Rhodes and Kos , are among the largest islands of the group and the two most popular ones. This is the reason why in Astipálea the characteristics of both island complexes blend together to create the island’s uniquely varied scenery. Agathonissi has a significant and vulnerable ecosystem rendering it an important habitat of rare bird species. Dodecanese, Modern Greek Dodekánisa, group of islands in the Aegean Sea, off the southwestern coast of Turkey in southeastern Greece. But the larger and richer islands of Rhodes and Cos had submitted involuntarily to Turkish rule and were given no special privileges. The island’s trademark is its medieval castle (Nerantziá Castle) situated at the entrance of the port. The “island of the Apocalypse” or “Jerusalem of the Aegean” welcomes you! Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. The Dodecanese have long been one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Mediterranean. 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 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! Visit Hóra, the island’s capital and port, one of the most picturesque settlements of the Aegean. Kalymnos, the island of the sea- sponge harvesters, Sponge harvesters from Kalymnos: The diving legends. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The name Dodecanese means "the twelve islands" in Greek, as this is the number of the largest islands of the complex. Their land area is 1,031 square miles … Many visitors, for instance, come here to venerate the miraculous icon of Archangel Michael kept at the monastery of Panormítis, one of the most significant monasteries of the Dodecanese. Dodecanese - Greek Islands (Greece) The Dodecanese (means the 12 islands = Dodekanisa ), is a group of islands in the southeast of the Aegean sea. 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! All Rights Reserved. The Islands lie in the south east of the Aegean, offshore from mainland Turkey. It is commonly referred to as the Turquoise Coast with blue skies, … In total there are 163 islands and islets, of which only 26 are inhabited. Italian interest in the Dodecanese was rooted in strategic purposes, and the islands were intended to … 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. It is an ideal destination for relaxing, and serene holidays. 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. Travelers who are interested in Greek mythology and ancient ruins will have a field day here. Arki & Marathi. 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. The Dodecanese- The “twelve islands” located SE of the Aegean Sea near the Turkish coast. Discover sights, restaurants, entertainment and hotels. Once docked, you'll find many of these twelve idyllic islands … Karpathos. 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). Follow walking paths through the dense pine forest on the south of the island, where also ruins of Byzantine residencies still stand. Island-hopping by ferry, hydrofoil or catamaran is a splendid way to get into the leisurely pace. The first picture to see upon arriving on the island is Póthia, both the capital and the port of Kálymnos, spreading amphitheatrically on two hills. You can reach Télendos by boat departing from the cove of Mirtiés at Kálymnos. Visit among others the castle of Chrissoheria and the Archaeological Museum. Dodecanese islands, Greece accommodation. An island blessed with an abundance of streams, pine-tree forests, vineyards, olive groves, rocky caves (which are actually home to monachus monachus) and mountainous landscapes, Kárpathos is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and lovers of deep-rooted tradition. In the Byzantine Empire the theme (province) of the Dodecanese included the Cyclades islands as well. The Dodecanese Islands: The History. 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. The plane tree must be over 2,500 years old, and it is in fact the oldest in Europe! If you are desperately seeking to discover lesser-known, unspoiled destinations visit Leros or Pserimos. The two largest islands, Rhodes and Kos, have a cosmopolitan flair and are literally burs… The Dodecanese islands are located on the southeastern side of Greece, between the Cyclades and the coasts of Turkey. Strolling along the narrow streets of beautiful Mandráki, the island’s capital and port, is a richly rewarding experience. The Dodecanese islands are located on the southeastern side of Greece, between the Cyclades and the coasts of Turkey. 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? Dodecanese - Greek Islands (Greece) The Dodecanese (means the 12 islands = Dodekanisa ), is a group of islands in the southeast of the Aegean sea. Astipalea is the westernmost island of the Dodecanese, located at the point where the Dodecanese meet the Cyclades. But there is always Rhodes and Kos, larger and more cosmopolitan islands awaiting to offer you strong, and treasured memories. (See also Astipálaia; Cos; Kálimnos; Kárpathos; Kastellórizo; Léros; Pátmos; Rhodes.). In total there are 163 islands and islets, of which only 26 are inhabited. Here you may join our optional “Rhodes Old City Tour”. Visit Patmos at Easter, when deeply religious and spiritual celebrations are held throughout the Holy Week. The Dodecanese are made up of 12 main islands plus another 150 islands; only 26 islands are inhabited. 