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Dodecanese

Another perspective of the majestic island of Symi, in Dodecanese, Greece.

The delightful Dodecanese (the ‘12 islands’, although there are actually 16 inhabited ones) weren’t added to Greece until 1948. Their distance from the mainland, and long separation from the mainstream of Greek history, have dealt them a unique deck to play with that includes medieval knights, Ottoman Turks and 20th-century Italians—all of whom contributed to their distinct character. Add a sunny climate, long, sandy beaches and the striking individualism of each island, and the holiday possibilities on the Dodecanese are infinite.

The range of islands in the Dodecanese runs the gamut from the feverish high-calibre international resorts of Rhodes and Kos to the low-key, very Greek pleasures of Lipsí, Chálki, Tílos or Níssyros, and one bright white Cycladic rock pile, Astypálaia. Striking Symi and Pátmos attract upmarket crowds; while Léros lies somewhere in between, and Kálymnos and Kárpathos wow with their rugged mountains.

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Kos

Rhodes

Agathonísi

'The Good Island'

Arkí

Small is beautiful and very quiet, too

Astypalaia

The Butterfly island

Chalki

The bijou isle

Gyalí

Islet of pumice and obsidian

Kalymnos

Rock climbers, sponges and a fjord

Karpathos

Two islands in one

Kassos

Kastellorizo

Way out east

Leros

'The Malta of the Aegean'

Lipsi

Small and pin bright

Maráthi

Tiny paradise

Nisyros

A volcano you can walk on

Patmos

Apocalypse Island

Plati

Tiny island with crystal waters

Psérimos

Little island, big beach

Symi

'Greece's Portofino'

Telendos

The 'Princess of Kálymnos'

Tilos

Greece's Eco-island

Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Anita, Bernard Gagnon, GNU Creative Commons License, Dimitris Kiriakakis on Unsplash, John Karakatsanis, MAITE ELORZA, Mstyslav Chernov, Creative Commons License, Nikos Patsiouris, Skylax30, Creative Commons License