iVoyage: Azamara Club Cruises calls on Kos, Greece
One of the biggest challenges for me when I am cruising is to remember that taking time to relax is just as important as going full-throttle to make sure I experience everything that is available. So when Azamara Quest pulled up alongside today in Kos, Greece I was glad that I did not have any formal tours planned.
Since Quest was calling on Kos after peak season, cruise passengers were able to roam the streets unfettered by massive crowds. It was nice to roam around the city without the blazing heat of the summer or the extra people who flock to the legendary Greek beaches during high season.
Yesterday was an epic day in Kusadasi. After a double dose of adventure (an Insider Access adventure to the countryside and an AzAmazing Evening in Ephesus), I was ready for an easy day in port. Thanks to the map provided by the representative from the local tourist office who was available to answer guest’s questions on the ship, I set off to one of Kos’s most popular attractions: The Fortress of Kos.
3 Euros later, I was scaling the walls of the Kos’ most imposing monument, which offers visitors some of the most amazing views of the city and harbor. The castle of Kos was built by the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, who captured the island in 1314 and held it until 1522, when it fell to the Turks. The castle, along with the castle of Halikarnassos on the coast of Asia Minor cage them control of the sea lanes.
Kos highlights for cruise visitors who are not on a Land Discoveries tour
I looked at the map and had to chuckle a little. Kos has an old town and an ancient town -who knew? Much of the sites are easy to find, especially the ruins close to the ship and then the throwbacks to Roman antiquity, which are a bit further off the beaten path. A visit to the amphitheater and bathing wells, across the road, are worth a gander. But purists might question the authenticity; especially once you do the math about how old everything is and what good shape some of the ruins are.
My only goal for the day was to pay homage to Hippocrates, the father of medicine, who was born in Kos about 460 BC. Lucky for me, and within walking distance of the ship is a plane tree that is called The Tree of Hippocrates, which, according to the legend, is the spot that Hippocrates of Kos taught his pupils the art of medicine.
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