CYCLADES

Dodecanese, meaning “12 islands” in Greek, is a cluster of twelve islands in the southeastern edge of Aegean Sea. They are closer to Turkey than Greece. Each island has a character all its own and these islands have a long and rich history, with traces from classical Greek times through Byzantium, the Crusaders, Venetians and Ottomans.

 

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1
KOS

Kos is also known as ‘Istankoy’ which is the hometown of Hippocrates, the father of medicine. There is a square and an old tree named after Hippocrates on the island. Being a place where Turks are in majority, Turkish-Greek synthesis was passed on to the cuisine with joint flavors. Oleanders and bougainvillea accompany its striking architecture. Two mosques named Laziya and Defterdar are the traces of the Ottoman Empire. It is rumored that the Neratzia Castle, located here, was built by the Knights of Rhodes to protect the island from the Ottomans. It is also possible to see the ruins of the ancient hospital dedicated to the God of Health-Asclepeion. Zia Village is among the places you can visit to enjoy the most delightful sunsets of the Aegean.

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KALYMNOS

Kalymnos, in other words ‘the island of adventurers’, is dominated by gray majestic rocks descending perpendicular to the sea, diverging from the intense harmony of green and blue. What makes the slopes covered with oregano and sage scents so attractive is that it is a popular destination for those who are interested in mountain sports as it is known as the island with the longest season. Eight months of the year, athletes from all over the world rush into the island for climbing. Another factor of popularity of the island is based on its being the center where sponge diving takes place. Although that the sponge diving is forbidden today, you may come across masters crafting sponges and people trying to continue this tradition. You can visit the Maritime Museum and Traditional Kalymnion House, to learn the history of sponge diving. Kalymnos is a unique destination with its isolated small coves, villages and entertaining nightlife, where you can spend different periods of time full of pleasant activities.

3
LEROS

Leros has a history, dating back to ancient times. The island, which was under the Ottoman rule for 400 years, was passed to Greek territory after governed by Italy. Having hosted different civilizations, Leros has an atmosphere that makes you feel travelling in time, through a cultural journey, surrounded with the undertones of turquoise. The castle, which is estimated to have been built in the 10th century on the island, and the Agios Church on an islet to its west are among the must-see landmarks. The cultural heritage of Pandeli Castle and Museum, Artemis Temple Ruins, Agia Marino Museum, Agios Isidoros surrounded with nature, create unique combinations. Ada Dio Liskaria is an impressive destination with a variety of nudist beaches and water sports activities in Lakkion.

4
LİPSİ

Lipsi is also known as the ‘Island of Lovers’ being the island of the Goddesses Ogyia and Kalypso. It is located between Leros and Patmos islands. Lipsi has preserved its natural beauty and authentic culture, unspoiled by mass tourism and it is an ideal spot for those who prefer tranquility. Surrounded by vineyards, the most special wines are produced on the island. All other local products are organic and certified. It has become one of the indispensable choices for those, adopting a life style of natural life and organic diet. There are many paths for hiking, and the trails lead to small chapels, secluded beaches and panoramic views. There are Acropolis ruins in the castle at the highest point of the island. A wine festival is held here in August every year.

5
PATMOS

Patmos is located in the northernmost of all the twelve islands. Chora is the island's capital city whereas Skala is the main port city. Patmos is the most sacred of the islands for the Orthodox and Catholic communities. It is known as the place where the Gospel of St John, one of the four Gospels, has been authored and where Jesus has honored Saint John with his view. Carrying these features, the island is considered among one of the pilgrimage destinations for people with Christian beliefs. The Monastery of St. John and the Cave of the Apocalypse in Chorada belong to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The island’s architecture and its pebbled streets are in line with the twelve islands’ characteristic features. There is a wide range of accommodation and beach options in Patmos and here is among the ideal places to experience water sports and Greek cuisine. A religious music festival is held every August.

6
İKARİA

Ikaria is known for residing the longest living people in the world, based on a National Geographic study. According to Greek mythology, Ikarus, son of King Daedolus, fell into the Aegean Sea as his wings burned. The area where he fell is considered to be near the island of Ikaria and this legend survived until today, as a mythological teaching. Lack of development due to the Atheros Mountain dividing the island with its steep slopes sustained Ikaria continue to preserve its nativity. The island, which is decorated with grape leaves and vineyards, has pine, thyme and local heather. The island has also thermal water resources. A unique beauty dominated by silence with its naked beauties and modest conditions...

