Favorite Dodecanese Islands to Visit

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The Dodecanese Islands are a Greek island group that has some of the most popular islands in all of Greece!  They’re located in the Aegean Sea near the border of Turkey. Dodecanese comes from the Greek word for twelve because this is the number of islands that there are in this chain. They all share certain characteristics, such as a strong Medieval presence and the fact that people love to flock to them for vacation. Here’s more information:


Medieval Old Town and impressive beach resorts make Rhodes, the largest Dodecanese
Island the most popular. Old Town has the reputation of being the most well-preserved Medieval town in Europe. Medieval stone architecture like the Venetian Castle and the Byzantine churches amazes visitors to the island almost as much as the stunning beaches.

Tourism is big on Rhodes Island, so you’ll find an array of accommodations from luxury resorts to cozy apartments. Because of the island’s large size, it’s blessed with spectacular beaches of all types from bustling to secluded.


Kos, the third largest Dodecanese Island is only four miles from the coast of Turkey. The Medieval architecture here is especially interesting. You’ll want to visit the Medieval castle Nerantzia from the 7th century located near the entrance of the port, and Eleftheria Square. Near the center of the new city, the square is surrounded by buildings from the Italian Era.

Pay a visit to the 2,500-year-old Hippocrates Plane tree across from Lotzia Mosque. It’s here the great doctor treated patients and taught apprentices. On the southern side of the island, you’ll find pristine golden beaches.


The sheer beauty of Karpathos makes it a favorite Dodecanese Island. Farther away and secluded, it’s located in the South Aegean Sea between Rhodes and Crete. Because of distance, it only developed in the last few decades. Visit the central and northern parts of the island to marvel at the authentic and unspoiled villages where tourism is light. When you see the exotic beaches on the southern side, you will see why tourism became popular on Karpathos.


One of the Northern Dodecanese Islands, Kalymnos is close to the Turkish coasts. The locals here used to earn their living by sponge fishing, and you will still see sponges sold on the beach of Pothia, the island’s capital.

Wild, rocky mountains distinguish this popular Dodecanese from the others. In recent years, it has become a popular rock climbing destination. A huge climbing festival is held each year in September. Popular places to climb include the mountains on the north side of the island and the nearby island of Telendos. Most tourists combine a trip to Kalymnos with one to another island like Kos.


Patmos is known as the island of Apocalypse. It is said that Saint John the Divine found inspiration for the Book of Apocalypse inside a cave here. Hence, you will see the huge Monastery of Saint John looming over Chora, the island’s capital. Visitors to Patmos love to walk along the paved paths and enjoy breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea. Several relaxing beaches are scattered across the island. Skala is the most popular. A trip here is easily combined with one to Leros since they are so close together.

Whether you’re into Greek mythology, ancient ruins, or simply the world’s most beautiful beaches, put trip to one or more Dodecanese Islands on your bucket list. It will be the trip of a lifetime.

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