The Dodecanese (“12 Islands”) chain actually includes 150 islands, 26 of them inhabited, dotting the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey, stretching between Patmos on the northwest to Rhodes in the southeast. History buffs will love the Byzantine era architecture and Medieval castles that surprise and delight the eye at every turn. The sailing is magnificent, with steady winds to ease your passage. Here are some islands for you to consider in your itinerary: (Rhodes, Symi, Halki, Tilos, Kos, Nisyros, Astypalaia, Kalymnos, Leros, Patmos, Leipsi, Karpathos, Kaso, and Kastelorizo).

Greece Dodecanese harbor in Greek Islands at twilight
Iconic Greek architecture graces the shores of the Dodecanese Islands in the Aegean Sea


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Map of the Dodecanese Islands, Greece
Iconic Greek architecture graces the shores of the Dodecanese Islands in the Aegean Sea
Greece-Dodecanese-3 Med
Greek ruins overlooking the Ionian Sea


The whitewashed architecture of Mykonos is a photographer’s dream-scape.  Must-see visits include the Church of Panagia Paraportiani and a day trip to Delos, an archaeological site for history-buffs. It is uninhabited and considered a spiritual center of the Aegean. The nightlife is legendary, with lively bars and restaurants.


Patmos is known worldwide as ‘the island of the Apocalypse’ where Saint John wrote the Book of Revelation. Named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999 and a ‘Holy Island” by the Greek Parliament in 1981, its rich volcanic soil, striking natural features and diverse coastline attracts a select few year after year.


Located south of Samos and north of Kos, this island of 8,000 inhabitants and 74 of land has many natural coves and anchorages, with beautiful beaches that range from bustling to secluded.


This is the 3rd most populous island in the Dodecanese group. Known as the “island of the sea sponge harvesters’”, this diver’s island offers something for everyone. Pothia, the capital and port of Kalymnos, is a favored stop for touring the castle of Chrissoheria and the Archaeological Museum. Local delicacies are thyme honey, homemade mizithra cheese, sea-dried lobster tail and sea ray preserved in sea water.


Kos is located just off the coast of Turkey and one of the most popular islands in the chain. Large golden beaches boast crystal clear waters. Kos’ unique heritage includes the Nerantzia Castle at the entrance of Kos town.


This volcanic island is located in the middle of the Dodecanese group. Its natural beauty beckons you to take a long walk. The classical architecture, picturesque taverns and traditional coffee shops attracts sailors for the chance to stretch their legs.


Symi is another gem nestled deep in the Mediterranean that will inevitably exceed your expectations, however great they are. Its picturesque ports and towns are breathtaking in their beauty and possess a unique cosmopolitan atmosphere.


This world famous archaeological site is also known as the ‘Pearl of Rhodes’, including the nearby island of Simi. Lindos is found on the southern tip of Rhodes Island.


On this most famous of all the Dodecanese, the storied and intricate history can be seen in the architecture and ruins, which leave behind beautiful traces of thousands years of human civilization.