- Category: ROUTE 14
it is lying between the islands of Nisyros and Kalymnos, close to the coasts of Asia Minor. It is the greenest and most fertile island of the group and the second most touristy and popular island after cosmopolitan Rhodes. At first sight, Kos may be a bit disappointing with, its many bars and huge hotel complexes lining the coast. However, after a while, visitors will find that it is a very beautiful and attractive island with quiet nooks, appealing mountainous villages, an excellent touristy infrastructure, verdant landscape, abundant ground water and superb beaches of various sizes and colors.
Home of the Hippocrates, the father of medicine, which is a large island full of contrasts. Rich in history, with many ancient ruins, as well as modern, lively towns, Kos is most enjoyable. Apart from the main, busy harbour, you can also visit Kamares, a more secluded cove.
Kardemena – This harbor lies on the SE coast of the island. It used to be a small fishing village but now has become a resort area. It provides good shelter from the Meltem, there is a pier to moor on to but at night due to the nightlife it can get a bit noisy. Fuel, water and provisioning are available.
Limin Kos - A fairly busy harbor as there are small boats that go back and forth from Turkey. During the Meltem it offers good shelter but it does tend to swell up. All facilities are available. Masthari – This is a small fishing village on the NW coast of Kos. There is a new mole and offers good shelter from the Meltem.
Ormos Kamares – This small bay is located on the South end of the island. It offers good shelter from the Meltem and there is a small mole to moor on to. Water is also available at the mole as well as few tavernas.
The island was originally colonized by the Carians. A contingent from Kos participated in the War of Troy. The Dorian’s invaded it in the 11th century BC, establishing a Dorian colony with a large contingent of settlers from Epidaurus who took with them their Asclepius cult and made their new home famous for its sanatoria. The other chief sources of the island's wealth lay in its wines, and in later days, in its silk manufacture.
Its early history as part of the religious-political amphictyony that included Lindos, Kamiros, Ialysos, Cnidus and Halicarnassus, the Dorian Hexapolis (Greek for six cities), is obscure. At the end of the 6th century Kos fell under Achaemenid domination, but rebelled after the Greek victory at Cape Mykale in 479. During the Greco-Persian Wars, when it expelled the Persians twice, it was ruled by tyrants, but as a rule it seems to have been under oligarchic government. In the 5th century it joined the Delian League, and after the revolt of Rhodes served as the chief Athenian station in the south-eastern Aegean (411-407). In 366 BC, a democracy was instituted. After helping to weaken Athenian power, in the Social War (357-355 BC), it fell for a few years to the king Mausolus of Caria. In 366 BC, the capital was transferred from Astypalaia to the new-built town of Kos, laid out in a Hippodamian grid plan.
In the Hellenistic age Kos attained the zenith of its prosperity. Its alliance was valued by the kings of Egypt, who used it as an outpost for their navy to watch the Aegean. Kos was also known as Meropis and Nymphea. Diodorus Siculus and Strabo describe it as a well-fortified port. Its position gave it a high importance in Aegean trade; while the island itself was rich in wines of considerable fame. Under Alexander III of Macedon and the Egyptian Ptolemy’s (from 336 B.C.) the town developed into one of the great centers in the Aegean. Except for occasional incursions by corsairs and some severe earthquakes, the island has rarely had its peace disturbed. Following the lead of its great neighbor, Rhodes, Kos generally displayed a friendly attitude towards the Romans; in 53 AD it was made a free city.
The island was later conquered by the Venetians, who then sold it to the Knights Hospitaller of Rhodes (the Knights of St John) in 1315. Two hundred years later the Knights faced the threat of a Turkish invasion and abandoned the island to the Ottoman Empire in 1523. The Ottomans ruled Kos for 400 years until it was transferred to Italy in 1912. In World War II, the island was taken over by the Axis powers. It was occupied by Italian troops until the Italian surrender in 1943. British and German forces then clashed for control of the island in the Battle of Kos, in which the Germans were victorious. German troops occupied the island until 1945, when it became a protectorate of the United Kingdom, who ceded it to Greece in 1947.
- Category: ROUTE 14
Part of the Dodecanese Island chain, Symi is located north of Rhodes and close to the coast of south-west Turkey. Its main town, commonly referred to by the same name as the island itself, is divided in two parts: the harbor-side one, called Gialós, and the adjacent one on the slopes of the hills, called Chorió. On arrival to Symi, we usually berth at the main harbor, a perfect base from which to explore this little romantic paradise.
