THE DODECANESE 14 ISLANDS A DOZEN 

The DODEKANISOS (DODECA for 12 in GREEK and NISIA for the islands) is therefore the archipelago of 12 islands that extends from north to south along the Turkish coast towards Bodrum. In fact, there are more than 160 islands but only about twenty are inhabited.

The 14 major islands of the archipelago are very different from the other; There is little exchange between the islands, between the inhabitants of its islands. When you change islands you change worlds. LIFE MODES,

organizations, COOKING,

parties, songs, dances, many things are different.

Following the crisis, the Dodecanese was grouped with the Cyclades in the PERIPHERIA (the region) AEGIOU NOTIOU ( (south of the Aegean Sea). Within the islands, the islands have often lost their “sovereignty” in decisions regarding energy, water and telephone, for example, power in the northern Dodecanese grouped in Kalymnos with the exacerbation of certain rivalries.

DODEKANISOS is the hottest and SUNNIEST region in Europe with more than 250 days of sunshine per year. There is a real difference in temperature between the north and south of the archipelago between 2 and 5oC.

While it is easy to travel between the islands with the
DODEKANISOS SEAWAYS
catamaran network, it is more difficult to get there easily by plane. Many flights certainly but mainly charter for all-included hotel stays; for dry flights, Aegean Airlines connections is held to lobby Athenian hoteliers to impose a night in Athens.

The only alternative is the BLUESTAR FERRIES for about 4 trips per week for a duration of between 8 and 15 hours depending on your destination island; certainly comfort is at the rendezvous …

 

HISTORY

Legend has it that when the world was created on the 7th day, there were a few pebbles in God’s hands. He throws them over his shoulder and it created Greece and the Greek islands.
In the Dodecanese, according to the
GREEK MYTHOLOGY,
when God created the world, he distributed all the available earth with a sieve; When all the countries were sufficiently supplied, he threw on his shoulder the pebbles remained in the sieve and thus created Greece. Many ISLANDS OF  DODEKANISOS also have developed mythological origins.

KALYMNOS  would be named after the mighty Titan Kalydros, son of Gaia (the earth) and Uranus (sky) who lived there.


KOS
, according to legend, this sacred land would be that of Asklepios, God of medicine
HIPPOCRATES
  established the first hospital in the world.

The current VOLCANO of
NISIROS
would contain the body of the Titan Polyvotis that Poseidon could have buried under a rock torn by Kos.

The legend of LEROS wants the island to stay at the bottom of the sea until Artemis (goddess of the hunt) and Selene (goddess of the moon) persuaded Apollo (God of light to help them out of the sea). Water.

The city of RODOS is associated with the Sun God Helios, the God of the Sun, the COLUS OF RODOS, one of the seven wonders of the world represented it.

During 19 centuries, these islands have taken on the imprint of the Ottoman,Byzantine, Venetian,  Italian, pirate invasions with many fortresses built for many battles; the strongest imprint is those of the Crusaders, the KNIGHTS OF THE SAINT-JOHN ORDER  who took refuge in Rhodes after their defeats in Jerusalem. And marked with their imprint all the islands especially in Patmos.

Later on, Winston Churchill considered the archipelago strategic for the Levant. The British engaged in fierce fighting to liberate its islands from the
ITALIAN OCCUPATION,
which began in 1912. These islands were not attached to Greece until 1947 and 1948. A recent Greek history…

 

The islands  are home to Byzantine remains
OTTOMANS SUCCESSIVE EMPIRES
, the period of the Crusaders and, finally, the stigmas of the Second World War, where history was rich in events with the Italian occupation. All the islands of the archipelago have specificities related to each, but a common denominator is the epicurean culture of its islands between lazing on a myriad of beaches and succulent addresses to enjoy Greek cuisine.

The main island and capital of the archipelago is RODOS and Rodos for the Greeks, with its 85,000 inhabitants it is a very beautiful island with all the amenities of a European metropole and a very rich history. It is the pole of attraction of all the Greeks of the archipelago and today 15 of the population is foreign and European. These remote islands still keep their secrets to tourism for the most part and live traditionally. Visitors literally fall in love with some and return until they settle there for a good part of the year.

KOS is the second island. A rich and varied island with the emergence of many hotels on the eastern part of the island, the west is still very wild. Kos has absolutely sumptuous beaches especially to the west. In KOS there is something for all tastes: culture, lazing, wild and landscaped, typical tavernas, tourist restaurants, the sea and the mountains…

South of KOS, a curiosity the island of
NISIROS
. It is called the volcano island with the so special shape of its crater, its unique geology with the fauna and flora of a different land. Mythology reveals the birth of the island by jet a piece of the island of KOS by Poseidon to crush the titan Polybotes, thus generating the volcano. More likely the warm waters at 65oC from Therma Loutra beach to KOS come from the NISSIROS galleries more than 40 kilometres away. Grabbing.

