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.
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