The Dodecanese Islands of Greece are for those searching for an exhilarating sailing experience; for intermediate or advanced sailors. In the spring and autumn, the wind is not nearly as strong and blows from the Southeast, but can still be a bit of a challenge, making the 12 islands a memorable holiday.
The two largest islands of the Dodecanese are Rhodes and Kos. Begin your trip in Rhodes and from there sail to Kalymnos, Patmos, Leros, Kos and back to Rhodes for the ultimate experience. Each island is its own unique destination with something different to offer in each locale.
Rhodes is the largest and most popular island for tourists. With three hundred days of sun per year, you have every opportunity to take advantage of this wonderful setting. Rhodes is known for being the best-preserved European medieval town with its solid walls, medieval castle, paved paths and sophisticated stone mansions. Above the town is the acropolis of Lindos, a natural citadel. Here, you can relax and take in the stimulating history and spectacular views of the surrounding coastline and harbours.
Your next anchor should be Kalymnos. You can find Kalymnos on the northern side of the Dodecanese Islands. This island is notable for its rocky mountainside, which is ideal for rock climbing. It has developed as a rock-climbing destination over the years, partially because of the International Climbing Festival that is held on the island every September. If you are not the type for such an intense activity, the beaches in Kalymnos are nice and relaxing. If you feel a bit more daring and confident, check out Telendos, a nudist destination.
Following Kalymnos, you will be sailing to Patmos. Patmos is known for being the island of the Apocalypse. This cave is believed to mark the spot where John of Patmos received his visions that he documented in the Book of Revelation. The monastery of Saint John lies above Chora, which is the island’s capital. Strong walls like a stronghold surround the monastery. Chora has paved paths that allow you to walk and enjoy the views of the Aegean Sea. The most popular place for tourism in Patmos is Skala where they have calming and breathtaking beaches.
From Patmos you sail to Leros. Leros has a large population of deer and is said to be where the goddess Artemis would hunt. There is a castle to explore and museums rich with culture and history. Leros is also beginning to develop as a diving destination due to various ancient shipwrecks in the surrounding area. If diving is your particular sport, Leros is the place for you.
The last stop before returning to Rhodes is the next largest island, Kos. Kos has a mixture of Ottoman and Venetian architecture. There are plenty of spots for tourism, but if you prefer a nice secluded area to relax, Kos has these as well. There are a lot of sights to see such as a medieval castle and the famous Asklepieion, which is an ancient healing centre. On the southern side of the island you will find first-rate beaches with crystal clear water.
Your trip will conclude on the island of Rhodes. There are twelve main islands in Dodecanese Islands, as well as 120 minor islands located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea, which make for an exhilarating holiday. What better way to spend your holiday than chartering a yacht to Greece?