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The Kos SkyMap

SLIM, mountainous Kos, almost the largest of the Dodecanese clan, may very well be history’s first island spa retreat.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was born on Kos - and until 500AD, people of all creeds visited the fertile island, seeking both cure and the soothing touch of the baths at Asclepion, the medical school and healing centre founded by the great medic himself.

Asclepion’s roving ruins are still one of Kos’ most vital attractions – although these days, Kos, with its 112km long coastline, is more commonly known for its industrial-strength packaged tourism.

Canny travelers stick close to the locals to unearth the island’s most authentic pockets, of which there are still reassuringly many. Case in point is lovely Mastihari on the west coast; while on the southern tip, Kamari and Kefalos provide other pleasing refuges from the storm.

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