The Rambling Writer Explores More Greek Islands, Part 23: The Asklepion Healing Sanctuary of Kos

The ancient healing Sanctuary of Asklepios on the Greek island of Kos is an oasis of beauty and tranquility.

NOTE: Since our recent trip to Greece to research more settings for my novel-in-progress, THE ARIADNE DISCONNECT, Thor and I knew we had to return to this magical region. My first entry in this new blog series posted here on Saturday, 10/20/2018. It gives an overview of our rambles from Athens to seven islands in the Dodecanese and Cyclades groups, ending our ferry-hopping pilgrimage on the anciently sacred island of Delos.

“There are places benign and places baleful; and I seem to remember that in the treatise on Soils, Airs, Waters attributed to Hippocrates himself, the doctor-saint of Kos makes some attempt to describe the often fortuitous combination of the three elements necessary to create a site with natural healing properties.” (Lawrence Durrel, The Greek Islands) The Sanctuary of Asklepios on Kos certainly fulfills these requirements. Like the equally renowned ancient sanctuary of Epidauros in the Pelopponese, this site of healing exudes a nurturing sense of tranquility that welcomed Thor and me as we stepped into its morning quiet.

Asklepios, son of Apollo and the mortal Koronis, was worshipped as a healer-god from at least the 6th century BC. His staff, the caduceus, wrapped by either one or two sacred serpents, became a symbol of healing still used today in the medical professions.

Because our Book View Cafe website server at this point may not handle many photos, I’m posting my complete blog entries on my own author website at, where you can finish this episode and enjoy all the accompanying photos. Please continue reading by clicking on the link below, then you can return here (use “go back” arrow above) to comment, ask questions, or join a conversation. We love your responses!


You will find The Rambling Writer’s blog posts here every Saturday. Sara’s latest novel from Book View Cafe is available in print and ebook: The Ariadne Connection.  It’s a near-future thriller set in the Greek islands. “Technology triggers a deadly new plague. Can a healer find the cure?”  The novel has received the Chanticleer Global Thriller Grand Prize and the Cygnus Award for Speculative Fiction. Sara has recently returned from another research trip in Greece and is back at work on the sequel, The Ariadne Disconnect. Sign up for her quarterly email newsletter at




The Rambling Writer Explores More Greek Islands, Part 23: The Asklepion Healing Sanctuary of Kos — 6 Comments

    • Thor, of course you’d like that, along with cuddling with baby spiders — although the serpents were kept in the pit, which isn’t where the patients slept. It’s a bit unclear, but apparently the serpents were taken to the sleeping chambers to visit the patients.

  1. Thanks, Sherwood! Yes, we suddenly realized that there was unfinished business on Kos, places we hadn’t seen. And more healing time at the sanctuary wouldn’t hurt! And, of course, more swimming in that magical sea….

    • Thanks, Kat! Lighting candles to Asklepios and other healers for all of us needing a boost. Really eager to be back there, drinking in the magic of place.