Dodecanese is a group of islands in southeastern Greece in the Aegean Sea, It is located between the southwester coast of Asia Minor and the island of Crete, south of Samos, and Fourni, and east of the Cyclades. Although its name means ”12 (dodeca) islands”, the group consists of about 50 islands and islets. Only 18 of these islands are permanently inhabited.

Of these the most important are Rhodes, Kos , and Karpathos. Rhodes, on which Rhodes, or Rodos, capital of the group is located, has the largest area and population of all the islands. The other inhabited islands are Kalymnos, Leros, Nissiros, Patmos, Kastelorizo (Megisti), Astipalea, Kassos, Halki, Tilos, Pserimos and Lipsi. The total population of all the islands is about146,000 inhabitants .

Agriculture is the chief occupation of the Dodecanese, the leading crops being olives, grapes, oranges, and other fruits and vegetables. Sponge fishing is locally important (especially in Kalymnos), but of major economic significance to the island is tourism, which flourishes during the Summer months.

Several islands of the Dodecanese, especially Rhodes, were settled by the ancient Greeks and figured prominently in Hellenic civilization for many centuries. The islands subsequently became Roman dominions. Following the division of the Roman Empire, the belonged to the Byzantine Empire. In 1522 the Dodecanese were seized by the Ottoman Turks, who retained control until the successful invasion of Rhodes in 1912 by Italian armed forces. During World War II, in 1943, German troops occupied the Dodecanese, and in May of 1945, the island were relinquished to British forces. The Dodecanese was formally ceded to Greece in 1948.

Nowardays, Rhodes and Kos are among the most popular and cosmopolitan islands in the Mediterranean. Kalymnos is the island of the sponge divers, while Halki, Nissiros, Kassos, Tilos and Pserimos are still kept away from the massive tourism , retaining their traditional character. Symi is a picturesque small island which becomes popular, wild and mountainous Karpathos is dramatically beautiful, Agathonisi and Kassos are hilly and difficult to reach. Patmos is the island where Saint John the Divine wrote the prophetic Revelations while the visitor has to make an excursion to the nearby islets of Fourni, Lipsi, and Agathonissi where he will find his own totally private beach. Leros is relatively quite, while Astipalea has a magnificent geographical location and the architecture matches Cyclades. Last but not least Kastellorizo or Megisti is the destination at the ”edge” of Greece.You can not get any further.

Direct charter flights are available from European cities to Rhodes, Kos and Karpathos.

Daily flights operate from Athens to Astypalea, Leros, Kos, Rhodes and Karpathos, while inter-island flight service operate between Karpathos and Crete, Kos and Leros, Rhodes, Karpathos, Kastellorizo, Crete, Santorini and Mykonos.

Island of Astypalea

Island of Chalki

Island of Kalymnos

Island of Karpathos

Island of Kassos

Island of Kastelorizo

Island of Kos

Island of Leros

Island of Lipsi

Island of Nissyros

Island of Patmos

Island of Rodos

Island of Symi

Island of Tilos