Welcome to the island of Artemis, the goddess of forests and hunting, according to mythology. GNTO © 2020. Don’t forget to come back in Carnival time when ancient old customs revive. Get a deeper insight into the rich history of the island through your visit to the breathtaking Acropolis of Líndos and Ialissós as well as Ancient Kámiros, which were all powerful cities in ancient times. (See also Astipálaia; Cos; Kálimnos; Kárpathos; Kastellórizo; Léros; Pátmos; Rhodes.). Azriel Rahav explains about the weather patterns in the Dodecanese islands … Lipsi is also surrounded by countless uninhabited islets ideal for bird watching. Despite its small size, Kássos was once a mighty maritime and commercial power. The plane tree must be over 2,500 years old, and it is in fact the oldest in Europe! Dodecanese Islands. The Dodecanese chain of islands are the most southeastern in Greece. Halki. Welcome the opportunity to visit the “island of the sea sponge harvesters”, an internationally known alternative tourism destination. It is commonly referred to as the Turquoise Coast with blue skies, … In our shop. Italian became the official language, and in 1925 the Dodecanesians were obliged to take Italian citizenship. All islands of the Dodecanese are connected to the mainland and other islands daily by ferries, while there are also regular flights to the larger islands. Leros. During your quest, you will encounter some of the city’s most remarkable buildings: the National Theatre, the Courts, the City Hall and the Governors Palace. They are situated between the islands of Crete, the Cyclades, lkarias, Samos and the Asia Minor seaboard. Unique beaches with crystal water are waited to be explored by you! You can reach Télendos by boat departing from the cove of Mirtiés at Kálymnos. Enjoy sandy beaches with crystal clear waters, swim in paradise bays (like the small bay of Vathí), rent a boat and sail around the island’s beaches, follow several hiking routes, participate in local fairs (the most famous ones take place on 15th August) or go scuba diving and climbing. Secret treaties on the future of the islands, drawn up by the Allies during and after World War I, led to a dispute between Italy and Greece over which nation should have jurisdiction over the islands. The island’s trademark is its medieval castle (Nerantziá Castle) situated at the entrance of the port. Here, both landscape and people will definitely help you find inner peace and tranquility. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The Dodecanese group came to be fixed at 12 islands during their long period of Turkish administration, which began in the 16th century. Taste the island’s traditional sweets katoumári and stráva, and organise a boat excursion to Galazio Spileo, the largest and most spectacular sea cave in Greece. The rich folklore tradition of villages, such as Ólympos and Mesohóri, will weave a powerful spell over you. The most visited islands in the Dodecanese are Kos, Patmos and Rhodes. Visitgreece.gr is the official tourism web site for Greece, run by the Greek National Tourism Organisation, where you'll find information on the main tourist destinations, such as cities, beaches, as well as activities, events and much more! What is the world’s largest archipelago? Kalymnos is a beautiful island, located between Kos and Leros, close to the coast of western Turkey. For information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Hóra, the island’s capital and port, one of the most picturesque settlements of the Aegean. The culinary enthusiasts should taste mouth watering delights, such as sweet smelling thyme honey, juicy tangerines, homemade mizithra cheese, delicious sea-dried lobster tail, and sea ray preserved in sea water! Some are so small and distant from each other that they have remained almost uncontaminated over the centuries. A perfect occasion to visit the island would be the International Climbing Festival in May, a unique festival that will thrill the action fans! Being a remote outpost of Greece, they have their own cultures that are often very different to that of mainland Greece. The Dodecanese owes its name to Δωδεκάνησα, twelve islands, the number of islands of the Aegeans Sea who protested against the Turkish cancellation of their historically granted right of tax exemption! The Dodecanese islands are located on the southeastern side of Greece, between the Cyclades and the coasts of Turkey. The Islands lie in the south east of the Aegean, offshore from mainland Turkey. Karpathos. The Dodecanese have long been one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Mediterranean. Tilos. All content included on this site consists intellectual property of GNTO and you are not allowed to reproduce the whole or part of this work in any way. Everywhere you go, you’ll see traces of peoples and cultures that have made their mark over the centuries: Ionians, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, Ottomans and Italians. Bags feeling light? Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The “island of the Apocalypse” or “Jerusalem of the Aegean” welcomes you! Interested in history? A few of the islands are close enough to Turkey for day-trips though the islands are so beautiful you may not feel like leaving. Overnight stay will be in Rhodes Harbour. Follow walking paths through the dense pine forest on the south of the island, where also ruins of Byzantine residencies still stand. Don’t miss the imposing fortified monastery of Saint Ioannis and the Theologian Apocalypse cave! Once docked, you'll find many of these twelve idyllic islands … Mandráki, the (ancient) harbour, is distinguished from the outer harbour by the 3 windmills and the fortifications at the end of the dock. The generation of islanders that remained under that regime was largely bilingual as a result. Get into a boat and sail around Maráthi, another small island with a beautiful beach covered with lentisks and tamarisk (salt cedar). Nisyros. The Dodecanese or Dodekanisa which translates as twelve islands is a group of 12 larger islands and 150 smaller ones set in the heart of south-eastern Aegean. The well-preserved mansions that still stand in Fre, the island’s capital and main port, reflect today this former grandeur. Italian interest in the Dodecanese was rooted in strategic purposes, and the islands were intended to … Its main settlement is filled with cheerfully painted houses of exceptional architecture, awe-inspiring churches and picturesque alleys. But the larger and richer islands of Rhodes and Cos had submitted involuntarily to Turkish rule and were given no special privileges. On the Aegean's eastern, edge the Dodecanese present perfect Greek vistas of whitewashed walls, turquoise blue skies and seas. There are many reasons to visiting Simi apart from experiencing its unique cosmopolitan atmosphere, and wandering around its remarkable neo-classical settlement. The Dodecanese Islands are an island group in the South Aegean Islands of Greece.. I visited Lipsi in September, and it's a lovely island. Peer into the historic past of the city with a visit to the Archaeological Museum. Read more about Dodecanese Islands. The islands also are a perfect destination for those who want to chill out in less crowded destinations where they can hike, walk on pebble beaches and absorb a colorful local culture. The main islands of the Dodecanese group, with their Italian names in parentheses, are: Kárpathos (Scarpanto), Pátmos (Patmo), Kásos (Caso), Astipálaia (Stampalia), Lipsoí (Lisso), Léros (Lero), Kálimnos (Calino), Nísuros (Nisiro), Tílos (Piscopi), Chálki (Calchi), Sými (Simi), Rhodes (Rodi), and Cos (Coo; Modern Greek: Kos) and the outlying Kastellórizo (Castelrosso). The Dodecanese, located in the southeastern Aegean Sea, is a fascinating complex of islands, ranging from tiny uninhabited islets to historic and picturesque lands, each with a unique character and charm. If you are desperately seeking to discover lesser-known, unspoiled destinations visit Leros or Pserimos. Take the opportunity to visit an unspoiled destination formed by volcanic eruptions. Enjoy the variety a Greek gulet cruise has to offer. It is rather impressive that today Nísyros is still an active volcanic centre together with the volcanic centers of Milos, Santorini and Methana! Visit among others the castle of Chrissoheria and the Archaeological Museum. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/place/Dodecanese, Fact Monster - World - Dodecanese Islands, Greece. If you are looking to spend peaceful holidays in a pure, dreamy environment with pine trees, olive groves and low plains with freshwater streams, then Léros is your destination! ; Kassos; Karpathos is located between Rhodes and Crete. Swim in sun-drenched beaches (like Plaka, Potha, and Paradise), go scuba diving and explore the ancient city sunk between Kálymnos and Télendos or go hiking, climbing, wind surfing, canoe-kayaking and spear fishing! Don’t forget to observe its colourful houses which are actually built with hewn slabs of andesite and dacite (volcanic material)! Even if you are a wind surfing fan, “anemoessa” Kárpathos (“she of the many winds”, according to Homer) is the perfect place to exercise your favourite sport. Lonely Planet photos and videos. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... What are the islands of the Maldives made of? Visit Patmos at Easter, when deeply religious and spiritual celebrations are held throughout the Holy Week. Patmos is famed for the Monastery of St. John, one of the most sacred places of worship in all of Christianity. It is an ideal destination for relaxing, and serene holidays. Did you know that this tiny beautiful island formed part of Kálymnos in antiquity, but was separated in 554 AD due to a devastating earthquake? Their land area is 1,031 square miles (2,670 square km). A Greek island hopping cruise around the Dodecanese offers history, culture, sun and sea. Twelve large islands and numerous smaller ones with crystal clear waters, sandy or pebbly beaches, important archaeological finds, imposing Byzantine and medieval monuments and unique traditional settlements are waiting to be discovered. The twelve islands in the Dodecanese chain, including the islands of Kos, Rhodes, Symi, Kalymnos and Kaparthos, each have a different distinctive and are well worth a visit. The town of Halki or Niborió, the island’s capital, is listed as a traditional settlement and it is amphitheatrically built overlooking the clear-blue sea, whereas impressive neoclassical mansions reveal the prosperity the island enjoyed in the past. Visit a dreamy cluster of islands east of Pátmos with sparse vegetation, old whitewashed houses, and cute little tavernas. In the Byzantine Empire the theme (province) of the Dodecanese included the Cyclades islands as well. In neither the Hellenistic nor the Roman Empire periods did the islands function as a single political or geographic unit. It forms part of the Natura Network. The name Dodecanese means “12 islands.” The term has been applied at various times to groups differently composed and numbering more than 12. Don’t forget to visit the nearby legendary island of Ro where the famous “Lady of Ro” Despina Achladioti used to raise the Greek flag every day. Island-hopping is ideal in the Dodecanese during the summer, as the meltemia winds allow for smooth sailing across the lot. Dodecanese and Turkey Marvelous sea, archeology, volcanoes and mysticism Δωδεκάνησος or "the 12 islands" that in reality are about 200 islands and islets! The view from the medieval castle (built in the location of ancient Tilos) that stands imposingly at the top of the hill will certainly take your breath away. The Dodecanese or Dodecanisos is the name of the island complex in the south eastern Aegean. Dodecanese. The conference of foreign ministers in Paris agreed in 1946 that the islands should pass to Greece; they were formally ceded in 1947. Corrections? After World War II the islands temporarily came under British occupation, with Greek participation. They lie close to the Turkish Southern coast and their history is much tied to the fortune and misfortune of Rhodes. Rhodes and Kos may be the most popular of the Dodecanese but lesser-known islands – including Nisyros, Kalymnos and Symi – offer an equally scenic holiday, minus the … Well-preserved castles, like the ones of Kritinia and Monólithos are also waiting to be discovered! Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). In total there are 163 islands and islets, of which only 26 are inhabited. Agathonissi is the northernmost island of the Dodecanese; it consists of three large traditional settlements (Agios Georgios, Megalo Horio and Mikro Horio). Just take your pick! kilometers. Actually at the village of Nikia there is a “Volcanic Museum”, the only one of its kind in Greece, exhibiting samples from the most characteristic volcanic rocks of Nisyros. Today there is only one small village on the island. Capt. Take a stroll around Boúka, an old pirate lair, with moored small fishing boats, traditional coffee shops and its old lighthouse. With twelve larger islands and numerous smaller uninhabited islands and islets, the Dodecanese Islands have the right mix of tourism and tradition, a fascinating history, two UNESCO World Heritage sites and stunning … The island complex of Dodecanese in south-eastern Aegean is the sunniest corner in Greece. Less popular than the Cyclades and with a different style, these Greek islands distinguish for their Medieval architecture and the peaceful beaches. Less popular than the Cyclades and with a different style, these Greek islands stand out for their Medieval architecture and the peaceful beaches. The Dodecanese is made up of 32 islands and are the perfect place for a classically Greek sailing experience. Telendos. Sandy beaches, turquoise waters, lush vegetation, ancient and medieval monuments, tree-lined wide roads, large squares, parks, a superb city plan and an extensive bicycle-only routes network are the distinctive characteristics of the third largest island of the Dodecanese, Kos! At the hilltop stands imposingly Hora’s castle, surrounded by small houses with whitewashed walls, blue doors and wooden balconies overlooking the open blue sea below. Perhaps you were looking for other islands in the Aegean, such as the Aegean Islands, the Cyclades Islands, the Ionian Islands or … Kassos. Check Dodecanese Islands hotel prices Tonight Nov 8 - Nov 9 Check prices in Dodecanese Islands for tonight, Nov 8 - Nov 9 Tomorrow night Nov 9 - Nov 10 Check prices in Dodecanese Islands for tomorrow night, Nov 9 - Nov 10 Next weekend Nov 13 - Nov 15 Check prices in Dodecanese Islands for next weekend, Nov 13 - Nov 15 The island complex of Dodecanese in south-eastern Aegean is the sunniest corner in Greece. The main islands of the Dodecanese group, with their Italian names in parentheses, are: Kárpathos (Scarpanto), Pátmos (Patmo), Kásos (Caso), Astipálaia (Stampalia), Lipsoí (Lisso), Léros (Lero), Kálimnos (Calino), Nísuros (Nisiro), Tílos (Piscopi), Chálki (Calchi), Sými (Simi), Rhodes (Rodi), and Cos (Coo; Modern Greek: Kos) and the outlying Kastellórizo (Castelrosso). This is Tílos! Accommodation rentals including studios, houses, rooms, hotels, houses, apartments, villas and travel information on the Dodecanese islands Subsequent Italian governments, however, unilaterally denounced the accord with Greece and refused to carry it out, and Italy used a special article in the Treaty of Sèvres (1920), whereby Turkey had ceded to Italy all rights and titles to the Dodecanese and Kastellórizo, to enforce its claim on the Dodecanese. Updates? You will find life laid back and the locals very welcoming to visitors. Although its name means ''12 (dodeca) islands'', the group consists of about 50 islands … These 12 large islands, followed by a group of smaller ones, each with its unique qualities, are rich in history and a favourite sailing area. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Dodecanese are the group of Greek islands streching along the Southeastern Aegean Sea just off the Turkish Rivira. The Dodecanese, literally “twelve islands”) are a group of 15 larger plus 150 smaller Greek islands. Don’t forget to visit Armáthia, the largest of the islands around Kássos, where you can find some excellent beaches, like Marmara and Karavostassi! These are the ingredients of an unparalleled destination, a huge ecological park protected by international treaties. The Dodecanese islands were formally annexed by Fascist Italy, as the Possedimenti Italiani dell'Egeo in 1923, following an agreement between Mussolini and Kemal Atatürk. Strolling along the narrow streets of beautiful Mandráki, the island’s capital and port, is a richly rewarding experience. Lipsi is the largest island belonging to a cluster of many others islets. T here is a blueness of sea that seems feasible only via Photoshop or an Instagram filter, but which is made real around the south-east Aegean’s Dodecanese islands. The Dodecanese- The “twelve islands” located SE of the Aegean Sea near the Turkish coast. ; Kos is the third largest of the Dodecanese and the second most popular and touristy island after Rhodes. Ferries leave Pireaus in the late afternoon and arrive in Rhodes some fifteen hours later after stopping in Patmos, Kalymnos, Leros and Kos. Dodecanese have a distinct character and architecture due to successive rulers - Venetian, Ottoman and Italian while the formal incorporation of the Dodecanese into Greece came in 1948. Agathonissi has a significant and vulnerable ecosystem rendering it an important habitat of rare bird species. Set out on a day trip to the traditional settlement of Horió, the former capital of the island, and admire interesting Byzantine monuments (like the Great Castle). Island-hopping by ferry, hydrofoil or catamaran is a splendid way to get into the leisurely pace. Kos. Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. The literal translation of Dodecanese is "Twelve Islands" although there are 16 inhabited ones and up to 27 in total. Omissions? Actually the Dodecanese count much more than 12 islands. Except for Rhodes and Cos, the Dodecanese suffer from deforestation and poor drainage. The islands constituted a nomós (department) until 2011, when local government in Greece was reorganized and the islands were divided among four new perifereiakés enótites (regional units) in the South Aegean (Modern Greek: Nótio Aigaío) periféreia. The early-Christian settlement at Eliniká is a must-see, since it is perhaps the best preserved settlement in Greece. Dodecanese - Greek Islands (Greece) The Dodecanese (means the 12 islands = Dodekanisa ), is a group of islands in the southeast of the Aegean sea. Kalymnos, the island of the sea- sponge harvesters, Sponge harvesters from Kalymnos: The diving legends. Italian sovereignty over the islands was confirmed by the Treaty of Lausanne (1923). Pserimos means “looking for the ideal destination for serene, relaxing holidays”. Only a short distance from Turkey’s Turquoise Coast in the southeastern Aegean, the Dodecanese group of islands lies in what is called the sunniest corner of Greece. All Rights Reserved. This is the reason why in Astipálea the characteristics of both island complexes blend together to create the island’s uniquely varied scenery. Don’t miss the 4th century Asclipiion, the Antimáhia 15th century castle with its imposing battle tower, as well as one of the most scenic villages of Kos with a distinctive traditional character, Ziá nestled amongst a dense cedar forest. Together with the nearby islands it belongs to the Natura Network as well. I may go back next year for a few nights, as we will return to the Dodecanese for sure. Visit also Kárpathos during Easter or Carnival time and participate with the locals in celebrations that will remain in your memory forever! The Dodecanese Islands: The History. Fringed by sandy beaches, the rugged island of Rhodes (the capital) is literally covered with remnants of the Byzantine, Ottoman and Roman empires. Their crops—fruit, tobacco, olives, and wheat—have varied from marginal to enough to export, and the principal nonagricultural occupations of the islanders—fishing, shipping, sponge diving—are still underdeveloped. The two largest islands, Rhodes and Kos, have a cosmopolitan flair and are literally burs… Did you know that after WWII Kálymnos remained the only Greek sponge-harvesting industry supplying both domestic and international markets with sea sponges? Whether you are looking for an action packed holiday or a relaxing visit, you will be quite astonished by the choices on offer on such a small island! Their land area is 1,031 square miles … The group of Dodecanese islands is a Greek islands group geographically located on the southeastern side of the Aegean Sea, close to the borders with Turkey. Dodecanese, Modern Greek Dodekánisa, group of islands in the Aegean Sea, off the southwestern coast of Turkey in southeastern Greece. Kastelorizo lies at the easternmost end of Greece, a stone’s throw away from the Turkish coast. In 1919 an agreement was reached whereby Italy would cede the Dodecanese to Greece with the exception of Rhodes, which was to have broad local autonomy. Enjoy peaceful holidays in the “Island of Peace and Friendship”, where young people from all over the world gather here every year for their annual meeting! The islands’ substantial economic deficit has been cut gradually by increasing tourism. Regions . The islands were a part of the ancient Greek world, and Rhodes and Cos have long histories. Pátmos is quite popular amongst pilgrims since in one of the island’s caves John the Theologian, one of Christ’s disciples, wrote the “Book of Revelations”. 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