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proach is by turning south off the coastal highway near Stalida, just past Hersonisos.
The best approach from Agios Nikolaos is via Neapoli.
Dodecanese Dodecanese Highlights Rhodes Rhodes Town Eastern Rhodes Western Rhodes & the Interior Southern Rhodes Halki Emborios Around Halki Karpathos Pigadia Southern Karpathos Northern Karpathos Kasos Fry Around Kasos Kastellorizo (Megisti) Kastellorizo Village Symi Gialos Around Symi Tilos Livadia Megalo Horio Around Megalo Horio Nisyros Mandraki Around Nisyros Kos Kos Town Around Kos Astypalea Skala & Hora Livadi West of Skala East of Skala Kalymnos Pothia Around Pothia Myrties, Masouri & Armeos Telendos Islet Emborios Vathys & Rina Leros Platanos & Agia Marina Pandeli Vromolithos Lakki Xirokambos Krithoni & Alinda Northern Leros Patmos Skala Hora (Patmos) North of Skala South of Skala Lipsi Lipsi Village Around Lipsi Arki & Marathi Arki Marathi Agathonisi Agios Georgios Around Agathonisi Dodecanese Why Go? Ever pined for old Greece, where you can still catch a sense of that authentic magic? Enter the remote Dodecanese (Δωδεκ?νησα; do-de-ka-ni-sa) Islands in the southeastern Aegean.
The footprints of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, Italian occupation and medieval knights are all found here, and beyond better- known Rhodes and Kos there are enigmatic islands begging you to explore them.
Hikers, naturalists and botanists flock to Tilos, while climbers scale the limestone cliffs in Kalymnos; divers have underwater caves and ancient wrecks to explore, while kitesurfers visit southern Karpathos for its legendary winds.
Archaeologists and history buffs have a bevy of ancient sites to let their imaginations loose, and sybarites can find myriad beaches, free of the package crowds, to worship Helios.
When to Go Apr & May Prices are low, there are few tourists and the sea is warming up.
Jul & Aug Peak season for accommodation and visitors – book ahead.
Sep The best time to go: beaches are empty, the sea warm and hotel prices have dropped again.
Best Places to Eat ? Barbarossa ? Taverna Mylos ? Marco Polo Mansion ? Meraklis Best Places to Stay ? Marco Polo Mansion ? Melenos ? To Archontiko Angelou ? Villa Melina Dodecanese Highlights Wander beneath Byzantine arches and along the ancient cobbled alleyways of Rhodes Old Town Follow the winding road up to the traditional mountaintop village of Olymbos Test your mettle diving for wrecks or climbing limestone cliffs on Kalymnos Find the deserted beach you’ve always dreamed of on Lipsi Go hiking or birding on postcard-perfect Tilos Enter the fabled volcano of Nisyros , home to an imprisoned Titan Feel your pulse quicken as your boat pulls into Symi’s gorgeous Italianate harbour Make a pilgrimage to Patmos , where St John wrote his ‘Revelations’ History The Dodecanese islands have been inhabited since pre-Minoan times.
Following Alexander the Great’s death in 323 BC, Ptolemy I of Egypt ruled the Dodecanese.
The Dodecanese islanders were the first Greeks to become Christians.
This was through the tireless efforts of St Paul, who made two journeys to the archipelago during the 1st century, and through St John, who was banished to Patmos where he had his revelation and added a chapter to the Bible.
The early Byzantine era saw the islands prosper, but by the 7th century AD they were plundered by a string of invaders.
The Knights of St John of Jerusalem (Knights Hospitaller) arrived in the 14th century and eventually became rulers of almost all the Dodecanese, building mighty fortifications strong enough to withstand time but not sufficient to keep out the Turks in 1522.
The Turks were themselves ousted by the Italians in 1912.
The latter, inspired by Mussolini’s vision of a vast Mediterranean empire, made Italian the official language of the Dodecanese and prohibited the practice of Orthodoxy.
They also constructed grandiose public buildings in the fascist style, which was the antithesis of archetypal Greek architecture.
More beneficially, they excavated and restored many archaeological monuments.
After the Italian surrender of 1943, the islands (particularly Leros) became a battleground for British and German forces, with much suffering inflicted upon the population.
The Dodecanese were formally returned to Greece in 1947.
RHODES ΡΟΔΟΣ The largest of the Dodecanese Islands, Rhodes (ro- dos) is abundant in beaches, wooded valleys and ancient history.
Whether you seek the buzz of nightlife and beaches, diving in crystal-clear water or a culture-vulture journey through past civilisations, it’s all here.
The atmospheric old town of Rhodes is a maze of cobbled streets spiriting you back to the days of the Byzantine Empire and beyond.
Further south is the picture-perfect town of Lindos, a weave-world of sugarcube houses spilling down to a turquoise bay.
History The Minoans and Mycenaeans were among the first to have outposts on the islands, but it wasn’t until the Dorians arrived in 1100 BC – settling in Kamiros, Ialysos and Lindos – that Rhodes began to exert power.
Switching alliances like a pendulum, it was first allied to Athens in the Battle of Marathon (490 BC), in which the Persians were defeated, but shifted to the Persian side by the time of the Battle of Salamis (480 BC).
After the unexpected Athenian victory at Salamis, Rhodes hastily became an ally of Athens again, joining the Delian League in 477 BC.
Following the disastrous Sicilian Expedition (416–412 BC), Rhodes revolted against Athens and formed an alliance with Sparta, which it aided in the Peloponnesian Wars.
In 408 BC the cities of Kamiros, Ialysos and Lindos consolidated their powers, co-founding the city of Rhodes.
Rhodes became Athens’ ally again, and together they defeated Sparta at the Battle of Knidos (394 BC).
Rhodes then joined forces with Persia in a battle against Alexander the Great but, when Alexander proved invincible, quickly allied itself with him.
In 305 BC Antigonus, one of Ptolemy’s rivals, sent his son, the formidable Demetrius Poliorketes (the Besieger of Cities), to conquer Rhodes.
The city managed to repel Demetrius after a long siege.
To celebrate this victory, the 32m- high bronze statue of Helios Apollo (Colossus of Rhodes), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was built.
After the defeat of Demetrius, Rhodes knew no bounds.
It built the biggest navy in the Aegean and its port became a principal Mediterranean trading centre.
The arts also flourished.
When Greece became the battleground upon which Roman generals fought for leadership of the empire, Rhodes allied itself with Julius Caesar.
After Caesar’s assassination in 44 BC, Cassius besieged Rhodes, destroying its ships and stripping the city of its artworks, which were then taken to Rome.
This marked the beginning of Rhodes’ decline, and in AD 70 Rhodes became part of the Roman Empire.
When the Roman Empire split, Rhodes joined the Byzantine province of the Dodecanese.
It was granted independence when the Crusaders seized Constantinople.
Later, the Genoese gained control.
The Knights of St John arrived in Rhodes in 1309 and ruled for 213 years until they were ousted by the Ottomans, who were in turn kicked out by the Italians nearly four centuries later.
In 1947, after 35 years of Italian occupation, Rhodes
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