Best Dodecanese islands
Check the best Dodecanese islands ranked by popularity. This ranking is based on our data as a travel guide, not in the official data of the Greek Ministry of Tourism. For each destination we provide general information, photos, map, things to see and do and more.
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The best and most cosmopolitan island of Dodecanese, Rhodes is located in the south eastern side of the Aegean. This island is perfect for all ages and tastes. You will find both organized and secluded beaches, busy waterfronts and small portsides, monasteries and ancient sites. Most of all, you will love the Old Town. Walk along the paved streets of the Old Town and you will have the sense that time has stopped in the time of the Knights.
Kos is among the most popular islands of Dodecanese, second to Rhodes. This is a place with many diversions: you will find both busy, crowded beach resorts great for wild youth as well as calm, secluded spots ideal for families. Although Kos is large enough for long summer holidays, it also serves as a good base for daily trips to other islands of Dodecanese.
The southernmost island of Dodecanese, Karpathos stands out for the exotic beaches, the picturesque villages and the amazing nature. In fact, hiking is very popular in Karpathos and hiking routes pass through many inland villages and lead to secret coves with crystal water. In Karpathos, do not miss the dreamy village of Olympos, perched on the slopes of a hill and keeping intact all the traditional customs of the island.
An island with long tradition in sponge diving, Kalymnos is beautiful place with barren landscape. Due to this wild rocksides, Kalymnos has developed over the last years as a popular rock climbing destination. In fact, a rock climbing festival takes place there every year. With lovely beach resorts and relaxing vibes, Kalymnos is a nice island for family vacations.
An island great for calm family vacations, Leros is a small island with relaxing atmosphere. Agia Marina and Alinda are the most developed places but with no mass tourism. The Medieval Castle and the underground War Museum are the most impressive sights on the island, while a walk along the portside under the moonlight will leave you with the most romantic impressions from your summer holidays.
Famous as the island where Apostle John was inspired the Apocalypse, Patmos is a small island with spiritual vibes. The most characteristic sight of Patmos is the Monastery of Saint John, just above Chora. Do not also miss a visit to the Cave of the Apocalypse. Around the island, there are lovely beaches to enjoy a day under the sun.
The tiny island of Symi is regularly visited as a day trip from Rhodes or for a short summer break. The main village is spread amphitheatrically around a port and offers impressive view to the Aegean Sea. In short distance from the village, there are small beaches with clean water. The most important sightseeing of Symi is the Monastery of Panormitis, on the southern side of the island.
Although Astypalea belongs administratively to Dodecanese, its architecture looks very Cycladic. The shape of Astypalea ressembles to a butterfly. Due to the small size and the secluded location, tourism is not much developed. The picturesque village is constructed along the slopes of a hill and offers great view to the sea. With romantic atmosphere and secluded beaches, Astypalea is ideal for peaceful vacations.
Nisyros is located between Kos and Tilos. This small island is mostly famous for the Volcano, which is active till today. In summer, there are many boat tours from Kos and Nisyros in order to see this impressive volcano. Mandraki, the capital of the island, is a traditional settlement in blue and white colours. The beaches are mostly isolate and unorganized, but very clean.
The small island of Lipsi is geographically located between Patmos and Leros. This is a lovely island with pure natural beauty, calm beaches and relaxing atmosphere. Most activities are concentrated in Lipsi Town, where visitors can also find most tourist facilities on the island. The beaches of Lipsi distinguish for the clean water and their total privacy.
Tilos is a small, remote island of Dodecanese, located between Nisyros and Rhodes. Its small villages and secluded beaches attract tourists that are looking for an alternative destination. Tourism is not much developed on the island, except for the necessary facilities. Nightlife is little on Tilos, as there is only one bar that opens in summer in the abandoned village of Mikro Chorio.
A tiny island close to Rhodes, Halki distinguishes for its traditional architecture, the lovely waterfront and the secluded beaches. In the centre of the island, there is an abandoned village with a strong castle on the hill top. This village and many beaches around Halki can be reached on foot. Distances are short and this makes Halki is a great place for trekking.
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