The Dodecanese Islands
Rhodes, Symi, Kos, Kalimnos, Lipsos, Leros, Patmos, Arki, Samos
There are international flights directly to Samos, Kos and Rhodes from various European hubs and connecting flights from Athens.
The starting port and the itinerary will depend of the length of your cruise and your interests. There are 12 major islands in the Dodecanese inclduing : Kos, Kalimnos, Leros, Lipsos, Nisyros, Tilos, Halki, Symi, Gaidharos, Samos
The Dodecanese Islands are the south eastern most areas of Greece and are nearer to Turkey than the Greek mainland and that influence can still be seen. The islands had a varied past, being conquered and ruled by various powers including the Romans, Venetians, Ottomans and eventually united with Greece in 1948.
Samos - is separated from the Turkish mainland by the 1.3 km wide Mycale Strait. Samos has a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes the Eupalinian aqueduct. Pythagoras was born in Samos as well as the astronomer Aristarchus, the first person to suggest that the Earth revolves around the sun. Samian wine is still a major industry on the island.
Gaidharos - is a tiny island off the beaten track. Called Tragia by the Romans, it was where the young Caesar was captured by pirates in 76BC. George's restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy fresh seafood.
Arki - an even smaller island with only 60 houses and a fishing quay. From the tiny church on top of the hill you can see for miles in all directions. The Blue Lagoon is a fabulous anchorage for lunch and a snorkel. Enjoy Manoli's mum's cooking at his home taverna.
Patmos- a tiny island where Saint John the Divine had his revelation and wrote the Apocalypse. Today, the cave where he had the revelations and the monastery are World Heritage sites.
Lipsos - is another tiny island off the beaten track. The harbour is surrounded by tavernas and a short walk up to the old town reveals a maze of charming old streets leading to the wood fired bakery and town square. Enjoy a cold retsina or ouzo with the locals at the harbour front ouzeria. There are some beautiful lunch time anchorages around the island.
Leros - a small and picturesque island which had a famous sanctuary to the goddess Artemis. The anchorage in Pandeli under the castle and windmills is our overnight mooring. Great for snorkeling before dinner ashore at one of the quay side tavernas.
Kalimnos - the Sponge Island, known for sponge diving and boat building. The sponges are known as Kalimnos gold. The fjord like bay of Palionisos with the sheer steep sides makes a spectacular night anchorage.
Kos - had a colourful past including links to Cleopatra and Herod. At the entrance to the harbour there is a 14th century fortress erected by The Knights of Saint John of Rhodes. The ancient physician Hippocrates is thought to have been born on Kos, and in the centre of the town is the Plane Tree of Hippocrates.
Nisyros - In Mandraki life revolves around the cafeteria on the quay and this higgledy-piggledy town has retained its charm. Further along the coast is Pali or Palon, a lovely fishing village with wonderful quay side restaurants. You can visit the volcano in the centre of the island.
Tilos - is one of the best-kept secrets in the Dodecanese, with friendly people and wonderful walking country. It shelters groves of figs, almonds, walnuts, pomegranates and olives. Near Livadia, the island's port, are the ruins of a Venetian Castle and the Kharkadio Cave, in which the bones of prehistoric dwarf elephants were found.
Symi - a beautiful gem of an island. Once a wealthy boat building and sponge diving centre, the main port of Symi town boasts handsome 18 and 19 c mansions. The colourful port is a hive of activity with a wonderful choice of tavernas ranging from simple family to excellent water front seafood restaurants. On the west coast of the island , at Panormitis, is a wonderful anchorage overlooked by a working monastery.
Rhodes - The largest islands in the Dodecanese has many sights to see. The entrance to Mandraki harbour, where the Collosus once stood, the walled old town, once a stronghold of the knights of St John, Monte Smith the original site of Rhodes Acropolis and Lindos. Lindos has a clifftop acropolis, featuring 4th-century gates, and the Temple of Athena Lindia, the 14th-century Castle of the Knights of St. John.
Please contact us to start the conversation about your cruise.