May 2012
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Travel – Dodecanese Islands – an island group of 12 larger plus 150 smaller Greek islands

The Dodecanese Islands (which means “twelve islands”) are an island group of 12 larger plus 150 smaller Greek islands in the South Aegean Islands of Greece. These islands are off the southwest coast of Turkey, to the southward of Samos Island and to the northeastward of the Crete Island. Byzantine churches and medieval castles are the tourist specialties of the island. There are a large number of islands, with the total number being 163, out of these only 26 are inhabited islands. The most well known of the twelve islands is Rhodes, Kos and Patmos with the remaining nine being Astipalea, Kalimnos, Karpathos, Kasos, Leros, Nisyros, Symi, Tilos and Kastelorizo which are located in the east Mediterranean.
Other islands in the chain are Agathonisi, Alimia, Arkoi, Chalki, Farmakonisi, Gyali,Kinaros, Levitha, Lipsi, Nimos, Pserimos, Saria, Syrna and Telendos. There are many municipalities that come under these islands and some of them are Afantou Archangelos, Astypalaia, Attavyros, Chalki, Dikaio, Ialysos, Irakleides and Kallithea.

The regions that come under this prefecture are:
• Astipalea: This island is located between Kos and Amorgos and is a small and not very well developed island. This island is on the borders between Dodecanese and Cyclades. The island has traditional villages and wonderful sandy beaches. This island is in the shape of a butterfly.
• Halkiis: This is also a small and not a very developed island that is close to Rhodes. This island is good for those interested in trekking. The island is popular for its traditional architecture, the lovely waterfront, the calm beaches and the abandoned village in the centre of the island.
• Kalymnos is an island that is located between Kos and Leros that is close to the coast of western Turkey. This is the most beautiful island in Greece, that is also well known as the island of sponge fishers. This is actually a mountainous island but it also has two valleys that are best known for its agricultural products. Beaches, castles and churches make this is a popular place.
• Karpathos is an island that is located between Rhodes and Crete. It is the second largest island of the Dodecanese Greece islands. It is known for its clear waters and beaches and hills. This island is full of mountain villages with whitewashed houses with red tiled roofs and the narrow paved streets.
• Kos is the second most popular and the third largest of the Dodecanese islands after Rhodes. It has a good nightlife along with a beautiful landscape and soft sandy crystalline waters. There are verdant forests and the island is rich for those interested in archaeology.
• Leros: This Island is one of the smallest islands of the Dodecanese Greece islands and is full of vegetation, verdant trees, bright colored along with the deep blue of the sea and the golden sand that is the main attraction, attracting people like a paradise.
• Nisyros This Island is to the south of Kos and is a small island with the only ‘active’ volcano of Greece. The capital of the island which is known as Mandraki is a traditional settlement in blue and white colors. The beaches of Nisyros and the roads on Nisyros are not very developed.
• Patmos: This island is to the north of Leros and is known to be the most religious of Greek Islands as Saint John the Theologian who was exiled in 95-95 AD revealed and wrote the Apocalypse. It is located between Ikaria and Leros. The island has whitewashed cubic houses and flowered gardens, surrounded by narrow streets and stone steps.
• Symi: This is a small island that is located between Rhodes and Kos and to the north of Rhodes. The island has scenic towns and villages. This island is close to the Aegean and the Turkish shores and has a coastline of about 85 kilometers. This island is a mountainous island.
• Rhodes: This is the most popular and the largest of the Dodecanese islands. This island is the one of the most favorite tourist destination. This island has nice sandy beaches, picturesque villages and has an Old Medieval Town (the capital) which is very scenic. This island is very popular among the tourists.
• Tilos: This is another small and remote island that is located between Kos and Rhodes.

The provinces of Dodecanese islands are as below:
• Province of Patmos – Patmos
• Province of Kalymnos – Kalymnos
• Province of Kos – Kos
• Province of Rhodes – Rhodes City
• Province of Karpathos & Kasos – Karpathos

Best time to visit / climate:
The climate of is a mild Mediterranean climate; sunny with dry summers and mild winters. The months of July and August has the temperatures as being more bearable and is the best time to visit the place.

Location on Google Maps:

View Larger Map

How to get there:
One can reach these islands from Piraeus, Athens.
Most travelers arriving in Piraeus from Athens make use of the very convenient Metro Line 1 that terminates at the Port from where one can take a walk to the Saronic Gulf ferries, hydrofoils and catamarans, or a free shuttle-bus ride to the ships sailing to Crete and the Dodecanese. Direct Airport Express buses run 24 hours between the port of Piraeus and Athens International Airport.

Frommer’s Greece (Frommer’s Complete Guides) Lonely Planet Greek Islands Lonely Planet Greece

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers):

Hotels at top-hotels-greece
Hotels at dodecanese-islands
Hotels at greekhotels

Blogs / Sites about Dodecanese:

Blogs and reviews at bootsnall
Blogs and reviews at lonelyplanet
Blogs and reviews at worldreviewer
Blogs and reviews at travelpod

Images and photos of Dodecanese:

images at Google
Images at greeka
Images at united-hellas

Videos of Dodecanese:

Dodecanese Islands – Greece

Karpathos & Kastelorizo : Two of the Dodecanese Islands – Greece

Dodecanese Islands – Greece

Kassos – A remote island

A video tour of Rhodes, Kos and Kalymnos in Greece’s Dodecanese islands

Rodos Island Greece

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