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Kos - The Island of Asclepius

As "The Doctors' Island", it's still sacred to modern physicians


Kos Port of Mastichari

Kos Port of Mastichari

Placed in the public domain by photographer KarelJ. WC
Clinging to the coast of Asia Minor, the islands of the Dodecanese grouping in the eastern Aegean are beautiful and varied. One of these, Kos, was prominent in antiquity because of the healing temple of Asclepius, founded after the death of the famed physician Hippocrates.

Ancient Hospital of Asclepius

The Asclepieon functioned as a hospital for about a thousand years, finally falling into disrepair. After a long sleep, this temple has been excavated and partially restored. Asclepius and his disciple Hippocrates did not have a monopoly on healing here - other healing deities, including Isis and Sarapis, also had temples on Kos. While all the islands of Greece can be considered to be soothing and healing retreats, Kos may have the strongest historical claim to rejuvenating powers.

History of Kos

Passing through many hands in its history, including Persian, Turkish, Roman, and Byzantine, Kos has been left with an abundance of archeological remains. Sites on Kos include the Asclepion itself, the Harbor Baths in Kos City, and many Roman-era mosaics and ruins.

Kos - When to Go

The island is a major tourist attraction in summer, particularly July - August. Unlike some islands, the high-season prices don't really take effect until then, and June bookings usually offer very reasonable prices.

Kos - Favorite Island of Cyclists

Kos is relatively flat, at least in the Kos City area, also called "Chora", and is sometimes called the "island of bicycles", which are easily available for rental. But that's not the only sport option. Planet Windsurfing has a seasonal base on Kos, and you can also go kayaking on Kos.

Geology of Kos

Like many islands in Greece, Kos is blessed with some hot water springs, especially at Therma Beach, which is named for them.

What to See on Kos

There's a fine Archeological Museum of Kos which includes objects from many of the excavations, including a statue that is believed to depict Hippocrates himself.

Where to Stay on Kos

Kos has abundant hotels. The all-inclusive Mark Warner resort at Lakitira is popular with families. You can find and compare price on more Hotels on Kos Island

Getting to Kos

There's a number of ways to get to Kos. Olympic Airlines has regular flights from Athens, and provides bus service from the remote village airport to their office in Kos City. Aegean Airlines also offers flights. Boats or ferries are available from Rhodes and Patmos, and hydrofoil service is increasing. As a popular island, connections are plentiful.

Kos maintains its medical reputation in modern times, at least in one way. It's a popular convention site for physicians and other medical-industry meetings and conventions.

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