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. These are the ingredients of an unparalleled destination, a huge ecological park protected by international treaties. Actually the Dodecanese count much more than 12 islands. 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. Together with the nearby islands it belongs to the Natura Network as well. 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! 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! Italian sovereignty over the islands was confirmed by the Treaty of Lausanne (1923). A Greek island hopping cruise around the Dodecanese offers history, culture, sun and sea. Don’t miss the imposing fortified monastery of Saint Ioannis and the Theologian Apocalypse cave! The name Dodecanese means “12 islands.” The term has been applied at various times to groups differently composed and numbering more than 12. Did you actually know that you can sit under the plane tree where Hippocrates himself, the Father of Medicine, used to teach his students and examine his patients? Read more about Dodecanese Islands. You will find life laid back and the locals very welcoming to visitors. Don’t forget to come back in Carnival time when ancient old customs revive. 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 They lie close to the Turkish Southern coast and their history is much tied to the fortune and misfortune of Rhodes. Browse photos and videos of Dodecanese Islands. 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. Telendos. Dodecanese is a group of islands in southeastern Greece in the Aegean Sea, It is located between the southwester coast of Asia Minor and the island of Crete, south of Samos, and Fourni, and east of the Cyclades. Pserimos means “looking for the ideal destination for serene, relaxing holidays”. Lonely Planet photos and videos. 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). 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”. Italian became the official language, and in 1925 the Dodecanesians were obliged to take Italian citizenship. The early-Christian settlement at Eliniká is a must-see, since it is perhaps the best preserved settlement in Greece. Go back through time on the ancient island of Rhodes; see the charming lanes of … Welcome the opportunity to visit the “island of the sea sponge harvesters”, an internationally known alternative tourism destination. The island complex of Dodecanese in south-eastern Aegean is the sunniest corner in 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! Patmos. Dodecanese Islands. The rich folklore tradition of villages, such as Ólympos and Mesohóri, will weave a powerful spell over you. Italian rule over the Dodecanese was firm and efficient but never popular. Visit also Kárpathos during Easter or Carnival time and participate with the locals in celebrations that will remain in your memory forever! Fringed by sandy beaches, the rugged island of Rhodes (the capital) is literally covered with remnants of the Byzantine, Ottoman and Roman empires. 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. Its main settlement is filled with cheerfully painted houses of exceptional architecture, awe-inspiring churches and picturesque alleys. 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. 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. It forms part of the Natura Network. 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. It is rather impressive that today Nísyros is still an active volcanic centre together with the volcanic centers of Milos, Santorini and Methana! Turkish rule of the islands lasted until May 1912, when during the Italo-Turkish War Italian forces seized the islands—except Ikaría (which was occupied by Greek forces in November) and Kastellórizo (which remained Turkish). Mandráki, the (ancient) harbour, is distinguished from the outer harbour by the 3 windmills and the fortifications at the end of the dock. Kassos. Swim in azure seas, admire exquisite works of Italian architecture in Ayia Marina, the capital of the island, wander around centuries-old magnificent castles (like Brouzi and Castle of Panayia), or go scuba diving to explore ship wrecks lying on the seabed since the Second World War. 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. Don’t forget to visit Armáthia, the largest of the islands around Kássos, where you can find some excellent beaches, like Marmara and Karavostassi! Dodecanese and Turkey Marvelous sea, archeology, volcanoes and mysticism Δωδεκάνησος or "the 12 islands" that in reality are about 200 islands and islets! After World War II the islands temporarily came under British occupation, with Greek participation. 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 … The most visited islands in the Dodecanese are Kos, Patmos and Rhodes. Take the opportunity to visit an unspoiled destination formed by volcanic eruptions. The Turks recognized 12 of the islands, “the 12 Sporades,” as being entitled to special treatment since they had voluntarily submitted to Turkish rule. Wander along the impressive avenue with the Palm Trees, or stroll around famous squares like Platánou Square and Elefthería Square and admire legendary buildings, remains of the Italian rule. Welcome to the island of Artemis, the goddess of forests and hunting, according to mythology. There are many reasons to visiting Simi apart from experiencing its unique cosmopolitan atmosphere, and wandering around its remarkable neo-classical settlement. