The Northern Dodecanese Islands
The Dodecanese islands are made of 12 large islands (Dodekanisa means “twelve islands” in Greek) and 150 smaller Greek islandsin the Aegean Sea. About 26 of these are inhabited,
Day 1: Bodrum and Kos (or Cos)
After welcoming, you will be briefed about your itinerary. Once paperwork is completed at customs, we will set off for Kos, where Hippocrates, The Father of Medicine was born. Mythology sources say, Kos is also the birthplace of Leto, mother of Apollo and Artemis. There is a very rich history in Kos. You are greeted by the Castle of the Knights at the entrance of Kos harbour. You can start off by riding a mini-train that gives you the highlights of the main city. After that, you can walk to the sites if you want to explore them more. Old town is beautiful, lined with palm and pine trees, and filled with shops, cafes, and restaurants. Here, you can see the tree dedicated to Hippocrates, the ancient agora (largest at its time), antique temple, and a basilica. Kos is famous for its wine and silk.
About 4 km from the city center, you can visit the famous Asklepieion, an old healing center, dedicated to Asklepios, the god of health. Other places to visit include the Casa Romana (1800 year old Roman villa with 26 rooms and three pools), Archeology Museum, Defterdar Mosque, Haci Hasan Mosque, ancient windmills, Aspri Peta (White Stone) cave, and the Plaka Forest where more than fifty peacocks freely roam.
Overnight in Kos.
Day 2: Leros
In the morning, we will sail to Leros, the island where local pirates held Julius Ceasar hostage for forty days. Leros is different from the other Greek Islands, because it is very green with eucalyptus, pine and tamarisk trees and it has a different architecture. Since Leros was under the ruling of the fascist Italian regime during WWII, you can see the architecture from that era in Lakki. The second largest town in Leros after Lakki is Agia Marina. It is an adorable bay with little gift shops, cafés, and bars. You can see the remains of the antique city here. You can also visit Leros Castle between Panteli Bay, an old fishing village, and Agia Marina. It is an impressive medieval castle built by the Knights Hospitaller. Leros has its fame from its beautiful beaches including Gourna, Kokika, Blefouti, DyoLisgaria, and Xiroka. Other historic sites you might marvel at Panaghia Kyra (Mother Mary) Monastery, AghiosIsidoros chapel, Panagia tis Gourlomatas church from the 4th century, AghiosSofronios and AghioiSaranda Monasteries. There are also several beautiful churches in Lakki, and remains of the walls of an antique acropolis dating back to the 4th century BC.
Overnight in Leros.
Day 3: Lipsi (Leipsoi)
Our next anchorage place is Lipsi, a group of small islands. There are several churches and monasteries in Lipsi. The most famous ones are the Church of AgiosIoannisTheologosat the top of a hill above the main town with its breathtaking vista, and the Church of PanagiaHarou (Virgin Mary of Death), built in 1600 and located on the way to Hohlakoura Beach. In PanagiaHarou Church, there is a famous pietaof the Virgin Mary, PanagiatouHarou, holding the crucified Christ.
Lipsi’s coastline is covered with small bays, beaches with clear waters, and caves. There is a fortress at the top of the island. Other interesting points include the springs, and the Cave of Ontas, a geological formation.
Lipsi is famous for its thyme honey, wine, cheese, dairy products, grapes, loom-woven fabrics, cheese cloths, and carpets.
Overnight in Lipsi.
Day 4: Arki (Arkoi)
Early in the morning, we set sail to Arki Island, a tiny island with only 40 inhabitants. The little islets around Arki are considered as part of this island. There are only two cars and a motorcycle on the island. The islanders earn their living through fishing, goat herding, or working at one of the four taverns and the island. There are ruins of anacropolis on the hill overlooking the main harbor. The best beachon the island is a very small beach, Tiganakia. From Tiganakia, you can swim to the small islets across the bay. There is a cave at one end of the island with stalactite and stalagmite formations.
Around Tiganakia beach, some ancient pottery from the Neolithic era has been found. Some fishermen talk about seeing some ancient buildings under the water on the North side.
Overnight in Arki.
Day 5: Patmos
We sail to Patmos, sometimes referred to as “The Jerusalem of the Aegean Sea”. Patmos is a very tranquil island with its beautiful beaches and clear seas. It is highly recommended that you visit the Monastery of St. John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse where John, the author of the Book of Revelation, was given a vision from Jesus. Both sites were listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Do not miss the Skala shopping area, just 100 meters from the port, which is adorable with narrow streets filled with shops. Just like at the other islands, Patmos honey is highly recommended. If you have time, visit the beaches, especially Agriolivado, Kambos, and Grikos. For a beautiful sunrise or a sunset, visit Chora, Grikos or LivadiGeranou.
Patmos has beautiful villages with white-washed houses adorned with colorful shutters and flower-filled courtyards.
Overnight in Patmos.
Day 6: Kalimnos (Kalymnos)
We leave Patmos for Kalimnos which is famous for sponge fishing and rock climbing. It is an island mostly barren with golden beaches, a mediaeval castle, some churches dating back to the 4th century AD , monasteries of the Evangelist and St Catherine, and little green valleys with citrus groves. Thermawithits thermal springs, the cave of Kefala with stalactites and stalagmites, the caves of the Seven Virgins,andthe Cavern of the Nymphs are all worth a visit.
Don’t forget to buy the island’s famous painted head scarves.
Overnight in Kalimnos.
Day 7: Pserimos and Bodrum
A tiny island with a population of about 100, attracts daily visitors arriving on boats. There are no paved roads in Pserimos, just dirt roads and beautiful sandy beaches which are great for wading. There is a little church and a few taverns to enjoy local food.
After Pserimos we either return to Kos or Bodrum.
Day 8: Bodrum
Departure is at 10:00 am after breakfast.
If you have time before your flight, make sure to walk around Bodrum to enjoy the scenery, historic places and the shops. You can explore this spectacular “Turkish Riviera” rich with history and great stores for souvenirs. With its history dating back to the 12th century BC, Bodrum (ancient name: Halicarnassus) is the birthplace of Herodutus, the “Father of History”, who lived there during the 5th century BC. Bodrum will greet you with the Mausoleum of King Mausolus (350 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and St. Peter’s Castle built by the Knights Hospitaller of Rhodes (Knights of St. John), in 14th century using the columns and reliefs from the Mausoleum. Also don’t miss the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archeology located inside the castle which is the biggest museum in the world devoted to underwater archeology, and an Amphitheatre with a capacity of 13,000 seats, still hosting many shows and concerts.
The itinerary given above is not a fixed itinerary. As a private boat charter, your group can decide where to go, where to overnight, where to swim.