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This island town impresses with magnificent Roman and Ottoman ruins, Hellenistic artifacts and medieval architecture.

From the Greeks to the Romans to the Ottomans, the world’s most powerful civilizations have left their mark on the remarkable Kos Town. Strewn with medieval castles and ancient marketplaces, as well as a Roman Odeon and one of history’s earliest medical centers, this village overflows with history. Explore the fascinating ruins before hitting the beach.

Kos’s archaeological ruins are some of the most popular in the Dodecanese. Visit the central square and stand under the Tree of Hippocrates, a plane tree where Hippocrates once taught his students. Meander along the port to the impressive Castle of Neratzia. Built by the Knights of St. John, this defensive structure overlooked the water passage between Kos and Halicarnassus. The inner Keep was built in the 14th century while the outer Keep dates back to around the 16th century.

South of the harbor is the excavation of the Ancient Agora where ancient houses with mosaics, columns, temples and bathhouses recall the lives of bygone civilizations. Stroll through the Ancient Market, which dates back to the third century B.C.

Continue your explorations in the Northern Baths area, home to the Ancient Stadium, and at the ruins of the Western Archaeological Site. Examine the intricate mosaic floors in the restored Casa Romana then rest on the stone steps of the nearby Roman Odeon Amphitheater, which was built between the first and second century. Look to the stage area and imagine that in its time, up to 750 people would gather here to watch theater, music performances and Roman games. Many excavated relics from this area can be viewed at the Archaeological Museum on Eleftherias Square.

Other impressive sites include the House of Count Francesco Sans, the Mosque of Gazi Hasan Pasha and the Panellenion Complex, where the Italian National Fascist Party held office. Day-trips to the ancient structures of the Asclepeion are also popular. This famed healing resort is where Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, is thought to have trained.

After a day of sightseeing, unwind on Zouroudi Beach or the quieter Psalidi Beach. For further relaxation, sink into the warm mineral baths at Therma.

Kos Town is located on the northeast coast of the island. Get here by boat from Piraeus, Rhodes or Turkey or fly into Kos Island International Airport, Hippocrates.

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