Its 112km coastline is pockmarked with picturesque coves with sugary stretches of sand lapped by the azure waters of the Aegean Sea, while inland Kos is a paradise of sun-drenched olive groves and craggy fells. Just don’t forget to pay a visit to Hippocrates.
Kos has no shortage of beautiful beaches but the stretch of sand at Thermae, 10km from Kos Town, is particularly special thanks to its warm, mineral-rich waters. A comfortable 40°C year-round, the waters at Thermae are warmed by hot springs and boast a high concentration of potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulphur among others. As a result, a dip in the sea is said to help with everything from arthritis to menstrual pain.
Not far from KosTown is the Askepleion, a vast medical complex dedicated to the Greek god Aesculapius, which once numbered Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, among the wise heads who worked there. Excavated in 1902, highlights include a large Doric columned temple, the arched remains of the ancient medical school and a small temple built by the Romans and dedicated to the Emperor Nero in 4BC.
Along with gorgeous beaches, one of the highlights of a holiday to Kos from Glasgow Airport is having the chance to explore the island’s rugged hinterland. Make a beeline for Dikaio Christo, the highest peak on Kos, before taking a winding route south past the gorgeous village of Pyli. Surrounded by olive groves, the centre boasts a crumbling square dotted with traditional coffee houses and the Charmillion – a Hellenic communal tomb. A few kilometres further on is a ninth-century Byzantine castle and you’ll find another, this time built by the Knights Hospitaller, in Antimachia, the next village on.