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The Saronic and Argolic Gulf
Around the Peloponnese
The Sporades
Northern Greece and Turkey
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Home > Itineraries > The Dodecanese & Turkey

The Dodecanese


Day 1

Myconos - Ikaria (55 miles)

Day 2

Ikaria - Samos (30 miles)

Day 3

Samos - Kusadasi (Turkey) (15 miles)

Day 4

Turkey (stay all day)

Day 5

Turkey - Patmos (47 miles)

Day 6

Patmos - Kos (45 miles)

Day 7

Kos - Simi (44 miles)

Day 8

Simi - Rhodes (23 miles)

MYKONOS: One of the most cosmopolitan of all the Greek islands, Mykonos, has an international reputation and quite justifiably attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world. Amongst them many intellectuals and well-known artists prefer Mykonos for their vacation. The capital Chora, with its colorful harbor in which little fishing boats nest happily side by side with luxury yachts, presents quite a different picture from that of the majority of Aegean island towns.

One of the most charming districts of Chora is Little Venice with the picturesque houses of the island's sea captains, built right on the rocks lashed on by the sea. The mascot of the Island is a Pelican, called Petros, and has been called Petros since time immemorial, obviously many re-incarnations since the first edition. It can be seen trying to bite tourists at the port. The beaches listed below are definitely ones a first timer to the island wants to see.

Paraga: Nice, small beach with beautiful landscape (Cape Drapanos) that the winds leave in peace. Body-builders, lovers, beautiful bodies and sea bicycles.

Agrari: One more of the numerous beautiful beaches of the island, the most secluded one, for those who do not like crowds.

Paradise (Kalamopodi): Beautiful and frequented beach, well known from the hippy years.

Super Paradise: Ravers, gays and wannabe-famous'. Nice beach, strong music coming from the bars and the other happenings.

Elia: Almost exclusively nudist and probably the best beach in Mykonos. And for those who love shopping: in Mykonos you'll find any name-brand piece of clothing you forgot to take with you, from Prince Oliver and Cinema to Kookai and Remember.

Mykonos has excellent restaurants, but for the best dining on the island, make reservations at 'Katrine's'. The food is superb, the waiters very attentive, and the atmosphere perfect. Aristotle Onassis favored 'Katrine's' and he would make a special trip by yacht just to have a memorable dinner there. You may sit inside or out, but outside is preferred if you want to watch the crowds pass by and eat the way the Greeks do. 'Sea Satin', which belongs to Christos with the far-out look left Ai-Yanni and moved to the corner of the Old Venice, beneath the windmills. He will serve you fresh fish and, if he's in the right mood, will be making some sculpture right next to you.

'Ithaki' restaurant located at paradise beach offers various delicacies from the sea, one thing for sure is that everything is fresh and the view , which overlooks the bay, is breath taking. The 'Phillippi' restaurant is another excellent choice; here the seating is all inside, but the inside is a lovely, indoor garden. The island's entire "good crowd" goes there to enjoy very good quality in meat and seafood. Comfortable, friendly, and most of all, Chrisa is there getting the spirits up.

All in all, the food in Mykonos is excellent. It is the custom here to go into the kitchen and choose your food, if you prefer. For sunset 'Caprice', located in little Venice is probably the most popular of bars. Enjoy your pina colada as the sun sinks into the magical waters of the Aegean. For another drink 'Astra' bar maintains its good old reputation, but with a cooler attitude. Strong music and an older crowd. At 'Pierro's' things become more alternative and you'll see all kinds of gays from around the Mediterranean. Great fun.

And to top the night off head over to 'La Notte' at the end of the port for live Greek music and never-ending fun.

IKARIA: Ikaria is the majestic island of the Eastern Aegean Sea and the home of the mythical Ikaros. Here you will find wild beauty, breathtaking panoramas, fresh mountain air, therapeutic hot springs, truly unspoiled seas and friendly people. Ikaria has remained true to herself and to the ways of her people - the Ikarians. Tourism on Ikaria is unimposing for all and reflects an "Ikarian Balance" between nature, freedom, time and development. See for yourself.

