Dodecanese Tour

Day 1: Welcome in Rhodes!

Welcome in Rhodes, the capital of Dodecanese and 4th biggest island in Greece. According to the tradition, the island is said to have taken its name from the rose (in Greek “rodon”), sacred flower for the God of the Sun. Thanks to its strategic position, Rhodes has been important since ancient times, but is known as the “the island of the Knights”, because in 1309 the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem conquered the island, built castles and made it an important, medieval administrative city of the Mediterranean Sea. Pick-up from “Diagoras” International Airport of Rhodes and transfer to your booked hotel. Hotel stay for 7 nights. Dinner and overnight stay at your booked hotel.

Day 2: Through the lively medieval city

 In the morning you will take a panorama drive through the city of Rhodes to the port of Mandraki, the ancient acropolis on the hill of Monte Smith and the ancient stadium. No other European city has such a great heritage dating back to the medieval times, as Rhodes. The old city part is so colorful and lively, that it combines perfectly the old history of princesses and knights with the modern way of life. During your tour in the old city part, you will walk through stone-paved paths along the fortification walls and you will admire the fine medieval architecture of city gates, arcades, squares, fountains and little houses. Visit at one of the most famous sites in the city, the Grand Master’s Palace. Right afterwards, you will follow the path to the famous Socrates Street and then through the biggest grocery marketplace of the island to a fishing tavern by the sea.
After having your delicious lunch and admiring the sea, you will drive to Kallithea – not far from the city of Rhodes – where you will visit the magnificent ancient hot thermal springs and learn about the bathing traditions of Greeks and Romans. Even the Roman emperor Augustus used the hot springs of Kalithea. In the 1920’s the Italians rebuilt the place as an elegant, oriental seeming health spa. Just a few years ago the area has been restored with tender-care. Return to your booked hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 3: To the Mount Filerimos

Driving along the east coast of Rhodes you will reach the mountains. Not far away from the village of Pastida you will visit the Museum of Natural History of the Bee (unique of its category in Greece), where you will have the chance to taste the delicious honey sorts Afterwards, the top of Mt. Filerimos (260 m.) will offer you the most wonderful view of the island. A winding road will lead you to the place, in a relatively wide plateau, where the Monastery of Filerimos is located. When Christianity first grew its roots in Greece (before being spread around the world), many of the ancient cult sanctuaries were transformed into churches. At that time the temple was converted into an early Christian three-aisled basilica dedicated to Virgin Mary. The church is well known since for housing the icon of the Virgin of Filerimos. Under the rule of the Knights of St. John a Monastery was built. When the island came into the possession of the Ottoman Turks, the icon was taken by the Knights to France and from there to Italy, then Malta and Russia, where it stayed until the 1917 revolution. Since 2002, it has been kept in the Blue Chapel of the National Museum of Montenegro.
Further drive to the mountain village of Apollona, which has acquired its name from the Temple of God Apollo, the protector of Rhodes. You will visit the cathedral temple of the village and the folklore museum with a wide range of domestic utensils, rural tools and impressive ancient objects such as an old olive press, sarcophaguses and medieval burrstones. Finally, you will taste the delicious and famous meat specialties at a local tavern of the village, as well as freshly pressed olive oil. Return to your booked hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 4: The Beauty of the South

Today you will get to know the multifarious landscapes of the island, the traditions and customs of the Rhodians through a trip to the South. Passing by the valley of Kalathos, you will reach the village of Asklipion which is an antique colonization. Some ruins of castle walls since the times of the knights have survived, with frescoes at the west gate dating back to 1060. Narrow streets and smaller paths will lead you to the village area, where the church dedicated to the Assumption of Virgin Mary (“Koimisi tis Theotokou”) is located. The church was built in the 13th century and it is known for the magnificent frescoes of the interior, as well as for its fine architecture. At the folklore museum nearby, you will learn a lot about the traditions of the island and from the top of the medieval castle you will enjoy the breathtaking view of the coast. At the southest part of Rhodes you will take a stroll along the beach of Prassonisi and drive further to the Cape of Monolithos, where you will make a photoshooting break. The rock is rising from the sea and crowned by the ruins of a former castle of the knights. At the bottom of the highest mountain, Attaviros, the village of Embona is situated. This place is famous for its good wines.
Return to the city of Rhodos. Dinner and overnight stay at your booked hotel.

Day 5: Ancient Kamiros

Driving to the mountain of Profitis Ilias, you will make a short stop at the valley of the Seven Springs to admire the astonishing beauty of nature and the protected biotope, where you can also find the wonderful butterfly valley, a phenomenon of nature. During the months of June until September, hundreds of thousands of butterflies fly through the 1 km long and narrow wooded gorge. You will walk along the brooks and cross the waterfall. Next stop is the ancient village of Kamiros, an unfortified Dorian city. The ruins are nearly completely excavated. You will be impressed by the acropolis, the temples, the market-place and the residential sites which are preserved quite well.

