//Kos: the birthplace of Hippocrates still endures

Kos: the birthplace of Hippocrates still endures

From ancient sites to amazing beaches, there is something truly magical about Kos

Kos is one of the most fascinating islands within Greece’s varied archipelago. The birthplace of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, the island blends history with nature and quaint villages. Where else can you watch flamingos during the day before watching jazz in an abandoned village?

Located northwest of Rhodes, Kos enjoys beautiful weather all year round. Average temperatures in the summer hit about 30°c and winters are known for being mild.

History buffs will have plenty to keep their days occupied. Whether it’s the Sanctuary of Hercules, the Aphrodite Pontias or the plane-tree of Hippocrates, where an offshoot of the original tree sits where the father of medicine taught and wrote.

Once you’re finished exploring the ancient sites, there are dozens of world class beaches too choose from, each with its own unique personality. On Psalidi and Aghios Thealogos you can go spear fishing, Lambi is known for its great waves and Milos beach has been awarded the European Union blue flag, indicating the high environmental and quality standards it has achieved.

This is an island where you can come across the unexpected and truly memorable. On April 23 (unless it conflicts with Holy Week) you can watch a 20 horseriders take part in a traditional race in the village of Pyli. The riders spend the year training on the beach for the race – with the bishop anointing the winning horse by breaking an egg on it.

For families, Kos boasts incredible waterparks, and opportunities to cycle and explore the main town. There’s also scuba diving and snorkelling, with daily cruises giving you the chance to go swimming.

Those who are looking for something unique can head to Haihoutes, a village that was abandoned 40 years ago. Recently two residences have been restored, with one housing an old museum and the other the only café. Grab a bite to eat after exploring the deserting streets.

It would be a mistake to talk about Kos and not mention the incredible cuisine that is on offer. Pitarridia, a lasagne boiled in meat broth; and Varvara, boiled wheat with honey, sugar, almonds, nuts, raisins, pomegranate, cinnamon, rose water, orange zest and spices; are two of the speciality dishes visitors should try. Katimeria, a twisted cheese pie, is another favourite – served with honey and cinnamon. The local wine is something not to be missed.

Whether you’re visiting Nerantzia Castle, walking around Eleftheria Square in the modern town, or taking in the ancient city, you will see why Kos is such a fascinating place. And why people have been visiting this beautiful island for hundreds of years.

See www.visitgreece.gr for more information.

Sam Ballard is a director and co-founder of Waterfront Publishing, creator of ABTA Magazine, Cruise Adviser, Solus and more.