Between KOS and KALYMNOS , the almost deserted island of PSERIMOS with its special atmosphere and beaches deserves the excursion in Caïque.

When you arrive at KALYMNOS, you feel the weight of the island’s working tradition. It is the island of sponge fishermen and today an ideal world-class climbing spot with the mild climate of the island. The island is very rugged and lives there only to the west.

To the north, the island of LEROS is one of the most traditional in the archipelago. The

KASTRO

dominates the island with its many small villages and the small chapel on the sea of Agios Isidoros is a little wonder. Tourism is minimal but it is good to live there.

North of LEROS, there are many small magical islands for an excursion like ARKIOU, MARATHI, ASPRONISI. There is also the island of
LIPSI,
a small island with almost Polynesian beaches, a small village with a beautiful atmosphere. The island is very popular with boaters.

PATMOS is nicknamed the Jerusalem of the Aegean Sea. With a very rich ecumenical heritage, the island attracts many faithful to visit and commune in the Cave of the Apocalypse of St. John and the monastery of Saint John. The island has its fans who settle there many months in the year to enjoy Greek life and beaches.


KARPATHOS
is a fairly closed and very traditional island. It is not easy to access especially on the northern part of the island. The island has a very large and influential diaspora in North America. It has made the government bend to have an airport to come back very regularly. The nearby island of
KASOS
is it extract wild and very windy with an interesting fauna.


SYMI
is the jewel of the Dodecanese, a tiny island just a few steps from Turkey with crystalline waters. Very few hotels, a very prosperous old island with beautiful architecture and unique colors. Many Hollywood stars have made it their resorts in peace and discretion. The chapel of Panormitis is magical.

Another tiny
island KASTELORIZO
, it is a few hundred meters from Turkey and it is often forgotten on a map of Greece by the Greeks themselves. Yet it is the most beautiful with its crystal clear waters, caves and small blue seals. A very oriental architecture for this island which was for many years the easternmost part of the European Union. To make the footprint of Greece so far from Athens, an airport was built whose landing remains one of the most delicate in Europe.


ASTYPALEA
is the little-known of the archipelago a few kilometers from the Cyclades. It is very difficult to access even though there are planes now. The island is butterfly shape was the refuge of pirates who could hide their boats there. A single village perched atop a cliff and many wild beaches.

A special place for the island of TILOS between RODOS AND KOS. A different population in solidarity and welcoming migrants, a model of sustainable development that all of Europe envy this little piece of land. The limitation of the number of foreign weddings and the number of tourists contrasts with all other tourist habits in Greece. And yet, the tourists who visit it keep an indelible memory!!

Although uninhabited, the IMRIA island a few kilometers from Turkey at KALYMNOS is the source of high tensions between GREECE AND THE TURKEY. There is also a no-navigation and fishing zone around this island, which regularly leads to altercations between Greek and Turkish fishing vessels.

These islands are very good choices for unforgettable stays. They are different, it’s up to you to know what you want to do with your vacation. However, we cannot recommend that you make several of them to keep enough time to collect them. They are hardly open to mass tourism for our greatest happiness. It’s up to you to discover them…

 

KNOWING FOR YOUR STAY

Some numbers:

  • Area: 2,714 sq km
  • Population: 191,000
  • The GDP of the Dodecanese is 186 billion euros.

The DODEKANISOS islands offer a variety of landscapes. However, one can appreciate the general geography of the region in these terms: it is rocky plateaus of various sizes and more or less rugged terrain (soft hills for some islands, impressive mountains for others, even active volcano in Nisiros), surrounded by often steep coastlines and calm natural harbours. On this corner of the AEGEAN SEA, dangerous currents are rare but the Meltemi, wind blowing from the north-northwest, can be violent and make navigation impassable. These lands are relatively arid with little arable land and the supply of fresh water is problematic.

The region enjoys almost permanent sunshine, the highest in Europe, and a pleasant climate throughout the year. It offers rich and varied gastronomy, sports activities, trendy places to drink and dance until the end of the night or one of the serene and calm Olympians. Tourism in RODOS and on the DODEKANISOS islands is not new. Already in Roman times, good families sent their sons to study. Let’s follow their example.

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