Exploring the Dodecanese islands

The Dodecanese islands

Dodecanisa are a group of 15 larger plus 150 smaller Greek islands located in the southeastern Aegean Sea and Eastern Mediterranean, 26 of which are inhabited. They belong to the wider Southern Sporades island group. Rhodes, Kos and Patmos are historically the three most important islands, whereas the remaining twelve are: Agathonisi, Astypalaia, Chalki, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kasos, Leipsoi, Leros, Nisyros, Symi, Tilos and Kastellorizo. The capital of Dodecanisa is Rhodes and the name “Dodecanisa” means “12 islands”. Their land area is 1,031 square miles(2,670 square km).



History of Dodecanisa

Dodecanisa have been inhabited since prehistoric times, they were minoanized during the Neopalatial period and later ruled by the Mycenaean Greeks. Following the Mycenaean era, during the Dorian period, the islands developed a thriving economy and culture through the next centuries and began to prosper as an independent entity. Around 408BC, a lot of islands were transformed into major economic and cultural centers, for instance, Kos served as the school of medicine served by Hippocrates. In 340BC the islands were conquered twice by the Persians and they became part of the rapidly growing Macedonian Empire as Alexander the Great defeated the Persians in 332BC. In 164 BC, Rhodes signed a treaty with Rome and the islands became aligned to greater or lesser extent with the Roman Republic while mostly maintaining their autonomy.


The Unity of Dodecanisa with Greece

During World War II, the islands became a battleground between the Germans and Allied forces. Following the war, the islands became a British military protectorate and were almost immediately allowed to run their own civil affairs, upon which the islands became informally united with Greece. Despite objections from Turkey, which desired the islands as well, they were formally united with Greece by the 1947 Peace Treaty with Italy.


Dodecanese islands’ attractions

The Dodecanese islands constitute one of the most popular Greek destinations. There are lots of attractions and places that can be visited in Dodecanisa, some of the best are:

  • The castle of Monolithos located in Rhodes
  • The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes
  • Kallithea Springs in Rhodes
  • Lindos Acropolis in Rhodes
  • The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes
  • The volcano in Nisyros
  • The Plaka forest in Kos
  • The Archaeological Museum of Kos
  • The Roman Odeon of Kos


Furthermore, there are numerous beaches,like:

  • Tsampika beach in Rhodes
  • Anthony Quinn Bay
  • Traganou Beach in Rhodes
  • Agios Fokas beach in Kos
  • Agios Stefanos beach in Kos.



Local cuisine

Dodecanisa provide a unique cuisine with delicious local specialities. Some of the best are:

  • Avranies (salad)
  • Pitaroudia
  • Octopus fritters
  • Fanouropita (dessert)
  • Pouggakia (dessert)
  • Melekouni (treat)


Sailing tours

There are lots of sailing tours in the Dodecanese islands. First of all, a trip to Symi and then a stop at St George Bay for a swim would be an incredible experience for everyone as the landscape is picturesque and the beach is perfect. A second nice sailing tour is a trip to LIndos and afterwards a stop to Antony Quinn and Tsambika Bays for swimming. What is more, another boat trip would be a tour of three islands, Nisyros-Chalki-Tilos and in-between a stop outside of the Tilos port for a swim.






Dodecanisa: A great destination

To sum up, the Dodecanese islands are one of the best and most beautiful Greek destinations providing to every visitor delight and enjoyment. It is undoubtable that every person having visited Dodecanisa will be amazed by the beauty and the activities that are offered by all islands.