Dodecanese Islands: Medieval architecture & cosmopolitan cocktails

The dozen large – and several small – islands of the Dodecanese in the Aegean Sea close to Turkey, are blessed with impressive archaeological sites and steeped in folklore and history. If textbook Greek brochure sailing is what you are after, you can’t beat the Dodecanese: for a start you get sweeping beaches and plunging mountains; deep, cool waters and cloudless skies. Then there’s the captivating archaeological remains and imposing Byzantine and medieval monuments. They are ripe for exploring from your charter yacht in the Dodecanese Islands. The most famous destinations of the island group are Rhodes and Kos, both cosmopolitan islands.

Historically, the more important and renowned is Rhodes, due in part to its superlative beaches, and its well preserved medieval town and archaeological sites. The walled old town is one of the most important historical remains on earth while, from the water, whitewashed houses cascade down the hillsides, against the imposing medieval fortifications of the old town. Don't miss the chance to visit Kos, too. Known for its sandy beaches medieval settlements and archaeological sites, Kos is a very popular yacht charter destination in Greece as it is ideally placed to cruise around to other beautiful islands, like Leros, Kalymnos or Patmos. Elsewhere, Kalymnos is a famous rock climbing destination, while Leros is popular for diving and Patmos is renowned as the Jerusalem of the Aegean. This peaceful, very religious and historically important island was the place where Saint John the Divine wrote the Apocalypse.

When to go:

April – end of October

High season:

July – August



Escape the summer crowds in Rhodes, head to the southernmost tip of the island at Prassonisi where the Mediterranean and the Aegean Seas meet


Consider a twin-centre sailing trip between the Dodecanese and Crete or the Turkish coast for some excellent sailing


Take the opportunity to visit Patmos' historical centre Chora or the ancient Monastery of St. John: both listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites


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