The Castle of Koskina is an 11th century A.D. Byzantine fortress located on a mountain peak overlooking the village of Kosikia in the center of Ikaria, 30km from Evdilos. Inside the castle is the church of St. George Dorganas. Access to Koskina Castle is via an unpaved road near Kosikia, which branches off from the central mountain pass connecting Evdilos to Agios Kirikos.

Seychelles beach is one of Ikaria's most intriguing and beautiful beaches, and closely guarded by the villagers of the nearby village of Manganitis who would prefer to keep it their secret and for good reason. The pebble-rock beach is located within a picturesque and intimate cove setting. A small "private" cove beach adjacent to the main beach features a large cave. Seychelles Beach is located approximately 25 kilometers west of Agios Kirikos, Besides a path, which is difficult and steep, access can only be achieved by boat.

Located 1km east of Agios Kirikos lies Prioni Beach, a secluded natural sand/pebble cove. The cliffs and rocks at Prioni offer the possibility of diving/jumping from heights of up to 12 meters, and there is a small intimate cove adjacent to the main beach that is only accessible by swimming. As at Seychelles beach access to the beach and the cove are preferable by boat. "Natural" hydrotherapy is very popular on Ikaria. Along Ikaria's coastline there are many areas where radio energetic hot mineral springs flow into the sea from the shoreline where it is possible for one to bath and swim. One of the most popular spots is the area of Levkada.

Ikaria is renowned throughout the Greek islands for her "Panygiria," traditional feast days that celebrate the Saints' name days and other religious holidays. If you're planning a trip to Ikaria during the summer season be sure to choose July or August. Don't miss the unique opportunity to celebrate with the Ikarians amidst village surroundings, traditional food, live music, dancing, and plenty of delicious Ikarian wine. For over 20 years "Grigoris" taverna has been providing Faros beach with friendly service, a relaxed environment, delicious freshly grilled specialties overlooking the surrounding islands of the Ikarian Sea. You will find it located directly on the beach, left to the village square.

For peaceful dining with classic island music under the cool shade of a grapevine, taverna "Klimataria" is a must. It is located in Agios Kirikos, 20 meters behind the seafront cafes. In Armenistis sets Ikaria's number one night club which plays all sorts of music ranging from rock, reggae and of course Greek. For a more relaxing evening the cinema "Rex" plays the best of current and old movies. Established in 1956 and located in a cool walled garden, just 10 minutes walk from the Agios Kirikos central square. Ikaria is renown for its vineyards. High up on the 'Raxes', the mountain ridges of Icaria, at an altitude of 550m one finds the vineyards of "Afianes." The varieties are local, and the Phokiano, Koriostaphylo and Beghleri dominate. Cultivated in the most traditional manner, without fertilizers or insecticides (using only sulfur) and with only a small yield per acre, strictly limited wines are produced. Be sure to take some back home and share the secrets in their labels with friends and family.

SAMOS: Samos's location played a great role in its development. It lies in the Eastern Aegean, very close to the coast of Asia Minor, in the heart of Ionia, almost midway along the sea route that links Greece with Anatolia, the Black Sea, Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean. The name Samos is most probably of Phoenician origin. Over time, however, it had many other names: Anthemis, Dryousa, Doryssa, Kyparissia, Imvrasia, Melamphylos, and Parthenia. Great intellectuals and artists were from Samos. The mathematician-philosopher Pythagoras, with his celebrated theorem, the cornerstone of geometry, along with Rhoikos and Theodoros, the architects of the Sanctuary of Hera and pioneering sculptors,and astronomer Aristarchus, are the best known.

