Cyprus Or The Dodecanese Archipelago? | Cyprus Inform
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Cyprus or the Dodecanese Archipelago?

Greece

the Dodecanese archipelagoCyprus has long, strong cultural and business ties with Greece. The main population of Cyprus is of Greek nationality.

Geographically, the country’s close enough, in addition, it offers convenient flights between Cyprus and Greece. For example, some Greek resorts can be reached from Paphos by the budget airline RyanAir.

This explains the fact that among the residents of Cyprus – Cypriots and foreigners living permanently on the island – Greek resorts are a very popular holiday destination. Of particular interest are the Greek islands.

Today our article is about the islands of the Dodecanese.

Cyprus vs the Dodecanese

The islands of the archipelago are located in the Aegean Sea, which is somewhat cooler in comparison to the Mediterranean, where Cyprus is located. In addition, in the Aegean Sea the fauna is a bit more dangerous, which can cause trouble for travelers (e.g sea urchins).

Resorts in the archipelago will be interesting for those who want to touch the rich history and culture of Greece, or looking for a quiet secluded holiday. There is no bustling nightlife, which is offered in Cyprus, in Ayia Napa or the other resorts of the island.

Quite boring would be the rest of the Dodecanese resorts for families with children, as entertainment for the younger guests, is almost non-existent: no zoos and amusement parks; water parks at hotels are rather modest, and the entertainment program for children in hotels is rather monotonous.

the Greek islandsThat’s why families with children or young people had better pay attention to the other resorts, but those who want to rest in silence, will be interested to visit Kos and other islands of the archipelago.

The prices for restaurants and hotels on the islands of the Dodecanese is somewhat lower compared to Cyprus: the active promotion of this trend on the European market began relatively recently – about 5-6 years ago.

In addition, compared to the mainland of Greece, a great opportunity for  shopping shouldn’t be expected. On some islands of the archipelago, the tourist services are not well developed, so there are only few souvenir shops. This, for many, is the beauty of the Dodecanese resorts.

Kos island

Kos islandAmong the many Greek islands of the Dodecanese this was is the last to join Greece in 1947.

Kos is the largest island of the archipelagos and second largest island of attendance in the Southern Sporades. A great influence on the culture and development of the island has been taken place during the dominion of the Turks, which lasted almost four centuries.

Especially popular among tourists is the sycamore of Hippocrates. According to legend, the famous healer taught his students in the shadow of this magnificent tree, reaching 10 meters in circumference. Note that this legend cannot be proven by scientific evidence: according to experts, the age of the tree is about 700 years old and Hippocrates was a teacher long time before. But it is known that Kos was the birthplace of the scientist.

To the south of the sycamore there is an interesting archeological camp with well-preserved walls of ancient temples and basilicas of the V century.

In the center of the island of Kos, is its capital, a town of the same name, where the market built here during the time of the Italian rule is settled. According to local residents and visitors to the island, this market is the cleanest in all Greece. And after going a little further away from the market, you can admire the church of Agia Paraskevi, which is the seat of the Archbishop of Kos.

Saint Paraskevi's churchAs Rhodes, Kos is protected by the majestic walls of the castle of the Knights of St. John. The first castle was built in 1315 by the Knights of Malta to protect the island against the Ottomans, and in the XV century, the castle was surrounded by thick walls. It offers stunning views of the harbor and the old part of the city.

The capital of the island is located only 2.5 nautical miles from the Turkish coast. From the port, you can take a daily boat and go to the Turkish Bodrum; in 1 hour it will take you to “the beach” and will give you the opportunity to spend time sightseeing.

At about 10 km from the capital of the island, there is a small village that attracts people due to the presence of the hot springs “Embros.” The hot water from the sources is connected to the salt water and exerts a therapeutic effect on the skin, the cardiovascular system and the respiratory system.

The mountain village of Gia

the mountain village GiaBut Kos is famous not only for its seaside. At an altitude of 846 m above sea level, which is the highest point of the island, is the  mountain peak Dikeos, where a traditional Greek village is settled around it.

The most famous is Gia (Zia), where residents of the village sell delicious honey and herbs from the mountain meadows. Each package with herbs and spices that you buy in the village markets, explain in detail in which cases and how it should be used. While in Gia, be sure to stay and admire the sunsets in the tavern “Terrace sunsets”, offering unforgettable views of the island and the mountains.

And in the morning you can go to an abandoned Byzantine town of Palo Pili, which is the ancient capital of the island.

Also noteworthy is the castle Antimahia, built by the knights of St. John, which began in the XIV century and finished by the Crusaders in the next century. At the foot of the castle, endless flower gardens and the fertile Kardamena stretch below. Have in mind, on the northwest coast you can find the best beaches.

Not far from the authentic village of Kefalos is the best tavern of the island “Limeonas”, located on the same beach. A long time ago, local fishermen built embankments to protect their boats from the wind and waves. The innkeeper agreed with the fishermen, and now every day fresh fish are caught exclusively for the tavern’s guests. On Kos, the restaurants are rather cheap: a dinner with salad, hot hors d’oeuvres and wine will cost 30-40 euros for two.

Nisyros Island

Nisyros islandFrom a distance of two hours by boat from Kos is the island of Nisyros, which, according to legend, was broken off from Kos during the Battle of the Giants.

This island is dominated by the traditional spirit of ancient Greece. The main town of the island – Mandraki – with a population of about 1300 inhabitants, is strewn with white and blue houses. The most important attraction of the island is considered to be a volcano located in the central part.

The island has a lot of traditional taverns and modern cafes, souvenir shops and interesting shops where you can spend the whole day enjoying the peace and comfort.

Kalymnos Island

Морской музей Калимноса

From Kos island, Kalymnos is located only 15 km apart, but toarrive there on a regular boat will take about 2 hours. However, a small island is worth your time. It was inhabited during the Neolithic era. Be sure to visit the Maritime Museum of Kalymnos, where you can get acquainted with the traditional fishing – fishing sponges.

The famous Mediterranean sponges are known far beyond the islands, but few people know that their fishery was quite dangerous: in ancient times, the fishermen dived down to the bottom without any special equipment, with trailers of rocks to their feet. These brave men often died, unable to unhook the ballast before ascenting.

The fishing season for sponges begins in April.The fleet is escorted by divers, who meet all the villagers and festivals are arranged for this special holiday each year. The fishing fleet of the island consists of 450 vessels.

The souvenir shops on the island are small, but the gastronomic segment is developed well: the city center is strewn with a variety of cafes and restaurants offering traditional Greek cuisine.

 

Остров КалимносМорской музей Калимноса

Conclusion

The Dodecanese deserve no less attention than the known Crete, Rhodes and Thessaloniki, however tourists are not up to such a number yet. But perhaps this is where their special charm lies.

 

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