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Located in the Dodecanese group of islands, the Greek island of Kos is around 4km from the coast of Bodrum in Turkey. The island is around 40 km long and 8 km wide and has a number of towns and villages. The main town and port is also called Kos, but the island's other villages include Kefalos, Tingaki, Kardamena, Mastihari, Antimachia, Marmari and Pyli. Kos Town is usually quite and there is lots to do there. There are plenty of restaurants, bars and clubs in the town which have led to the island as a whole becoming very popular with tourists. For those visitors looking for a bargain, practically everything is available in the island's shops from ceramics to fur, shoes to books and clothes and jewellery to leather products. The most popular tourist centres on the island often also have many small shops offering handmade goods such as ceramics and embroideries along with more traditional local products such as honey, herbs, wine, sweets and spices.
There are daily services between Kos and Piraeus along with services between Kos and the rest of the Dodecanese, the islands of the north eastern Aegean and Turkey. The trip by conventional ferry can take up to 13 hours, depending on the intermediate stopovers, and the trip with a high speed boat can take between 5 and 8 hours.
The Greek island of Syros is one of the Cyclades group of islands and is unusual in that the island's architecture is more medieval rather than the more typical Cycladic. The island's capital is Ermoupolis and has some fine examples of Venetian mansions to see. In the Vaporia quarter of the capital visitors will find some lovely large churches and impressive neoclassical buildings, such as the Town Hall and Apollo Theatre in the central square. Also popular with visitors are the island's beaches which are well equipped for tourists and have a good range of facilities.
The island can trace its history back to the 3rd millennium BC where signs of inhabitation have been found in the Halandriani and Kastri parts of the island. Artefacts found indicate that there was some kind of metal workshop on the island which possibly had a trading relationship with Asia Minor. The Samians occupied the island in the 6th century BC and is when many of the island's inhabitants moved to the island. At that time, the important physician and philosopher Pherecydis was born in Syros and some years later he went to Samos and became the teacher of Pythagoras.