The capital, Samos Town or Vathi, is built on the verdant slopes that surround the island's deepest bay. It has retained its individual appearance, with its attractive neo-classical houses, old mansions with pastel facades. Do not forget that ancient Anthemousa (as the island was once called), with 1,100 known species of plants, including aromatic and medicinal herbs with a prehistory of thousands of years, has apart from its exceedingly tall plane trees, a large number of wild orchids (about 50). "Samos" ouzo, which has been produced by its original recipe since 1910, is one of the most popular drinks on the island. Also keep in mind that Samos produces many different kinds of wine and is known as one of the best places to grow the Muscat grapes. The most popular wines are the worlds famous 'sweet Samos wine' and the 'Samos nectar'.

The cave of Pythagoras is located at the Eastern side of mount Kerkis and is a distance of 3 km from Kampos Marathokampou. The cave got its name from the philosopher Pithagoras who found a refuge there for meditation. In order to get there, you have to climb about 300 m the rocky slope of the mountain Kerkis. Well worth the hike. Also located in this area is the beach of Chrisi Ammos (golden sand) which is probably the most beautiful beach of Samos. It is a wide sandy beach surrounded by pine-trees. It's about 600m wide. The water is green and clean and it's rather shallow.

Varsamo beach is located on the southwestern part of the island by the village of Kalithea. It is and amazing beach surrounded by steep rocks and is 200 m in length. Varsamo has green and black pebble and deep clean waters. Potami is in the area of Karlovasi, a very beautiful bay with little white pebbles, deep and clear waters, covered with pinetrees. Samos offers visitors many possibilities of enjoying local specialities and traditional Greek cuisine in general. Both the town and the countryside have beautiful little coffee shops where one can have a coffee, refreshments or traditional sweets. The island's picturesque tavernas and restaurants serve a great variety of delicacies for every taste. In the town of Samos, there is taverna 'O Tasos', and the ouzo places 'Katoy' and 'The Odeon'. They serve tasty spinach pies and pumpkin pies. A walk to the Pithagorio should be combined with dinner at 'Varka' or 'Faros'. In Manolades, one should eat at 'Paradisos' restaurant, which offers a great variety of dishes. Every dish is served with top quality local wine.

KUSADASI: Kusadasi is located on the Aegean coasts of Turkey, 75 km south of Izmir. This beautiful town offers an enormous potential of tourism with outstanding natural beauty and rich historical remains of past civilizations. A small settlement founded by Ionian settlers and known as Neapolis, is known to have existed at the site even in ancient times, but it was always over shadowed by its mighty neighbor Ephesus. Ephesus is 18 km from Kusadasi and is the most popular ancient site in western Turkey and deservedly so. Ephesus became the most important city of Asia Minor throughout several civilizations and once was thriving with as much as 200,000 inhabitants. The highlights of Ephesus are: the temple of Artemis, the Isa Bey Mosque, the Ephesus Museum and the house of Virgin Mary. Guvercin Adasi (Pigeon Island) is a small island close to the shores of Kusadasi. On the sharp rocks of the island rests a Byzantine castle also know as Pirate Castle. Today there is a teashop, a cafeteria, a restaurant and a discotheque to satisfy ones needs. The beaches in Kusadasi guarantee endless fun and unlimited sunbathing during your holiday. Sandy beaches including City Beach, Yilanciburnu Beach, Ladies Beach, the fabulous Kustur Beach, and Long Beach, as well as the beaches in Icmeler, Aydinlik, Kavakli, Karasu and Dipburun bays in the National Park present an ideal opportunity for you to sunbathe and swim. In particular, the beaches in the natural surroundings of the National Park allow for swimming in the clearest, most beautiful water you will ever experience. The National Park, which is under state protection and covers an area of 11000 hectares, hosts rare plants only found in the Mediterranean, as well as reptiles, mammals, birds, and sea turtles.

