Rhodes, Kos and Astypalaia are among the best vacation spots in the world for very good reason.
With an abundance of idyllic beaches, incredible gastronomy, sensational landscapes and a fascinating history to explore, these three Greek islands of the Dodecanese make for an unforgettable trip.
With its clear waters, charming islands and friendly locals, Kos in the Dodecanese is a delight
Located on the southeastern coast of Greece, they are also the ideal starting point for traveling to more off-the-beaten-path islets, such as Halki, Tilos and Nisyros, offering a dream getaway with the best of both worlds.
Additionally, Kos, Rhodes and Astypalaia have their own airports, making getting around easier than ever.
Roaming in Rhodes
Capital of the Dodecanese, Rhodes offers everything from relaxation to an action-packed break.
Lindos: The island of Rhodes, the largest in the Dodecanese, has something for everyone
Its beautiful old town is where you can wander the medieval walls and explore 24 centuries of history, with fortress-like buildings and winding lanes.
Visit the impressive museum inside the 7th-century Palace of the Grand Master, then refuel in the cobbled Rue des Chevaliers which is full of medieval inns.
Explore the new town’s Mandraki Marina, before heading to cosmopolitan Elli Beach, lined with hotels.
Two deer statues overlook Mandraki Harbour, marking where, according to legend, the feet of the colossus statue once stood
Take a day trip to the popular resort town of Kallithea, with its long sandy Faliraki beach, Roman baths and the beautiful little bays of Ladiko and Anthony Quinn.
Ialissos beach is perfect for wind and kitesurfing as well as sailing, while Petaloudes is home to the lush Butterfly Valley.
Discover the natural beauty of the island with a hike from the coast through a pine forest, past castles and monuments – have your camera handy!
With fresh and local produce, a history of cultures and flavors, Rhodes is the ideal gastronomic destination. Devour Greek salads, pitaroudia made with zucchini, cauliflower and cheese, freshly caught fish, crunchy vegetables and traditional sweet and savory pies, especially with cheese and cinnamon and honey. Delicious!
From Rhodes you can island hop to Halki, Tilos or Nisyros by ferry.
Idyllic getaway in Kos
Kos Town has a bustling harbor lined with tavernas, a medieval castle and an array of ancient ruins from the Greek, Roman and Byzantine eras.
Visit the medieval castle of the Knight of St. John with its breathtaking view of the sea and the 2nd century Maison d’Europe built by the Romans.
This early Christian basilica is in Agios Stefanios on the island of Kos, overlooking the bay of Kefalos
Just outside Kos Town is the ancient healing temple of Asklepieion, where the father of modern medicine Hippocrates trained.
For a truly relaxing experience, soak in the hot thermal springs of Agios Phokas.
After dark, visit Mount Dikaios for panoramic views of the island as the sun sets, then head to Kos Town for lively bars and delicious Greek cuisine at a taverna.
With so many beaches along the coast of Kos, including the popular Masthihari and Marmari, water sports enthusiasts will find plenty of places to swim, kayak, snorkel and windsurf.
You can also tour Kos by bike on one of the stunning routes that embrace lush vegetation, spectacular views and scenery.
Thanks to Kos’ climate and landscape, the island abounds with fresh produce – from olive oil and wild greens to honey, wine and cheeses. Its dishes are rich in flavor and history – try the posa goat cheese, pitaridia, similar to lasagna, as well as the more refined baklava and local halva.
From Kos you can island hop to Halki, Tilos or Nisyros by ferry.
Getaway to Astypalaia
The beautiful butterfly-shaped Astypalaia is more discreet than Rhodes and Kos.
With secluded sun-drenched beaches, pretty whitewashed villages and windmills, and centuries-old history, the island offers a breathtaking escape.
Full of history and charm: the pretty windmills of the town of Chora on Astypalaia
The charming capital Chora stands on the slopes of a hill, with an incredible view of the shimmering Aegean Sea. Discover its sugar cube houses, 14th century castle, beautiful churches and Agios Georgios, the site of an ancient temple.
The port town of Pera Yialos has a modern marina with traditional tavernas and lively bars, as well as a pretty sandy beach.
The seaside village of Livadi is full of citrus groves and cornfields, as well as a popular sandy beach and restaurants serving fresh fish and local dishes.
Dazzling clear waters: Kounoupa Double Beach is a magical setting
Discover the pretty remains of the Roman baths in the town of Maltezana, where you will also find a fishing port and sandy beaches surrounded by olive trees.
And look to the future! It is planned to transform Astypalaia into the first smart, sustainable and carbon-free island – the “green island” of Europe.
Chilled out Halki is the perfect place to relax, with its unspoiled landscape, pretty town and peaceful beaches.
No car is needed – you can walk the whole island in just four hours!
Scenic Nimporio, which has less than 500 inhabitants, has picturesque alleys, neoclassical stone houses with mosaic floors and important museums.
Nice port: you can take a ferry to the small island of Halki from Kos in just over two hours
Visit the picturesque harbor and taste local dishes, including handmade pasta, thyme honey and stuffed goat, in family-run tavernas
Then, ascend to Chorio, a deserted medieval village, admiring the ruins of the church and castle, picturesque windmills and striking views of the sparkling sea, all the way to Rhodes.
With its shallow waters, Pontamos is perfect for families; walk between the pebbles of Gyali and the sandy peninsula of Trachea, or go diving to explore the island’s underwater delights.
With its unspoiled charm, its secluded beaches and its abandoned but beautiful village, Tilos is the ideal destination for those who wish to disconnect.
The island, between Kos and Rhodes, is quiet and crowd-free, and its mountainous terrain, pretty towns and ancient monuments can be explored on foot or by bike.
In addition to rare birds, volcanic valleys, the 25 square mile rich sand of Tilos is red from ancient lava flows.
Unspoiled beauty: Tilos is a jewel of the Dodecanese, quiet, picturesque and free from the crowds
The quaint port town of Livadia is where you’ll find restaurants, hotels, and the island’s most popular beach where you can lounge on a deckchair.
Mikro Chorio is the ruins of a village abandoned since 1940. In summer, head to the small bar offering refreshments in the center for a unique experience.
Tilos has four other beaches, all secluded. The long bay of Eristos is accessible by rail from the capital; Agios Antonios has sand and pebbles and is close to a fishing village. while lush Plaka remains tranquil even in high season. Happiness!
Volcanic adventures in Nisyros
Enter a volcano crater, explore the ancient city of Paleokastro and wander the monastery of Panagia Spiliani – there’s plenty to see and do on peaceful Nisyros.
Located between Kos and Tilos, the breathtaking 25-mile island is filled with quaint villages, secluded beaches and is a perfect place to visit the islands.
Walk in a volcano: On the historic island of Nisyros, you can explore its crater Stefanos
Its 160,000 year old volcano is still active – albeit dormant – and is a must for exploring its incredible rock formations, the stone of which you will see was used to build houses on the island.
The charming port capital of Mandraki is where to find whitewashed houses with flat roofs, lively tavernas and small bars.
The most popular beaches of Nisyros are in the north of the island, with wide stretches of golden sand or white pebbles as well as turquoise waves.
Lies is filled with small coves formed by the sea over the years; popular Pali is ideal for families, with trees for shade; and unspoiled Katsouni is the largest beach, with plenty of sand and a cave to explore.
There is so much to see, do and try that you really won’t want to leave!
Make your dream Greek getaway a reality. Find out more at www.visitgreece.gr/inspirations/all-you-want-is-greece