Gialós is a galore of two and three-story traditional stone houses, painted in a wide range of colors but mostly in indigo, ochre and terracotta, with red tiled roofs and miniature balconies. The two sides of the port are joined together by a gorgeous stone-block bridge. The Town Hall, the cathedral, the square and the Naval Museum of Symi are the main attractions on this side. The latter lends an insight to the naval tradition of the island and boasts, amongst else, exhibits representing the evolution of sponge fishing through the years.
There is a stony stairway of 500 steps leading to Chorió, the upper part of the town. The locals call it Kalí Stráta, which means “good way”; what else would you name such a wonderful walkway under the trees with satisfying views over Gialos? Some awesome churches fill the streets of Chorió with beauty. Icon screens, post-byzantine icons and grave yards are worth seeing here. Overlooking Chorió, are the remnants of a castle built by the knights of St John in the 14th century as an expansion to an old byzantine castle on the same site.
One of the island’s most famous landmarks is the monastery of the Archangel Michael Panormitis on the southwest coast. Built in the early 18th century, it overlooks the bay bearing its name, in an spectacular setting, combining mountains and sea. During the summer months, the monks accommodate visitors in the cells of the monastery for a token charge.
There is no lack of beautiful beaches on the island. Many of them are off the beaten track and reachable only by boat. Some of them are sandy, some of them are pebbly, some of them are situated on small islets around Symi but all of them are bathed by crystal clear water. Picturesque tavernas by the sea, fine restaurants and traditional ouzo and meze tavernas will cater for you with delicious tastes.
- Category: ROUTE 14
This Island of barren rock sparsely strewn with herb and thyme bushes and green valleys enjoys an abundance of golden beaches. Its fame is owed to its celebrated sponge fishermen, who leave their island each spring for the north coast of Africa amid somber ceremonies, to return five months later greeted by joyous celebrations. The island's capital is a newly built town which hugs the hillside. The houses are painted white and blue and from a distance look like some child's drawing. Along the coast are inlets and bays. Caves are also an interesting attraction, with their stalactites and healing waters. It's an ideal island for the amateur fisherman, with transparent seas favoring underwriter fishing. From Kalymnos it is an easy jaunt to the nearby tiny islands of Telendos and Pserirnos, idyllic spots for fishing and swimming.
Since this industry has fallen because Mediterranean sponges suffered from a viral disease in 1986 and a lot of them died, as the economy of the island did. Kalymnos is also a rising holiday destination due to another fact: its landscape and geology are ideal for climbing. This has brought to the island a new kind of active tourism. The Rocky Mountains and interesting caves of Kalymnos are also continually explored. The most famous is the Cave of the Seven Virgins. The late tourism has helped a bit the island and its inhabitants, even if many beautiful coasts of the island are still uncrowded during high season.
Limin Kalymnos - Offers good shelter form the Meltem. If there are strong southerly winds the harbor can become uncomfortable. There is both fuel and water on the quay. There is also good provisioning and a number of tavernas.
Vathi – Is a fjord which is extremely attractive with its lemon and orange groves. There is a mole you can anchor on to. The fjord offers good shelter from Meltem. There are tavernas, water and some supplies available.
Ormiskos Vorio or Emobrios – A small bay with a T-pier which is usually occupied by the fishing boats, you can anchor off in the bay. There is a small taverna and offers fair shelter from the Meltem. Vlikathia – A small bay with beautiful summer villas. There is a taverna ashore and offers good shelter from the Meltem.
- Category: ROUTE 14
Tilos is blessed with a rough and mountainous structure, home to over 400 species of flora and fauna! Located to the North West of Rhodes, between Nisyros and Khalki, this unspoilt island is not visited by many tourists. The whole island constitutes as a vast ecological park and is protected by international treaties. In ancient times, Tilos was famous for its herbs and became particularly prosperous during the classic period.
Livadia is the island’s port and the largest settlement, bearing hotels and shops. We make landfall at this picturesque little harbor; the village of Lividia itself is a peaceful sort of place with friendly locals and a captivating atmosphere. For those wanting to swim, you should head to Erystos, which boasts a sand beach almost 2km long! It’s also worth visiting Mikro Chorio [Small Village], which was deserted by its inhabitants in 1970. A classic rock bar/club has been built among the ruins, making for a very unusual and entertaining nightly visit. There are also remnants of a castle, deserted stone-made houses, paved streets and Byzantine churches. Megalo Chorio is the capital of the island and it is located a few miles from the port. It stands out due to the simple, island architecture used to construct the stone-made houses. You can enjoy a walk through the narrow alleyways. On the top of the hill, there is a medieval fortress, built on the location of the ancient Tilos.