Kos Island is part of Greece's Dodecanese island chain located in southeastern Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean), off Turkey's Anatolian coast. The island is the Dodecanese's 3rd largest by land area (287 km2 / 111 ml2), following Rhodes and Karpathos.
The island has population around 33,000, ranking it Dodecanese's 2nd most populous - after Rhodes. It measures 40x8 km (25x5 ml) and is located just 4 km (2 ml) from Turkey (Caria coast). Island's principal town is Kos.
The island features a 14th-century fortress at the entrance to the harbour. It was built in 1315 by the Knights Hospitaller. There is another fortress from Antimachia's Byzantine period. The ancient market place of Kos Town was considered one of the ancient world's largest.
The Greek physician Hippocrates (460-370 BC) is said to have been born on Kos Island. In the town's center is the Plane Tree of Hippocrates - dream temple where he is supposed to have taught. Scaffolding supports the limbs of the elderly tree. The small town is also home to International Hippocratic Institute and Hippocratic Museum. Close to the Institute are the ruins of Asklepieion - where Herodicus taught Hippocrates medicine.
Aegean Sea earthquake 2017
On July 21, 2017, a powerful Aegean Sea earthquake (Richter magnitude scale 6,6) struck approx 10 km (6 ml) southeast of Bodrum Turkey. The accident resulted in 2 dead and over 120 injured on Kos Island, plus over 360 injured in Turkey.
The earthquake triggered a small tsunami which caused coastal floodings and extensive damages on the island. Kos' Old Town was worst affected as the cathedral (Defterdar mosque) and the 14th century castle were seriously damaged. The harbour's floor was cracked and subsequently declared unsafe. All ferries to Kos Island were rerouted from Kos to Kefalos (port town on the west coast).
The island's 2 fatalities (1 Turkish, 1 Swedish) happened when the upper facade of a local bar collapsed. Of all injured, 7 were flown to hospitals in Athens and Heraklion (Crete). Two men (a Swedish and a Norwegian) were in critical condition.
Following the earthquake, Celestyal Cruises ship Celestyal Nefeli visited Kos on July 26 (as part of its roundtrip itinerary from Kusadasi / departure July 22) and on August 2 as part of a roundtrip from Piraeus / departure July 31).
Kos Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Kos Island dock (anchor) at Kos - port town on the northeastern coast.