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Dodecanese
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Dodecanese islands:
Kastellorizo
Patmos
 
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My Favourite Planet > English > Europe > Greece > Dodecanese
Greece Introduction to the Dodecanese islands  
Panoramic view over Skala, the main port of Patmos island, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Panoramic view over Skala, the main port of the Dodecanses island of Patmos.
introduction facts and figures area maps
The Dodecanese is the easternmost group of Greek islands, some of which are just a few kilometres from the west coast of Turkey.

Although the name Δωδεκάνησα means "the twelve islands", there are actually over 160, ranging from Rhodes, the largest and most important, to tiny uninhabited islets such as Stroggyli, near Kastellorizo.

These days it is relatively easy to visit many of the islands by plane or ferry, but historically they were quite remote from the mainland and from each other. This remoteness, as well as the dry climate, mountainous terrain and poor soil on many of the islands, forced the inhabitants to become seafarers - merchants, fishermen and sponge divers.

Conquered and settled in ancient times by many peoples, including Minoans, Carians, Mycenaean and Doric Greeks and Romans, in more recent times dominance over the islands was contested between the Byzantine Empire, Crusaders, Ottoman Turks, Venetians and Genoese.

The islands gained independence from the Ottoman Turks in 1912 and formed the Federation of the Dodecanese Islands. However they were occupied by Italy soon after, and only became part of the modern Greek state after the Second World War.

Several of the islands have a distinctly Dodecanese culture, most obviously apparent from the architecture of its old houses and churches, local cuisine and unique features such as choklakia mosaics. Other cultural traditions, such as local costumes, dialects, music and dances, are becoming less easy to find, except in folklore museums and at special events. The Italian occupation, during which the Greek language was forbidden, also had an effect on local culture.

Beyond the crowds of the main towns and tourist centres such as Rhodes town, life is quite relaxed and easy-going. For those who wish to explore, there are plenty of places of natural beauty, uncrowded beaches and historical sights.

Dodecanese
islands
Facts & figures
name: Dodecanese
(Greek, Δωδεκάνησα, literally the twelve islands)

capital: Rhodes

location: The Dodecanese consists of 12 larger islands and over 150 smaller islands and islets in the eastern Aegean, close to Turkey's Western Anatolian coast. Many of the islands can therefore be considered to belong geographically to Asia, though ethnically all are very decidedly Greek.

islands: By far the largest island is Rhodes, which also has the largest population and attracts the most tourists.

26 of the islands are nominally inhabited, although on some of the smaller islands the only inhabitants are soldiers who are stationed temporarily there.

The inhabited islands, in order of size:
Rhodes, Karpathos, Kos, Kalymnos, Astypalea, Kasos, Tilos, Symi, Leros, Nisyros, Patmos, Chalki, Lipsi, Pserimos, Agathonisi, Levithia, Megisti (Kastellorizo), Arki, Kinaros, Marathi

periphery: (administrative region) Southern Aegean islands
(Greek, Περιφέρεια Νοτίου Αιγαίου)

The semi-autonomous region consists of the Cyclades and Dodecanese island groups in the central and southeastern Aegean Sea, and is divided into 13 regional units:

Andros, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kea-Kythnos, Kos, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Rhodes, Syros, Thira (Santorini), Tinos

Capital: Ermoupoli, on the island of Syros.

For further information about Greece's administrative divisions see our page:
Greece facts and figures.

population: 200,452 (2005)

area: 2,714 square km

local time: Eastern European Time (EET)

Daylight Saving Schedule:

Summer (from last Sunday in March)
GMT/UTC +3 hours

Winter (from last Sunday in October)
GMT/UTC +2 hours

currency: Euro (€)

climate: Mediterranean (temperate, with wet winters and hot, dry summers)

language: Greek


National flag of Greece at My Favourite Planet
Dodecanese

galleries

 
Kastellorizo photo gallery at My Favourite Planet

Kastellorizo
Patmos photo gallery at My Favourite Planet

Patmos
See our detailed map of Kastellorizo island, Greece at My Favourite Planet

maps of
Kastellorizo
photos of the Dodecanese islands, Greece at My Favourite Planet

photos of the Dodecanese islands, Greece at My Favourite Planet

photos of the Dodecanese islands, Greece at My Favourite Planet

photos of the Dodecanese islands, Greece at My Favourite Planet

photos of the Dodecanese islands, Greece at My Favourite Planet

photos of the Dodecanese islands, Greece at My Favourite Planet

photos of the Dodecanese islands, Greece at My Favourite Planet

photos of the Dodecanese islands, Greece at My Favourite Planet

photos of the Dodecanese islands, Greece at My Favourite Planet

photos of the Dodecanese islands, Greece at My Favourite Planet

photos of the Dodecanese islands, Greece at My Favourite Planet

photos of the Dodecanese islands, Greece at My Favourite Planet

photos of the Dodecanese islands, Greece at My Favourite Planet
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photo essays
about Greece:

Athens 1

Athens 2

Dion

Kastellorizo

Meteora

Pella

Polygyros

Thessaloniki
 
Dodecanese
islands
Area Maps
Map of the Dodecanese and the Southern Aegean islands at My Favourite Planet

Map of the Dodecanese and the Southern Aegean

Colour key for Greek island groups (west-east)

    Argo-Saronic       Sporades       Cyclades       Northern Aegean       Dodecanese


See also our interactive map of Greece.
 
Map of Rhodes and Kastellorizo in the Dodecanese islands at My Favourite Planet

Map showing the position of the remotest Dodecanese island
Kastellorizo in relation to Rhodes and the Lycian coast of Turkey.

See larger maps of Kastellorizo,
including a detailed map of the island.
Articles, maps and photos: © David John

Some of the information and photos in this guide to Greece
originally appeared in 2003-2005 on davidjohnberlin.de.
 
See also
The Cheshire Cat Blog
photo essays about Greece:

Athens (street life)

Athens (Aristotle's Lyceum)

Dion

Meteora

Pella

Thessaloniki

Polygyros

Kastellorizo (Megisti)
 
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Vyzantino Greek Restaurant, Plaka, Athens, Greece
NEWGEN Travel Agency, Athens, Greece

Olive Garden Restaurant

Kastellorizo,
Greece


+30 22460 49 109

kastellorizo.de

Papoutsis
Travel Agency


Kastellorizo,
Greece


+30 22460 49 286

greeklodgings.gr
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