The island complex of Dodecanese in south-eastern Aegean is the sunniest corner in Greece. If you are desperately seeking to discover lesser known, unspoiled destinations visit Leros or Pserimos. But there are larger and more cosmopolitan islands like Rhodes and Kos, waiting to offer you memories.
The Docecanese is 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 two largest, Rhodes (Ródhos) and Kos, are islands where traditional agriculture has been almost entirely displaced by a tourist industry focused on beaches and nightlife.
- Kastellórizo, Sými, Hálki, Kássos and Kálymnos are essentially dry limestone outcrops that grew rich enough from the sea to build attractive port towns.
- Níssyros was created by a still-steaming volcano that cradles lush vegetation, while Kárpathos is forested in the north and rocky limestone in the south.
- Pátmos and Astypálea offer architecture and landscapes more reminiscent of the Cyclades.
Major attractions include the beaches on Rhodes and Kos; the wonderful medieval enclave of Rhodes Old Town; the gorgeous ensemble of Neoclassical mansions that surrounds the harbour on Sými; the rugged landscapes of Kálymnos, Kárpathos and Níssyros; the cave and monastery on Pátmos, where St John had his vision of the Apocalypse; and the hilltop village of Hóra on Astypálea.
Each island has its own subtler pleasures, however; every visitor seems to find one where the pace of life, and friendly ambience, strikes a particular chord.