The Dodecanese Islands
Yacht Sailing Holidays in the Dodecanese
The Dodecanese are a group of islands in the South Eastern Aegean, many of them just a stones throw away from Turkeys Anatolia. Similar in many ways to the Cyclades further to the West – the islands are covered with white-washed villages albeit with a more quiet, peaceful pace of life. If you’re looking to get away from it all and venture to some of Greece’s lesser known gems then the Dodecanese might be an excellent choice of charter location.
Though the name means ‘The twelve Islands’ There are in-fact fifteen main islands in the group surrounded by 93 smaller islets. With the exception of the busier and well-known island hubs of Kos and Rhodes, most of the islands offer a glimpse back in time with traditional white and blue fishing villages, quiet picturesque ports and 12th Century Fortresses to explore.
The main islands in the group include; Patmos, Leros, Kalymnos, Kos, Symi, Tilos & Rhodes.
The small Greek island of Symi may be dwarfed by neighbouring Rhodes, but its low-key charm is exactly its appeal.
Symi sits just 4 miles off the Turkish coast and is only accessible by boat. Welcomed by helpful staff in its infamous neoclassical harbour, you’ll be blown away by the pastel coloured buildings rising up on the surrounding hillsides. This delightful harbour is a perfect place to explore and unwind. Symi has a long history of sponge diving and you’ll see the proud tradition is still heralded today; statues dotted around the port commemorate some of the greatest divers of the past. The sponges themselves are sold in numerous shops around the harbour and make for a perfect souvenir.
Visit the hidden bay that’s home to the Panormitis monastery on the Southwest of the island. The expansive complex is quite something to behold and the surprisingly spacious anchorage characterised by a narrow ‘hidden’ entrance.
Rhodes is the largest and most populous island in the Dodecanese group and is commonly used as a base for charter yachts in the region. Rhodes is famed for its walled ‘old town.’ Just a 5 minute stroll away from the town port, the medieval setting and winding cobbled streets are quite something to behold. Walking around the busy streets you can’t help but feel that you’ve traveled back in time. Each corner you turn revealing additional sights. The area is packed full of restaurants and roof-top bars, its an excellent place to spend some time while on holiday.
The entrance to the old town port used to host the ‘Colossus of Rhodes.’ One of the ancient wonders of the world, the ancient statue of the Greek sun god ‘Helios’ reportedly used to tower 33m tall. Sadly the statue collapsed in an earthquake in 226 BC and today nothing remains to be seen. The town port is still a charming place to spend and evening. Its fortified entrance and windmill lined harbour wall provide an authentic charm and setting.