Kusadasi is truly a shopping paradise. The presence of many shops in and around Kusadasi provides the city with the appearance of a huge shopping centre. Historically, Kusadasi has always been a harbour city with extensive trade. It still preserves that quality today. Bearing thousands of years of Anatolian motifs, one of the most important Turkish handicrafts, Turkish carpets, are available to customers in large and small shops in Kusadasi. Additionally, you'll find attractive and fashionable leather products including jackets, trousers and coats that are completely produced in Turkey, as well as a rich variety of jewels and hundreds of pieces designed with precious stones from antique Anatolian designs to modern day designs.

"The Mill Restaurant," located in Mevkii, Kusadasi, will let you taste the different Turkish dishes in a natural environment. Most of the foods served are produced on the owners' farm. For those into nightlife, "Ecstasy Disco," located on Sakarya Street, is a classic. With its two floors, folding roof, vast space, 3 bars, exciting sound and a professional staff, the fun at "Ecstasy Disco" has no limits.

PATMOS: is of volcanic origin and has a much-indented coastline. An isthmus only a few hundred meters wide, on which the island's harbor lies, separates the north end of the island from the southern half. The "Jerusalem of the Aegean" is one way of describing Patmos or Patnos, as it was referred to in one 5th century inscription. It was here that St. John the Theologian was exiled between 95 and 97 A.D. and was inspired to write the Book of Revelation or Apocalypse.

The fortified Monastery of St. John the Divine towers majestically, both physically and spiritually, over the whole island. It stands on a hilltop opposite the port of Skala, clasped tightly by the brilliant white medieval town of Chora. Also located in the area is the cave of revelation. Patmos has an impressive variety of goods to offer shoppers, exquisite jewelry, fine ceramics, beautiful embroidery, hand-woven fabrics and high quality leather goods. You will find tourist shops at the island's port, "Skala", which are open from 9 am-10 pm. 7 days a week. Skala is the capital of Patmos and the biggest settlement on the island. It's a charming little port with lots of authentic restaurants and café's.

Grikos is an idyllic fishing village, approximately 5 km from the port of Skala, located at the fascinating bay of Grikos with its mysterious rock "Kallikatsou" which used to house hermits for many centuries. The old square offers a romantic view of colourful fishing boats and small taverns offering traditional food at all times of the day. Kampos is a rural village approximately 5.5 km from Skala located at a beautiful sandy bay with lovely Aegean style houses. Around 2 km to the north of Kampos, is the windswept Lambi Bay, which is famous for its colored pebbles. At Lambi you can find very nice traditional tavernas with delicious food.

Also keep in mind the following beaches: Agriolivado, a small remote beach with vegetation 3 km north of Skala, and the Bay of Lekes, a picturesque beach on the edge of a small bay 12 km Northwest of Chora. And probably the only true sandy beach on the island, Psilli Ammos, has the advantage of being less crowded due to its inaccessibility. It can only be reached by a long hike on unmarked pathways or by boat.

The beautiful island of Patmos attracts many tourists who are able to entertain themselves in a few nightclubs, although the existence of the Monastery keeps the nightlife low key. In Chora, one can visit bars such as '1673', 'Astivi', 'Ossianos' and in Skala, the cosmopolitan bars 'Marbella', 'Consolato', 'Biblos' and 'Arionas', attract the majority of the island's visitors.

