Dodecanese


The word Dodecanese (Greek Δωδεκάνησα) literally translated means "twelve islands". In fact the Dodecanese we are talking about here is a group of 12 larger plus 150 smaller Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, off the southwest coast of Turkey.

Some of these islands are extremely popular with tourist. The most famous and most popular is Rhodes, followed by Kos and Karpathos. Not as famous but still worth visiting are Lipsi, Halki, Nisyros, Patmos, Kasos (Kassos), Symi, Agathonisi, Megisti/Kastelorizo and  Kalymnos.

All the islands are quite hilly and therefore popular with hikers. While some of the islands are quite developed (from a tourism point of view) are others relatively untouched. Especially if you are interested in the cultural aspects of Greece you will find this an interesting prospect.

The island group became part of Greece in 1948. Before that it was occupied by Turkey, Italy and during World War II. Germany. We don't want to dive to deep into history. If you want to learn more about modern Greece I suggest you try Wikipedia. It is a rather complicated story but the article gives a very good overview in regards to the establishment of the modern Greek state.

From Rhodes there is a daily connection to Athens. The boat would stop at some of the islands but should inquire at the port which ones. There are connections to the Cyclades and Crete as well. The larger islands also have an airport (Rhodes, Kos and Karpathos). Another interesting option is to discover the Dodecanese by boat. There are quite a few sailing boats that offer to join the crew for a few days. Cruising on a yacht obviously is the ultimate way to discover the island group and well worth's the money. You might a cheap deal online; an alternative is to just ask around in the port or marina.

The main island is Rhodes and its capitol the biggest town in the whole archipelago. Rhodes old town is well renowned and protected under the UNESCO world heritage program.

Kos these days got pretty busy. Many beach and package holiday makers come here to stock up on some sunshine. Kos' most famous son is the ancient physician Hippocrates. He is considered one of the most remarkable figures in the history of medicine. Until this very day the Hippocratic Oath is an oath taken by physicians pertaining to the ethical practice of medicine.

Patmos is one of the rather small islands. It has an area of only 40 kmē. About 3000 people live there. It is said that the apostle John in 95 AD wrote down his Book of Revelation.

Tilos although quite small has some of the finest beaches in the Dodecanese and even more appealing the loneliest. Only 300 people live there and there is very little tourism. This is a perfect spot for hikers.

Leros belonged to Italy until 1943 and if you wander around and look at the architecture you can actually tell.

Karpathos half way in between Crete and Rhodes at this stage is quite developed. Still, if you go there you will find a quiet spot.

Kasos is one of these very original places. There is some tourism but unless you are really interested in traditional Greek island life style it won't be suitable for you. If you do speak some Greek and like places it a bit backward you are going to love this island.

Kastelorizo (Megisti) is mainly known as the most remote island in all Greece. If that is what you are looking for here you go.

 

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