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The Epitome of the Aegean Natural Landscape
The Island of Hippocrates epitomises the magnificent natural beauty of the Aegean Sea. Kos idealy combines the longest sandy coastline out of all the islands of the Dodecanese, with natural woods located in “Plaka” and “Zia” and with the magnificent mountain “Dikaios” with traditional villages and a magnificent sunset. It is a vastly diverse and therefore a complete natural landscape. Τhe sandy beaches of Kos extend 90 km around the island in a total of 112km of coastline, providing numerous options for the visitors from very well organized sandy beaches to completely natural and “untouched” crystal clear coasts.
Furthermore Kos Town is considered one of the greenest in the Dodecanese with an unparallel variety of flora. Palm trees, bougainvilleas, pines, acacias, oleanders and the characteristic red hibiscus await the visitor in every step through the city. Below you will find a short presentation of some of the most popular natural landscapes of Kos Island.
The small island of “Palaiokastro” or “Kastri” is located on the South West side of Kos in the gulf of Kamari and is one of the most magnificent natural sights of the island. The graphical islet hosts the small traditional orthodox church of Agios Stefanos and provides a breathtaking view as soon as the visitor enters the village of Kefalos from the hills above the Kamari coast. On the sea side exactly opposite the small island exists the basilica complex of Agios Stefanos. The two basilicas were built around 469 A.C and 554 A.C. and were excavated in 1932 by the Italian archeologist Luciano Laurenzi. The Basilica complex was built on top of an Ancient Greek temple dedicated to Poseidon, which is still visible today.
Zia is located close to the top of the mount “Dikaios” and it is the most well preserved traditional village of Kos Island. It is well known for its traditional taverns, cafeterias and souvenir shops, but more importantly for its truly magnificent sunset view. Every afternoon the village is crowded with visitors enjoying the unique view and the traditional gastronomic experience of the near by restaurants. Zia is a “must see” attraction of Kos Island.
The Therma or “Embros Therma” is located on the south east coast of Kos, 13 kilometers away from Kos Town. The area was named after the natural volcanic springs which exist for thousands of years gushing volcanic water in the sea. The temperature of the water varies from 30 to 50 degrees Celsius. It is reach in, calcium, potassium, sodium, sulphur and magnesium having a healing and sanative effect in arthritis and other muscle and bones related conditions. The existence of a natural barrier made of local rocks, limits the hot water close to the coastline while forming a small lake with hot water. Therma are accessible 24 hours a day with a lot of people visiting it, not only during the day but also during the night for a warm thermal bath under the moonlight.
The Aliki of Kos
In a remote area, between the villages of Marmari and Tigkaki you can find the unique Aliki of Kos. It is a salt lake very close to the sea which is a natural shelter for a large variety of birds and small animals. The area is protected by the Ramsar and Natura agreements and hosts species of local and migratory fauna. Among the most noticeable migratory birds it hosts Pelicans and Herons. During the winter months and especially during February and March, it serves as a stopover for Flamingos, traveling from and to Africa. Furthermore the salt lake hosts water turtles and water snakes among other noticeable local animal species. The salt lake is accessible through the road linking the villages of Tigkaki and Marmari and you can experience its natural beaty on foot or on the back of a horse, due to the horse riding center which operates nearby.