Skala is known for the local coffee shops, such as 'Christos', 'Melagrakis', 'Theologos' and 'Ipsilandis.' Some of them like 'Arionas', also serve breakfast. The village has a multitude of pastry shops, such as 'Gonidakis', 'Kavouras' and 'Moraitis', where one can taste the traditional sweet "pougia", made of dough, almonds and walnuts, with sugar of syrup. A walk in Grikos can be combined with coffee and sweets at coffee shops such as 'Kefalas', 'Roditis', 'Vrettos', 'Panorama', while, when in Psili Ammos, one should visit the pasty shop 'Theologos Giameos'. In Skala, there are many cafe-bars serving coffee in the morning and afternoon and alcohol in the evening, such as 'Glaros' and 'Meltemi'. In the beautiful village of Kambos, one can have coffee of sweets at the shops of 'Christoulakis' and 'Nazos'. Patmos is known for its tavernas and restaurants where one can taste the famous local cheese-pies, as well as fresh fish and seafood. In Skala, the island's port, one should visit, 'The Taverna of Gregoris', 'Kohili', 'Loulourga', or 'Kyma' in the Aspri location. For the lovers of Italian cuisine, there are the restaurants of 'Vasilis' and 'Zaharo'. Near the beach of Kambos there is the picturesque taverna 'Panagos', where one can have fresh fish while in Meloi there is a taverna of the same name, and on the beach of Lambi, one can have lunch at 'Delfini'.

KOS: The island of Kos is famous as the birthplace of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, Kos is also known for its lovely, gentle scenery. It is both lush and fertile, with an abundance of springs and streams, gorgeous beaches and a marvelous climate. The two most important sites of Kos are: 1) 'The Asclepeion of Kos.' When referring to Asclepeia we mean the sacred hospitals where the methods of Asclepius were applied for the treatment of the ill. The Asclepieion of Kos was the best and most famous of its time, to which many students of medicine and patients from all over the world visited. It is located three kilometers from the modern capital of the island, Kos town. 2) 'The Hippocrates plant tree.' It is believed that Hippocrates planted this tree more than 2,400 years ago. It was one of the locations Hippocrates favored to teach medicine to his students.

The beach of Therma, located 8 km from the center of Kos town, has hot springs and is believed to have healing powers. For peace and quite go to Chelona (which means turtle) beach and bath in exotic blue waters. If you are interested in a quiet night you can try some of these places: Take a stroll along the harbor full of lights and boats ("kaikia") or try the cafeterias near the Police station (a mile or so away from the main harbor). The ones we suggest are 'Elisee' and 'Iviscos'. There you can sit on comfortable chairs and listen to Greek music.

Perhaps you prefer some night action! Then here is the list you're looking for: You can start you're night taking a stroll along what has come to be known as 'bar street'. This is 100 meters away from the harbor right next to some ancient ruins. The street, well there are actually 2 streets, which intersect, is full of bars. Two bars located on bar street are the 'Limit' and the 'West Bar'. Along the harbor there are a couple of dancing bars. You can sit on the chairs outside, or perhaps go inside where you can dance while enjoying your drink. Near the dolphin fountain there is 'Play Boy Disco' where you can either sit outside or dance your heart out inside. Along Lambi beach there are two discos, 'Kalua' and 'Heaven' next to each other. These are probably different to those that you were used to since a part of them is closed whereas there is also a part which is open, allowing you to enjoy you drink, dancing, and the beautiful Kos nights!

About a kilometer away from the beach there is the 'Ice Factory'. This was really an ice factory some years ago. In fact they still have some of the machinery decorating the place. If you prefer some live Greek music you can try 'Memphy's'. There might not be any dish braking, but you will enjoy watching and why not participating in Greek dancing!

SIMI: According to Homer, Simi contributed three triremes (i.e. warships) to the Trojan War. Simi's reputation for shipbuilding survived from that remote period down to the end of the 19th century, when the island had some 30,000 inhabitants, prosperous as a result of commerce and sponge fishing. Today it builds only fishing boats and small 'caiques' and the population does not exceed 4,000 - most of them engaged in fishing or sponge diving. Apart from the peace and typical Aegean island beauty which Simi has to offer, there is a Byzantine castle above the town containing a church, dedicated to Our Lady, with fine murals. Near the church are the remains of an ancient temple of Athena.

However, the best known sight of the island is the Bay of Panormitis with the Monastery of St. Michael, dating from the 18th century. The carved screen inside the church is covered with votive offerings in gold and silver. The monastery of the Archangel Michael Panormitis is one of the island's most famous landmarks, built in the early 18th century overlooks a beautiful bay.