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. What is the world’s largest archipelago? Info for travelling by boat on greek islands! 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 conference of foreign ministers in Paris agreed in 1946 that the islands should pass to Greece; they were formally ceded in 1947. Corrections? 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. A perfect occasion to visit the island would be the International Climbing Festival in May, a unique festival that will thrill the action fans! The generation of islanders that remained under that regime was largely bilingual as a result. 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. Nisyros. 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. Being a remote outpost of Greece, they have their own cultures that are often very different to that of mainland Greece. 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. Lipsi is also surrounded by countless uninhabited islets ideal for bird watching. Lonely Planet's guide to Dodecanese Islands. Ferries leave Pireaus in the late afternoon and arrive in Rhodes some fifteen hours later after stopping in Patmos, Kalymnos, Leros and Kos. Visit stunning wonders of nature, such as the Seven Springs, the Valley of the Butterflies and Rodíni Park, a green valley with running waters, small bridges and many peacocks, the trademark of the park! Take a stroll around Boúka, an old pirate lair, with moored small fishing boats, traditional coffee shops and its old lighthouse. Regions . Just take your pick! Pay a visit to the ancient city of Kos and observe important archaeological finds dating back to the 4th century. Island-hopping is ideal in the Dodecanese during the summer, as the meltemia winds allow for smooth sailing across the lot. In neither the Hellenistic nor the Roman Empire periods did the islands function as a single political or geographic unit. Kalymnos. 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. Actually the Dodecanese count much more than 12 islands. ; Kassos; Karpathos is located between Rhodes and Crete. I may go back next year for a few nights, as we will return to the Dodecanese for sure. Although its name means ''12 (dodeca) islands'', the group consists of about 50 islands … Alternatively, you can come to Sími in summer to attend the famous Simi Festival, which includes among others classical music concerts, dance performances, and art exhibitions. Except for Rhodes and Cos, the Dodecanese suffer from deforestation and poor drainage. View the Dodecanese Islands gallery. The Dodecanese Islands are an island group in the South Aegean Islands of Greece.. On the Aegean's eastern, edge the Dodecanese present perfect Greek vistas of whitewashed walls, turquoise blue skies and seas. This is Tílos! Rhodes is the biggest island of the Dodecanese Islands. 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. The islands have benefited, however, from the remarkable development of tourism in the principal islands of the group, particularly Rhodes. 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. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The villages of the island seem like open folklore museums, whereas their inhabitants are still dressed in old traditional costumes, and speak their local, old dialect. 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. In response to such restrictions, significant numbers of islanders migrated to the United States. They are situated between the islands of Crete, the Cyclades, lkarias, Samos and the Asia Minor seaboard. 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. 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. A cluster of twelve islands at the southeastern edge of the Aegean, the Dodecanese form a bridge between Europe and the East. 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! 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! Bags feeling light? Get into a boat and sail around Maráthi, another small island with a beautiful beach covered with lentisks and tamarisk (salt cedar). Less popular than the Cyclades and with a different style, these Greek islands stand out for their Medieval architecture and the peaceful beaches. Leros. Visit Meyálo Horió, the island’s capital, with its imposing stone houses and narrow alleys. Dodecanese are the group of Greek islands streching along the Southeastern Aegean Sea just off the Turkish Rivira. Peer into the historic past of the city with a visit to the Archaeological Museum. 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. Had submitted involuntarily to Turkish rule and were given no special privileges coast of western Turkey settlement Eliniká. By volcanic eruptions located between Kos and observe important Archaeological finds dating back to the island! 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