7
MYKONOS

Mykonos is in the group of Cyclades Islands. According to mythology, when the giants killed by Hercules, fell into the sea, they changed shape, turning into rocks. It is rumored that these rocks formed the Mykonos Island. It is also believed that Apollo and Artemis were born here. The island has a Mediterranean climate and it consists of granite where the traditional architecture is set. Mykonos is considered as the most popular Greek island where parties and fun beaches dominate the south, and quiet and secluded coves, the north. There are around 400 churches. St. Nicholas Church, Panagia Tourliani Monastery are spectacular historical landmarks. Mykonos Archeology Museum and art galleries are among the other places you can visit.

8
PAROS

Capturing a similar architecture with Mykonos, Paros is in the group of Cyclades Islands with a history going back to ancient times. Bougainvillea decorate the streets with the reflections of a traditional life. Windmills, the symbols of the island, are located in Parikia. Panagia Ekatontapiliani, located in Paros, is the oldest Byzantine castle in Greece, which was built by Constantine's mother in 326 BC. In addition to its cultural background, Paros is considered as an ideal destination for windsurfing.

9
NAXOS

Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades islands with its high mountains, steep cliffs, valleys, green combes and long sandy beaches. Naxos is an island that has embraced different civilizations and carries traces from every period. The island is famous for its marble. The Zos cave where Zeus grew up is located here. The temples, monuments, and churches that have survived from ancient times are the island’s cultural landmarks. The Temple of Apollo on the Palatia islet is among one of the most enjoyable spots for sunset.

10
İOS

İos was named after the Ionians who lived on the island in 1100 BC. The Turks named the island ‘Little Malta’. It is in the middle of Naxos and Santorini islands and is similar to the Cyclades islands. The island is a natural port and it is famous for hosting Homer's tomb here. The unique combination of white walls, purple bougainvillea and blue window shades can be seen in the streets of Ios. Chora, surrounded by historical city walls is considered as the center and is the dynamic face of the island. Panagia Gremiottisso Church is located on Chora Hill. St. A festival is held in honor of St. John every year, in August.

11
IRAKLİA

Iraklia is located between Naxos and the Ios Islands and it is the island with the largest caves among the Cyclades. Iraklia, where transportation is not developed, is a unique destination for trackers. Having managed to avoid mass tourism, the island has maintained its natural beauty. Below the highest mountain, there are stalactites and Agios Loannis Church where the hill has a panoramic view.

12
KOUFONİSİA

Koufonisia is the general name of two islets named Ana Koufonisi and Kato Koufonisi which are divided into two by 200 meters of a sea channel. The island’s beaches and turquoise sea remind visitors of the Maldives. It has historical landmarks such as Agios Nikolas, Profitis Ilias, Agios Georgias Churches. A Contemporary Greek Music festival is held here every year, in August.

13
AMORGOS

Amorgos became famous with ‘The Big Blue’ Movie. Having spectacular hills and steep cliffs descending perpendicular to the sea, geranium, oleander, bougainvillea and jasmine decorate its streets. The scents of wild herbs and spices infuse the walking paths. The island has unique traditional flavors, such as ‘Rakomela’. There are boutique shops with handmade products. The Monastery of Hozoviotissa, which is built on the steep rocks 300 meters above the sea level, has an impressive architecture. Amorgos Archaeological Museum is among other places you can visit.

14
SANTORİNİ

Santorini is known as the ‘Island of Romance’. It was formed as a result of the collapse of 73 km area after a volcanic eruption that took place 2500 years ago. The island is surrounded by high steep rocks. Assyrtika is an important location for the wine industry with its large variety of grapes. Located in the center, Imerovigli Town is a unique option to watch the sunset within its stunning architecture. Fira, the best known place on the island with its legendary sunsets. Half an hour away from Fira is the Red Beach where the city ruins and the Santorini Museum, are the must-see landmarks, within walking distance.

15
ASTYPALEA

Astypalea forms a synthesis of the Dodecanese and Cyclades Islands with its traditional mills and Venetian Churches. Drakos Cave and Saint John Monastery are among the stops worth visiting. The Astypalacia Archaeological Museum hosts prehistoric and medieval exhibitions. The beaches of the island are more quiet and secluded than other islands. Astypalea is also an ideal spot for windsurfing.

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