The entirety of Yialos, the main port of Simi, has been declared a protected architectural treasure, and for good reason. This pristine port with its extraordinary array of neo-classical mansions is a large part of why Simi is known as "the jewel of the Dodecanese." Simi's coastline alternates big steep rocks with small sandy beaches and coves. Many of them can be reached only by boat. Near Yialos you will find Nos, a tiny beach usually full of visitors. At Emporio, Simi's second port and a traditional settlement, there are some marvellous little beaches to visit. Pedi, a fishing hamlet, has a beautiful beach and can be easily reached from the town. Further on this side of the island lies the Bay of Agios Nikolaos the only all-sand beach on the island.

At the 'Madam Butterfly' restaurant, established 25 years ago, you can find Greek cuisine, local fresh dishes and a fine array of salads. Also don't miss the 'Vassilis' taverna, located at Gialos, which serves home made specialities, fresh fish, seafood, grilled lamb and steaks. One can taste fresh fish and the famous Simian "kokkinogaridaki", a shrimp dish, there, while finishing the meal with "Arkoumia", a kind of local donut. At the market of Simi, one can find fresh fish and honey, as well as fresh-cut spices, with a fantastic aroma. The folk art stores sell traditional embroidery, hand-woven fabric and other hand-made objects manufactured by the locals.

RHODES: is the third largest Greek Island and, officially, the sunniest place in Europe. The city is among the finest, not only in Greece but also in the whole of the Mediterranean. It is situated at the island's most northerly point and ringed by sea on the east and west. Rhodes (Rodos in Greek) combines the cosmopolitan character of a contemporary city with the picturesque of a medieval town, giving the impression of having been untouched by the passage of time.

Rhodes has a many of sites to offer its visitors, listed you will find the three most important: The ancient city of Rhodes was built amphitheatrically, before the port of the modern city, in 408 BC by Ippodamus. The roads were decorated with statues, the most beautiful being the statue of Ploutos. In the city stood magnificent temples, the most prominent being the temples of Helios and Isis. Ancient Kamiros, brought to light by excavations in 1929, was one of the three powerful ancient cities of Rhodes. It was called "The Greek Pompeii" because nobody knows how the city was deserted and buried underground.

The magnificent Venetian Castelllo Castle dominates the traditional village of Kritinia. Built by the knights in the 16th century BC on a precipitous cliff to fortify the western coast of the island. The island's flora and fauna coexist at Rodini, a forest with running waters creating ponds and other aquatic plants. White and black swans swim in the ponds, and thousands of birds' sing. Millions of rare butterflies, which came from the Himalayas, form clouds as they move around in the Valley of the Butterflies. Lindos beach, located 5 km south of Kalithea, is a sheltered sweep of sandy beach backed by popular taverns and a maze of winding narrow streets. The beach at Fourni, south of the 'Monolithos', is sheltered and sandy. One can find a seasonal taverna to sit down and enjoy a traditional Greek lunch. Afandou is a charming village that successfully blends tradition and tourism. It spreads behind an 8 km sand and pebble beach.

The 'Sarantis' restaurant in Faliraki, which happens to be run by the Sarantis family, will provide you with a vast selection of Greek dishes along with fresh fish and seafood. 'Sarantis' is located on Ermou Street. While looking over the Aegean Sea do try the fresh fish (caught by their own fishing boats) at the restaurant 'To Limanaki' located in Kolimbia. Also in Kolimbia don't miss out on the superb taverna 'To Nissaki'. Situated on one of the nicest beaches of Rhodes 'To Nissaki' offers their freshest products well grilled on a charcoal grill.

For an exotic and refreshing cocktail try 'The Splash' cocktail bar in Ialysos. 'Dinoris' restaurant is located in a friendly and pleasant atmosphere making you feel as if you were actually dining with 16th century Knights. 'Dinoris' is located in the main square, Rhodes.

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