TRAVEL GUIDE TO DODECANESE ISLANDS
The Dodecanese islands are located on the southeastern side of Greece, between the Cyclades and the coasts of Turkey. Less popular than the Cyclades and with a different style, these Greek islands stand out for their Medieval architecture and peaceful beaches.
The most popular islands of Dodecanese Greece are Rhodes and Kos, while Karpathos, Astypalea, and Symi are also getting famous over the last few years. Kalymnos is developing as a rock climbing destination, Leros is a diving destination, and Patmos is famous for its spiritual character.
The rest islands of Dodecanese, smaller in size, are considered more alternative holiday destinations. This Dodecanese islands travel guide will give you all the necessary information to organize your holiday in Greece.
ABOUT THE DODECANESE ISLANDS
The Dodecanese island group is located at the southeastern side of the Aegean Sea and it translated to "12 islands", named after the 12 biggest islands in this region: Rhodes, Kos, Karpathos, Kalymnos, Patmos, Astypalea, Simi, Leros, Nisyros, Halki, Tilos and Lipsi.
In reality, the Dodecanese Islands are more than 12, as they also include numerous other islets that are usually small and uninhabited.
The most popular Dodecanese islands that also attract the biggest number of tourists are Rhodes and Kos. These two islands are in fact among Greece's top tourist resorts.
Kalymnos, Patmos and Leros are also relatively popular, with a rapidly growing tourist infrastructure, nonetheless without losing their authentic characteristics. Kalymnos is famous for its sponge-fishing traditions and it also is a rock climbing hotspot. Patmos is known for its spiritual atmosphere, while Leros boasts amazing beaches and picturesque villages.
The rest of the Dodecanese islands are more secluded and non-touristy. For this reason, they make an excellent choice if you enjoy alternative holidays at unspoiled locations with a peaceful and traditional atmosphere.
Most of these islands are known for having wonderful beaches, such as Karpathos, Halki and Tilos.
Others are known for their unique architecture, including Simi that is full of colorful houses and Astypalea that has an architecture similar to that of the Cycladic islands.
In addition, Dodecanese islands such as Lipsi, with its unspoiled nature and Nisyros, with its active volcano, make excellent destinations for nature lovers.
One of the most prominent features of the Dodecanese islands is their architecture. In addition to the traditional farmhouses at their villages, their towns are full of houses with a unique Venetian style that dates back to the Venetian occupation period.
In many cases, you will also notice influences from the Cycladic, the neoclassical or the Ottoman styles of architecture.
In addition, islands such as Rhodes have a bold medieval background, with castles and fortresses that still stand to this day in Rhodes Town.
At the same time, significant archaeological sites that date back to ancient Greece can be found in a few locations, including Kos.
As far as the smaller settlements are concerned, you will notice both mountainous villages and seafront villages with small fishing ports, depending on which island you choose to visit. Most Dodecanese villages have a traditional style and they remain untouched by modern development, especially the smallest ones.
Among the prettiest ones, you will find Lindos in Rhodes, which has a medieval castle, Olympos in Karpathos, which is full of colorful houses and the seafront fishing village of Nimporio in Halki.
The Dodecanese islands are also particularly popular for their beaches! The largest islands offer at least a few well-organized seashores with sunbeds, watersport centers and tourist facilities. On the other hand, the less touristy members of the island group offer plenty of opportunities to those who enjoy a serene beachfront landscape with no facilities and an unspoiled kind of natural beauty.
Most of these beaches are sandy and they can be approached by car or on foot. A few of them can only be reached from the sea side.
Some beaches have gained an international reputation thanks to their crystal clear turquoise waters and exotic scenery, including Lindos bay in Rhodes and Apella beach in Karpathos.
With such spectacular inland and crystalline beach waters, the Dodecanese islands offer countless opportunities for exploration!
Hiking, swimming and watersports are among the most popular options, while museums, castles, archeological sites and other landmarks are perfect for sightseeing enthusiasts.
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