Do you really need to go to Kos town when you are on a beach holiday trip? It depends on what you want to do. I like the idea to take a little break from the beach by getting some cultural sightseeing in. As do my friends. After an early visit of the Asklipieion, we moved on to the town of Kos, which by then is just around the corner. Since there is really much to see on the east side of the island, it makes sense to combine these two visits.
We started our sightseeing tour at the Odeon. This musical theater from the 1st century AD had recently been renovated. It allowed us access underneath the seats, where in former times stalls for food and drinks could be found. According to the information inside the stall area, the Odeon had been roofed or semi-roofed, for which the wood from the Persian ships after the battle of Salamis was used. This makes absolutely no sense since the battle was in 480 BC. Never mind, it made for a good story.
By the time we left the theater I felt hot, but we decided on a really short detour to the western excavation site right across the street. Most famous at this site is the mosaic of the three gladiators. It must have been beautiful in former times, but nowadays it’s just dusty and the colors were dulled. Really too bad!
We decided we had enough for the day, although there is more to see in Kos town. Like the Neratzia castle, a medieval fortress right next to the harbor.
We also missed out on the Casa Romana, a Roman villa close to the Odeon. Unfortunately there was a line-up for the villa and by that time we felt baked enough. We did walk to the plane tree of Hippocrates, supposedly the largest plane tree in Europe. Hippocrates was teaching his pupils under this tree, but how can that be when it said at the Asklipieion that he taught his pupils there.
Kos was really full legends and you don’t know which one to believe. Because we are gluttons for punishment, we made another round through the western excavation area in this heat on the way to the car. You really have to be sucker for old stones, to enjoy this area. To me it started to look all the same.
But what I can recommend though is a stop at modern ‘agora’, which has large trees in the middle and lots of seats to relax. We went though to the next door market for some Greek delicacies. Give yourself some time to take a look, each stall has different things. I bought two jars of caper leaves and tomato jam here. So overall it was a very successful visit to Kos town.
Also in the area, a bit further south of Kos town, is the natural hot springs thermal bath. Once there though nobody wanted to bath in warm water. We were already hot enough from a day of sightseeing. So instead we spent the rest of the day at the beach club Agios Fokas, which we had passed on the way to the hot springs. The road stops after the thermal water pool, so you need to turn around anyways. Yours, Pollybert