The capital of the island is Kos town which is located on the north-eastern coast of the island. Kos is particularly famous for being the birthplace of Hippocrates who is considered the father of medicine, Asklepeion is located 4 km from the modern town and the ruins traditionally housed the ancient Hippocratic School of medicine.
The most popular tourist destination is definitely Kardamena, in the southwest of the island a former traditional fishing village and today sensitively developed with restaurants, shops and nightlife. Close to Kos town, is the seaside resort of Psalidi, with numerous clubs and restaurants. To the Northwest of the island are Lambi, Mastichari, Tigaki and Marmari, all of which are renowned for their fabulous white sandy beaches.
A tour of the island should include a visit to Kos Town, the well organized and developed tourist resort of Psalidi, Agios Fokas and a dip in the healing Spa waters of Thermes. Mastichari, Kos' main port, connects the island with Kalymnos. The port of Kardamena connects the island with Nissyros and Kefalos the ancient capital of the island.
With an area of 290 km2 and approximately 112 miles of coastline Kos lies between Nisyros and Kalymnos, covering an area of 290 square kilometres. The coastline is 113 km long. In the past Kos was part of the continent, whereas it is today part of the Aegean, called Epirus Aegeida by the ancient Greeks. After huge geological changes, the continent was divided and broken up, some of which are sunk and others becoming the islands of the Aegean Sea
The climate and terrain of Kos is ideal for agriculture: the weather is mild throughout the year, the morphology of the terrain and the plentiful supply of water creates the best conditions for the cultivation of excellent agricultural products. The production of Kos includes cereals, vegetables, fruit, grapes, tobacco and olives, while animal husbandry and beekeeping are also very significant. Palms, cypresses and gardens make the island green, and this is constantly revitalised by the number of goats and sheep which roam the hillsides. Kos was the only island of the Dodecanese with a salt mine, one of the best in the Mediterranean. Its site is now the water park.
There are 24,000 inhabitants in Kos. Most of the inhabitants now work in the tourist industry which to some extent has replaced the work of agriculture as the main type of employment.. Only a few areas retain their traditional occupation of agriculture and farming. These socio-economic changes have changed a once wholly rural society into an urban-tourist one. The island has a reputation since ancient times for its hospitality and because of its location and port the people have developed an open and welcoming attitude towards visitors.