About 30,000 people live on Kos, 16,000 of them in the island capital Kos City in the west of the island. There is an international airport near Antimachia in the middle of the island and a sea harbour in Kos City. Kos Island's main industry is tourism. About 300,000 tourists take rooms on Kos every year and a lot of tourists take a one-day trip to Kos from neighboring islands or the Turkish coast. 17 km overseas lies Bodrum, Turkey.
People have lived on Kos since the 15th century BC, maybe longer. Until the 4th century BC the capital of the island was in the west of it, near Kefalos. After an earthquake it moved to Kos City. Later the Hellenics, then the Romans and the Byzantines got the island. The Knights of St. John built great forts on Kos, in Kos City and near Antimachia. The Turkish took over Kos in 1523. From 1912 to 1943 the Dodecanese islands belonged to Italy, from 1943 to 1945 to the Germans, and from 1945 to 1946 the British ruled them. Since 1946 they belong to Greece.