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The Dodecanese

Updated on March 6, 2015

For beautiful sunshine you can't beat the Greek islands of the Dodecanese. The twelve main islands and numerous smaller ones each offer the crystal clear seas, lovely sand or pebble beaches and a wealth of history, though some are quieter and more unspoiled than others. Here is a brief guide to the main twelve islands of the Dodecanese to help you to choose which one or ones to visit on your next holiday:


Dodecanese Islands

A markerDodecanese greece -
Dodecanese Islands
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Dodecanese Islands from Space

Nasa
Nasa

Rhodes

Rhodes

A markerRhodes -
Rhodes, Greece
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Rhodes

Rhodes is one of those islands that seems to offer something for everyone. There are the beaches of course, including the famous, sandy Faliráki beach in Kallithéa, the golden strands around Archángelos and many more. Hikers will be in seventh heaven on the islands beautiful hiking routes, history lovers will be enthralled by the ancient city of Rhodes and the mediaeval streets of the old town with its many historic buildings and museums.


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Kos

Kos

A markerKos -
Kos, Greece
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Kos

Kos too has historical and scenic treasures galore. If you are looking to do nothing much, Kos' sandy beaches will be perfect for that. But if you want to be more active, Kos also offers miles and miles of bicycle or hiking tracks which are free of motor traffic, making this island, the third largest in the Dodecanese, perfect for exploration on foot or by bike.


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Patmos

Patmos

A markerPatmos -
Patmos 855 00, Greece
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Patmos

Patmos is the island for religious pilgrims and nature lovers. This is a sacred isle, sometimes called the Jerusalem of the Aegean. The prevailing theory is that St. John wrote The Book of Revelation in a cave on the island and many people come here each year to experience this holy island. The volcanic soil, crinkled coastline and dramatic cliffs make this a good island for wildlife spotting. Of course there are also a number of beaches to choose from, both crowded and secluded.

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Astipalea

Astipalea

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Astipalea, Greece
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Astipalea

This is the westernmost island of the Dodecanese, neighbouring the Cyclades. It shares some characteristics of both of these island groups and its settlements are amongst the most attractive in the Aegean. While the coastline is stunningly beautiful, it would be a mistake to miss out the attractive and quieter interior, with its many natural and historic attractions.

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Kalymnos

Kalymnos

A markerKalymnos -
Kálimnos, Greece
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Kalymnos

This well-known alternative travel destination is famous for its sponge-harvesting industry. Come to Kalymnos for the interesting archaeological sites and Byzantine monuments. See the picturesque capital, Póthia, the former capital at the historic settlement of Horió and the early-Christian village of Eliniká – perhaps the best preserved example of its kind in Greece.

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Kassos

Kassos

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Kasos, Greece
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Kassos

This tiny island once had a maritime and commercial weight that belied its small size. The grandeur of the buildings on the island including well-preserved mansions in the capital, Fre, are evidence of this prowess. A stroll around the old pirate stronghold of Boúka is also very revealing about the island's past. The best of the beaches are found on the neighbouring small island of Armáthia.

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Leros

Leros

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Leros
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Leros

This is, according to legend, the island of Artemis who is the goddess of hunting and forests. Channel her fierce and adventurous spirit and explore the more active side to this island. You can swim or scuba dive from the dreamy coastline, stroll through peaceful olive groves and pine woodlands or cycle between ancient sites.

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Nisyros

Nisyros

A markerNisyros -
Nisyros, Nisiros 853 03, Greece
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Nisyros

This island is still an active centre of volcanic activity and it is this, along with its volcanic formation, which give this island the bulk of its appeal. There is a fascinating volcanic museum in Nikia and the tranquil landscape contains constant reminders and clues about the fires that forged it. Some colourful houses of Mandraki were made from volcanic rock. This is an island to visit to escape mass tourism – this beautiful island remains unspoiled.

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Symi

Symi

A markerSymi -
Ano Symi, Greece
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Symi

This cultural centre is an island idyll. From the picturesque and achingly beautiful port town of Symi to the historic sites and viniculture and summer arts festival, Symi has a lot to offer to those who are interested in the culture of the islands of the Dodecanese island chain. Symi also offers tourists the chance to visit uncrowded beaches that are off the beaten track and less frequently visited due to the fact that they can only be reached by water taxi.

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Karpathos

Karpathos

A markerKarpathos -
Karpathos, Greece
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Karpathos

Karpathos is the perfect place to come for an island getaway that will give you a timeless taste of the unique culture of these beautiful islands. At settlements in the mountainous interior, people still speak the ancient local dialect and dress in traditional garb. A hiking holiday is the perfect way to enjoy this island's tranquil byways.

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Tilos

Tilos

A markerTilos -
Megalo Chorio, Greece
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Tilos

This eco-park is the perfect location for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. The stark mountains, lush valleys, dense forests and wild herbs and flower strewn hillsides of this idyllic island are teeming with life. There are four hundred species of flowers and herbs and habitats that are home to some rare bird species. Sadly, the dwarf elephants that one lived here are long extinct, but this was the last place in Europe to have elephants until they disappeared around 4000 years ago. Be sure to climb to the mediaeval castle for unparalleled views and visit the ancient sites across the island.


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Kastelorizo

Kastelorizo

A markerKastelorizo -
Kastellorizo, 851 11, Greece
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Kastelorizo

Close to the Turkish coast, on the far eastern edge of the Dodecanese lies this picturesque beauty. Explore the colourful island settlements with the painted houses and narrow alleyways festooned with flowers. From here, you can take boat trips to Galazio Spileo, a spectacular sea cave which is the largest in Greece.

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There are many more smaller islands many of which offer quieter Aegean escapes. Wherever you choose to visit and whichever island you choose to stay on, you are sure to find the relaxed atmosphere of this island chain a tonic for frayed nerves. You can choose to relax by doing nothing much and soaking up the sun, or take advantage of the many other things to see and do on each one of these islands. Leave the stresses and strains of your everyday life behind and head off for an adventure on the warm, sunny Dodecanese.

Thank you

Finally :)

If you enjoyed reading my hub, Please follow me as i upload daily, (and improve on excising hubs daily) I enjoy taking you around the beautiful world we live in! Any comments about my work is highly appreciated :)


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    • traveleze profile image
      Author

      Lee John 3 years ago from Preston

      Hi KevvoDeverson,

      Thank you very much, it basically is turkey in geologic terms as its so close

      Thanks

      Lee

    • KevvoDeverson profile image

      Kevin Deverson 3 years ago from Leyland, UK

      Lovely pictures as usual and like everyone says your are great! This pics seem like turkey i go there a lot in summer

    • traveleze profile image
      Author

      Lee John 3 years ago from Preston

      Hi aesta1,

      Thank you highly appreciated :) Very glad my hub makes you want to go back its simply stunning!

      Thanks

      Lee

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Lovely pictures. I had been to Greece only once. With your hub, you have enticed me to go back as there are mor replaces to see.

    • traveleze profile image
      Author

      Lee John 3 years ago from Preston

      Hi KevvoDeverson,

      Yep hopefully i will i just love writing about travel!

      Thanks

      Lee

    • traveleze profile image
      Author

      Lee John 3 years ago from Preston

      Hi Thomasjames1992,

      Thank you so much highly appreciated :)

      Lee

    • KevvoDeverson profile image

      Kevin Deverson 3 years ago from Leyland, UK

      Interesting hub your going to cover the world with your travel hubs soon

    • Thomasjames1992 profile image

      Thomas James 3 years ago from London

      hey your hubs are always beautiful, amazing, interesting and really easy to read thanks again

    working