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Island Hopping in the Dodecanese

Map

The Dodecanes

The Dodecanese is a group of Greek islands in the south-eastern Aegean Sea. The word Dodecanese comes from the ancient Greek and means "twelve islands". Thus, one often speaks of twelve main islands - but in total there are about 160 islands. In terms of tourism, Rhodes and Kos play the most important role. However, the Dodecanese is not only popular with sun worshippers and people interested in culture, but also with sailors.

Since there are endless possibilities to travel the Dodecanese, this compilation should only serve as inspiration for this beautiful part of the world. Should you decide to go island hopping, there are of course many more beautiful islands that are worth a visit. In general we recommend to plan at least 10-14 days for this trip.

Kos as Starting Point

We start on the laid-back island of Kos. Kos alone has a lot to offer - beautiful beaches, lots of culture, a lively capital, lots of nature and excellent restaurants. But what should certainly be on every "to do" list are: the culturally rich Asklepieion, the island of Kastri, a leisurely stroll through Kos town, a relaxing beach day, and a visit to the peacock forest Plaka. Due to the many possibilities on Kos we recommend to stay four to five days.

A Detour to Nisyros

Nisyros can be easily visited as a day trip from Kos - the small neighbouring island is only 16.5 kilometres away. However, it is also worth staying 1-2 nights on the island. If you want to experience Greek island flair away from the masses of tourist, you are exactly right here. The main attraction of the island is certainly the hike to the volcano crater.

Kalymnos

From Kos the journey continues to Kalymnos. The easiest way to reach the island is by ferry from Kos Town or Mastichari. Kalymnos is known for its diversity: it offers its visitors hidden bathing bays, a variety of hiking and climbing opportunities, impressive caves and is also an absolute culinary hit. Plan with at least 2-3 days. Start in the port town of Pothia and explore the island from there.

Leros

After a few wonderful days on Kalymnos, we continue by ferry north to Leros. The laid-back island with its 8'000 inhabitants is also very traditional and has been spared from mass tourism. Besides activities like hiking and diving the following highlights on the island are worth visiting: The castle ruins, the six magnificent windmills of Leros, the small chapel Agios Isidoro, the charming village Panteli and the beaches around Lakki. Plan 2-3 days for this island as well.

Patmos

The island with its almost 35 km2 is home to over 3'000 inhabitants. Patmos is often called the "holy island" because it is considered the place of creation of the Revelation of John. Thus, the island is not only attractive for tourists, but is also one of the seven most important pilgrimage sites in Europe. The most important sight on the island is the Monastery of St. John, located on a hill above Chora, a picturesque village.

Day Trip to Lipsi

From Patmos we recommend a day trip to the idyllic and very authentic island of Lipsi. Here everything feels frozen in time. You can enjoy the most quiet and relaxed island atmosphere you can imagine. The island is popular because of its original bathing bays with crystal clear water and the untouched landscape as far as the eye can see. On Patmos and Lipsi you can easily spend 3-4 relaxed island days. After that you can take the ferry back to Kos.

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