The Dodecanese islands - a Greek island hopping paradise

Located in the southeastern part of the Greek islands, the Dodecanese has always served as a bridge between East and West during its long and eventful history. Characteristic properties of both worlds can be found here, with the footprints from Greeks and Romans to crusading medieval knights, and Byzantine and Ottoman rulers to 20th-century Italian bureaucrats. Still, the Greek character until reunification with the motherland after the 2nd World War remained preserved and unadulterated.

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Agathonisi

Agathonisi is the north most islet of the Dodecanese island complex with a quite impressive coastal configuration and many beautiful windless bays. The island of Agathonisi was named Yetousa in ancient times. According to contemporary researches today's name is the result of a etymological mistake from the plant from which the name is derived 'Agkathonisi' ie. Island of the Thorns.

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Tilos

This is an island with marvelous sandy beaches, full of springs and streams and Genoan towers. Tourists are still few. Tilos is situated between the islands of Nysiros and Halki, at a distance of 290 nautical miles from the port of Pereaus. It has an area of 64 square kms and a coastline of 63 kms. The ground is rocky with the only exception being a small fertile valley found almost at the center of the island and which ends up on the idyllic, one kilometer long, sandy beach of Erystou.

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Symi

This is mainly a rocky island, except for its southern part which is covered with pines, mulberries and fruit-bearing trees. Symi is located in the Southern Dodecanese, north of Rhodes and close to the coast of south-west Turkey. The island is just over 13 km north/south and about 8 km east/west with an area of some 68 square km.

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Patmos

Called Jerusalem of the Aegean, Patmos s the island of ascetic austerity. It is made of rock and bays and surrounded by seagull-islands. Here in a cave St John wrote the Apocalypse -- one of the most beautiful texts ever written. The whole island is suggestively dominated by the monastery, dedicated to the memory of St John and encircled by medieval ramparts.

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Nisyros

As we approach Nisyros by boat we cannot fail to be deeply impressed by the image that emerges before our eyes: perfectly white houses, dense greenery, and the colors of the volcanic soil. According to ancient mythology Poseidon, helping Zeus in his battle against the Titans, chased the fearful giant Polybotis over land and seas. When Poseidon reached the island of Kos he broke of a piece of the island with his mighty trident and throwing it at Polybotis he buried him under it. This broken off piece of Kos became the island of Nisyros. The volcano was created over the mouth of Polybotis and the constant rumblings are the chest sighs of the buried titan.

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Lipsi or Leipsoi

Lipsi are a cluster of islets in the south eastern Aegean and are found north of Leros and east of Patmos. Their collective name is taken from the name of the largest island Lipsi or Lipso, which is comprised of two land masses, joined together by a narrow 400 metre wide neck. The total area of the cluster is 17.3 square kms.

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Leros

A generally mountainous island with deep bays often full of greenery picturesque valleys and dented coasts. Agia Marina, capital of the island, is overlooked by the Franco-Byzantine castle. Lakki, only 3 km from Platanos, is one of the biggest natural ports in the Mediterranean, which can accommodate large ships and yachts. It has a yacht refueling station.

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Kos

This island has given the world Hippocrates, father of medicine; it looks like a huge floating garden. The city is built along a wide bay and catches the eye from the very first moment. The island boasts villages well known for their beauty.

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Kastellorizo or Megisti

This small but heroic island to the east end of the Aegean, outer link of the wondrous Dodecanese chain, used to be called since Antiquity, Megisti (also Meyísti), which means "maxima". The safe, natural harbor on the north western coast has always been the islands greatest geophysical gift, as it is unique in the large harborless surrounding area. Naturally, it once generated an important amount of economic and nautical trade, standing as it does at the crossroads of Europe, Asia Minor and Egypt.

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