Day 6: Boat Excursion to the Island of Symi

 Symi is a picturesque island about 2 hours away from Rhodes and one of the mostly visited ones in Greece. Pastel-colored houses, narrow streets, numerous churches and monasteries, harbor taverns by the sea and small, cute shops create a wonderful, picturesque Greek scenery. Arrival with the boat at Yialos, the small harbor of Symi. Take a walk through the narrow streets and visit the famous Sponge Centre, where you will learn a lot about the natural sponges and also take some back home with you! Before meeting at the port, you will have some time for individual explorations. On your way back to Rhodes, the boat will make a stop at the monastery of Panormitis. The 18th century monastery of Symi’s patron, Taxiarchis Michael Panormitis, is a place of pilgrimage for the Greek sailors. You can visit the inner courtyards of the monastery, the wealthily-decorated church and the monastery’s museum. Return back to Rhodes and drive to your booked hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 7: The Acropolis of Lindos

Today you will drive to Lindos, one of the three ancient cities which founded the city of Rhodes (together with Ialyssos and Kamiros). Beyond all doubts, Lindos is the most beautiful and most famous village of the island. On your way there, you will make a short stop at the fishing village of Charaki, where you will take a lovely walk along the picturesque waterside promenade.
Above the modern city of Lindos rises the famous acropolis of Lindos, dedicated to the goddess of Athena Lindia. The acropolis offers you a spectacular view of the Saint Pauls’ bay, where Apostle Paul landed and prayed in the year 58 A.D. The walls of the castle seen below the acropolis were built by the crusaders. During your walk through the narrow and crooked lanes of the village you will pass by picturesque white houses in cubical style and small traditional shops. Here you will visit the church of St. Mary, a masterpiece of the knights of St. John. Return drive to your booked hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 8: To the Island of Kos

In the morning transfer to the port of Rhodes, where you will take the boat to Kos. During your 3-hour-sailing in the southern part of the Aegean Sea dolphins will keep you great company, if you are lucky enough to meet them! Upon arrival in Kos, you will take a city tour in the capital of the island.
Visit to the Plane tree of Hippocrates and the Castle of the Knights. Walk in town along the Ancient and New Agora, demonstration of the location of the Archaeological Museum of Kos, which will unfortunately remain closed for renovations. Optional coffee or refreshment in Eleftherias Square, walk in the Old Town and lunch in side-by-side restaurants-taverns of Diagoras Square or drive to the mountain village of Zia, walk in the settlement. Lunch in a panoramic restaurant of Zia. Finally, transfer to your booked hotel, where you will stay for 3 nights. Dinner and overnight stay at your booked hotel.

Day 9: Island Tour Kos

You island tour will begin with a visit at Asklepion, the landmark of the island. This temple of great importance is said to have been the place of work for Hippocrates, the most famous doctor of the ancient times, who was born in Kos. The site offers a magnificent view of the city of Kos, the sea and the Turkish coasts on the opposite side of the Aegean Sea. Afterwards you will visit the picturesque settlement of Zia (mountain Dikaios) for a promenade in the village and coffee or refreshment in a panoramic “kafeneion”. Further drive to the South, through the villages Pyli and Kardamena to Kefalos, a favourite place for those who love water sports. Visit of the Basilica of Agios Stefanos. Return via Antimachia (optional visit to the Mill and the Traditional House) and Mastichari back to your booked hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 10: Kalymnos & Pserimos Islands

Today you will visit two wonderful Dodecanese islands. First stop: Kalymnos, the island of the sponge divers and one of the few Dodecanese islands whose architecture was so much influenced by the time of the Italian rule. Departure at about 09:30 a.m. from the harbour of Kos onboard a beautiful wooden sailing boat (the boat trip to Kalymnos takes about 90 minutes). Arrival in the picturesque town of Kalymnos, Pothia, walk at the harbour, visit to a sponge factory, demonstration of manufacture of sponges.
Sail by same boat to the sandy beach of Plati for swimming and barbecue with an ouzo onboard. Later sail to Pserimos Bay for relax and swimming, a small Dodecanese island with almost no inhabitants (about 30 people). Return to Kos at about 17:30. Dinner and overnight stay at your booked hotel.

Day 11: Departure “geia sas”

Free time according to the time of your departure flight. Transfer from your hotel to “Hippocrates” International Airport of Kos. Departure.

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